20100429_Thanks readers – Another new best monthly stat’s

Well I guess the title says it all …….. Thanks to everyone who’s dipped in and found my walks diary posts …. especially those who’ve left a comment. Well April’s total views has exceded the previous best monthly total, and there’s still a day to go !!! thats 3 record months on the trot …. yeah, I know in terms of the blogosphere, I get (lets face it) very modest daily totals …. but I’m writing about a fairly niche subject (country walking in England, and mostly around Rugby in Warwickshire) and I’m not casting views on the last speech by the president of the US of A or the latest Prime Ministerial Debate on the BBC but that’s not my thing! at least not when I’m blogging and I’m certainly not musing on the latest celebrity publicity shot or gaff or whatever …. Still, for those that are finding my stuff, I hope you’re all enjoying my scribblings.


Ps : If you’re waiting to see the pic’s to be added to the last walks diary … they’ve gotten a step closer coz I’ve just uploaded to my Flickr account …. please go see at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tothehillsatymail/ … if you want. cheers again Gary.

Pics now added to the Long Lawford / Newbold on Avon walk …. but you can still go to the flickr site using the link above … or click on the photo’s themselve and it should launch directly from there. … Gary 

20090823_Long Lawford – Newbold on Avon Circular Walk

20090823_Long Lawford – Newbold on Avon Circular Walk

When : 23rd August 2009

Who : Me and my son Craig

Where : Long Lawford, Newbold On Avon, Near Rugby, Warwickshire.

Map Used : 1:25,000 OS Explorer map 222, Rugby and Daventry.

Start Point : 476,766

1st End Point in Long Lawford : (2x pubs on main street) 472,759

2nd Start Point : (2x pubs) 472,759

2nd End Point : 47,73 (Cawston Grange)

Approx Distances : 3.75 + 1.88 miles (6 + 3 km)

Heights : nothing significant (bit of a rise on the 2nd stage of the walk of about 100 feet (30 metres)

Parking : On street parking in Long Lawford – Please park considerately as this is a residential area.

Public Transport : Long Lawford is serviced by a local bus route.

Summary : A pleasant mornings walk just to the west of Rugby, with plenty of variation, including : Long Lawford ; River Avon ; Newbold On Avon ; Oxford Canal ; Newbold Tunnel ; Cathiron ; Little Lawford ; River Avon (again) and back to Long Lawford … and then an extension of the walk, up a rise on the northern outskirts of Lawford Heath back home to Cawston Grange ; and all with relatively little road walking

Although the route fairly jumps out of the map as a very obvious circular, I also referenced a couple of books I have of local walks, both of which describe virtually the identical route as each other :

  • Evening Telegraph Country Walks by Brian Keates, bought way back in 1993 for £2.45 some 17 years ago now, so whether it’s still in print I’ve no idea, I doubt it somehow. … says 4 miles for the circuit.
  • Country walks in the Rugby Area, Jim Watson, This Way Books, first published 2003 but I purchased it in the last couple of years from Rugby Info’ centre so it may well still be in print today (Apr 2010 at the time of writing this post) … says 3.75 miles for the circuit.
  • Although 10 years apart and with different authors, both of these books follow almost identical layouts, style of prose, sketch maps, distances and illustrations (Brian’s book uses his photo’s ; Jim’s his drawings). It’s interesting to see real inflation in action here, the price of these almost identical publications has roughly doubled in about 15-years and there are 30 walks in Brian’s book (8p per walk) as opposed to 20 in Jim’s (24p per walk).

It promised to be a nice day and as the girls of the family were doing their own thing during the morning I thought it would be a good idea for me and my son Craig (he was not quite 8 y.o. at the time) to have a bit of Father and Son time together on a short walk close to where we live. Craig was “up for it” so I put up a small packed lunch and some drinks and we donned walking boots to be dropped off at the northern most corner of the Long Lawford housing estate on Ashman road/Prentice Close.

