|Day 20 – April 25||Yate to Dursley|
|Weather: Cloudy w/sunny breaks||B&B: 7 Prospect Place (£32.00)|
|Departed: 08:45 Arrived: 15:30||Walked: 4 hr 51m Rested: 1 hr 52m|
|Distance Today: 15.0 mi / 24.14 km||Total Distance: 321.6 mi / 517.56 km|
|% Complete: ~ 28.46%||Pint of the Day: Wye Valley Brewery Dorothy Goodbody Golden Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 20|
It only took a few minutes to exit the built up areas and find the Frome River Walkway. This linked up with the Monarch’s Way and for the next hour I crossed a dozen or so fields on my way to Little Sodbury. Here I joined the Cotswold Way which I was to follow off and on throughout the day. The CW is extremely well signposted, so well in fact that you could probably get away without a map (not that I would recommend it).
The gently rolling countryside ended when I reached the western edge of the southern Cotswold Hills. My plan was to follow the CW but take shortcuts on local roads when they presented themselves. I met a couple of women practicing for a CW walk this summer and joined them for the stretch between Horton and Hawkesbury. The miles passed quickly as we chatted along the way.
I followed a bridleway lined with bleating sheep and lambs towards the village of Hillesley and then through Alderley and Wortley. Along the way I met my first fellow LEJOGers of the trip, Chris and Peter. They walked up through the middle of Cornwall and hope to be in John O’Groats by mid-June.
I was making excellent time so I took a break at the Ship Inn in Wooton-under-Edge. Up until now I had been skirting the edge of the Cotswold Hills but I rejoined the CW and would follow it for the remainder of the day. First up was a very steep climb up Wotton Hill that revealed dramatic views to the south and west. The CW continued through a large woodland and then emerged at the Tynedale Monument just above the village of North Nibley. Once down in the village I stumbled upon my first cricket match of the trip. I enjoyed watching a handful of overs and could easily have sat there all afternoon. Unfortunately I had a couple more miles to go and rain clouds were gathering.
I had to break out my pack cover for the first time since Portreath but the shower quickly ended. There was one more big climb and descent to go before I entered Dursley. I had a heck of a time finding my b&b as the house had no b&b sign and was a on street with no street sign. Furthermore the owner had forgotten that I had booked a room despite it only being arranged a few days ago. Suffice it to say I am not recommending this place to anyone … easily the poorest value for money accommodation I’ve experienced in Britain for a very long time.