Statistics: 11 miles, ascent 1083′, descent 1694′.
Janet, our host at Whittington Farm B&B, set a lovely breakfast table for us next to a pool overlooking her back garden. She very graciously offered to drive my mother to our next B&B in Bath on her day’s grocery run. (June continued taking a ride each day in parallel with the Cotswold Way, meeting us every evening.)
Just past the church we had 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”.)
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 attack against Cromwell’s Parliamentarian troops on July 5, 1643.
As our morning proceeded, we were once again admiring the beautiful,
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 immense 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.
A monument had been placed here by the grandson of Sir Bevil Granville in 1720. Granville 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 the Parliamentarian cannon fire.
Continuing on from our history lesson, we had our first 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.
A picturesque trail began the descent towards our destination.
One last, open stretch of terrain lay before us as we made our way to Bath.
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.
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.
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.