Great Witcombe and Cotswold Way

South west of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire (map reference SO 91 14) lies Witcombe Park and nearby is Witcombe reservoir. This link to streetmap.co.uk - Great Witcombe shows the area concerned, OS Explorer map 179. The area is a natural basin (most of which is the Witcombe Estate) in the Cotswold escarpment. Round the top of this basin, to the south, passes the Cotswold way.

From Witcombe Park (SO 912 144) there radiate five main footpaths. All of them meet the Cotswold Way at the top of the hill. Witcombe park is on the 105m contour. The Cotswold way at the top is above the 200m contour in places, so the climb is about 100 metres. Despite these five paths, we found a plethora of 'Private - keep out' signs that forbid free access across farm tracks and open pasture land and which despoil Witcombe Park and marred our holiday there. Nevertheless it is a beautiful area, particularly in spring. Using the footpaths, it's possible to do a 5kM circular walk without encountering more than a very minor road.

The five paths are:

  1. (E) East - towards Birdlip, meeting the Cotswold Way at SO 922 143
  2. (SE) South east. Initially this is the same as path 1 but it branches past Woodlands Farm. Meets CW at SO 920 138.
  3. (S) West south west towards Cranham Wood. Meets CW at SO 906 137
  4. (SW) Across the reservoir, then south past the Roman Villa to the Cotswold Way at SO 898 140
  5. (W) Across the reservoir and west meeting the Cotswold Way on a minor road at SO 894 149

For the sake of simplicity where these are mentioned in the descriptions I will refer to them as E, SE, S, SW and W.

In April 2007 we took an Easter holiday at Witcombe Park and we took with us our two cats, Xanna and Misty. This is a photo gallery of the holiday. It includes not only cats but scenery and plants of interest, particularly edible plants - see Food For Free section of my site.

As the photographs show, Easter 2007 was extremely warm - this was the second week in April.

We did many walks from the holiday home up the footpaths and round on the Cotswold Way so the photos are not in itinerary order but apparently out of sequence - in date order. All were photographed with a Canon EOS 350D camera. Originals (average size 4MB) are available - please use the contact button.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size picture and more information.

Walking the cats in the Cotswolds
1: The cats assess the area.
Witcombe park and reservoir
2: Misty walking on the hills above Witcombe.
Anemone nemorosa
3: Wood Anemone
Cotswold Way at Cooper's Hill wood
4: Footpath to reservoir from Cotswold Way
Footpath at Witcombe Roman Villa
5: Footpath at Witcombe Roman Villa
Witcombe Park
6: Witcombe Park holiday accommodation.
Allium ursinum and Cardamine pratensis
7: Allium ursinum and Cardamine pratensis
bridle path at Witcombe
8: Misty and horses on bridle path
View of Witcombe park
9: View of Witcombe park
Cotswold Way in Witcombe wood
10: Cotswold Way in Witcombe wood
Cotswold Way in Witcombe wood
11: Cotswold Way in Witcombe wood
Bengal and Siamese cats on bed
12:
The cats rest after a long walk.
Our cats on the path at Witcombe
13: Our cats on the path at Witcombe
Our cats on the path at Witcombe
14: Our cats on the path at Witcombe
Our cats on the path at Witcombe
15: Our cats on the path at Witcombe
Cats on Cotswold way through Witcombe Wood.
16: Cats on Cotswold way through Witcombe Wood.
Cooper's Hill Wood in early April.
17: Cooper's Hill Wood in early April.
Stream in Cooper's Hill Wood
18: Xanna takes a drink
Anemone nemorosa and ranunculus ficaria
19: Anemone and celandine
Witcombe reservoirs
20: Footpath across Witcombe reservoirs.
Witcombe reservoirs
21: Witcombe reservoirs from footpath
Cardamine pratensis in flower
22: Cuckoo Flower
Viola riviniana(?)
23: Dog violet
Endymion non-scriptus
24: Bluebells in Witcombe wood
Witcombe Park cottages
25: Witcombe Park cottages
Cooper's Hill at dusk
26: Sunset over Cooper's Hill
A cat can look at horses!
27: A cat can look at horses!
cardamine amara
28: Large bittercress
Cat drinking at stream
29: Our Siamese cat, Misty, takes a drink
Cats walking in the Cotswold mist
30: Our cats enjoy a walk in the mist.
Cats walking in the Cotswold mist
31: Our cats enjoy a walk in the mist.
Endymion non-scriptus in Cotswolds
32: Cotswold bluebells in Witcombe Wood
Witcombe park in the mist
33: Witcombe park in the mist
Witcombe Park footpath
34: The south east footpath, Witcombe Park
   
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Last modified: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:30:58 GMT