The Cotswold Way 2011

Day Zero: 1st May

Weather: Warm sunshine

Route: Manchester to Evesham

 

As with most LDP's day zero is all about getting down to the start and relaxing before a new journey begins. The drive down was OK as we left in the afternoon and managed to avoid any of the usual congestion around the M6/M5 junction. This year I had a day zero minus one as we didn't arrive in Evesham until late afternoon, then ate out before settling in to the B&B. The real day zero has been a lovely fresh 22deg, almost perfect. weather and hopefully an indication of what was to come over the next seven days. In the morning we had a tour of the grounds of the B&B from John, after an excellent breakfast from Jill. It was a interesting walking around in the gardens and around the reclaimed pond, adorned with lots of Evesham Abbey remains that were pinched by the Rudge family who lived here at the original manor. The architecture here is intriguing and after a big fire in the 1890’s it was refurbished in an ecclesiastical style with grand woodwork throughout with an ‘Arts and Crafts’ feel to it. We were the only guests and have been made to feel very welcome. Then it was off to Worcester to buy a charger for my phone, so I can continue blog and save myself a bit of writing when I get home - for some reason this year I wasn't very well prepared and found myself rushing around to pack, a sure-fire way of forgetting something. Luckily this meant a visit to Worcester to see the old potteries and the cathedral, which is so long that Usain Bolt would struggle to get going. A great building that’s well worth a visit, followed by a visit to a cafe for tea and a toasted teacake – yum. Unfortunately the museum wasn't open on the day we visited, but no doubt it would have been very busy due to this being a long bank holiday weekend - poor planning I know. A visit to M&S for some sandwiches was followed by a visit to Chipping Campden and onwards to Hidcote Gardens. The gardens are delightful but it was a little bit busy for me,  very nice even though it was a little early for the herbaceous plants. The tulips were still just about in bloom and were very colourful. Another place well worth a visit, but be early to get the best views - it's now owned by the National Trust. Then it was back to Chipping Campden for more tea and a visit to the start of the Cotswold Way – time to start my engine and cut my toenails for tomorrow’s walk of 16.6miles to Winchcombe. I’m looking forward to it – my first journey with a bumbag. The forecast is ok and the football results were brilliant over the weekend - Manchester City looked destined to qualify for next years Champions League. Back at the B&B I had a good faff about with my gear, charged the phone and then went out for a curry – pity anyone who is behind me In the morning!

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a pleasant stroll around the gardens

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A gargoyle from the remains of Evesham Abbey

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The house from the grounds

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West Wing Abbey

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The gardens at Hidcote Manor

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