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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Westonbirt to Owl Cottage, Biddestone (2.5km west of route)

Day 15. Wednesday 3rd June

Breakfast at the pretentious Hare and Hounds was served at 7:30. I arrived at 7:29. I was greeted by a matronly "head of-breakfast" in an unmistakably accusatory tone with "you're early"!

Next I had to suffer the "foreign" waiters dressed in black shirts and long black aprons down to the ankles making a big issue out of taking the breakfast order. They could have been undertakers understudies. I find I can't manage all that Full English Breakfast and order scrambled egg and bacon. Mine arrived: one rasher of bacon and a dessert spoon of scrambled egg, artistically displayed I must admit.

Within ten minutes on my route I was circumnavigating the National Arboretum managed by the Forestry Commission, and then right down its centre on a long avenue. There are all kinds of weird trees and if you like them I think you could spend six months looking round. For me they were beautifully presented in the morning sun. A real treat.

Next port was Sherston - attractive architecture and a community run post office and general store (coffee and croissant). I spoke to a number of people gathering round the shop and here is a fine community spirit which was supported by unusually cheery greetings from people passing on my way to the community wood. Here I followed the infant River Avon which flows into the Bristol Channel.

Further on the Macmillan guide warned of a section they found "difficult to describe" and suggested care. Well I ended up in a right old mess. The guide said one thing and a way mark said another. Why can't they get sorted and put up a series of proper way marks? Anyway, it wasn't enough to dampen my renewed spirits, even combined with another similar fiasco later on and an official bridleway going into Sherston which is part of the MW where a huge field of waist high wheat had not had a path cut through - I will be reporting this.

Further pleasant walking took me to Castle Coombe which could be a Hollywood set.

The last mile and a half always seem longer than they should and I arrived in the village hot and bothered. It was after 5:00 pm. I knocked on a door to get directions and combined with a phone call Di from Owl Cottage came and picked me up. I am now in the pub ten minutes walk from the B and B having a decent meal.

In the National Arboretum

Sherston and the post office. A village with real community spirit

Do you think these neighbours are friends?

In Castle Coombe. If you ever ask a passer by to take your photo they chop your feet off - perhaps a good thing in my case.

Crossing the stream just south of Castle Coombe

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Gayle said...

Better to have your feet cut off than your head!

Glad today was better, even if it started with a micro-breakfast. I've found that when I ask for a cooked breakfast but without bacon and sausage the quantities of the other items often don't get increased to take account of the missing items. I now try to remember to specify that I'd like an extra egg in their place.

John J said...

It's not just in Castle Coombe the feet are unceremoniously removed!
Happily today seemed a much better day for you - let us hope things continue in that vein :-)

gimmer said...

she was probably trained at the awesome (ie creating fear and wonder) girls public school for which Westonbirt is probably even better known than for the arboretum (go there in autumn and be dazzled with the colours): the hotels there catered mainly for parents checking up on their hormone-laced 'filles' - a daunting prospect. I'm amazed they took any notice of your slacking off from the prescribed breakfast regime and simply force-fed you: come now, buck up, girls (and chaps), you know it's vital to have a hearty breakfast . . .
Glad you survived, albeit chastised, and that you are now moving into more friendly territory.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - reminds me of a war time book I read in my teens: Two Eggs on my Plate. When that happened they knew they were going on a dangerous mission, but for you just another half dozen Marilyns in the day.


JJ. - you'd better tell me if there are any other locations on the remainder of my Macmillan Way.


Gimmer - That gave me a chuckle this morning. I Saw no evidence of such parents. Just "suits" with leather lap top cases, and ladies with expensive jewelry off to their meetings/conferences/courses.