For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides The Cotswolds (Published 2009) Walk 11: The Guitings and Guiting Wood. Distance: 6.5 miles.
I opened the gate to the west of Critchford Ford and we drove through while being watched closely by a flock of curious sheep. It was like a farm safari. We pulled into a small sheep pen, now used as a walker’s car park. From here we looked out across ploughed fields, green meadows and woodland. An impressive manor house nestled into the hillside in the distance.
Unfortunately, this otherwise idyllic scene was littered with an assortment of poo bags. I’m puzzled as to why people think this is okay. I recently saw an elderly couple hang theirs on the car’s tow hook and drive off. Why are people so squeamish about clearing up after their own pet?
Anyway, and moving on from the subject of dog poo, this is an area with a fascinating history. Excavations in the meadow uncovered the remains of an Iron Age farmstead dating back to the 1st century BC. What really interested me though was the 12th century church at Temple Guiting.
We walked up hill and through Guiting Wood, a large expanse of woodland which covers the slopes of the valley of the little Castlett stream. The woods were crammed with Pheasants, perhaps Kansas Pheasants, with an unusual light grey plumage which I have never seen before.
We left the wood and continued along quiet lanes which descended to the village of Temple Guiting. The church here dates back to the heyday of the Knights Templar who gave the village its name. We pulled on the rope to open the old wooden door. Inside the church has been well restored. A beautiful Medieval glass window still remains intact.
In the corner we quickly spotted some tea making facilities. The sign said “Help yourself to a drink” so we did. It was quite amusing boiling an electric kettle to make a brew in this historical building. My 12th century adventure ended and I was instantly transported back to the year 2016.
On reaching the nearby village of Guiting Power, we were glad the village shop was still open. It looked very inviting and had a tempting selection of cakes on display. I may be walking here quite often! We opted for Just Rachel ice creams. I chose Gooseberry and Elderflower, and Suzy went for the Hazelnut Praline and Coffee Liqueur. We sat on a bench in the sunshine, listening to the soft buzz of honey bees and dreaming of all those long summer days yet to come.
After Guiting Power, we joined up with the Warden’s Way / Diamond Way along a sandy track between fields before arriving back at the start point.
Our Rating: 5/5
Update: 06/09/16. We revisited this walk, and although we were armed with trash bags this time, there was no need as the car park litter had been cleared up! 🙂