For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides – The Cotswolds (Published 2009) Walk 26: Chedworth and Withington. Distance: 9 miles.
The walk began at Chedworth church. You would imagine a church would be an obvious landmark, but the layout of Chedworth village is unusual, and it was a bit hidden away down a side road. In the end we used a village map on a board to work it out.
We climbed up through the churchyard and over a stile into the field beyond. It was all going well until we got confused about the directions across the disused airfield. There was quite a lot of overgrowth and the metal gate that we were meant to be heading for was hidden by a log, so we thought we’d gone the wrong way. We hadn’t as it turned out, but it took about 20 minutes to get back on track using the Ordnance Survey map. A sudden rainstorm made things seem more difficult. It was already lunchtime and we wondered if we had enough time to complete the full 9 miles.
Much of the walk was through beech and oak woodlands, which were really beautiful but we were plagued with horseflies which were thriving in the damp undergrowth. It was a relief to get out into the open fields.
After passing through the village of Withington, with its very attractive pub the “Mill Inn” – very tempting!, we ate our lunch in a hay meadow overlooking the peaceful river Coln.
Refreshed and refueled, we continued on, eventually passing the historic site of Chedworth Roman Villa, which contains some fine mosaics and the remains of hypocausts (underfloor heating). It is well worth a visit, although it’s a whole day out in itself really.
The last section of the walk was a pleasant stroll along the Monarch’s Way before returning to Chedworth. The Monarch’s Way is a 615 mile long-distance footpath that approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester.
The walk was incredibly beautiful, and full of rich history. We loved it.