Statistics: 11 miles, ascent 1083′, descent 1694′.

Janet, our host at Whittington Farm B&B, had set a lovely breakfast table for us next to a pool overlooking her back garden. Since her day’s grocery run would take her near our next B&B in Bath, she also offered to drive my mother. (June had continued taking a ride each day in parallel with the Cotswold Way, meeting us every evening.)

Just past the church we explored the previous day, we discovered another red post box with the initials “GR VI” on it. This postbox was placed here during the reign of George VI (1936 – 1952). (Another aside: You may remember that in the film, “The King’s Speech” with Colin Firth, George VI was known as “Bertie”.)

George VI postbox

As we walked out of the village of Cold Ashton, we could not help but notice the impressive estate of Cold Ashton Manor. During the English Civil War, the mortally wounded Royalist, Sir Bevil Granville, was brought to this manor from the nearby Battle of Lansdown, where he had led a fierce Royalist attack against Cromwell’s Parliamentarian troops on July 5, 1643.

Cold Ashton Manor

As our morning proceeded, we were once again admiring the beautiful, English countryside on this, our last day on the Cotswold Way.

Cotswold Way near Cold Ashton

The Battle of Lansdown was fought on the top of the next hill. As we reached that hill, we were sobered to learn of the substantial loss of life that took place on the very ground where we were standing. The Royalists alone had their troops reduced from 2000 men to 600 due to loss of life and desertion.

Site of the Battle of Lansdown

A monument was placed here by Sir Bevil Granville’s grandson in 1720. Sir Granville had led the Royalist troops in an attempt to regain control of the South West of England with its tin mines and coastal ports. In this instance, Granville led a successful charge by the Royalist army in the face of Parliamentarian cannon fire.

Continuing on from our history lesson, we had our first view of Bristol.

View of Bristol

The Cotswold Way progressed past Little Down Hill Fort, the Bath Racecourse and then to the ideal vantage point known as Prospect Stile. It was here that we had our first view of Bath. We were excited to reach our destination and yet sad to have reached the adventure’s conclusion.

First view of Bath

A picturesque trail began the descent towards our destination.

Nearing Bath

One last, open stretch of terrain lay before us as we made our way to Bath.

Last hill

Once in Bath, we dropped our packs at this night’s B&B, the Brooks B&B, and then walked to Bath Abbey to complete the hike.

The Brooks B&B in Bath

After leaving the Brooks Guest House, which is an ideal location for sightseeing, we soon came upon the impressive Royal Crescent, a “sweeping crescent of 30 individual Grade I Listed terrace houses,” Over the years, many notable people have lived in these homes and currently, a five star hotel is included among the private homes and a large museum.

Royal Crescent

Finally, in front of the magnificent Bath Abbey, we stood on this trail’s official end marker and could – after a 14 day trek – say that we had finished the beautiful and rewarding Cotswold Way.

Finish line at Bath Abbey

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