Start - Crickley Hill
End - Coaley Peak
Distance - 23.25 miles / 37.4 Km
Walking Time - 7 Hours
Assent - 3,229 ft / 984 meters
I love sleeping in my bivi under a tarp; enough protection from the elements but space to look out & gaze at the night sky & feel connected with your surroundings in a way tents don’t allow. This is what I planned for my accommodation along the trail; small, lightweight, simple and yet completely functional for what I needed.
The day would see me pass through the part of the trail I know the best. Starting with Winchcombe before climbing to Belas Knap; a 5500 year old burial mound that is free to walk around & explore. I was the only person there & it took me a couple of laps before realising I can’t comprehend how people were living (or rather dying) there so long ago.
From there it’s onwards to Cleeve Hill (the highest point on the whole route) & my first view of my childhood home of Cheltenham. The sun was doing its thing once again and Cleeve Common unhelpfully offered no shade to act as sanctuary. From there on to Dowdeswell Reservoir where many a sign informed me that a quick dip would be highly frowned upon before climbing through Lineover Woods enroute to Leckhampton Hill.
Over the last year I’ve discovered a love of Trig Point. Not unique to the UK but we definitely lead the world in the sheer quantity situated on our little island. It’s hard to pick a favourite of anything you love, but, if I was to pick a favourite trig point, Leckhampton Hills would win hands down. Why? Well simply because it’s located closest to my family home and whenever I stay I try and get up to say hello and take yet another #OOSTPS (Obligatory Ordnance Survey Trig Point Selfie)
Selfie taken, it was 5 miles more to my finish line for the day just beyond Crickley Hill (another settlement from over 5000 years ago) at the Air Balloon pub.
23 miles in total for the day and I was feeling good during it. Once the backpack came off though my right shoulder became grumpy and started to ache but a good nights rest cures all ills.