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"A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare" - William Henry Davies

ladeez of leizure - walking for pleasure

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Walk 7

 

Blog - Painswick Beacon: 3rd April 2017

Despite plotting this route on a map before embarking on an alternative Painswick walk, I was still taken by surprise at the point I jumped down from a stile towards the end of the hike to find I was joining paths that were included within my other Painswick Walk 5. You might have thought I would have noticed this whilst consulting my map to plot the route, but, as previously mentioned, my map-reading skills are clearly amateur level at best. Overlap or no overlap, the 2 walks are quite different.

 

As we arrived in Painswick we chanced upon an alternative car park (alternative that is to the one offered in Walk 5) which turned out to be in the perfect spot for this trek. In addition, as we walked back to rejoin the car park, I noticed it is also perfectly positioned directly opposite the Rococo Gardens cafe which could make for a pleasant end to your trip.

 

Unless you take this walk on a Sunday, when I am told no golf is played, you do run the risk of golf balls potentially dropping unexpectedly from the skies, as the Golf Club disclaimer hints at. What's a good walk without a bit of jeopardy though? We passed through unscathed, ascending the canny wee steps up to Painswick Beacon. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day but I could still hardly hear my voice recording when I returned home for the wind buffeting my ears. It's quite a view from up top.

Painswick Beacon, Cotswolds, views

This has to be the most uneventful walk to date. Uneventful that is from the perspective of mishaps, misadventure and mischance. It is a walk of many firsts: I have only had to complete the walk once in order to put pen to paper; I did not get lost at any point; there were no mendacious footpath signs; the footpaths were in line with the maps; I neither lost my phone, my way, my wits or my temper. Maybe I've finally got the hang of this malarkey.

 

holcombe house

Once you have dropped down from the beacon and crossed the rather busy road, the pretty patchwork of England's countryside can be seen through the hedgerows. Rabbits and pheasants can be seen all along this walk, accompanied by many and varied birdsong.

 

There are also some rather fine properties to be seen. Some have retained the moniker of Farm, albeit it is clear that the properties and their owners have never seen the rear end of a cow nor mucked out a pig sty. The walk takes you through Spoonbridge Farm comprising a couple of beautiful stone properties. Beware the resident canine who bolted out of the open kitchen door and gave Monty short shrift indeed.

A couple of fields and a working farm later and you come across the property shown opposite. As I was drooling whilst  pointing my lens to take this snap, my husband was muttering "make sure you get the tennis courts in darling". The estate encompasses a further thatched cottage, tennis courts and a large renovated barn. Google has subsequently informed me that this is a 16th century stone manor house, recorded by local artist Charles March Gere (1869-1957) in watercolour, with a thatched cottage on its grounds ideal for staff don't you know, currently valued at circa £3.5 million. It is quite stunning. Up the hill a smidge and the next "Farm" emerges. This is actually the only part of the walk where the footpath marked on the map did not entirely reveal itself. Mainly I would think because at one time when Upper Holcombe Farm was actually a farm, the footpath meandered through it. However, now that it is a Farm in name only, the owners have buried the footpath beneath borders and lawns, denying ramblers the right to access it. No probs, you can just navigate around it.

Shortly after this and once I returned home I listened to my recorded astonishment that I was climbing over a stile onto a familiar path, only now realising that this walk overlapped with Painswick Walk 5. IDIOT!!

 

As mentioned above, as we headed back towards the car park I spotted a sign encouraging visitors to enjoy a visit to the cafe at the Rococo Gardens. We did not, but maybe you will and perhaps you will leave feedback in the comments section about your visit and/or the walk.

Cotswold House, Charles March Gere