News from the Trail
The Cotswold Way Association has just published the long-awaited The Cotswold Way Companion: an insider guide. There are both eBook and paperback editions.
This book is about the Cotswold Way – perhaps the best loved of the UK’s sixteen designated national trails. It’s just 102 miles (162 kms) long and doesn’t rise much above 330 metres. Yet it’s full of beauty and interest, following a dramatic limestone escarpment linking the Georgian city of Bath in the south to the medieval market town of Chipping Campden in the north. The countryside it passes through is quintessential English and dotted with small towns, villages and monuments with fascinating histories.
The book will help you to get the most out of walking the Cotswold Way. It’s special for two reasons: it focuses on the Cotswold Way’s natural environment and its archaeology and history; and it’s the work of people with great knowledge and experience of the trail: members of the Cotswold Way Association (CWA), the charity set up in 2016 to promote its conservation and protection, and Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who patrol the trail and lead walks on it.
Proceeds from the Cotswold Companion, which is available as an eBook and paperback, will go towards the trail’s upkeep and improvement. Buy both and you will get one year’s membership of the Cotswold Way Association to help keep making a difference.
To purchase visit https://cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk/home/companion/
Our amazing team of Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens are constantly out working hard to keep the Cotswold Way and other footpaths around the Cotswolds National Landscape accessible...
Coopers Hill is among one of the many areas they have recently been busy repairing and improving sections of the trail, and what a difference they have made.
Photos taken before
And what the path looks like now
"This new aerial archaeology mapping tool lets people fly virtually over England and drink in its many layers of history. It will allow everyone to explore the hidden heritage of their local places and what makes them special. We hope it will give people a springboard to further investigation, whether for research purposes or simply to satisfy curiosity about what archaeological features they may have noticed around their local area" Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England
Here are details of the reports covering the Cotswolds/Cotswold Way:
For more information and reports across the UK visit the Historic England website
Look out for the new plaques and information board at Hanging Hill commemorating the Battle if Lansdown 1643
This has been one the many jobs our Voluntary Wardens have been undertaking along the length of the Cotswold Way and surrounding walks.
New information board.
More information about the Battle of Lansdown can be found in the English Heritage Battlefield Report: Lansdown 1643
Erection of scaffolding
Earlier this year Broadway Tower underwent interior restoration taking the building back to the days of its Georgian design and furnishings. As part of this project the Will family have introduced a new audio and multi-media guide allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the fascinating story of Broadway Tower.
Now the exterior project is underway. Vital work is taking place to preserve and protect the distinctive features of Broadway Tower for many years to come.
Scaffold has been erected for this work to be carried out safely. Whilst shrouding the exterior of the tower, this will be an opportunity for visitors to witness conservation work live with skilled Cotswold Craftsmen using ancient skills and materials.
The Tower remains open during these works. For more information visit the Broadway Tower website.
A celebratory relay walk of the 102 mile Cotswold Way route began in Bath on Saturday 11th September, with the first team walking from Bath to Cold Ashton. Their 10 mile walk coincided neatly with the start of the Bathscape Walking Festival 2021.
The relay, organised by Margaret Reid, Head Voluntary Warden, and Becky Jones, Access and Volunteer Lead at the Cotswolds National Landscape (CNL), will see a baton being passed along the entire length of the Cotswold Way between relay teams made up of CNL team members, Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, Ramblers, and volunteer walking teams from local businesses Robert Welch Designs and John Lewis in Cheltenham.
Each day of the week will see a new team taking the baton, designed and made by Robert Welch, and walking a section of the route. The aim of the relay walk is to celebrate everything the Cotswold Way has to offer: spectacular views, quintessentially Cotswold towns and villages, and an unforgettable walking experience. More than that though, it is to raise awareness of what it takes to look after a national trail like the Cotswold Way: the time, effort and funds spent taking care of pathways, stiles, gates, and access. Much of the maintenance work along the route is completed by volunteers, but few of the tens of thousands of walkers who enjoy the route each year fully understand how much work goes on behind the scenes. From scrub clearing, to way marking, to mending and installing access points, the work on the Cotswold Way continues all year round.
