Monarch's Way 2016



Monarch's Way Stage 4
Based in Cheltenham for four days an intrepid group of six plodders, led by Reg and including  Helen, Nancy, Jim, Pete and Roger, walked our Monarch's Way stage four .This was the 20 miles, in the Cotswolds, from Moreton-on-the-Marsh to Northleach.  Each day we would leave the cars near the start then at the end return by public transport, the magic 801 bus  ( usually after a beer or cake and coffee - proper plodding)
23/08/2016    Moreton-on- the- Marsh  to  Stow-on-the Wold  7 miles
Starting in the centre on Moreton-in-the-Marsh on a bright sunny day, we headed out of town passing a rather impressive Duck pond  ( even the Ducks are wealthy in the Cotswolds). eventually crossing a series of fields to reach Longborough our mid-morning coffee stop. Continuing on with good views across the Evenlode Vale to pass Donnington Manor and then reach the village of Donnington itself.  Next on to Broadwell where we had our lunch break in front of the Fox  Inn opposite an idyllic village Green.  Leaving the village we joined a bridle way soon stopping to admire Stow Well which was built in Roman times and  it is claimed has never failed to produce water. A little further on we reached Stow-in-the-Wold and the days finishing point, the Old Cross in the Market Square. 
24/08/2016  Stow-In-the-Wold  to  Bourton-on-the-Water 6 miles
Leaving the town square we meandered through the narrow streets of Stow-in-the-Wold to reach the main road out and then onto a path heading through the fields towards the cheerfully named village of Lower Slaughter.  Actually it was a delightful little village and the Slaughters County Inn an ideal spot for our mid morning stop.  After following the river for a bit we then converged with the Wardens Way and Heart of England Way to eventually enter Bourton-on-the-Water and the end of the days walk..
25/08/2016  Bourton-on-the-Water  to Northleach  7 miles
From the centre of Burton-on-the-Water we crossed over the bridge and followed the river initially before turning right to leave the village and take a path across the fields heading towards Clapton-on-the-Hill.  Soon we joined a newly laid  race horse gallop, where the local trainer was exercising his string; sadly he didn't give us any tips. Onward towards Farmington where we had a short stop near its triangular village green and impressive sycamore tree. Next on to our final destination the small market town of Northleach, mainly via country roads.  As fortune would have it we had an hour before our bus back so plenty of time to celebrate with a pint of local beer  in the attractive Wheatsheaf  pub.
Pictures from Reg.
I wonder what Nancy has seen?Pete and Reg with impressive houseSmiles all round from these PloddersMarket cross provides a handy seatCarefully through the cropsLeader Reg's new transport?