Every Picture Tells a Story     January 2019

The Severn River Valley from Coaley Peak Viewpoint


Day 1 - 12.5 Miles

Chipping Campden to Wood Stanway

This was our first experience of walking in the rain.  On past trips we would go to National Trust homes or castles on rainy days and on our walk from Oxford to Bath last year it only rained once and that happened to be rest day.  Chipping Campden is the official start/end of the Cotswold way with most walkers staying the first night here in a B&B or hotel like the Noel Arms Hotel. We were staying at Rose Cottages in Upper Oddington and drove up in time to have our luggage in the lobby by 9 am for transportation to the next nights accommodation. One of the hardest things to understand was the fact that we could leave our rental car parked on the main street for 10 days in a country where parking is usually hard to come by and expensive.  We had a latte & pastry and were off in the rain. By the time we had lunch at The Crown & Trumpet the rain had slowed and we saw a bit of blue sky and had a pleasant afternoon. A few of the photos (with a blue sky and the year taken) are from previous trips.

Chipping Campden - As the name suggests ("Chipping" means market or market place from the old English "Ceping"). Chipping Campden was one of the most important of the medieval wool towns and famous throughout Europe. This legacy of fame and prosperity is everything that give the town its character.

Broadway Tower -The "Saxon" tower was designed by James Wyatt in 1794 to resemble a mock castle, and built for Lady Coventry in 1799. The tower was built on a "beacon" hill, where beacons were lit on special occasions. Lady Coventry wondered if a beacon on this hill could be seen from her house Croome Court in Worcestershire and sponsored the construction of the folly to find out. The beacon could be seen clearly.

Broadway - The Cotswolds village of Broadway in the English county of Worcestershire is often referred to as the 'Jewel of the Cotswolds' and the 'Show Village of England' because of it's sheer beauty and magnificence. The 'broad way' leads from the foot of the western Cotswolds escarpment with a wide grass-fringed street lined with ancient honey coloured limestone buildings dating back to the 16th century and earlier (the oldest house is Abbots Grange built in 1320 as the summer retreat for the Abbots of Pershore).

Stanton - is probably one of the prettiest and idyllic villages in the whole of the Cotswolds. Little changed in 300 years it nestles beneath the slopes of Shenbarrow Hill. It has a very pleasing long main street with several delightful corners where the ancient house are built in typical Cotswolds style with steeply pitched gables, mullioned windows and glowing honey coloured limestone walls. Stanton takes its name from 'stan' (stone) from which it is built - similarly the neighbouring village of Stanway

Stanway House - is an outstandingly beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years then for 500 years by the Tracy family and their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss who still live there. The house, its fascinating furniture, the jewel-like Gatehouse, the church and 14th-century Tithe Barn, the 18th-century water-garden, the specimen trees and avenues, the surrounding villages, farms, parkland and woodland all subtly combine to create an enclave of very English and almost magical harmony. Thanks to its location, at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment, Stanway has been protected from many changes of the 20th century. Recently it has seen the gradual restoration of the 18th century watergarden, probably designed by the greatest of British landscape gardeners, Charles Bridgeman. The formal Canal, on a terrace above the house, the striking Pyramid and eight ponds have been reinstated, and a single-jet fountain, at 300 feet the highest fountain in Britain and the highest gravity fountain in the world, has been added.

Wood Stanway - a sleepy hamlet easily missed.  Because we had booked last minute we stayed a the New Forge House B&B, Broadway Road, Toddington.  We were picked up in Wood Stanway by our hosts who arrange supper at the Pheasant Inn and the dropped us back at Wood Stanway in the morning. -

Chipping Campden's  Market Hall built in 1627 by Sir Baptist Hicks (2013 photo)

Chipping Campden shops (2013)

St. Catherine's Church in Chipping Campden (2013)

Very old stone stile

Another stone stile & trail marker

A worn out stile

The way crosses a farmer field

A stone home along the way

A barn conversion

A stand of trees or to the English a copse

Looking down toward Broadway

Dry stone wall with Broadway Tower in the distance

Broadway tower

Sheep guard the tower

Broadway tower

Broadway tower last we passed that way (2016)

A dry stone wall template!

New stile & gate

Resident grass trimmers

Broadway below

This is how we pictured our walk (2016)

The way enters Broadway




Best place for lunch according to the Good Pub app

A thin mans style and bridge combo

A bit of blue sky to go with the green grass

Not all blue but no rain

A traditional style with a dog gate on the right

Some like their privacy

A weekend retreat?


Cottage & garden from 2016 trip

England has fantastic old trees, even when they are dead

The meeting place for our B&b Hosts

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All Photography by Philip Illingworth