We opened the curtains and received an unpleasant greeting. Sheets of rain crashed against the window. The plan was to walk another 15 miles. This was the distance to our next booked destination. Despite the stormy weather we needed to make headway.
Consequently, we put our muddy hiking gear back on and set off.
The rain seemed pretty relentless. We reached a road, where it was unclear what direction the Cotswolds Way went in luckily a lady pulled up in her car to let her dog out.
‘Where are you trying to get to?’ she questioned
‘Star glamping in Ullenwood ‘ we replied.
‘Ulenwood that’s not for miles, first you have to get to Charlton and then you still aren’t near.’ She explained.
‘What a scaremonger’, I chirped after she got in her warm dry car and left.
We continued in the rain, trying to ignore what she had said.
Cold drops splashed on my warm face. While the elements were against us I couldn’t help but feel lucky to be alive. The moment felt real.
White mist floated in the air infront of us while bright orange leaves scrunched in the mud below our feet.
We could hear the pitter patter of rain and not much else.
As we continued the rain eased off and the sky cleared. A glow from the sun peaked through the clouds. Winds gusted around us and it was dry for a while.
We found archeological ruins named Belas Knap Long Barrow where 38 skeletons were buried over 5,500 years ago. These Neolithic people were thought to have led a life based around cattle herding.
A little later on we found a the Cleeve Hill Golf Club Ltd and thought it was a good time to break for food. They served a massive vegan breakfast which did the trick.
Half an hour later we were on our way once more.
We navigated through the golf course and climbed up steep hills. Somehow we got slightly lost.
We asked a kind man who was walking his dog where to Cotswolds Way was. He was very knowledgeable of the area and let us know the direction we needed to head in.
He looked at his watch and said we would need to hurry as we didn’t have many hours of day light left. We were still three hours away at least. This was daunting.
We bid farewell and hurried down the slope. Keen to get on a road before dark we pushed through.
After an hour or so we made it to a country lane. At least this was something. However, we were now off the Cotswolds Way. We just wanted to get to our glamping pod in good time.
Slogging on the rain began again and the sky became overcast. While we still had an hour of sunlight it looked like darkness was descending quicker than we expected.
Cars zoomed round corners while we tried to tactically wall on the safest side of these bending country lanes.
Suddenly a red car pulled over infront of us. Interesting.
‘Maybe it’s the man and his dog,’ I chirped.
As we reached the car a lady pulled down the window.
‘Where are you headed?’ she softly asked.
‘Ullenwood,’ we replied.
‘Thats quiet a way you better jump in,’
‘Oh but we are so wet and muddy we don’t want to dirty your car,’ I said.
‘Its old anyway, don’t worry, come on get in,’
During the 15 minute drive we chatted about her horse, our air B and B experiences, walking and France! The time flew by and before we knew it we were bidding farewell and trying to offer her petrol money (which she didn’t accept).
This act of kindness made our day. We were getting bogged down and ready for a shower and warm food. We wouldn’t have made it for another few hours if it wasn’t for this caring lady. Plus it wouldn’t have been fun navigating the roads in the dark. We also didn’t have enough cash for a taxi and Uber didn’t have any drivers in the Cotswolds.
On arrival at the glamping star bistro we checked in and found our pod.
On our third day we woke up to rain and mist. Consequently, we decided it was best to find an alternative route home. We ordered a taxi to Stroud and had a mooch around the town before taking our train back to London.
Who else has hiked the Cotswolds Way?