Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Cotswold Way

This weekend spring most definitely sprung, blue skies, warm sunshine, a soft breeze and a good day for a gentle stroll. We chose to head for Winchcombe on the Cotswold Way so that we could walk another leg of this long distance path. 

The Cotswold Way takes you through some of the prettiest areas in Britain and is a good trail to explore on foot, and after a swift half we set off.

Typical views of the high street.
and typical views of the countryside.
Someone has big ideas for the future, you can just make out in this photo part of the double line of trees that march away into the distance.
Not characteristic fencing for this area (but I guess becoming more and more typical), usually we see dry stone walling as you can just make out either side of the gate.
A stone monument without any information about itself, with a little niche for passers-by to take a rest.
Weathered graffiti, no not Chris, the love hearts from 1877.
Fine view from the monument, and a good place to rest as we're about half way along our walk. We haven't met anyone yet on this stretch of path, but you can just make out some people in the distance I find it amazing (in our small and populous country) that you can walk for a whole afternoon and sometimes not see a soul, even in the distance.
The small Hailes Church stands on the edge of a field, a simple, aisleless chapel consisting of a nave and chancel, built sometime in the 12th-century. Records show that in 1114 William de Tancarville is recorded as giving Hailes Church to the monastery of St. Georges-de-Boscherville near Rouen in France, and  Hailes Church is also mentioned in the records of nearby Winchcombe Abbey, one record providing details of the church built at Hailes between 1139 and 1151.  

Entrance is through a small south porch, it's a small and charming church and contains some magnificent 13th-century wall paintings of saints, coats of arms, and hunting scenes. 
This collection of faded wall paintings, is really quite stunning. Bleached reds and browns depict scenes familiar in the 13th-century. Here a huntsman with a horn to his mouth carries a shield with horns and sea urchins, while his greyhounds race towards a hare crouched beneath the bare branches of a tree. 
St. Catherine of Alexandria.
An elephant?! with wings no less.
Medieval encaustic tiles, worn with years of use, but still the fish and floral motifs are clear. It looks to me as if they have been rearranged over time as no real pattern can be seen.
A rather lovely, and simple Rood screen
From our path we could look across fields to see St. George's church at Didbrook, (circa 1475) It looks fairly close by, but I have used full zoom and in fact it's about half a mile away. The afternoon sun, still pleasant, was loosing its heat and it's easy to tell how early  in the year we are. Hat and gloves are still quite necessary.
This is all a contrast to Saturday spent in London catching up with old friends. I won't say how old, just that we've known them since sometime in the 1970's - gulp.

I don't know what this building is, but isn't the spire fantastic. Just look at the Unicorn and Lion, I feel sure they hold the clue to what this building is about.
One of the great things about London is the mix of old and new
This beautiful green oasis in the centre of Soho square is home to probably the most ostentatious wendy house in the world!

The square is also home St. Patrick's Church a large Roman Catholic Parish church that features extensive catacombs that spread deep under the Square and further afield. I'd like to find out if it is possible to visit them, I'd definitely come for a look around - anyone want to join me?


  1. What fantastic photos, I'd rather be in the Cotswolds than London- and sunshine too!

  2. I know what you mean, the Cotswolds are so lovely aren't they