Kemble to Cricklade.
These mornings are just made for walking, fresh and sunny. So we had a spring in our step following the infant river as it wandered through pastures and small Cotswold villages with their creamy stonework buildings. It was a few miles before we saw our first decent sized trout which didn’t seem interested in the myriad of mayflies. Some of the meadows were waterlogged and would be impassable in winter. This whole area is one big flood plain. Several old mills were passed despite the Thames being merely a stream, one wonders where the power came from.
The river lead us straight into the rather too posh White Hart in Ashton Keynes, we retreated to the beer garden. This delightful village is renowned for its many bridges and crosses.
Most of the day was spent passing through the Cotswold Water Park and its 140 lakes created from gravel extraction. A large estate development looked expensive with exclusive houses lakeside. An angler set off with a wheelbarrow full of equipment to hopefully catch a carp. Disappointingly few birds were seen – swans, grebe, mallard and wagtails.
Just before Cricklade the Path skirts around the edge of North Meadow, A Nature Reserve where, the rare snakeshead fritillary flowers. We must have just missed out but there were plenty of buttercups.
The pleasant small town of Cricklade had a wide historic high street and provided a good pub room and a Thai meal.
You are more praiseworthy about the Cotswold rich than I was with my cynical comments last summer. Your carp fisherman brings to mind the phrase used by coarse fishermen that always inspired and amused my imagination: their ambition, “…to find a good hole”