National Trails: Belas Knap & Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
Dave and I recently bought our first house – yay, us! Because of this and having a garden, Dave’s parents’ dog came to stay for the weekend. Considering they had let us stay at theirs whilst saving for a deposit, we felt they definitely deserved a break!! In order to explore some of our new local area and give Pepper a good walk, we headed out to the Cotswold village of Winchcombe and long-barrow, Belas Knap, armed with the National Trails Walk Guidelines and Map.
The route started off at Winchcombe’s War Memorial and headed down a road sandwiched between cute cottages.
Following the Cotswold Way signposts, we crossed over to an adjacent road but not before noticing that Autumn is very much on it’s way. The leaves that hadn’t already fallen to the ground, were starting to change colour.
We then headed over fields, stiles, roads and more fields to reach a resting spot with the most incredible views. Luckily for us, the sun decided to show itself and shone beautifully over Gloucestershire.
Leaving the stunning scenes behind, we rambled through Humblebee Woods and past farmland to finally reach the historic long barrow, Belas Knap.
Neither of us knew it was there and were fascinated by it’s history, which dates all the way back to the Neolithic Age. Upon excavation of the burial chambers, bones that were 6000 years old were found! Belas Knap has a false entrance and three accessible burial chambers, which felt eery but interesting to go in to. They also protected us from a very large storm that passed over!
This rain didn’t want to het up, so after sitting in a chamber for 10mins, Pepper started to get restless. Therefore, we opted to just go out and try to finish the trail. 5mins later and sun came back out, which gave us the perfect opportunity to throw Pepper’s ball around and really tire her out.
The views across the sloping farm fields on the way back were something to behold. However, we soon found ourselves in another thunderstorm without shelter! But at least Pepper enjoyed herself.
I’ll confess something now: I’m not the best at reading directions. I know, it’s such a cliché! But surprisingly, I managed to get us 90% the way round the route before taking the wrong way and even then, we couldn’t figure out what had happened. We eventually managed to find the way back, with soggy clothes and sore feet.
Once back at our house, we all collapsed and relaxed. Pepper certainly had fun and Dave and I can add another funny adventure to our collection.
We can’t wait to have Pepper over again and I wonder where we’ll head to next!
P I N F O R L A T E R . . .