In Gloucestershire I have had some of my most enchanting walks, partly so because of the natural beauties and partly because the company I had.
I think of Gloucestershire for the Cotswolds, whose hills and combes are the essence of gentle walking country, and the honey-coloured villages, In which even the humblest cottage is of the distinctive stone hewn from these hills.
Is there more to the county though? It is really in three quite distinctive parts – the Cotswolds, the Severn Vale and beyond it the Forest of Dean, as far as the River Wye and the bounds of Monmouthshire. That is a lot to sample.
There are endless walking routes about the Cotswolds, and some lovely ones within the Forest of Dean. There is one walking route uniting the three parts of the county- the Gloucester Way.
The Gloucester Way stretches the whole width of the county, from the Wye at Chepstow out through the forest, to the Severn and to Gloucester itself. Then it heads to the most celebrated Cotswold town, Stowe on the Wold, which is close to the Oxfordshire border, before cutting back to Tewkesbury, at the Worcestershire border.
At 100 miles, the route is something of a challenge, but as a way to explore Gloucestershire, it is amongst the best.
There should be more room for Gloucestershire walks, so I will endeavour to provide them, as I come to them.