For this walk we used: www.theaa.com/walk-and-bike-ride
Walking with Rosie in the Slad Valley. Distance: 4 miles.
The walk began from Bull’s Cross on the B4070 near Slad, where there is a large lay-by with plenty of parking. We turned off the main road and headed down a tarmac drive towards Trillgate Farm. It was a beautiful day, and we were immediately wowed by wonderful views of rolling hills and lush green countryside.
After climbing up through a steep field we paused to look back and admire the view. A deer bounded out of the woodland, crossing our former path, before disappearing behind the hedgerows.
We were walking along the lane between Down Farm and Steanbridge Mill, when I had a special moment. It was one of those moments when life seems so wonderful that I want to cry with happiness. I think it was a combination of the beautiful meadows filled with bright yellow Buttercups, and the deep blue sky with perfect white fluffy clouds. It was heavenly. I will always cherish the memory of that lane. It’s funny how the most amazing moments in life come so suddenly and unexpectedly. Like a gift from the universe. They’re not something you can plan, they just happen.
Steanbridge Mill was pretty, but I couldn’t work out if it was open to the public. The gate was closed, but there were two blackboards, one advertising dinner once a week, and the other cold drinks. It would have been lovely to sit for a while in the shade by the pond, but we only glanced and continued on. I decided to open the field gate instead of climbing over the stile, and as I carelessly wandered backwards I almost fell down a hole into the stream. It was a good job that Suzy quickly warned me. I must always look where I’m going!
Once again we were immersed in the delightful countryside. It is such a treat to be able to walk in the Cotswolds on a day like this. There is nowhere in the world I’d rather be. As I stood and looked towards Slad village, I thought of Laurie Lee growing up in this inspiring place, playing in the meadows and woods. It probably looks much the same now.
We reached Knapp Lane. Someone had painted pictures of Badgers on the fence posts in protest of the Badger Cull. They were beautifully done, each one unique and quirky. Some were playing instruments, or sports, reading or playing Scrabble. One was dressed in army camo, there was a farmer and a cheerleader, and so on.
We re-joined the main road, crossing over to climb a very steep pathway. My calves were burning, and I was glad to reach the top. Before long it was an uphill climb again, and we were glad the path weaved in and out of woodland, as the weather was unusually hot. We puffed up the hill like two old steam engines, resting on the remains of a stile at the top.
The last section of the walk was along Folly Lane, past Worgan’s Farm and the site of a disused quarry, and it was a shame that this part wasn’t as picturesque as the rest. It spoiled it a bit (hence the rating of 4/5). Eventually the path led us back into attractive woodland once again before returning us to the start point at Bull’s Cross.
Our Rating: 4/5