Friday, September 28, 2012

Walking in Winchcombe

The delightful village of Winchcombe, England is on the famous Cotswold Way: 100 miles of paths from Bath to Chipping Camden. During the week we stayed there, we took a couple of walks, the best one being a snippet (5 miles) of the section from Winchcombe to Hailes Abbey.

 Leaving the tea room in town center

You walk down Witches Way...

through fields of grazing sheep, some with lambs.


Up and over "kissing gates and stiles"...Richard still has his eye closed after the kissing.

Navigation was interesting as you leave your GPS behind and follow instructions like these....
"Diagonally cross the field towards a clump of trees, aiming for the left of the trees and over a small knoll down to a stile. Climb the stile, past an ancient oak tree and head straight across the field to a stile. Climb the stile and continue straight on towards a house. Here you will see the Malvern Hills coming into view on your left. Climb the stile and bear right
uphill towards another stile, climb the stile and up to a gate leading onto a lane. Go through the gate and turn left along the lane past St Faith’s Church and Farmcote Herb Garden on your left. Leave the metalled road and follow the track descending slightly with lovely views ahead.

Fortunately you run across signs which help guide you along. I loved the names of the towns:
Spoonley, Guilting Wood, Hinchwick, Ozleworth Bottom, Chipping Norton, Bourton-on-the-Hill,
Milton-under-Wynchwood, Stretton-on-the-Fosse.

This part of the path was pretty unmistakable......

Just after a rain, we picked up quite a load of mud and gunk on the shoes, but it was mostly marvelously green.
We passed by some beautiful English gardens...with sweet peas blooming in late August and
zucchini laid out for passers by to take home.
We ended the walk at Hailes Abbey which was financed by pilgrims visiting its renowned relic, 'the Holy Blood of Hailes - allegedly a vial of Christ's blood. The Abbey was shut down and its coffers emptied by Cromwell.

I'd love to go back and try to do as much of the whole walk as we could.


  1. Yep, those are the same sheep.

    P.S. I've spent most of today trying to figure out which ancestor lived at Sudeley Castle. Maybe I dreamed it. But still looking!

    Those were neat pictures!

  2. Wondered if you were still gone? Looks like a great trip. I would like to give you a very short photography lesson that will have you shooting like Matthew Brady in minutes one of these days...Your photos are always good but with a little tweaking can be outstanding.

    I was about to give you my latest, most favorite sheep joke but this being a family blog, will resist the temptation.

    best, Robert

  3. Hello, I live in Winchcombe and was interested to hear you call part of your walk Witches Way. Please could you tell me which path it is and where you heard the name.Legend tells of both a witch and a wizard in Winchcombe.