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Pub Walk (72) Saturday 3rd December 2016, from the Golden Ball, Lower Swell

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale


                  Twelve walkers and a black Labrador Maisie turned up at the Golden Ball for the 72nd of our Saturday Pub Walks. The second time at this pub due to a change of landlords and almost the same delightful route as before. Weather was warm and dry as we set off after the team photo (Photo 1). Heading left down the road towards Cheltenham in a Westerly direction to the centre of the village then turned left towards the Slaughters. After a few hundred yards left onto the Heart of England Way.


Straight on for a mile and we crossed the River Dikler at Hyde Mill a lovely spot to pause and enjoy the views (Photo 2 and 3). This is a junction of paths but we veered left towards Stow passing several stables (Photo 4) up a steep climb before emerging at and crossing the Fosse Way. Turning left and heading North uphill and into the main square passing the Queens Arms. (Photo 5) we rejoined the Fosse Way then crossing over and turned left at the B4077 and along the Gloucestershire Way heading down hill to Upper Swell.


The views to the left and ahead are stunning at this point, and the walking easy on the wide verge to the left of the road. Just past the gateway to Abbots Wood a footpath appears to the left. A lovely garden and views to the left at this point. Downhill (Photo 6) we crossed the bridge over the River Dikler except Maisie who chose to paddle across (Photo 7) then just after we turned left along the best section of the walk past Sheep Pen and Bowl Farm meeting other walkers and a small dog. (Photo 8)


At Lady’s Well we turned sharp right crossing a field to the distant church disturbing some of our mascots (Photo 9) and past a garden with some chickens (Photo 10) before emerging back at Lower Swell village where we turned left back to the Pub.


Two beers awaited our arrival, Donnington BB and Gold and our reserved table in the dining room for an excellent lunch (Photo 11) See Martin Jones write up in 2016 Winter Tippler on this pub and the Landlords John and Ania who previously ran the Half Way House. This has become a very popular good value pub.


The next walk is the 73rd of the series on Saturday 7th Jan 2017 at the Inn for all Seasons, Little Barrington.


Report by Roger Price


Tel 01451 810305

Mob 07850 429630


Pictures taken on the walk:


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^ Photo 9 ^

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