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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Long Compton to Stow-on-the-Wold

I had more interesting chat with the lady at my Butlers Farm B and B over breakfast including a detailed account of cutting and processing silage. There is an optimum date for cutting (19th May I think) for the nutrition value to be maximised. Once the stuff has matured it is tested for its value and the better it is the less the farmer has to provide additional feed. Her family farmed up at Kirkby Mooorside in the Yorkshire Dales and she was full of anecdotes about the old days and very knowledgeable on all aspects of farming. She was also a good cook, super breakfast, loads of homemade jams and marmalade, and in particular a relish/chutney with a hint of chilli which went well with my bacon and scrambled egg.. I could have stayed all day. Shades of Hannah Hauxwell who I met many years ago when I was walking the Pennine Way.

Today was the best walking so far. Early on I was on an elevated ridge (wold) with panoramic views and noticeably fresh air with skylarks singing.

I was getting a bit low on cash but ATMs are rare. I was told that there was a post office at Adlestrop but it was closed - strange hours, opens 1:00 to 4:00.

I stopped there and tried booking ahead for tomorrow. It is a demoralising task. Answer phones, and "Mum is out at the moment, she will ring you back", and many other excuses for ringing back, so when you find a positive result you are not sure if you are burning your boats if you book in case a ring- backer has something better to offer. I ended up speaking to a lady who was out riding her horse. She had no accommodation but texted me with other suggestions which I was not able to take up until, in Stow. There I emptied the Barclays cash machine and then found an Internet café with comfortable, sumptuous leather chairs with Internet etc. It was one of the lady horse riding B and B owner's suggestions that came good and I am booked into the Fossebridge Inn which is along way and also off my route but it is the best I can do.

One of the pubs I phoned who wanted £85 B and B said they didn't open until 7:00pm but would leave the room key in the door for my arrival - not my idea of eighty five poundsworth.

As I wandered out of the café waiting for YHA to open at 5:00 I met a guy who invited me back to his town centre house for a cup of tea ( here I go again Gayle). He was a genuine type and he had walked plenty and was interested in what I was about and also informing me of points of interest on my forthcoming route.

The ambience in the dorm at the YHA is better than I was anticipating, and they do have wifi. I have now come across the road to The Queen's Head where they have made a lamb burger more interesting than disasters experienced elsewhere - 'tis a good little pub with a friendly atmosphere.

My cup of tea aquaintance had recommended the Queen's Head and he was there with another couple the husband being a photographer, so I ended up with my portrait.

Early morning. Going up onto the ridge (wold) from Compton.

Typical Cotswold village

Adlestrop church

In the Queen's Head

My cup of tea man and the photographer with his back to camera. Then with the iPad

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


gimmer said...

your tales of this section of the walk don't really surprise me - having lived not far from thereabouts and in a not wholly dissimilar area; whilst there are lots of paths and a lot of people do visit and walk, they tend, on the whole, to be day walks from a drive-in or a local base B&B/pub etc - mainly at weekends, with school holidays producing a similar pattern - not the parents and children so much perhaps as on the beaches and in the hills, but others liberated by the same holiday periods: others trendily flock out of London (less than an hour by car up the M and A40's) to dwell briefly amongst these pleasant acres and provide the patronage for the pricey accommodation you have perforce also to use - thus there is nothing cheap as the demand is not there.
We more or less stopped going to those areas as the cost of making a 'dia completo' spoiled the pleasure: further south, nearer the heavily populated Severn valley conurbations, where the competitive 'rural lifestyle' is tempered by daily toilings, things are a little better with more range and variety, but the cachet of the Cotswolds and proximity to London keeps things on the over-specced and pricey side nevertheless.
Maybe you will have better luck next week, out of half-term and moving beyond the 'honeyiest' of honey pots.
It's a lovely time of year to be there - enjoy the 'Laurie Lee' ambience whilst ye may!

Gayle said...

I am duly noting (and chuckling at) your maintenance of your title of 'King of being offered cups of tea by random strangers'!

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your trip. I challenge you to get a B&B below £25 [not a hostel - though I suspect they must be more expensive than the 1 shilling and sixpence I used to pay for a night in the 50's]. At the other end of the scale will you break the £100 per night barrier, we nearly had to in The Broads recently until a hastily rearranged schedule saved us.

Sir Hugh said...

I think that challenge is unlikely to be achieved. I have broken the £100 barrier for B and B, but I feel embarrassed to say how much I have paid. Before I set off I had decided that I was going to spend some money and damn the consequences. As it turns out I am finding that choice is limited when you decide how far you want to walk each day.and that seems to be coinciding with the only option being an expensive hotel. Oh dear! My days of twenty miles plus are over.