John Bartram, Chair of the Cotswold Way Association, commented, “The Cotswold Way has delighted walkers for 50 years, and what better time to celebrate it and to ensure that there are sufficient funds to keep it in first class condition.”
Becky Jones, Volunteer and Access Lead at Cotswolds National Landscape, said, “The success of the trail over the last 50 years has been down to the volunteers: from the Ramblers who created the route, to the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who have given their time, skills, and enthusiasm to maintaining and improving it to make it such an important feature of the Cotswolds landscape for everyone to enjoy.”
And there is more to do – with a greater emphasis than ever before on working to make traditional walking routes more accessible to disabled ramblers, funds are needed now to continue to adapt appropriate sections of the route so that a greater range of audiences can enjoy and explore what it has to offer.
The relay teams will conclude their efforts on Sunday 19th September with a final leg from Broadway to the start/end marker stone for the Cotswold Way in Chipping Campden. And after that? Very likely a huge quantity of well-deserved tea and cake! Members of the public are encouraged to look at ramblers.org.uk/gloucestershire and Cotswoldsaonb.org.uk websites to find guided walks featuring sections of the Cotswold Way to experience the route for themselves. To contribute funds to the Cotswold Way Association, please visit cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk/fundraising/
For more information about the Cotswold Way Association, please visit https://cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk/
Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome are pleased to announce a new water bottle filler in Winchcombe.
Situated on the Cotswold Way, outside Vale and Hills butchers in Winchcombe High Street. The fountain has been delayed by the lockdown restrictions but with brilliant support from local businesses Vale and Hills, Forgeability and Gary Wills Gas Services the water is now flowing. Funding for the project came from Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome and Winchcombe Country Show. Regular cleaning will be provided by Toby’s staff at Vale and Hills butchers.
1st July 2021 saw the completion of the restoration of a 400m+ section of the dry stone wall that runs parallel with the Cotswold Way at Hanging Hill (GR: ST 71243 70161).
Cotswolds National Landscape’s team of Voluntary Wardens from Avon Valley District have been working on this project for about 3 years putting in over 6000 hours of work.
Before they started the wall was overgrown for much of its length and inaccessible to walkers. So, the Wardens cleared the field side of the wall, and the farmer cleared the other side of the wall allowing the walling team access.
The result is that now walkers along the Cotswold Way have fantastic views out over the escarpment towards Bristol, the Severn Estuary and the Black Mountains in the far distance.
Capturing the moment for the National press was Russell Sach so keep an eye out for photos hopefully in Cotswold Life and who knows the Times!
A significant undertaking that could not have been achieved without the dedication of our volunteers.
We are pleased to report that the popular public footpath across the River Frome in Ebley, near Stroud, which had been badly damaged by flooding last year, has now been repaired and is reopen, and the diversion for the Cotswold Way has been removed.
Throughout 2020/2021, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Cotswold Way.
In May 1970, the Ramblers and Cotswold Wardens celebrated their marking of the long distance path from Chipping Campden to Bath. It was hoped that we could recreate these celebrations in May, working in partnership with Robert Welch, whose Chipping Campden shop is celebrating its’ 50th anniversary, John Lewis, and the Ramblers Association. Sadly due to the current crisis these have been postponed until 2021, but this does not stop our online celebrations and we would really welcome any old photos that you may have of the Trail over the last 50 years that capture the essence of the route and the changes that we have seen. Please email them to email@example.com
Access to the countryside will become increasingly important to local people and business’ in the future and there will be plenty of work to be completed along the Trail to make it as accessible as possible, so please consider supporting the 50th Anniversary of the Cotswold Way through the virgin money giving page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/cotswayassoc50 to help improve the Cotswold Way for future generations.