Ruth is now officially a dwarf, well she said she feels a lot shorter after wearing a few more cm off her legs along the the 164km from Chipping Campden to Bath.

Ruth looking much shorter at the last seat on the trail, outside the Bath Abbey
Ruth looking much shorter at the last seat on the trail, outside the Bath Abbey

 

The final descent to Bath (well so we thought)
The final descent to Bath (well so we thought)

 

The real final descent into Bath (after climbing one last hill)
The real final descent into Bath (after climbing one last hill)

The walk, despite several rather wet days, was well worth the effort, we saw a reasonable chunk of England at a pace that at times allowed us to have an in-depth study of how snails move.

We loved the friendliness of the locals we met along the way, often out in the middle of nowhere. The older woman backpacking her grocieries across a steep hill from a nearby town to the village she lived in because she enjoyed the view. The Irish lady walking her dog in the hills, told us, amongst other things, that she had left Ireland in her youth because her parents wanted to spend money giving her a fancy university education. She had taught nurses how to communicate and was excited to find someone (us) who were not walking along looking at our phones giving her the opportunity to talk to us. We had to fess up that we do often look at our phone, it is necessary to find out where we are. We immediately proved our point by pointing at a nearby city and saying that we were headed to Bath. “Thats Bristol, Bath is on the other side of the hill” she said waving her arm at what appeared to be a far off place.

The many villages we passed through or near with names like; Old Sodbury, Chipping Sodbury, Sodbury, Cold Ashton, Wotton-Under-Edge, Waterly Bottom, Pennsylvania, to name a few.

Down in Wotton-Under-Edge
Down in Wotton-Under-Edge

Pub meals (nothing much else available), that rangd from standard fish and chips or sausages to more sophsiticated offerings. Usually more than adequate but like all food in the UK, expensive.

I mentioned in the last post the different types of environments we walked through, we added peoples backyards, a racecourse and of course the city streets of Bath where Ruth strolled along with her walking poles looking like a minature version of Livingstone or Stanley. However, the sight of shops got her eyes twinkling and put an energy into her step that I have not seen for a few days.

Ruth heads across the grain field towards North Nibley
Ruth heads across the grain field towards North Nibley

 

The black faced sheep remained our companions at many stages along the walk
The black faced sheep remained our companions at many stages along the walk

 

Ruth in clover (and a lot of wild poppies)
Ruth in clover (and a lot of wild poppies)

After one final fling of rain, the weather steadily improved and on the final day we were greeted with clear blue sky and a 4c starting temperature. It warmed up though and we had a very pleasant walk through to Bath. Contrary to my perception back in NZ, the last day was a very pretty walk and we did not break into the city until about a km from the finish line.

The wild flowers were past their best but still impressed us with the variety
The wild flowers were past their best but still impressed us with the variety

 

A folly built for the owls to nest in, their natural habitat steadily reducing.
A folly built for the owls to nest in, their natural habitat steadily reducing.

 

For much of the walk we had had a patchwork of fields and villages below us.
For much of the walk we had had a patchwork of fields and villages below us.

Would we do such a long walk again? without any doubt, like cycling it is a great way to see a country if you have the time.

Off to Ireland on Monday. Oh dear, just looked at the weather forecast for the next 10 days, we are going to miss their hottest and driest day today (17c), we won’t pack the rain gear too deeply into the bags.

We encountered every type of stile and gate imaginable
We encountered every type of stile and gate imaginable

 

The Avon River and Pulteney Bridge complete with shops
The Avon River and Pulteney Bridge complete with shops

 

The trail took the scenic route through bath, the Royal Crescent built in the 18th century
The trail took the scenic route through bath, the Royal Crescent built in the 18th century

 

 

4 comments

  1. Lovely scenery just made for walking. On those good weather days nothing is finer but we recalled a walk we did in Bath some years ago in a steady heavy rain that just for the conditions we’ll never forget. You must both be feeling quite fit after the long cycling – and now – walking days!

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    1. We are feeling much fitter than when we left NZ and after a day of lighter activity in Bath we have been back on the “trail” checking out the redevelopment of the docks in Cardiff en route to Ireland.

      The day that was particularly wet our focus was on getting to the destination, the other days we enjoyed our surroundings, if you stopped when it was raining the risk was cilling down, if you stopped the other days, it was enjoyable to sit and take in the surroundings.

      Cheers Cliff

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Cliff and Ruth,
    We are Carol and John (from UK) we met on the bike and barge. Just caught up with your blog and enjoyed reading about all your antics.
    Gary and Denise (Aussies) are with us, we had walks in the Cotswolds last week, but up in Bourton on the water. They had 2 weeks in Ireland ( I think it rained every day) but they thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you have a great time there.

    Love all your photos.

    Best wishes, Carol and John

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    1. Hi Carol and John and Gary and Denise
      Good to hear from you. We arrived in Ireland on Monday evening and Pass on to Gary and Denise that it is still raining. We are staying in a rural area under McGillacuddys Reeks although at present we cannot see them so it must be raining. If we do see them that is a sure sign that it is going to rain.

      I hope John has not been giving Gary to much stick over the cricket result. On our last day in the Cotswolds, we ventured up a drive way and the gent set us on the right course, threw in the comment “good luck in the cricket today, we let him enjoy his moment of glory and did not mention that we were not Aussies.

      All the best and thanks for keeping in touch. If you are ever in NZ we will organise a bike ride or walk.

      Cliff & Ruth

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