There’s no better way to start your Sunday Self Care routine than an early morning walk through the countryside – especially amongst The Cotswolds.
We’ve been using the ‘AA 50 Walks in The Cotswolds’ guide for a couple of years now and we have loved every walk so far (apart from the one when my shoes came off and got stuck in the mud – but we don’t talk about that one!) Using the map for directions makes it so much more fun and with no need for phones until you get really lost, it’s a chance to pack them away in our bags and lower the screen time.
We’ve completed a number of walks so far but this is the first one that I’ve properly documented so I’m starting afresh…
This walk was probably one of the easiest in the whole book in terms of distance and difficulty plus we had already cycled parts of this route so we had a good idea of some of the reference points used and our bearings.
We parked up ready to start in Stanton – a picturesque village lined with delightful Cotswold cottages all overlooked by the village pub, The Mount. The car park at the cricket club was already full of hikers with all the ‘kit’ – we just had our book, phones and a bottle of water, so made a point of getting ahead quick!
After taking a track behind the village church and passing some stables where it appeared early morning riding lessons were taking place, we soon found ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by plenty more sheep than people, we wondered through fields and pastures to soon arrive into the village of Laverton.
There’s probably even less to the village of Laverton. No pub, but so many beautiful cottages, each one completely different to the next. Our walk led us to another track which connects the village to Buckland, but right at the start we found a red phone box that had been converted into a little book swapping shop. This is the first one that I’ve come across and I love the idea!
Parts of the track to Buckland were shaded by the trees and by now the sun was glistening through the gaps in the branches. Other parts were open but lined by hedgerows bursting with blackberries.
The pathway soon bought us to our final village. It was so quiet that we were able to walk along the main road all the way to the top. Passing another village church and Buckland Manor – an elegant Manor House that dates way back to the 13th century. The road soon formed into a steep track leading us to an incredible view of Buckland Manor and beyond.
The views of the villages below continued from gate to gate for the longest stretch of the walk. Still having barely bumped into anyone, it took social distancing to a whole new level and at this point we started to wander whether we had misread the instructions with only more and more green ahead of us… But soon the village church of Stanton peeped above the trees and we were back amongst our starting point.
There was still more to see of Stanton so we continued wandering around and came across some of the most incredible homes – including this beautiful thatched cottage.
The walk had taken us 1 hour 42 minutes so pretty much on track with the book! This was the perfect short walk and would be ideal before lunch at The Mount on a Sunday afternoon.
We’ll definitely be ready for something a little more difficult next time…