The girls drove off, leaving us to find our bearings … I soon worked out this meant heading down a narrow passageway between a couple of houses to immediately reach a pasture field with some horses grazing happily in the shadow of Rugby Cement works. The ugly grey works and chimney were to be visible for much of the walk, but not to it’s detriment really, just a point of interest worth noting. The walk across the field was interrupted briefly for Craig to say hello to a friendly pony who had wandered up to us and was quite happy to be stroked and tickled behind it’s ears. At the far side of the field we picked up a metal footbridge to cross the gentle river Avon. The bridge appears to be much longer than necessary, but this must be to allow for times of flood which is not uncommon further to the west towards Bretford so I guess could be the same here-abouts also.

Picking up an access track (access to Peninsular Farm) we crossed under a railway bridge (Rugby-Nuneaton line) where we briefly passed the time of day with a gentleman spraying weed-killer on the road margins. Looking back we were lucky enough to see a train zooming by, before we branched right on a narrow path. Tall grasses and thistles bounded us on both sides fairly dwarfing Craig who struggled to see over the tops, but he did like the thistle seed heads being blown about in the stiffish breeze. Soon after, the path opened up to follow a small avenue of trees leading the way through a field of cows to the church at Newbold On Avon (St Botolph’s according to both books mentioned above).

The route passes into the Church yard itself and the path passing the church leads out onto The Rugby Road (B4112). A brief turn right down the hill and a careful cross of the road (Main Street) took us into a side road to pass two pubs side by side; firstly The Boat, and immediately afterwards The Barley Mow. A few paces further on and we were on the tow path of The Oxford Canal.

A turn left took us very quickly to Newbold tunnel … A couple of notice boards gave some details about the tunnel and the canal hereabouts, from which I tried to impart some info’ to Craig, but all he really wanted was to get inside. I’d been clever enough to take a head torch and passed it to Craig who thought he looked really cool as he clicked through its various brightness options, settling on the red light as his preferred setting. Part of the info’ read about outside was about some special lighting installation dating back to 2005. Well some 4 years later and I think they’ve either turned the display off or all the bulbs have blown ‘cause I wasn’t aware of any special rings of different coloured lights down the tunnel. The best effect was from when Craig shone the head torch at the arched walls/roof.

There was a steady amount of traffic using the canal in both directions ; maybe the bright weather had enticed people out onto the water. We got a cheery hello from most people as they passed on their journey through the long tunnel.

I’d like to say with a degree of certainty how long the tunnel is … one sign informed that it is 189 metres long but another says 230 metres. (a quick conversion shows 189m = 620 ft and 230m = 755 ft) which is correct I can’t guess at, perhaps they’re both wrong, they definitely can’t both be right ! … can they ? There are even more distances published on various sites on the internet including 250m and ¼ mile, so who knows what is correct. One point of interest we noticed was the coating of lime obliterating some of the brickwork, and in places hanging in mini curtain and pendulous stalactites.

After the gloomy interior, it seemed particularly bright as we exited the north-west end of the tunnel where we continued on, on the tow path, to soon pass under the Rugby Road, before having to cross an attractively arched iron bridge over a side arm of the canal (this arm doesn’t go anywhere now, but used to be the main canal route before it was re-routed when the Newbold Tunnel was constructed to cut journey times). Continuing on the towpath a small boat works was passed (on the opposite bank) before reaching the next brick bridge over the cut. At this point we left the canal, climbing up to reach the farm track the bridge carries. This seemed a good place to stop for a bite to eat and we found a spot to sit for our refreshments, chatting about this and that as we refreshed ourselves. I had to bodily pick up Craig to allow him a view down to the waterway below.

Once watered and fed (tea cakes with apricot jam if I remember correctly) we followed the farm track (Cathiron Lane) westwards to reach a minor road very close to Tuckey’s bridge near Cathiron. However we didn’t head towards Cathiron, instead turning left on the minor road we headed south towards Little Lawford maybe some ¾ of a mile away. After a few hundred yards down this road we crossed another transport corridor for the second time; the 4-tracks of the Rugby to Nuneaton Railway line. The towers of Rugby Cement stood sentinel over the tracks a couple of miles away on the horizon, silhouetted against the bright sky. Immediately over the bridge the scenery returned to completely rural with sheep fields on one side and recently harvested wheat fields on the other. I always think the large round bales of straw left strewn about always look rather attractive in a random kind of way somehow.


