The weather was fantastic yesterday, so after a morning of football and an early lunch we headed to the Cotswolds for a little walk. We parked at Uley, a lovely village not far from Dursley.
We parked near the church, and headed straight up the hill behind it. The littlest boy insisted on carrying the rucksack with five drinks and a box of cookies in it - it must have been a quarter of his body weight and he fell over backwards when he first put it on, but he marched off leading the expedition, all full of importance and purpose. It was quite a steep climb and the views looking back at Uley were lovely.
Up through a little wooded area you come out at the top of the world. In fact it's an Iron Age fort called Uley Bury, and it was occupied from about 300BC to 100AD. There are several along the Cotswold escarpment, built to take advantage of the natural dominance of the high land.
The area contained within the fort on the top of this flat-topped hill was about 32 acres. We walked around the edge and then curved back round towards Uley.
As we turned around the top of the hill a view towards the River Severn opened up. You can just make it out beyond the fields.
By the time we got to the point of turning out to do the second loop of the walk the sun was already low in the sky. Walking at the pace of the slowest person means we don't get round very fast. But we like it that way. It did mean that we weren't sure we could finish the walk before sunset, which is at about 4.10pm at the moment. So we abandoned the plan to go to Owlpen and headed back to Uley. I'm sure we'll go back and visit Owlpen again one day. I've been before and it's very beautiful. There's a wonderful Grade I listed manor house there which has what may be the earliest surviving complete garden in England. There's a picture and some writing about it here if you want a peek.
Back at Uley we had a little wander through the village. This was the lovely village green. Apparently there used to be fourteen pubs in Uley! Now there's just one.
There are one or two grand houses. I loved this one in the wonderfully named Fiery Lane.
There are plenty of cottages too. This one had old petrol pumps flanking the steps.
Lots of lovely clipped evergreen as well. I do love the structure they give to gardens. Another reason to visit Owlpen Manor, which has many clipped yew trees.
I loved the church, and I was intrigued by the striking weather vane on top. Such a smooth almost naive shape.
Once the sun was well and truly setting and smoke from chimneys was drifting down the valley it was time to go home.
The littlest chap had blisters by then and had to take his socks off in the car. Welly boots really aren't the best for walking in, especially when you have a really heavy rucksack. If only their little feet weren't constantly growing they could have walking boots. But it does seem like an extravagance when they'll need a new size come spring. I'm thinking I'll just put more socks on him next time. And start out a bit earlier.
Hoping a good week is had by all.