Back to the Sapperton Valley, the location of last Monday’s walk, this time for a longer stomp. It it so beautiful out there, so quiet, so many different trees and flowers, hills and valleys and streams. This time I left the dog at home – he was not impressed – and went with my sister in law instead. There are moments that necessitate female company over canine, although I did feel awfully guilty and anyone familiar with ‘Spaniel’s eyes’ will know exactly what I mean.
We parked in the lane behind the St Kenelm’s Church, in Sapperton. Inside the handsome Georgian building you’ll find a monument to Sir Robert Atkyns (d.1711), a historian and politician who was best known for his publication ‘The Ancient and Present State of Gloster-shire’ (1712)- the county’s first printed history with engravings by the Dutch printer, Johannes Kip. A new book showcasing them, if you’re into local history, has just been published by Hobnob Press: “Johannes Kip – The Gloucestershire Engravings“, it looks fascinating… but maybe that’s just me! Another interesting fact for the geeks out there from the church’s website: Rebekah Mason, is also buried here, “the first wife of the astronomer Charles Mason (d. 1787). Together with the surveyor Jeremiah Dixon, Charles surveyed a boundary to resolve a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. After Pennsylvania abolished slavery, the Mason-Dixon line served as a demarcation line for the legality of slavery and symbolised a cultural boundary between the North and the South of the United States“.
Isn’t it pretty? I love old country churches.
We followed the map found on the app All Trails, and had no issues at all. The signal never dropped (it can be a problem when you use a map on your phone) and the path was always very well marked and maintained. It wasn’t muddy at all either, but the weather has been quite dry recently, I can imagine it might be different after a wet spell.
The trail goes through woods (The Daneway Banks Nature Reserve and Siccaridge Woods), which are gorgeous, it also crosses wide valleys offering far away vistas, and the delightful Cotswold village of Oakridge Lynch, where I totally fell in love with a bronze shepherd’s hut. I mean… look at it!
At the end of the village the path descends into the valley floor towards the River Frome and the Frome Canal.
I loved the words on the gate… such a beautiful touch. They’re lines from a poem by Keats, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’:
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
The walk along the canal is always beautiful, it is always soothing being near water in my opinion.
(… and then the sun came out… )
The house at this junction is called Baker’s Mills, owned by actress Daphne Neville, patron of the UK Wild Otter Trust, and her tamed otter Rudi. (You can meet Rudi by appt only, all the details are on the website. Otters are so cute).
The last stretch is away from the canal, up and across a valley back to Sapperton village.
Walking time 2.45hrs at moderate place. Safe for dogs although it is recommended they’re kept on the lead through Siccaridge Woods and the Daneway Bank Nature Reserve.
Murphy's view: I wasn't invited. I stayed home and sulked.