Statistics: 7.2 miles, 760′ ascent, 1228′ descent.
This day began with a yummy breakfast which included homemade granola and jams prepared by our host, Lindsey, at Cleeve Hill Hotel. After this great start to the day, she directed us to a short cut back to the Cotswold Way, bid us good-bye and we were on our way. The short cut took us straight up the hill behind the hotel to the top of Cleeve Hill and the Cleeve Hill Golf Course.
We walked along the course, skirting its many pits, cliffs, and valleys.
Cresting the final hill we observed Cheltenham in the distance.
We could just make out the famous racecourse and steeple chase course in Cheltenham.
At this point, the path descended through
Groups of runners displaying racing bibs began to pass us. We found out that we were right in the middle of a four-day, 100-mile event, The Cotswold Way Challenge. As the runners passed us, we shouted out our words of encouragement while we continued the walk. A cute little pony and his buckskin horse buddy ambled over to the fence to say hello, looking for non-existent treats.
The countryside views were delightful as we walked along the edge of the woods.
The rapeseed was in abundance across the fields, presenting a stunning landscape.
One of the pleasures of walking in the spring is the profusion of wild flowers. As we neared Charlton Kings, we were amazed to see and smell acres of wild garlic.
After reaching the A40, we left the Cotswold Way and turned toward Charlton Kings where we were to stay for the night. Along the way, we stopped in at Dunkerton’s Cider Mill for coffee and a snack. As it turned out, we returned here to pick up picnic supplies for dinner, since the local pubs were either fully booked or closed.
Our hotel for the evening was the Charlton Kings Hotel. The hotel staff could not have been more helpful and attentive, but the hotel itself, although clean and comfortable, was in need of a little “spiffing up”.