Ridgeway and Cotswolds 2018

Discussion in 'Trips Reports' started by Cameron M, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Cameron M

    Cameron M Summit Camper

    Note: This is an abbreviated trip report of a longer one posted at:

    I moved to Wiltshire, England, when I was fourteen years old. Wilshire is an agricultural county known for ancient forts, old trade walkways and mysterious earth mounds. I contrive a return trip with Margi to spend three days walking on portions of the Ridgeway Trail, and another three walking in the better-known scenic Cotswolds area.
    The trails are well marked. We start in Watlington.
    The green canopies are impressive, especially for a Californian. The leaves and mud areas are a bit slick and difficult at times.
    The trail passes alongside and through farms, with wide-open country and little sign of industry.
    We reach the Neolithic long barrow called “Wayland’s Smithy”, dated as having been started in 3590 BC as a burial place. In my return to the Ridgeway I had hoped to learn something about the archeology of the area, but in fact almost nothing is really known about the ancient people of the area and the various landscape evidence.
    The Avebury stone circle is a highlight. Very strange.
    We pass by and even walk across some golf courses that are seemingly very casually placed in the landscape.
    The landscape in the Cotswolds is more developed and in some ways more scenic than the Ridgeway, but the presence of towns and a nearby roadway mitigates the appeal.
    The Cotswolds have been a destination for much longer than the Ridgeway, and we find ourselves in accommodations with the Range Rover-Horsey crowd.

    In conclusion, I believe that our strategy of skipping around to the best parts of the two trails is a good one. Wiltshire is more remote and wide-open country, and the Cotswolds are tighter, more highly developed, cuter, and offer more towns and architecture. I advise taking hiking poles and waterproof boots, and be ready to bail on the really wet days.
  2. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Very nice, Wiltshire is my birth town but moved away some 40 years ago, now living in Lancashire..
    Shame about glider man :(
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018

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