Old Sodsbury to Pennsylvania/Cold Ashton

It’s a solo walk for me today. Linda’s badly bruised toe took a beating over the last two days and it needs a break so I’m pushing on this short section solo. Tonight’s stop is in Pennsylvania just before Cold Ashton and while our walking tour coordinator  pegged it as nine miles it was closer to seven.

Since I was expecting a longer walk I started early and set a pretty fast pace which was quickly slowed as I soon hit the “gentle hills” of Dodington House, unseen from the trail.

Amazing how trail grade just doesn’t come across in photos! This section of the trail is certainly downright gentle compared to two days ago!

The path led through the village of Tormartin with its picturesque church. Every village has a picture perfect church!

One of the many charms of the country has been the chickens! Perhaps it’s because I’ve three backyard chickens, but I’ve noticed how many homes here are raising their own. In fact our first B&B in Painswick had a flock and as I lie here in Pennsylvania, I can see geese and chickens wandering the yard across the street.

As I left the village, the trail soon changed as the sounds of livestock became the distant (and not so distant) hum of traffic and the buzz of power lines marching across fields replaced the rustling of crops.

With relief, I finally returned to field paths yet could still hear the sounds of cars in the distance.  The fields however were beyond rewarding. Bright yellows against a perfect blue sky; towering windmills appearing as nearly modern sculptures dotted the landscape. It’s hard to choose just one field photo to share as I found myself capturing nearly every field so excuse me while I share!

Traffic noise became a thing of the past as the trail wound along the extensive walled-off grounds of Dyrham Park. This area became one of my favorites of the day as it is was perfect for a picnic. I found a quiet spot along the terraced hillside to enjoy.  Linda would have loved this spot! A perfect Cotswold picnic location.

A few more fields to descend and I was in the village of Dyrham with the impressive back of Dryham House emerging from around the bend.

The trail continued along field borders, ponds  and between several horse farms.

Rather appropriate to wander among horse farms as Linda told me there’s a world renowned dressage event taking place soon in nearby Badminton.

Way too soon I reached the little hamlet of Pennsylvania. Since 12:45 was too early to arrive at the guesthouse I continued up a bit further to Cold Ashton where another nearly 1000 year old church begged to be photographed.

Not wanting to venture too much further I found a nice comfortable spot nestled against a stone wall to enjoy a snack, read and of course update Facebook.

A short while later I returned to Pennsylvania and the Swan Inn Cottage where Linda was waiting. There’s the little hamlet below! Very very little.

Our hostess offers a dinner service and we enjoyed a delicious homemade meal of cottage pie, vegetables and wine. An incredible apple crumble with ice cream finished the meal.

Looking forward to a good night sleep then the final push to Bath tomorrow.

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