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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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Technically the Cotswolds are not hills at all, but are an escarpment - a feature formed by a tilted layer of hard rock as it breaks the Earth's surface. The Cotswold escarpment forms the eastern edge of the valley of the Severn, the longest river in Britain. It's typical of escarpments that they have a gently-sloping side (the "dip" slope, formed of the surface of the rock layer) and a steeply-sloping side (the "scarp" slope, formed of its edge), and the Cotswold scarp is very typical.

The Cotswold Way was originally created of the Gloucestershire branch of the Ramblers' Association, but has recenly been elevated to the status of a National Trail and is now looked after by the Countryside Agency rather than by Gloucestershire County Council.

Continuing with our theme of microbreweries, we are using a Victorian microbrewery. Brewing started at Donington in 1865 and at present it owns around 13 pubs. This is a walk between two of them, at opposite ends of the Cotswold escarpment. The timings are tight this month because of the infrequency of the buses. However, when we surveyed this walk in July the conditions were atrocious. Hopefully the weather will be better in September and we will be able to do the walk much more quickly.
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On this walk we use the No 21 bus which runs between Stratford on Avon and Morton in Marsh. This stops at the junction on the A44 for Broadway Tower and also in the village of Broadway and so relieves us of the need to climb up the hill between the two.

Broadway Tower. Photo © GF Luckett
Alighting from the bus at the stop on the junction on the A44 for Broadway Tower we walk through a pair of gateposts into a lane leading south. This leads us past the tower, which was the idea of the eighteenth century landscape designer Capability Brown. It was designed by architect James Wyatt for the 6th Earl of Coventry and completed in 1798. It has had a number of uses over the years including a holiday retreat for the Pre-Raphaelites and Arts and Craft Movement with visitors such as William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne Jones.
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Snowshill. Photo © GF Luckett
We keep right at every junction and pass through lavender fields.
photo of lavender fields near snowshill
Photo © GF Luckett
We pass the Lavender Shop at Hill Barn Farm and reach Snowshill. This is a small Cotswold village best known for the nearby Snowshill Manor, owned by the National Trust, and as the home of Snowshill Lavender. The SNOWSHILL ARMS, a typically attractive Donnington pub stands opposite the parish church of St Barhabas.

The Snowshill Arms. Photo © GF Luckett
photo of st. barnabas church at snowshill
St. Barnabas Church at Snowshill. Photo © GF Luckett
From here we walk along the road up Oat Hill and turn right to pass Sheepcote B&B before turning right again into the road to Great Brockhampton Farm. Then through a gate on the left and across a field and Littleworth Wood leads to the escarpment.
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photoThe Mount at Stanton. Photo © GF Luckett

Down the escarpment and past old quarries the first building we meet is the MOUNT. This is another lovely Donington pub in a great setting. The Mount stands at the end of the village with panoramic views over the Vale of Evesham towards the Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains of Wales.
Stanton is a small village constructed entirely of Cotswold stone.

From the Mount we continue through the village for a short while before turning right along a lane. This leads to a path that follows the contours along the base of the Cotswolds, above Laverton and Buckland to reach West End and the parish church at Broadway.

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photoSt. Michael and All Angel's Church, Broadway. Photo © GF Luckett
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Photo © GF Luckett
The path leads out to the Church of St. Michael and All Angels with the CROWN AND TRUMPET on Church Road to the left. It is in the 2012 GBG and sells beers from Stanway, Cotswold Spring and Stroud breweries plus Gwatkins Cider.
photo of the crown and trumpet in broadway
The Crown and Trumpet at Broadway. A fine Cotswold Stone building in Church Street. The Church of St Michael and All Angel's is in the background. Photo © Copyright David Stowell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From here we walk into Broadway centre. Broadway nestles beneath the Cotswold escarpment. The wide main street (the 'broad way') is lined with red chestnut trees and historic honey-coloured buildings. From here the No 21 bus returns to Stratford or Moreton in Marsh.

See some photos of our ramble on Saturday 29 September 2012 by Dianne Mattingley here

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