Friday, 22 April 2011

Circular walk round Ozleworth Manor

Three mile circular walk through one of the quietest and most beautiful parts of the Cotswolds.

I am not going to bother to write about the pub that served us lunch this time, Yes it fed us as such, but the food was just fodder and nothing worth writing about.  I'd rather talk about the countryside we travelled, though I doubt I will be able to do justice to the beauty that surrounded us as we walked a valley floor thick with wild garlic, primroses, cowslips, bluebells and dandelions.  (I mention the dandelions because they added a deep depth of yellow that contrasted wonderfully with the delicate white flowers of the wild garlic).

Wild  garlic in abundance

We were visiting Ozleworth, which I guess would be classified as a hamlet if it didn't have a church.  Ozldeworth stands  18.5 miles south of Gloucester and 20 miles south west of Cirencester.
Apparently there was a time when a large community lived in Ozleworth valley, working on the mills powered by the Little Avon River - now all that's left to suggest this land was once quite heavily populated is just a small row of cottages, a manor house and a small Norman church.
Actually that suited us well - we chose this walk because we wanted to get away from the Easter traffic, holiday makers and all that Bank Holidays represent.
We couldn't have chosen a more perfect place.  It was so silent that not even the gentle drone of a light aircraft flying overhead could be heard.  Only song birds and the buzzing of bees broke the silence.  It seemed  apt that the name Ozleworth was originally the name for an enclosure frequented by blackbird as there were certainly loads of blackbirds here, woodpeckers too.

Photographs don't do the valley justice

This walk, which took us down rutted tracks, bridleways and the edge of established woodland, through which a small stream flowed gently through the landscape. It was so picturesque  that Uncle John, Pythius and I kept stopping to take in the view, and listen to the silence.
..and the sky was blue - the weather fine.

As to directions, let me just say that you start and end at map reference ST792934, which offers space to park the car besides the road in the middle of nowhere. A waysign points to a wooden gate on the left which directs you to the Church bridle path.
Take that path keeping a well constructed (smart/posh) metal fence on the right until you come to a metal kissing gate, that lets you into a field, and down past the remaining cottages of Ozleworth.  Several sheep and their lambs were there when we walked that way, so Pythius was firmly fixed on his lead  until we got through and onto another bridle path on the left.This took on a glorious circular path, so clearly marked with yellow arrows we didn't get lost, eventually finding ourselves back at that kissing gate again. This is a walk that should not be hurried - the Ozleworth countryside is too glorious to pass through at speed.
Pythius says:
What fun we had, gosh what a lucky dog I am, even Helen joined me in the stream now and again, while Uncle John watched the little black tadpoles with waggly tails swimming round and round in circles in the shadows under the little wooden bridge.  I think this was the most beautiful walk I have ever shared with Uncle John and Helen.  I won't comment on the pub, because as Helen remarked, it wasn't that special. BUT the walk - well it was out of this world!  Helen says we can return in the autumn when the colours are changing. I'd like that.

We both played in the stream!