The Cotswold Way National Trail was only officially opened in 2007 but in a few short years has become one of the ‘must-do’ walks in the UK.
Though I’ve only walk small sections of it, it’s easy to see why. At 102 miles long, the Cotswold Way passes through the stunning countryside and beautifully quaint villages of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Winding its way through undulating terrain, the route takes you from Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire all the way to the regal city of Bath in Somerset.
There has been a marker stone at the Bath end of the Cotswold Way since October 2012. Carved into Irish blue limestone by local Bath stone artist Iain Cotton, the Bath marker stone features the Cotswold Way acorn symbol at its centre, surrounded by the engraved names of towns and villages along the route. Befitting its place inset into the ground beside Bath Abbey, the stone has a Biblical quote engraved around the edge:
“Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” — Jeremiah 6: 16
This Saturday, 8th November 2014, a similar marker stone inset into the ground next to the Market Hall at Chipping Campden will be officially unveiled to mark the other end (or beginning!) of the Cotswold Way. Also carved by Iain Cotton, the stone is almost identical to its Bath-based counterpart, but this time with a quote from poet TS Eliot:
“Now the light falls across the open fields leaving the deep lane shuttered with branches dark in the afternoon” — from ‘East Coker’ by TS Eliot
If you’re in town, the official ceremony to unveil the marker stone takes place at Chipping Campden Market Hall at 12 noon on Saturday 8th November 2o14. You’ll be able to see the marker stone in Chipping Campden on all Go Cotswolds tours from Sunday 9th November.
If one of our tours whets your appetite to see more of the Cotswolds and the Cotswold Way, why not come back another time and trek the entire length? Or, if you’re feeling particularly fit and healthy, you could even sign up for the Cotswold Way 100 Mile Challenge in June next year – this is a challenge to run (or jog, or walk!) the 102 mile trail over four days. While on a runner’s high after completing the Tempo 10km run in Ilmington last week I very nearly considered entering this myself, but soon saw sense! I think the walk, over more than a four day period, is more my style – especially as it is rumoured to pass over 60 pubs along the way! 😉