Author Topic: Walk in the Cotswolds  (Read 2609 times)

Peter S

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 446
    • View Profile
Walk in the Cotswolds
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:05:03 PM »
Usually my trips to the countryside follow paths that's I've previously explored clothed, so I know what to expect where. The difference with this one was I had concocted it from the footpath map and had never been here before.

It started from a small Cotswold village, the route leaving by a farm track. Once past a large barn it turned out of sight of the last village houses, and that was a good time to get my clothes off. But just a couple of hundred of yards later the path crossed one side of a valley – on the opposite slope a large farmhouse! The place looked like no one was in, but being in full view of about 20 windows I chickened out and put my shorts back on.

Crossing the valley shortly afterwards I finally made it out of sight of the farmhouse and felt comfortable enough to disrobe, and for the next two miles of field and woodland I had the world to my naked self. Across one field I crossed a stile into a sheep pasture – had I been spotted here it would undoubtedly have been open to misinterpretation! Beyond the sheep came three fields where the footpath had not just been ploughed over but planted over and grown over with oilseed rape.

The first field I was able to walk round the edge with no trouble. The second one I tried to force my way through the crop, but the stems and branches meshed together and proved impenetrable. In this field the crop had been planted all the way to the edges, but at least it was tin enough to push through. The rapeseed was shoulder high, the underlying nettles and thistles were fortunately only knee-high. My legs were buzzing all evening from the nettle rash.

In the third field I found tractor tracks I was able to follow to the far corner where the path went through a small wood, before descending into the next valley across an open meadow. Next came quite a stiff climb, first through woodland then out on to open fields again, and again with more sheep. Soon I was approaching the next farm, and reluctantly returned to wearing my shorts as I got close enough to be visible. Once more, the place seemed deserted but I heard a radio playing somewhere so probably someone was home.

But once past the farm and out on to a track that would lead me back the way I'd come, I was able to get comfortable for the rest of the walk. Finally, about a quarter mile short of the village I'd started from, I redressed before arriving back at the car.

____________________________________
Motorcycling, history, country hiking,
naked living

Davie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 04:01:24 PM »
A lovely walk and looking at the stat. pic. well away from other most of the time. My boots are made for walking and they need exercising, as do I!

Davie  8)

jbeegoode

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3359
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 10:26:56 PM »
It looks to be a nice country walk/hike. I looked at the Pic first to orientate and I could follow with your discription. You answered a question about the first ridge. I'd like to do a hike in a pleasant place like that some day.

There appears to be a good sized darker lumpy forested area to the right side of the screen. Is that forested and could it be utilized?
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

eyesup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 11:00:06 PM »
Had to look up ‘The Cotswolds’. Plenty of place names I’ve heard of. A few pictures I found made it look a very pleasant place for walking. Sounds like a hike of about 5-6 miles, kinda hard to tell from the photo.

My experience with nettles made me wince at your encounter in the fields. Not sure I would have persisted after 1st running into them. When I was a kid I would run into them in East Texas, which is why I try to avoid them. They were called ‘Bull Nettle’.

I still wonder at the apparent ease you and others in the UK move around properties. If there is farming and grazing, are these private lands? How does that work?

Did you take any photos? The pictures I found on the net are nice but seeing your particular route would be better.

Thanks for the post.

Duane

Davie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 11:10:40 PM »
We have the advantage in England and Wales of public footpaths. They exist across all areas if the country even through farmyards. They are old ancient tracks and paths. There is also public access land which is open countryside privately owned but open to the public. We are very fortunate.  In Scotland all open land us available to walk across,  private gardens excepted and of course it's not allowed to damage crops.

Davie  8)

Peter S

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 446
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 06:32:58 AM »
Yes, the walk was six miles in all (thanks to going round the fields instead of across them!). England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line ...

Their continued existence is enshrined in law, and farmers aren't supposed to plough them up or put a bull in a field that one crosses. Sometimes, especially if the path is little used, the farmer can get away with burying the path. They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
____________________________________
Motorcycling, history, country hiking,
naked living

eyesup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2017, 05:38:29 PM »
Quote from: pjcomp
England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line . . .
   ;D  ;D  ;D
You don’t want to confuse someone, on their way home after a pint (or 2), accustomed to where the path has always been.

The old section of my home town has streets that seem to do the same. An old friend of my dad would say that the streets were layed out by a drunk on a blind horse. The older the town the more random the streets and roads are.