The downhill stroll along the road was easy and we soon reached Little Lawford, one of the stone buildings here carries a date of 1604 …. over 400 years old – wow! Passing the ancient building, I took Craig down to see the ford where the track crosses The River Avon …. Much too deep to walk through, and I suspect too deep for most vehicles, maybe it’s OK for tractors and horses only? A battered depth gauge indicates how deep the river can get when in flood. After a chat with a lady walking her dog, our route was back a short way to head through the mill buildings complex to find a small footbridge over the mill race and then on to cross the Avon itself on a wider track/bridge. All in all Little Lawford is a charming hamlet in a pretty position, somehow with a timeless feel about it.

We stopped to take in more refreshments on the bridge above the meandering river (mini Swiss roll chocolate cakes – Yummy). I think this is a good tip for anyone walking with small children – frequent stops, places of interest, some word games (yes, including I-spy)  and tasty bribes, errrmm, I mean tasty snacks to keep them going works wonders. Anyway, heading away from the river on the gently rising track took us through more gentle Warwickshire countryside and we were soon back near our starting point back in Long Lawford.

Once in the village we headed for my Brother-in-law’s home on the off-chance that he and his family might be in. Rather than a cup of tea it didn’t take much persuading for us to head off to one of the pubs just a short walk away for a pint. I’m sure it was The Caldecott Arms we visited rather than The Lawford Arms right next door. My young nephew and niece came too and it was amazing to see how the energy levels in Craig raised themselves from flagging to a run as he played with his cousins in the pub back garden (well more of a yard really) … My sister in law joined us a little later and it would have been rude not to have another pint with her too …. well it would wouldn’t it ?!!!

After a while I decided it was time to move on … there were two options on offer :- Ring home to get the girls to come and get us or walk the extra distance back home and not trouble the girls at-all …. I gave the choices to Craig expecting him to favour the car ride, but I was wrong, he almost immediately said he wanted to carry on walking – brill’, I liked that. It seems a bottle of cola and a run around with his cousins had given him a new lease of life. So after our goodbyes, we headed off southwards to pick up Railway Street and then left into the wider road of Chapel Street/The Green, to cross over a different main line railway this time running between Rugby and Coventry. It’s odd how the view eastwards down the tracks looks for all the world that the lines go straight through the buildings of Rugby Cement.

The road led us down to the A428 Coventry Road at a cross roads. Our route took us straight over into Lawford Heath Lane. We had about 500 yards or so of road walking to navigate before turning left into a broad green lane bounded by hedges on both sides. Not long after we came across a load of corrugated panelling, I assume fly tipped by some uncaring so-and-so. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this here and I don’t like it! Once past the ugly obstruction, the track rose quite steadily through gentle countryside and in the warmth of the early afternoon Craig started to flag again, but I managed to cajole and inspire him onwards as the track narrowed to a path and the hedges closed in to be quite claustrophobic. All of a sudden the path opened up again to join a relatively manicured driveway and the slope eased as we continued on to soon arrive at a bend in Bilton Lane. 

Going straight ahead we had to cross a major road junction under construction, where the new Rugby Western Relief Road (not yet opened) crosses Bilton Lane. They seem to have been doing this for far too long now and the opening date seems to be slipping back constantly.

Immediately after crossing a bridge (over a disused railway line) and just opposite The Bear Pub our route turned right into Lawford lane passing a few houses before heading straight on onto a tree/hedge lined walkway leaving the road behind. This brought us into the new Cawston Grange housing estate where we headed off for home but not before picking some blackberries growing in the hedgerows etc.

