Pennsylvania/Cold Ashton to Bath

It’s the last leg of our journey as we push on toward Bath. We’ll walk a little over 11 miles over a variety of landscapes with the last couple of miles within the city of Bath.

Our hosts at the Swan Cottage were extremely gracious and friendly as well as excellent cooks.

So after a hearty breakfast we hit the trails and took our official start photo in front of the old church in Cold Ashton.

We continued with inspiring country views and soon reached a “gentle slope” to really warm up the legs.

You can see how well the trail is marked. It’s been great to simply follow the markers and only pull out our guide book to read historic descriptions or do an occasional trail check.

Yes, that hill is steeper than it looks and usually continues up yet another hill once you think you’re at the top.

The trail continued through more picturesque fields until eventually we reached the historical Landsdown battlefield.

The terraced fields we had skirted were the scene of some of the battles and we walked through the filed where the last battle waged. Just picturing the scene from 500 years ago gives one a chill.

The CW joined the Landsdown walk as we worked our way around the battlegrounds and monuments.

Leaving Landsdown behind we caught or first glimpse of the cities below.

Again we experienced a dramatic change of scenery when we emerged along a bridle path adjacent to a golf course!

We then returned to the fields and found a perfect picnic spot at just over the half way point.  Check out these views!

Over the next couple of miles we continued to have fantastic fields, baying sheep and cows. Trail traffic also increased. It also became apparent which walkers were out for a short hike compared to the distance walkers!

As we finished the final field (pictured above) we emerged into the outskirts of Bath where the trail became city streets and steep (yes seriously steep) paved walkways.

The CW markers soon disappeared at Victoria Park and we relied upon our guidebook which had us passing by the famous Royal Crescent and The Circus (not pictured).

We were now in the thick of Bath. . . and tourists!

Eventually our sore legs led us to the official end of the Cotswold Way located in the square of the Bath Abbey and Roman Baths. It seems surreal to finish a 62 mile hike in a square with street performers and hoards of tourists but what a sense of accomplishment!

We found the trail marker on the ground in front of the Abbey and I must admit I came very close to breaking out in sobs and couldn’t hold back a few tears.

We continued on toward our B&B which was a huge disappointment. Contours had us in a dismal location. About half a mile from the city center but miles away from charm. Also  right along a busy street with no nearby services. The inn itself  was fine. Nice breakfast room and quite a nice room although stuffy with a noisy street prohibiting leaving the window open. Not the way we wanted to end the trip. The hosts didn’t live on property so we left a note and found better located accommodations.

We’re now at the Abbey Hotel in the heart of the city and moments from the Abbey. Definitely a better end to our trip with restaurants and bars within hobbling distance.

Tomorrow we plan on simply playing tourist although there’s so much to see. Perhaps I’ll go crazy and dig out my makeup. Perhaps not, but the hiking boots are done!

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