On a bright October morning, twenty walkers gathered at the Cotswold village of Hawkesbury Upton, near Badminton. We set off towards Petty France, with views towards Dunkirk, both of which were named by Flemish weavers who settled in this area during the medieval period. Turning to the west on a grassy track, we eventually reached Horton Camp, which is an unusual set of Iron Age earthworks, formed by only two defensive ramparts, the remaining third side being formed by the steep hillside.
After a stop on the ramparts to have our picnic lunches in the sunshine and to admire the panoramic views over the Severn Vale, we followed the Cotswold Way for a short stretch. On our steep descent towards the village of Horton, we passed a splendid country house and a folly. Although the folly appeared to be quite ancient from a distance, it was in fact built in 2000 as a nesting place for swallows and barn owls.
A series of field footpaths led us on to the imposing parish church of St James the Less at Horton, where most of the group had a look round. The church adjoins Horton Court, a medieval National Trust property, which is currently undergoing restoration, and is sadly closed to visitors. However, a Norman arch facing the church was seen from the churchyard. A quiet lane took us along the lower slopes of the Cotswolds, giving good views along the valley and plenty of autumn tints. For every steep descent there is a steep ascent! The path now took us up steeply through trees and fields back to the village, leading, purely by coincidence, straight to the back door of the Beaufort Arms pub, where many of our party repaired for a drink.
The walk was led by John and Martin and the group photo was kindly supplied by Alan F. Many thanks to all who came along.