All in all I reckon we’d covered the best part of about 6 miles, not bad for a 7-year old … I remember thinking how much I’d tired him out as we finished off down our street, but within minutes of being home he was out in the back garden bouncing up and down on our trampoline – amazing.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….

Next few walks and the like = 20090827-31_A short holiday on the north Yorkshire coast at Boggle Hole near Robin Hoods Bay.

Some external sites I have found, obviously not by me, so I’ve no control over the info in them but they might be of interest.







20090821_Cawston Grange – Evening Walk

20090821_Cawston Grange – Evening Walk

When : 21st August 2009

Who : Me and my daughter Katie

Where : Cawston, Rugby, Warwickshire

Approx Distance : couple of miles maybe – if that

Heights : nothing significant

Summary : An evening wander near where we live.

It was a reasonable evening weather-wise, despite some stormy looking clouds threatening once again. Reasonable weather is really saying something for the summer of 2009! ; I can’t remember once eating al-fresco or sitting outside in the garden with a drink in the evening at-all last summer. So, I decided to take advantage and head out for a bit of a wander with my camera with the hope of a half decent sunset over the farmland of Lawford Heath. My daughter Katie surprised me by saying she’d join me, which was nice. It’s a bit of a wet word “nice” and we often tell the kids to think of better words when doing homework, but in this instance “nice” just about sums it up, well, errmm, nicely.

We didn’t really know how far we’d get, or how long we’d be out for, but we headed out on the footpaths around the edge of the Cawston Grange estate where we live. Chatting and playing silly games like skipping along arm in arm. What a sight we must have made, with girly Katie contrasting against the big lump of me, 6’-4” tall And 16+ stone, careering down the path together. For any Americans reading this, you’ll know what 6’-4” is but 16st = 224 lbs. For any Europeans 6’-4” height = 1.93 metres and 16st weight = approx 102 kg so this’ll give an indication of how big a lump I am, especially to be skipping down a footpath barely two people wide!!!

After a while, we climbed a bank of the old disused railway that runs alongside the western fringe of the housing estate. This is a fantastic green corridor which has naturalised over the years since the railway was dismantled and is now home to numerous rabbit burrows, a few badger sets and I’m sure a whole bunch of other wild-life to-boot. You can follow the route a little further to the north and quite a long way southwards, where a section has been “done-up” as part of the Sustrans cycle network. Be warned though; around the Cawston area it can get very muddy in places, and in places quite overgrown with brambles, nettles and wild roses at times also. Ladies, it’s certainly not a place to walk in high heels and I now think twice about walking in shorts along the old track bed. Every now and then, from the old railway bed, you can get a good view of the new Rugby Western Relief Road (currently nearing completion) which runs more or less parallel here all the way to Potfords dam.

Way beyond the new road the sun was setting over to the west, silhouetting a line of trees on the horizon and enhancing the stormy look of the clouds. Katie particularly liked the wedges of gulls flying south towards Draycote water. She took at stack of photo’s trying to capture their flight south. I’m not sure if the collective noun is strictly correct (wedge of swans or wedge of geese I know) but a wedge of gulls does describe the flying-V shapes they made as they passed by high above.

It was now starting to get a little on the dark side of light, and seeing where we were putting our feet on the old railway was becoming almost impossible, so we made our way back into the estate footpaths to head off home.


This gave the opportunity to play at taking long exposure shots of the street lights lining the pathways …. a bit of fun even though I really didn’t know what I was technically doing. Still, I quite liked some of the results …. and then …. we were home.  A lovely hour or so with a lovely daughter.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and my pic’s ….

Next walk = 20090823_Long Lawford – Newbold Circular Walk

20090819_Coventry War Memorial Park Perimeter Walk

20090819_Coventry War Memorial Park Perimeter Walk

When : 19th August 2009

Who : Just Me

Where : War Memorial Park, Earlsdon, Coventry

Start + End Point : Small Car Park off The Leamington Road, quite near the junction with the Kenilworth Road/Warwick Road traffic lights

Approx Distance : 1.6 miles, (2.6 km)

Heights : None to speak of.