What a great tradition. I would hope that users do keep in mind that their rights only apply on the footpath. It’s like when I go camping, it is common courtesy to not just cut through someone’s campsite when walking through a camping area. Just walk past and keep your eyes on what’s in front of you.

Duane

Davie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 06:03:39 PM »
Many footpaths are signed. The problem arises when the signing stops and there's a confusion of fields, hedges and gates. Sometimes getting back onto the path you want tests navigation. All good fun

Davie  8)

jbeegoode

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3359
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017, 06:49:34 PM »
Yes, the walk was six miles in all (thanks to going round the fields instead of across them!). England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line ...

Their continued existence is enshrined in law, and farmers aren't supposed to plough them up or put a bull in a field that one crosses. Sometimes, especially if the path is little used, the farmer can get away with burying the path. They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
So, the farmer who planted nettles is being kind of a prick and messing with public right of way?...yea, there is a pun in there.
Here, if a trail isn't used for like 12 years, the right goes away. If it is used for 12 years, it is tradition and has becomes an access.
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

eyesup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 10:41:31 PM »
Ya' don't plant nettles where I'm from.
They just grow, unwanted!  :-X  ;)

Duane

Bob Knows

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1409
  • Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
    • View Profile
    • Greenbare Photos
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 11:00:54 PM »
Ya' don't plant nettles where I'm from.
They just grow, unwanted!  :-X  ;)
Duane

I was thinking the same thing.
Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
To see more of Bob you can view his personal photo page
http://www.photos.bradkemp.com/greenbare.html

nuduke

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1441
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 12:01:03 AM »

Quote
They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.
I think the Cotswolds tend to be more treasured and respected for its beauty.  Here in rural Lincolnshire, amongst the high intensity arable farming, whilst some Farmer's respect the footpaths, styles and gates, it is not uncommon to find access points across footpaths with a gate but with barbed wire on it, or keep out signage where there is an obvious right to roam.  Our local river walk crosses several people's land and some of them ensure the fences keep people from walking the section of the river that is their land (e.g. with electric fencing).  True, some of them have sheep to retain but I've never seen a sheep operate a kissing gate! :)


[quote-"eyesup"]I still wonder at the apparent ease you and others in the UK move around properties. If there is farming and grazing, are these private lands? How does that work?
It's not that easy, Duane.  Pete's report gives account of the fact that you can't walk far without encountering houses, farm buildings etc etc. where it is not so good to just walk through someone's backyard effectively.  As I have said before, there is very little land in the UK that's not owned by someone.  There is a statutory right to roam on mountains, moors, heaths and downs that are privately owned. It also includes common land and some land around the coast but it has limitations, I think.  You can't roam on railway tracks and I think it doesn't apply to farmland unless the owner has given permission (can anyone verify that?).  Yes there is farming and grazing and some farmers are very sensitive (rightfully) about people with dogs harassing their sheep or cattle.
It's also quite hard to get out of sight in very flat Lincolnshire as I have remarked before.


John


jbeegoode

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3359
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 12:08:12 AM »
Is there is only one reason for the farmer to propagate these vile green creatures, to hide rabbits!

 "Hare take some oh deeze smat pills."

" Oh ber rabbid, Dose dunt look lack smat pills. Dem rabbit raisins!"

"See, yo giddin smatar allready."


"Your honor, I didn't plant those to discourage ramblers. Who plants nettles? They came about quite naturally."
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

jbeegoode

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3359
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2017, 12:12:04 AM »

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
So, you are naked gardening and someone rambles through. What then?
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

Peter S

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 446
    • View Profile
Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2017, 08:29:35 AM »
Just to clarify ( for JBee) no one plants nettles, eye just are. I've yet to come across a naked gardener on a footpath, but I guess if you garden naked you don't buy a house with a footpath, or you don't mind!

While John's right about never being far from habitation (and I don't envy him the Lincolnshire sight lines) in the Cotswolds the hills and woods give plenty of scope for not being seen. I was out yesterday on a 14-mile hike that was more field than woodland, and aside from a couple of outlying farms and short stretches of road, plus one village (where there was a stop for BEER) the whole trip was possible naked. Didn't see a soul, didn't even hear a tractor. a bit over 10 miles of the 14 were free range, the warmth of the day and the exertion countered by the stiff breeze that's always blowing on top of the Wolds (wold, from Old English 'wald' meaning woodland, but ironically now meaning open country on rolling hills, usually chalk and limestone).


(Picture shows what it's like when the farmer leaves a path through the crop instead of ploughing over)
____________________________________
Motorcycling, history, country hiking,
naked living