On these grey days (although the sun is currently shining here), it's hard to remember how hot it was in the summer. During our trip to France and England just a few months ago, we enjoyed marvelous weather. Sunshine with very, very little rain.
One thing we had been looking forward to while visiting the Cotswolds was walking some of the ancient trails. You may remember that we were down for a few days and not up to walking very far.
However, on our last day there, we determined to go for some sort of a walk, if not a long one. We had planned to do a canal walk in Stroud, but there was no shade at all, and the heat so intense that we turned back. The kind ladies in the tourist office suggested Frith Wood, and gave us a map. So off we went, first driving along a nail-biting narrow road through the prettiest valley, through the village of Slad and beyond, until we came to a public footpath with a small parking area.
The trail took us along a ridge between the Slad and Painswick Valleys, through an ancient beech wood that filtered the light, and beside fields that baked under the fierce sun.
The beech trees were probably planted shortly after the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century, from Belgian seed.
There was little relief from the heat, even in the forest, but oh, how beautiful it all was. We would have walked longer, but the main trail seemed to end. We wandered along a road for awhile, then turned back and made our way back.
From a high point on the walk, we spied a village in the distance and thought it might be interesting to pop down there for a bit. Our adventurous GPS (Sat Nav) assured us that there was a road. It didn't indicate how narrow the road would become. After arriving home I looked at the "road" on Google maps and see that it is labeled a "lane." Much more accurate.
While Tim drove, I leaned forward, craning my neck to see even one inch further around the corners as the branches slapped the sides of the car. At one point we met up with a rather snooty lady driving a fancy white convertible who wouldn't give an inch and was rather impatient with our efforts to back up to a somewhat wider section in order to let her pass.
And so we arrived in Painswick, Queen of the Cotswolds, with its pretty Georgian houses, St. Mary's church that dates back to the Domesday Book, and best of all, The Patchwork Mouse Art Cafe where we fortified ourselves with Cheese and Tomato Toasties. A most serendipitous find.
New Street was built in 1428, at a time when the wool trade flourished. The doors are painted such wonderful colours, but after looking at all the photos, I realize that I have a slight list in all of them.
The arched door shown in the mosaic above is an older part of the church that probably dates to the 14th century.
The tower was built in the 15th century and I'm assuming the clock was installed then, although I couldn't find any specific information. The clock was restored in 1986.
We managed to find another way back to our lodgings without having to drive that narrow lane, where we collapsed in relief, took cool showers, and later walked to The Apple Tree Pub for a satisfying, and easy-on-the-nerves dinner.
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.