Parking : As an alternative I could have used a small car park on Coat of Arms Bridge Road or the main car park off the Kenilworth Road.

Public Transport : The main Car Park also doubles as a park and ride, with a bus service into Coventry City Centre and which also passes by Coventry Rail station. It’s walkable from the Rail Station as well (along the Warwick Road) passing the striking building of King Henry VIII school and some nicely kept gardens after passing Spencer Road.

Summary : A lunch time walk just to get out of the office as it was a nice sunny afternoon … a rarity during the summer of 2009 !!!

The summary just about says it all really. 2009 had been a pretty poor year, and as this afternoon looked quite nice weather-wise and I was getting a tad stressed out at work, I decided a lunch time “blast” around the park would be a good idea.




Some exercise and a drop of sunshine on your back can work wonders on your state of mind. I get an hour for lunch, and it takes about 15 minutes (20 min’s tops) for the drive to/from the park so this gives about 20-30 minutes at the park –  just about enough time for a quickish walk around the full perimeter path, taking in the rose garden and more formal avenues of trees around the Cenotaph area, then passing the pitch and putt golf course to reach the Coat of Arms Bridge Road Car Park. The council have recently added a new tarmac path from here to fully skirt the wide open spaces of the sports pitches; right the way up to a narrow strip of woodland separating the park from the road here.

This path swings around to reach the main Kenilworth road car park and the Park and Ride Bus stop.



The brick work here has stood up quite well to the turning buses, and I wonder how many people have noticed that the two-tone paving is a stylized picture of the memorial cenotaph which can be glimpsed across the park in the distance.  


From the car park the path then heads back to the more formal areas including the bowling greens, cafe, tennis courts and kiddies playgrounds before returning to the area around the cenotaph once more.

The route describes a clockwise circuit around the park, which for some reason is the way I generally end up going … I don’t know why – it just is (I’m sure there must be a scientific/psychological explanation why) … and that’s about it really other than to say the park was being extremely well used (middle of the school summer hol’s) especially near the Kids playground with a lovely summery vibrant (noisy) feel around the place. I particularly liked the relatively new wire statue of Lady Godiva on horseback in amongst a flower bed of Cosmos and other summer bedding close to the cafe.

One downer of the circuit though, was when I passed the top of what was once a lovely rockery hollow … there used to be a little stream that cascaded down through a mini dell of azaleas and the like … I’ve good memories of this as a child. The remains of the cascade are still visible after many years of neglect and now look a tad scruffy and rather sad compared to how it once was. It’d be nice if the council could do some work to return it to its former glories, although I will admit the area here is looking a bit better overall than a few years ago when it looked absolutely terrible! It could still be so much better though.

I also remember throughout the park there were many more flower beds than there are now, but those that remain were very good looking – very traditional annual bedding with geraniums etc.

Once back to the car, I drove back to work for the last few hours of the afternoon – urghhh!!!, never an easy thing to do when the sun’s been shining on your back! …. I’m was initially writing this diary back in Feb-2010 when it was snowing outside, it was grey, cold and particularly miserable, now it’s April and it’s not really been much better since then …. oh to be able to spend ½ an hour without a coat on having a walk in the park …. still, spring should be just around the corner, so maybe soon! and if you can believe the forecasters maybe this week-end could be the best of the year so far.

I hope you enjoyed my scribbling, and pic’s ….

Next walk = 20090821_Cawston Grange Evening walk.

Some external links I’ve found follow which may be of interest, The council stuff is obviously good for logistical info but I like the “Coventry Now and Then” site for a window into the past  :-







20090808-16_River Avon -Near Lacock

Originally uploaded by gary.hadden

River Avon (The Wiltshire Avon) between Reybridge and Lacock. it’s not a spectacular river but has a gentle charm and undeniable beauty … very understated, very English. I love it here !

20090808-09_Maize – Reybridge near Lacock

Maize field near Reybridge. The footpath was supposed to head straight through the crop here, but there was noway through. So I had to back track and find a different route alongside the River Avon.

