Housesitting in the UK, Life of adventure, Walks

The Month of August – The Cotswolds

Heading to London on Sunday for a few nights.  Then stepping onto the train heading to Amsterdam will signify an end to our time in England.

It has been a stupendous last month of summer in which we have enjoyed relativity warmish weather and lashings of rain.  Come to think about it, we were wondering what season we were experiencing for a week or more.

Enough said about the weather and onto what really mattered.

The reason for us being in a small hamlet within the Shroud Valley.  Is too care for Barty the dog and Possum the cat, plus keep an eye on their quaint, lovely cottage that they all call home.  To view these two and more head over to HERE.

Now, what have we been up to during August?

Me walkabout

If I had to choose one descriptive word for an activity that took up most of our time, it would be undoubtedly walking.  Up and down the hills [mostly done by me], some with quite a bit more than a 10% gradient, yes, I got the Squire to measure one slope, via a mathematical equation.

It was just out of curiosity as it did feel quite steep.

What I love the most about walking around this area are the tree-lined lanes, public footpaths across fields and quiet countryside roads which makes a walk on a warmish day much more pleasant.

Even on days when I became engrossed in other tasks, such as ongoing travel arrangements and other “stuff”, a walk could be done at any time of the day.  I loved that I had a more extended period in which I could relieve myself of energy.  Those trees did such a great job of absorbing my body heat.  I was tempted on more than one occasion to hug them, then thought better of it, as someone passed me by.

Never to be unappreciated by me those trees that stand tall alongside the countryside lanes.

One early afternoon walk, I took myself down a farm track, one that wasn’t accessible or very pleasant on our last visit due to mud and puddles.  My good find for the day apart from the new walking track was the numerous blackberry patches lining my walking path, by the time I reached the end of that path, those blackberry bushes had fewer berries attached.

I made a mental note to let the Squire know so we could go back for more.

Luckily for us, I remembered as the foraging of blackberries became a regular activity every morning, for us both.  Everyone needs another reason to motivate themselves out the door for a walk before breakfast.   Then back to home base with a container of freshly picked fruit for breakfast with a bunch of other goodness in a bowl.

Les in the blackberry patch

With every pleasure, there does seem to be some sort of obstacle just to make it sweeter.  In the case of blackberry picking its the Stinging Nettle.  I will be quite pleased if I never see or touch that plant ever again.  Dreadful plant! 

UPDATE: Geoff from TanGental commented on the positive side of Stinging Nettle, it was worth including in the body of the post in case it is missed in the comment section.

The upside of stinging nettles is that they are food stuff to some of our most beautiful native butterflies, the peacock, red admiral small tortoiseshell and comma. So it’s a necessary pain to keep them I fear!

Apart from the enjoyment of foraging, our walking challenge has had a few positive outcomes for us.  I am feeling much fitter, and so is the Squire.  It has been a relaxing place in which to discuss future plans which needed much discussion without any distractions.  More on that subject at a later stage, once “things” are finalised.

Back to where we both gained another level of fitness, and, not so much about a loss of kilos.  I blame the seduction of that fine English cheddar cheese.

Miles without Stiles

Stroud Market

Most Saturday mornings we managed to go to the Stroud Farmers Market, quite a famous market and quite rightly so, it has to be one of the best we have visited for a while.  Sometimes we parked the car outside of town and walked to the market, earning ourselves a more justified calorie-laden deliciousness for lunch.

My only wish when shopping at local markets is that the price was lower.  Perhaps then most products would be sold at the end of the market?  Just a thought.

Througham to Miserden

Les walking into Miserden

This was one where we discovered muscles that had been put to sleep for a while.  They were undoubtedly long overdue to be woken and taken out!  It was a cloudy morning with a small glimpse of sunshine, a perfect day for a long walk.

An old river bed, hills, paddocks, country lanes and a road or two made up this walk through this part of the Cotswold countryside.  Even managed to pass a local cricket field. Now that a surprise to find in between grain fields and paddocks. It was worth the climb to enjoy the vista over the hills back to where we had started.

This walk did not include the gardens, not a cafe. It was all about walking, enjoying the scenery and foraging for blackberries along the way.

Usually, our four-legged friend Barty would have been our companion.  Unfortunately for Barty and for us, his walking adventures have been curtailed with a leg injury.

Miles with Stiles


With some walks, I was fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how you view it.  Of having fun venturing over stiles and up hills that literally took my breath away.  The thought of achieving buns of steel and other delights was my motivation.  Mostly those other delights like personal satisfaction and a handful of blackberries were my reward rather than the elusive firm buttocks.

