Thursday, 5 July 2012

The ancient fort at Uley

Three mile walk round Uley Bury and a visit to the Old Crown Inn.

Our walk captured on our new magic machine that tracks our path
We were looking for a challenge and decided on Uley Bury, an Iron Age fort which stand on a spur of the Cotswolds escarpment. With an ascent of 345ft, which for us was challenge enough as poor Pythius is now suffering slightly from arthritis in his rear legs, it proved the perfect challenge.

Uley is a charming little Cotswold village in Gloucester shire, which can be viewed from the top of the hill fort as a cluster of little houses and a church that nestle comfortably on the flat earth below. It's all very picturesque.

We began our walk by taking the lane besides the village Post Office which doubles as the village store. On turning right after about 100 yards into yet another lane, we reached the stone walls surrounding the church yard and turned sharp left to a grassed field.  This is where our climb began We were heading for the woods that fringe the edge of this ancient fort. As you can see from the picture above we missed our mark slightly and had to backtrack to the gate that opens out to the wood and the main path up the hill.
Walking through the wood was delightful, if somewhat arduous.

View from the top
 Having reached the top, the rest of the walk was easy, just a matter of following the footpath signs that lead the walker gently round the plateau.  We did keep a watchful eye on Pythius at this point as red signs constantly reminded us that livestock were in the area.  That said, we saw nothing, not even a lone Cotswold sheep munching on the grass.

The Brewery

After our decent back into the village, we passed the famed Uley Brewery that supplies real ale to many pubs in the area. Built in 1833 on the edge of the village, it stands close to a spring that flows on to the Seven estuary. This is the fresh spring water that is used to create their brews which include: include Laurie Lee's bitter, Pigs Ear and Old Spot

Next came the pub,The Old Crown Inn, that stands in the middle of the village and has its own car park. This attractive white washed building is a 17th century coaching inn that is open all day, though no food is served in the afternoon.

Obviously Uley beers were on tap, so while sitting in the small walled garden at the rear we drank Pigs Ear which is a quite delightful amber coloured ale. Pythius was limited as usual to a bowl of cold water which he was in need of actually as there was no water en route and was getting thirsty.

Pythius says:
Must admit that this walk would have been even better if there had been a small stream or river, I certainly needed that water by the time we had reached the pub.  I did laugh when Helen and Uncle John kept stopping as they were climbing the hill.  They pretended they were admiring the view (one of their favourite tricks) but actually they were taking a rest!  Gosh they are wimps at times.

Am getting excited about our next book which will be Paws for the Cotswolds.  It is not quite finished yet, but has got to the stage where the publisher, (Jon carpenter Wychwood Press) is reading through the final proofs. Gosh what fun I will have when it comes out.