20090808_Another short Lacock Circular Walk

20090808_Another short Lacock Circular Walk

When : 8th August 2009

Who : Just Me

Where : Lacock + Reybridge, Wiltshire, England

Maps : 1:25,000 OS. Explorer Map No.156, Chippenham & Bradford-On-Avon

Start + End Point : 918, 682 (car park in lacock)

Approx Distance : about 2.5 miles (4 km)

Heights : One very simple short rise up Nethercote on tarmac lane, from the Ford.

Parking : There is limited on street parking in the village, but due to the popularity of the place there is a car-park situated just outside the village on Hither Way … Just follow the sign posts off the Chippenham to Melksham Road.

Public Transport : A bus passes through the village picking up and dropping off near The George on West Street

Summary : A gentle circular walk based on Lacock village in Wiltshire, including Lacock itself; The Ford; Nethercote Hill, Hamlet of Reybridge, River Avon; Water Meadows near Lacock Abbey and back to the Village.

I did this walk on the last day of our holidays (8th Aug) and it is very similar to another walk I did earlier in the holiday (5th Aug) only this one is just a tiny bit longer and now takes in the hamlet of Reybridge and the opposite bank of the River Avon. A good chunk of the walk takes in the same ground and I make my apologies now to anyone who’s read my earlier diary as some of it may seem very familiar in parts.

Lacock is such a brilliant place to visit, a picture perfect olde worlde Cotswold  village of mellow limestone cottages, friendly pubs, interesting shops and a charming church and that’s not mentioning the Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum. Please see my earlier diary posts for some more info’ on the attractions in the village.



We try to visit Lacock at least once a year, and it was a lovely early morning (hadn’t seen many of those this summer) with mists hanging about in valley following the course of the River Avon. So I decided to take a walk over to Reybridge to try and capture some pic’s of the mists before they were burned off by the rising sun …. I was dressed, with boots on, and I was off out before the family were stirring.

To keep the chronology of my pictures correct, I’m going to write this post as if I’d started at the top of Nethercote Hill, as that’s where I got my camera out and slowed down enough to properly appreciate the surrounding countryside. Even though the mists below were disappearing quite rapidly, the light was lovely as the dawn emerged from over Bowden Hill in the distance. There are several footpaths that run away from the dead end of Nethercote Hill, and the route taken this morning was through a large kissing gate off on the right, opposite a terrace of cottages. From the kissing gate I followed the narrow strip of tarmac path and as it began to drop across the field, some lovely views across the wide valley opened up ahead.

I loved the muted early morning colours and sounds and there wasn’t anyone else around … it almost felt like the countryside had been put there just for my benefit, a thought that can only happen when you walk alone … irrational – yes, but a brill’ feeling all the same. I stepped it out really quite quickly trying to get down to the hamlet of Reybridge before the mists were gone. This is a lovely spot with thatched cottages, English country gardens, a serene river and a perfectly proportioned multi-arched stone built bridge. The Wiltshire Avon makes a lovely scene here, the setting is quite superb. On the down side, insurance against flooding here must be so expensive.

The raised walkway heading off from the bridge highlights how high the river must reach when it breaks it’s banks.

A few years ago, I tried to take my family on a footpath swinging around to the east of New End Farm from near Rey Mill and then to head southwards over to Bewley Green, but we couldn’t get through because of a sweet corn crop blocking the way. I decided to go and see if the path was “on the ground” now as I was curious to see where the path would take me this time. Immediately after crossing the bridge at Reybridge, I crossed the fence on the left and headed diagonally over the field, (a faint line in the grass showing the route) to meet a drive heading towards the old mill buildings hidden away off to the left. This drive is not a right of way and I believe the mill it services is now owned by Camilla (wife of Prince Charles) and perhaps the future Queen of the Realm …. I suspected I was being watched from hidden eyes somewhere, a very odd feeling and I resolved to be particularly accurate at my route finding.

