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Pub Walk (12) Saturday 19th September 2009, from the Great Western Arms, Blockley

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

 

Eight members of North Cotswold Branch and Glos Branch of CAMRA met up at the Great Western Arms on Saturday Sep 19th for the twelfth pub walk, the sixth of 2009, An early start of the Winter Walk series designed to coincide with the Great Western Arms Beer Festival.

 

This was a dual event with the cycling section starting from Bourton on the Water at 8-30am cycling a very rural 12 mile route to Blockley missing as many hills as possible. Three cyclists, Peter, myself and Nicky who we met at the Golden Ball Lower Swell at 9am. Unfortunately they were not open but we dropped off some posters for the Moreton Beer Festival. We stopped off to take a photograph as we passed Donnington Brewery, (Photo1) a truly idyllic spot. Shame they do not have tours. We arrived at Blockley at 10am for a rest and an early pint of Village Idiot from White Horse Brewery before starting the walk at 1030 am to Bourton on the Hill. We were pleased to welcome John Barratt, Patrick Phair from Glos Branch and a recently returned from USA Graham who was visiting. We set off South along the B4479 before turning off SE along a footpath at the first rise .Climbing steeply across two fields the view of Blockley behind was worth stopping for. (Photo2) Turning left and then right along the Heart of England Way across another two fields we emerged on a country road and turned right heading SW. Half a mile later we branched SW along a footpath that emerged after half a mile at the Horse and Groom for some welcome refreshment in their superb garden. (Photo3).

 

Reluctantly leaving, after tasting well kept Donnington SBA, North Cotswold IK Brown Ale and Goffs Jouster, we headed East on the A44 towards Moreton. Then left to Batsford Country Park at the bottom of the hill. After half a mile we turned North along the Monarch’s Way climbing steadily for a mile until emerging at the same junction we had passed earlier picking up the country lane and turning right for a quarter mile before forking left across a field on a well marked footpath. At the low wall in front after crossing via the wooden stile we turned left crossing a further field. Turn left to pick up an obscure path at the end of the field following a sheltered route with wonderful views over Blockley opening up to the right. This downhill route was a highlight of the walk and we soon ended up back at the Western Arms where the BBQ was in full flow with 9 real ales and 3 ciders to choose from. (Photo 4).

 

After a suitable rest the cyclists headed back suitably refreshed tackling a very long uphill section mostly on foot. The Golden Ball was closed by the time we passed so a stop at the Mill in Lower Slaughter where Peter treated us to an ice cream was the main highlight of the return journey.

 

A very ambitious and enjoyable combined cycling, walking, BBQ and Beer Festival outing.

 

Walk No13 at Chedworth around the Seven Tuns is next on 10th October starting at 1030am. I have recently checked this walk out and it really is an easy walk along a stunning picturesque valley followed by a great pub to lunch at

 

Report and Photos by Roger Price

 

Tel 01451 810305

Mob 07850 429630

 

  Pictures taken on the walk:

 

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Photo 1

Photo 2

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Photo 3

Photo 4