Today’s statistics: 10.6 miles ascent 1315′ descent 1589′

We left Painswick on another beautiful day. Small, yellow flowers dotted both sides of the trail making our way very picturesque.

Leaving Painswick

Climbing up the hillside on the other side of the valley from Painswick, we noticed the grass was tall and lush.

A large sign appeared stating that Bath was 55 miles away! We were nearly halfway!

As we turned around to take in the view behind us, we could clearly see the church steeple in Painswick.

Looking back to see St. Mary’s in Painswick

Rambling on, just enjoying the exhilaration of a good walk with good views, dense woods and plenty of ups and downs, we happened upon Cromwell’s Stone (the man did get around!). At the time I did not discover why this stone was named after Cromwell since it was erected in the 19th-century to commemorate the lifting of the Siege of Gloucester by Charles I in 1643. I suspect it had something to do with the 1,500 Parliamentarians (Cromwell’s supporters) who withstood a siege by 35,000 Royals.

We walked and chatted with an Australian woman, Sandra, who was hiking the Cotswold Way alone, before continuing on to Haresfield Beacon. As we emerged from the woods we were greeted with wide-open meadows filled with flowers.

Approaching Haresfield Beacon

At the apex of the climb, we found a trig point and couldn’t resist a group photo!

Kathy, Jean and Peter on Haresfield Beacon

Soon we were back into a forest, Standish Wood. This forest is mentioned in historical documents as far back as 1297.

Standish Wood

We returned to the cultivated countryside as we descended towards busy roads and the River Frome.

Walking through vineyards near Ryeford

We crossed the river and the A417 before climbing up to a modern neighborhood that looked nothing like where we expected to be headed. Putting great faith in my GPS and my ability to program it correctly, we trudged on in the heat of the day on the local asphalt roads. Fortunately (and as planned), the rather boring neighborhood ended and the quaint village of Leonard Stanley appeared.

Leonard Stanley

At the village center was the nearly 900 year-old Priory Church of St. Swiftin (circa 1131).

Priory Church of St. Swiftin

Our B&B tonight was to be the White Hart Pub, an inn built in the 1700s. The bedrooms had been newly restored and were quite lovely. Unfortunately, the chef had recently quit but the owner’s daughter said she would put something together from the frig “if that was ok”. Sandra (the hiker from Australia) arrived so we all shared our meal together and had an enjoyable evening.

The White Hart in Leonard Stanley

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