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Red Lion Inn, Northleach, Walk (3) Saturday 10th May

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale



At 1030 hrs on Saturday 10th May Nine North Cotswold members turned up in glorious sunny weather outside the Red Lion in Northleach Market Square. (Photo 5)


Prior to setting off we checked through the window of the Red Lion and confirmed that Wadworth 6X, Brakespeare Bitter, Banks Original, and Courage Best seemed intact for our anticipated Lunch Stop plus the availability of a rear garden now that Summer appears to have arrived.


We headed East along the main road past the famous Mechanical Music Museum. The A40 used to run through the centre of Northleach until bypassed 20 years ago, thankfully now much quieter. We left the houses behind and took the first footpath encountered to the right heading SE and picking up the fast flowing River Leach a mere 6ft wide at this point.


Climbing to Upper End Farm we joined the Diamond Way and headed East dropping down to cross the valley (Photo 1) past a tranquil lake. An angry swan (Photo 2) urged us on our way protecting his mate sitting on eggs in large nest bordering the lake (Photo 3). This was the only muddy bit and we soon reached Black Barn where the Cotswold Walking guide directed us right along a track leading to a country lane where we turned right towards Eastington.


Pausing at the pretty village of Eastington to admire the view before once again crossing the River Leach which had caused so much damage during last years floods.  All repaired now with reinforced river bank and darting trout visible in the flow. We followed a footpath heading North emerging once more to the left hand side of the Leach Valley (Photo 4), disturbing a heron gracefully retreating from the intrusion.


Once more we reached the Diamond Way, this time turning left and heading West for a mile before turning right at Helens Ditch dropping down and back to Northleach, pausing to photograph the outstanding view and Church dominating the landscape.


Martyn Herbert and Peter White had beaten us back and were already into the Bank’s Bitter having reserved a prime spot in the garden. They had also inspected the local cricket pitch, deciding that the slope from the Burford end would enhance Martyn’s off breaks. An excellent Lunch was enjoyed in the garden including added pepper in Jon Pillings case, destroying any original flavour. (Photo 6) We were then joined by Hendrix the friendly pub Welsh Colley and Licensee’s Karen and Kevin who are also Harley Davison enthusiasts. A very good walk for real ale enthusiasts and you can also pop into the Sherborne Arms over the road before heading home.


  Pictures taken on the walk: