"A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare" - William Henry Davies
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The picturesque village of Snowshill is situated high on the Cotswold escarpment above Broadway and the old town of Evesham. It is an idyllic setting and like its neighbour Stanton, which features in another of my walks, is occupied by cottages, houses and its 19th century church all emitting the mellow glow bestowed upon them by the local Cotswold stone. Funnily enough I had written in the blog for the Stanton walk that I was tempted to try to elongate it; that was over a year ago and, completely by chance it transpires that this walk could be tacked on to the Stanton walk creating a longer, figure of 8 walk incorporating both Cotswold villages.
This is a 4.4 mile walk that took me 2 hours to complete. I would say it is relatively easy, albeit there is a short steep decline in one section and a slow steady climb in another. I have given this 1 paw as I would say your dog would need to be on lead for at least 50% of the walk due to narrow country roads and/or livestock. Below is a view of the village that you will enjoy part way through the walk.
I parked the car in the free car park which is literally a stop down from Snowshill Manor. The free car park post code is WR12 7JU. You could of course park at Snowshill Manor itself if you are incorporating a visit to the National Trust house and gardens.
4. As you start to hear the sound of water, you will reach another gate. It was quite muddy here but then there has been a lot of rainfall recently. A big stone slab and some wooden slats have been lain to assist you through the worst of it. Follow the path up and away from the stream.
5. You will reach a padlocked gate in front of which and to its right you should see a narrow path, again very muddy at the start, that takes you up following the edge of the field.
6. Follow this track all the way up until you emerge at the top and through another gate. Keep following the footpath signs. Look back over your shoulder - lovely views.
7. A slow steep climb here with a view of Snowshill perched on a hillside to your left. Maybe once you get to the top, catch your breath, turn around and enjoy the view.
8. At the top of the field the path bends around to the right following the top edge of the fields.
9. Through a metal gate and follow the lane to the right for about 1/2 a mile. Cast your eyes back to the right for another glimpse of Snowshill.
10. Past a wood on your left and you will eventually reach a large metal gate. Through this gate and almost immediately there is another small gate on your left. Pass through here and follow the path. Lovely views here - panoramic, incorporating the lavender fields, and swallows.
11. This path eventually leads down to another gate; through this, bear left and immediately a large wooden gate. You are joining the Cotswold Way here.
12. Through another gate and follow the path up and away with lovely views to your right.
13. You are now on a tarmac lane. Follow this until you reach a National Trust sign on your left for Littleworth Wood. Pass through gate into wood.
14. Carry on straight along this path, ignoring any forks, until you reach a gate emerging into fields.
15. Head down the field bearing slightly left. I headed for a wooden gate that I could see but which was broken and covered by corrugated iron. I nevertheless squeezed through it onto the lane and turned right. You should however head for the far corner of this field following the same lane which should be on your left, where eventually you will come across a passable kissing gate which is the way I should have exited the field. Pass through and bear right.
16. Very soon after joining the lane bear left. You are now on very narrow country roads taking you back towards Snowshill. I didn't meet any traffic but, if you did, it is a case of squeezing into the hedgerow to allow vehicles to pass I'm afraid.
17.You will reach a T junction. Turn left.
18. Just follow this road, which is the road I drove in on, and it should take you back to the car park and/or Snowshill Manor.
You do pass the Snowshill Inn, which I believe is a dog-friendly pub, with, I am told, great food. It has a garden and children's play area so you may want to make a pitstop before returning to your car.
1. The walk begins at the entrance to Snowshill Manor where you should see a kissing gate that takes you into a field. Head down the field bearing right. If, as I did, you get as far as the gate at the very bottom of the field where this amazing piece of natural sculpture can be seen, you have gone too far.
2. In the right hand hedgerow part way down the field you should see another gate. Pass through here into another field and head diagonally across and down. Part way down you should pass a post with a yellow footpath sign and you should see another gate at the bottom.
3. Through this gate and you should follow the next footpath arrow which points down and away through the next field, following a beaten track. This is the steep part of the walk - I could feel it in my knees. If butterflies float your boat there were quite a few in this area.