You can’t win them all though I did have fun trying.

Then there were the strolls that required no exertion just a few steps outside to enjoy the star-spangled night skies.

All in all, an enjoyable time kicking back in a small area of The Cotswolds.

To check out more photographs  of our walks –  Instagram

To read previous posts on this area:

Neighbourhood walks – Painswick

The Rococo Gardens in Painswick

A Return to the COTSWOLDS

A Tribute to Mini

35 thoughts on “The Month of August – The Cotswolds”

  1. I can’t believe you’ve left these here shores. I hope you had a wonderful summer in the U.K. We provided the sunshine just for you! Funnily enough, I’m about to go foraging for blackberries…in my back garden. So not so adventurous And sorry about our Cheddar. Except I’m not even vaguely sorry. It’s practically the best thing about this country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fairy tale picturesque town that is. It looks too good to be real.
    I remember blackberry picking with Nana and Grandad and the reward of Nana’s blackberry & apple sponge. We’re pretty good at growing weeds here and I can still make blackberry jelly most years. A trip down memory lane. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya Wendy, it is lovely here and we are sad to be leaving here and the UK. Though we will no doubt be back at some stage. Great that you still make a BlackBerry jelly. Nothing beats homemade 🧡

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your writing. I live here and work in Stroud. It is beautiful and I try to get out and walk in it whenever I can. Did you get to Woodchester? I like picking blackberries too but you’re right, the locals don’t seem to pick them! Maybe like me they don’t think to bring a container. We were out this morning and the bushes were full but I only had my tummy to carry them in! Enjoy your onward travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your lovely comment. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get to Woodchester, it looks like a place to remember to explore another time. Yes, I think more berries went into our stomachs than the container. We forgot the container on a few occasions.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was Anabel. The blackberries were a delicious bonus. We found out where the best tasting ones were. Didn’t seem that many of the locals were picking them.


        1. Berry picking was a thing we did as children. Making Jams and Chutneys for the local Country Show was also a big thing. I love seeing local people selling their wares outside their homes or at markets. Always land up buying a few especially since we have being housesitting.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love the countryside in that area …. it’s very close to what I called home for many years and you have brought back many happy memories with your lovely post. Shout out for the styles … They are the finest of inventions. I had one in the back fence with a special dog trap that you pulled up with a rope when atop the plank so that they could run underneath. It was almost excellent way to enter the fields at the back of the house …..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Osyth, thanks for sharing that fun story. Love the idea of the dog entry. You are right it is a fun way of entering a paddock, safer than barbed wire 🙄

      Liked by 2 people

      1. As a child barbed wire, stinging nettles and electric fences were the bain of my carefree existence romping through fields and making camps in spinneys with my brothers and local friends. Perhaps those painful memories are what led me to designing my special dog-friendly style years later … and perhaps it should be patented!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You should have. I won’t tell how sore I was when I refused Les’s help over a electric fence being my usual independent self. You can guess what happened! Yep, the wire flicked back in between my legs as I jumped around. Much laughter coming from the other side.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ouch! They are ‘buggery horrible’ as an old farming friend called Mr Burt used to say (my mother always tried to drown out the word ‘buggering’ but clearly failed as it stays with me 50 years later!!)

            Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a lovely area, though not sure I would like to cycle on the roads. Though I have seen plenty of areas off road to keep a cyclist happy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely month you’ve had! The weather is always a good talking point isn’t it? I really enjoyed reading about your month, your walks and your discussion on upcoming plans. Enjoy the next adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Steph 🙂 Oh yes, the weather is a very much discussed topic in England and to be honest it is the same in New Zealand too. Both are islands and are prone to having 4 seasons in one day. Luckily, we don’t travel for the weather.


    1. It was indeed a lovely month, thanks Rachael. We achieved quite a bit, some things were very unexpected though needed to be done at some point in the future. What’s not to love about the Cotswolds? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah what a treat. The upside of stinging nettles is that they are food stuff to some of our most beautiful native butterflies, the peacock, red admiral small tortoiseshell and comma. So it’s a necessary pain to keep them I fear! And you’ll be up in the smoke, will you? Ifnext week means the upcoming week and you had space for a coffee to say hi…. just nod my way and I’ll introduce you to Dog…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Geoff, with that knowledge I now have no desire to wish them gone. It also makes sense why there is so much of it around the countryside.
      Thanks for your kind offer unfortunately we won’t have time to catch up with you and dog. One day as I am sure we will be back!


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