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Kilkenny, Gloucestershire

A dozen braved the heat for this walk in the Cotswolds, familiar faces and new, with travellers from Wales, Warks, Avon and further afield. Starting near Kilkenny, we headed past the unusually named St.Paul’s Epistle, a clump of trees on the site of a bronze age barrow, and then off through fields with views into the Foxcote valley below.

After a steep descent through woodland, we paused for a break by the picturesque ornamental lake at the hamlet of Hilcot.

The quiet lane alongside the brook was thankfully shaded, a chance to cool off before a steady climb, passing through fields blue with flax, to our lunch stop overlooking the Churn valley. Later, we emerged from woodland to a splendid view of the Severn Valley with clear views to Cheltenham, Malvern and the hills beyond, before dropping down through Lineover Wood. The paths were remarkably quiet - we passed only a couple of groups of walkers the entire day. A much-needed water stop prepared us for the climb back to the start point, through tall meadows alive with butterflies. Half the group had time afterwards for refreshments at the pub in Withington. A most satisfying day.

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