South Cerney and the Cotswold Water Park, 5 miles (8km)

Still here.

Still walking everyday. Did a long one once but have problems with post walk headaches I need to look into, and had to look after sprained ankle (which seems fine at the moment, thankfully).

It’s now September and life is about to change around here. Two boys away at University will mean a much quieter house, much less laundry, and a smaller grocery bill… but how missed they will be. I’m really proud of them and I know they’ll smash it… but… I’m the happiest when we’re all together… The remaining one will keep us busy with rugby/hockey/football matches, lifts to training etc., but it will be a big adjustment for us all. I’ll be starting the last year of my degree too… can’t believe I’m almost at the end of that journey!

Aaaaaanyway, there are a few nice walks I need to tell you about, so without further ado… and in no particular order…

Yesterday, the husband and I and the two dogs had an easy walk around the Cotswold Water Park, a nice development created out of the leftover of the gravel pits. 133 lakes that provide holiday homes, sailing clubs, swimming places and a huge area of wetland for a variety of wildlife.

We began our walk in the cute village of South Cerney, on the river Churn and only 4 miles from the source of the river Thames. The village itself was founded in 999 by Saxon settlers and it is full of beautifully kept old cottages and houses. The walk begins at the North end of the village along the National Cycle Route 45, a blissfully shaded path perfect for dogs (although by its nature you do meet the occasional cyclist)

The paths then continues along the remains of the defunct Thames and Severn Canal (don’t let the dog go in the water… ours came out black and smelly… although he was very happy with himself!).

After a couple of miles you have the option to stop for refreshments at the Gateway centre. The coffee is excellent and you can let the dog wash itself clean in the lake behind it.

Keep following the canal for a little while before following a disuse railway path back to South Cerney.

The path is often narrow, but there is no livestock so it’s a good walk for dogs who have zero self control when it comes to sheep. (Murphy? I’m talking to you…). You do get glimpses of a few of the lakes and on a hot day like yesterday you become quite jealous of the people actually IN the water.

In 2 1/2 hours you’re back where you’re started ready to eat in one of the pubs South Cerney has to offer. A simple, flat, undemanding walk. Good to get back on the saddle so to speak.

Murphy's view:  if you're a fit dog like me this walk is great because you can run and run and not get lost and there aren't all those annoying sheep that make you go on the lead because they're scaredy cats and don't like playing with us dogs.  Sheep are fun sponges don't you think?  Got told off for going into the old canal... don't know why, ok, the water was a little black but it was nice and cool.  The big lake was awesome though.

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