July 12 – Look out Gloucestershire, here we come! Breakfasted this morning with a British couple who just completed the Cotswold Way. They pronounced it lovely, but the weather too hot! I’ll take these 70 degree days hands down over any Virginia summer day. Ten miles planned for today.
The trail begins at St. James Church at the edge of the village. It’s a huge church for such a small town, built by wealthy wool farmers and merchants.
The covered market square dates back to the 1600s.
Thatched roofs on our way out of town. I wonder how often they must be replaced?
Misty in the morning.
Through farmers fields – fava beans and wheat.
By mid morning, what ho? A castle?
It was the Broadway Tower, built in 1800 by a rich guy so his wife could view the stars at night. True love. They call it a folly – built to look old, but not really old.
View from the top – kids on an end of term field trip playing soccer. Did you know kids go to school here until mid July? Six weeks holiday for summer.
The tower was used in both World Wars as a lookout post to report enemy planes.
Farewell, Tower! See the little gargoyle on the side?
By lunchtime we reached the touristy town of Broadway, full of tea shops and boutiques. More pretty houses and strange ivy.
We stopped in a church to eat our lunch – shady and quiet. We like that all the churches are open here, and welcome visitors. Here’s the view of St. Michael’s as we left town.
Scenic views in the afternoon.
Here’s something different – anti-slip metal added to the stile steps, and an auxiliary gate for the dogs!
How do you get up on a horse? One step at a time.
You can’t fool me. You are NOT a zebra!
Now we are in Stanton, another lovely old village.There is a very old church here, also called St. Michaels. It has the remains of medieval frescoes on the walls.
A pulpit from the 1300s.
A font from the 1500s, and a piece of old stained glass from the ruin of the medieval Hailes Abbey nearby.
We are staying at The Vine, a B&B in a building that dates back to the 1600s. We are told our room is in the attic. We climb up very steep winding stairs with no bannister, our packs bumping at every turn. We open the door at the top of the steps to find ourselves in…
…a bathroom with a huge tub! Further investigation reveals a bed next door, under the rafters. A very authentic historic and head-bumping experience!