Build Me Up Buttercup

LETJOG – Day 15: Tuesday 1 June – WOTTON-UNDEREDGE to GLOUCESTER (20 miles)

Two weeks completed, and quite a few of you have been asking kindly about the condition of my legs and feet! Well, I’m pleased to report, no blisters, aches or sprains! I did take a tumble last week, in a water-filled pothole on a Devon country lane, but suffered no significant damage that might jeopardise my trek. Fingers crossed that this good fortune will continue whilst I get to grips with the new challenge of the arrival, at last, of seasonal heat! Yesterday was heralded in these parts as the warmest day so far this year, entailing the consumption of over three litres of water on my part during the walking day, and today proved warmer still with a similar weight in my pack, at least for the morning.

Millions of buttercups today!

Up early, I set off in the sunshine this morning, with a light haze burning quickly off the meadows, keen to get some early morning miles under my belt in the relative cool. For the first part of the walk I managed, as per my original LETJOG plan, to get just a few precious miles along the wondrous Cotswold Way, including some very steep inclines out of Wotton and along the path to Dursley, where I stopped for a leisurely coffee. What a beautiful part of the country this is – steep wooded hills interspersed with verdant pastures, and just the birdsong and the occasional caw of a crow or the distant reveille of a cockerel to break the reverie, whilst a circling buzzard and a pair of red kites brought to mind my familiar Chilterns, closer to this part of the LETJOG route than to any other section of my trek.

After Dursley, and for the rest of the route to Gloucester, my route returned to the farmland tracks of yesterday, with countless fields of spring (or perhaps now, early summer) flowers – daisies, clover, dandelion, cow parsley, and endless buttercups lending a golden hue to the landscape. Views stretched to my right, east and north, along the scarps and hills of the Cotswolds, and far away westwards to my left, across the Severn Valley and onto the distant hills of the Forest of Dean.

Ascending the Cotswold scarp north of Wotton-Under-Edge . . .
. . . on a wonderful sunken woodland path . . .
. . . and, later in the morning, approaching Coaley church

A picnic lunch, in the shade of Standish church, and a further short stretch of country track presaged my less glorious arrival into the urban area of Gloucester, where my overnight tonight is the Quayside Premier Inn. Joined later by my close friend Mark, also from Berkhamsted, we went out on the town . . .

. . . first for dinner (note the linen napkins – I’m surprised they let me in!) . . .
. . . and then to Gloucester’s oldest surviving pub (1455)

2 thoughts on “Build Me Up Buttercup

  1. We might need a photo of you in your trekking sun hat to prove you are taking all sensible precautions in this heatwave:)

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  2. Hi Nick
    You seem to be making very light work of this trip. Are you carrying all your kit for whatever the British climate might throw at you between now (25degC and sun) and a classic Scottish summer of drizzle and mist? Extra points should be awarded for wearing five layers every day regardless.
    Keith

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