Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The signpost points up the disused North-West drive to a large, slate-roofed, late 18th Century house, designed for a London wine merchant, "a remote setting" (Pevsner's description).
It's one of a bunch of substantial houses dotted at wide intervals along the sides of the steep valley carrying a stream from near Elkstone down into the River Churn at Perrott's Brook, North of Cirencester: Combend, Rapsgate, Cotswold Farm, Moor Wood, Oyster Well and Bagendon House are amongst the others. No paths exist to enable the walker to get very close to most of them, but it's still possible to walk through the grounds and round the back of Cotswold Park: much construction work has being going on there over a period of 15 months or more - that being the interval between my last walk past and today's.
At 9.30, the three of us set foot Southwards in the mist from Five Mile House (newly-reopened by a couple from North Wales). It's tricky walking at first, till you hit Burcombe Lane, but peaceful once away from the A417 - a good circular walk, with two decent climbs to set the heart working: skylarks, trees in bud, a distant view of a group of five deer, some mud, but no rain.