Crossing over the drive, I picked up a path somewhat enclosed by hedges and fences. Doubled up fencing and more young planting on the mill side of the path had not grown too thick or high yet, but it will obliterate any possible view over towards the mill area at some time in the future. I was careful about the direction I pointed my camera and in the end just didn’t take any pic’s here at-all. Sad to think I was intimidated this way by such unsaid signals. Maybe it’s a sign of how security has filtered down into our lives that I felt this way, but I did feel quite uncomfortable and not particularly welcome. After a short while, the path emerged at the point where I couldn’t get through some years before. It was de-ja-vu all over again …. enormously high sweet corn plants barred the way and there was no way around the field margins either …. so much for our right of way on our footpath network ! I do hope the field is not owned by our Royal Family, I would be extremely sorry to know if it were they who were barring my way.

I had a brief skirt around the paths that were open hereabouts just to ensure I was indeed reading my map properly and had got the right place where I wanted to go. After a while I gave up and retraced my steps back to the Avon at Reybridge. I didn’t cross the bridge again though; instead I crossed the fence on the opposite side of the road, to pick up the eastern bank of the river, heading more or less southwards. The path ahead was well trodden following the bank of the river quite closely (not quite as shown on my map) giving views back over to Nethercote Hill. The riverscapes were very pretty as the stream meandered on, all soft gentle colours as the dawn sun warmed the countryside – Beautiful without being spectacular.


After a while the path had to leave the river bank to head over the water meadow flood plain with cows and horses grazing and with glimpses of Lacock Abbey in the distance. The path should have dropped through a depression in the ground (an old course of the river), but the bogginess after all the recent rain made it more expedient to skirt the classic ox-bow lake (I think every-one remembers this term from geography school lessens) to emerge onto a lane to the left of the arched stone bridge ahead.

Once on the road I turned left for a closer look at the small chapel nearby. I then headed back down the road to cross the bridge with its double sets of arches, picked up another raised walkway and then a tarmac path alongside the road heading west beside a stone wall, the boundary to Lacock Abbey, with views across to the mansion lit up by the morning sun. The Cotswold limestone building almost glowed – super!


Not long after, the road brought me into Lacock Village near the entrance to the Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum. Not far from here is the main village car park and it’s here that it’s most likely you’ll park (on Hither Way) if you want to do this walk. The village itself was still very quiet with only one or two people walking dogs. After passing The Red Lion pub, I headed to the village store to get a paper for my wife to read on the journey home …. but it was still so early the shop hadn’t opened yet, and still had 10-15 minutes to go before opening time …. so I headed back to our holiday “home” for a cuppa and to pack up for the journey home.

Incidentally, if you do this walk and you’ve parked up at the main car park, the quickest route to get to the top of Nethercote Hill and the start of this diary, is to get to The Red Lion, take the road directly opposite (East Street) pass the Tythe Barn (or Tithe Barn if you prefer that spelling); the Old Lock-Up; Village Hall and Jewellers to reach Church Street (the Bakers shop is opposite the junction). Turn right to pass The Carpenters Arms and King John’s Hunting Lodge Tearooms and then turn left into Nethercote just before you reach St. Cyriac’s Church. The lane feels like you are now leaving the village and you’ll soon reach the picturesque ford (The Bide Brook) and it’s pack-horse bridge. Once past the ford and the cottages at the far side, the lane rises quite sharply to reach the dead-end and the path towards Reybridge. That’s the quickest route, but I defy you to actually walk it quickly …. The village is so beautiful you really will want to explore it’s few streets and attractions more than just walking straight through! … or maybe the way to do it is to not linger immediately and save the exploration for after the walk!

Wow, such a lot of words for such a short walk …. an indication of how nice this walk is. “Nice” is an over used, non-descriptive sort of word, but it sums up this morning’s walk quite, ummm, errr, “nicely”.

I guess that’s the end of this post, I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….

Next walk = 20090819_Coventry War Memorial Park Perimeter Walk.