Statistics: 12.5 miles, 1525′ ascent, 994′ descent.
Using my Garmin GPS (Oregon 600) and its trail map, we discovered a quick way to rejoin the Cotswold Way, which was not far from the hotel. This path led us through some very pleasant grassy fields as we began to climb.
The climb led to
Nearing the top of the gorse-covered hill we had a terrific view of the city below.
Cresting the hill, we came to the flat-topped Leckhampton Hill where we encountered equestrians – frequent users of this trail.
An Iron Age hillfort is located at Leckhampton, dated about 800BC and revealed by the exposed berms surrounding it. We had seen so many of these forts that it had
Exploring more of this fascinating area, we discovered the Devil’s Chimney Rock which was apparently created as a hoax by quarry workers in the 17th-century. It is now forbidden to climb on this rock, but in times past as many as 13 people would perch on top at a time.
Somehow we managed to lose the trail, taking a path which descended steeply from the escarpment. After finding the ruins of the old Leckhampton Lime Kiln at the bottom of this hill, we realized that we were on the wrong path and had to retrace our steps. Back on the correct
At the base of Crickley Hill, we had to cross the very busy A417 roadway. This took some time and was dangerous as there was no allowance for pedestrians. Once that hair-raising event was accomplished, we climbed up to Barrow Wake, a rise directly across from Crickley which allowed for another striking view of not only Crickley Hill, but the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons in the far distance.
Following a woodland track, we found our way to the village of Birdlip (I would love to know the origin of such an unusual name) and the pleasant Royal George Hotel. Birdlip is situated on an old Roman road, now named Ermin Street.