Near Sibford Gower
Roughly 2 1/2 miles.
You may remember that I was rather sad to leave behind my old just-popping-out-for-a-walk walk when I moved house a few weeks ago. Well, I am pleased to report that I have found a new just-popping-out-for-a-walk walk, and it’s rather lovely.
Where I’m living now is considerably hillier than where I was previously. The Ridgeway aside, my former surroundings were rather flat and I am delighted to be back in a hilly area, I find the views are far more interesting.
This walk starts off through a couple of grassy fields (with frequent opportunities to say hello to various cows), the first of which takes you downhill to a stream, the second starts your climb up the next hill. The majority of this climb takes you through a couple of fields which were planted with corn – I personally love walking through crops that are taller than me, I always feel like I’m going through a tunnel to somewhere exciting. When you find yourself huffing your way up a hill it is worth stopping and turning back to look at the view periodically, and the corn in these fields framed the view really beautifully.
The last little bit of climb is along a newly tarmacked lane and passed an old barn which looks as though it is likely to fall down at any minute. We’ve done this walk a couple of times now and it is always quite a surprise to find it’s still there. Will keep you posted on whether it survives the winter!
Once you reach the top, you are onto the Macmillan Way which is a grassy lane flanked by trees with frequent gates into fields of various shapes and sizes. There are some properly spectacular views from these gates, such as the one I’ve attempted to capture at the bottom of this post. As it provides access to the surrounding fields, there is clearly farm traffic along fairly frequently which stops it from getting too overgrown. It’s therefore pretty easy going underfoot, albeit with the odd monster puddle to pick your way around (or wade through, depending on how waterproof your boots are!).
After about a mile there’s a turning off to the right. This is a great little path with hedges either side and interlocking trees overhead which takes you steeply back downhill to the stream. When you reach the bottom, there’s another field (potentially full of cows) which takes you back up towards Sibford Gower. Be warned if you’re on this walk, the approach to the gate by which you leave this field is incredibly muddy, try to keep a little to the left of it and walk back down along the fence if you can.
Provided you don’t sink into said mud never to be seen again; crossing the next field will bring you back to the village with more lovely views to the South. So there you have it – you now know where to find me if I’m not at my desk!