Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Cotswold Way - Day 2

Friday, June 26, 2015  
Broadway to Stanway
5.8 miles with 832' of ascent

OK - everyone ready? Boots on and ready for the off? 
It's the second day of our walk along the glorious and typically-English Cotswold Way!
Both Pam and I are very pleased to have you on board for this next stage. Hope you enjoy it!

We're blessed with another fine day as we start out from Broadway and as we climb we can look back into this lovely Cotswold village with Broadway Tower on the skyline.

As we continue we're joined with the song of Skylarks way above us. We can't see them but they're definitely there.

A cloud moves slowly across the sun and a few minutes later we feel a spot or two of rain, which doesn't really detract from the soft landscape we're walking in and certainly doesn't stop me from spotting a few interesting invertebrates in the hedgerow:-

Nettle-tap Moth

This is a small micro-moth which is quite common most of the year. It's larvae spin themselves a home by curling a nettle leaf around them.

                        Agriphila straminella

This is one of the Grass Veneer micro-moths with a wing length of 12mm.

Cucumber spider

And I couldn't resist showing you this little beauty - the bright orange 7-spot is the most common ladybird in the UK (ladybugs if you're in the USA) but this is a 22-spot and not so common, so called because it has... you guessed it... 22 spots! This ladybird identification task is a doddle isn't it?

Colours never seem to clash in nature do they? This is red clover and what we used to call 'egg-and-bacon' flowers or more technically; Bird's Foot Trefoil. Don't they go well together?

And just look at this stunning Pyramid Orchid - one of many we see on today's walk.

The force of nature is quite remarkable too isn't it? This tree was obviously struck by lightning and not that long ago either.

For some time now, I've been on the look-out for a country retreat, somewhere remote, hidden, something small and unassuming, well off the beaten-track. This could be it! What do you think? A des res? Would you live here?

When life's work is done just put me out to pasture

We feel a spot of rain first, followed by sun, and then both together on our descent into Stanton

Where we spot these two magnificent beasts - friends forever.

We stand awhile and listen to the sounds around us. Prominent are the simultaneous call of a chiff-chaff and the complicated but shrill song of a nearby Robin.

We stand and watch the butterflies as the sun comes out once more. There are Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Speckled woods and a lone Small Skipper.  

Very soon we arrive at the wonderfully tranquil village of Stanton. It seems like a secret village, so much so that I'm reluctant to even mention it here in case too many others are intrigued enough to visit. It totally lacks tourists, it's a villagers village if you know what I mean. It's so quiet, we whisper as we meander through it's small but main street. We see just one person around who seems to be delivering a bunch of flowers to some lucky recipient. There's a slowness of life here that's almost palpable, even the cat slowly ambles across the road with not a care in the world.

We stop to rest awhile on a bench in the centre of this quaint little place and we don't even mind as it starts to very lightly rain. We take out our umbrellas and laugh as we realise we both have bright red ones in our rucksacks and then we simultaneously spot we've each selected the same colour combination in clothes today; blue tee-shirts and khaki shorts! We must look more than a little odd to the occasional passer-by, but then I'm not even sure anyone has actually noticed us. In fact there's no-one else around. Shhhhhhh!

The village has a number of these delightful lamps dotted around. Charming.

Onwards now! Our end of day is nearing. Or at least the walking day.
Best be careful here though - keep together!

This is an interesting plaque just here on the outskirts of our day's walk-end, which seems to imply - to the uninitiated - that this is the actual start of the National Trail but it must have been simply announced and officially launched here.

So we arrive at Stanway and it's just 3pm - exactly as planned. Coming for a pint? Let's drive to Broadway...

Here we are and a perfect spot too! We'll sit here outside the Crown and Trumpet with a well-earned drink whilst Pam does what Pam does best; browsing around the shops! Cheers!

A lovely walk, with a couple of very short spells of light rain but warm all day even though the sun hardly broke through the clouds.

We'll see you all for Day 3 soon. We're off to eat at the Corner Cupboard in Winchcombe again tonight. There's a lovely waitress there who Pam has likened to Mrs Overall (Julie Walters) in Acorn Antiques! There's a definite resemblance! Hope she doesn't read this blog!

Walking Companions
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The more the merrier! And yet... you're all so quiet we hardly notice you're there. It's only at the end of each day you tend to make a comment, and talking of comments;-

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