Hampton Court & Bushy Park

Continuing our “Holiday from Home”, we were going to go to Bushy Park on Friday, but decided it was far to hot to sit on non air-conditioned trains, so went yesterday instead.

We changed trains at Waterloo – it’s always interested navigating an excited dog through crowds of people going every which way:

There is a small park by Hampton Court Station, curiously named Cigarette Island Park, so Rocco had a chance to stretch his legs:

Then across the Thames:

and a quick look at Hampton Court Palace:

Unfortunately, we found out that it’s the wrong time of year to take dogs into Bushy Park due to the deer (one dog walker we spoke to had been cornered several times in the park by deer), so we retraced our steps and found a very dog friendly pub to have a beer (and a small snack) and consider our options:

Looking at the map, we decided to follow the “Barge Walk”, a good path along the Thames, to Kingston:

The first part of this is along the Hampton Court Palace house and grounds:

Rocco enjoyed himself, but was disappointed that the banks were too high to go for a swim in the Thames (luckily):

Soon we were approaching Kingston:

and in need of another beer:

We then walked to Hampton Wick station (closer than Kingston) and got the train back to Waterloo:

And from there, back to Orpington. A lovely day, a bit warm in places but with an occasional sprinkle of rain to keep us cool.

Shoreham Woods

A lovely morning walking around Shoreham Woods – particularly helped by all the bluebells and dry paths:

Often there are horses (or are they ponies?) in a field we have to cross. They always seem to congregate by the exit stile. Still, they seemed totally unfussed as we squeezed through:

Another field we have to cross often has cows in it. They’re rarely a problem, but Rocco decided to have a roll in a cow pat:

He didn’t appreciate an extensive hose down once we got back. Let’s hope he’s learnt his lesson, but I doubt it…

Gloucester (Again)

We decided to visit Gloucester again, but took a different bus that departed from a side road just around the corner (but only ran every two hours):

Apart from one other passenger (“Who goes into Gloucester every day to keep the bus running”), we were the only people on the bus! No wonder it’s subsidised…

We walked around Alney Island, a nature reserve just on the edge of the city:

Rocco of course enjoyed chasing a stick and getting muddy. This is the old bridge over the Severn, that has now been replaced by a modern, wider, bridge:

The path wiggles around various elevated sections of railway and road:

and goes through ancient woodland:

One final bridge over the Severn, and we were back in the city:

Just in time for a few beers and lunch in the Fountain pub, which looks like it belongs in a small village rather that the centre of town:

The dogs got a lot of attention (and treats) from both staff and customers:

Then a short walk past the cathedral to an open space where the dogs could let off steam:

Then onto another pub for some more interesting beers and ciders, and a (crowded) bus back home:

4 miles today!

Cleve Hill

As it was a nice morning, we drove through Cheltenham to Cleeve Hill – a good choice as the car does most of the work going up the hill, not us.

We followed the Cotswold Way for the first part, along the edge of the golf course. Both dogs seem to relish running around in the open space:

Further on, we partially descended into a valley to grab a geocache (hanging in a tree)::

Then back up the hill to a small reservoir – a popular spot for dogs!

Then up the hill to a nice seat for elevenses:

We then set off round the hill, a mixture of almost lunar landscapes and lush grassed paths:

Further on around the hill, we had our first view of Cheltenham and the racecourse:

Then even further round, lunch break on a nice bench overlooking Cheltenham. Toby and Rocco are being very attentive as they’ve had a few crusts from my sandwiches:

Finally, back to the car, again following the Cotswold Way along the tops:

5 miles in total, though I suspect Rocco did more like 15-20 miles!

Coaley Peak Walk

We went somewhere new for the morning dog walk. Coaley Peak is a car park high on the ridge south of Stroud, with good views over the Severn valley:

We followed the Cotswold Way long distance path north through the woods:

Rocco of course enjoyed his stick:

The path followed past some quarries and headed downhill:

Eventually, the path followed along some fields lower down the hill:

and then back into the woods:

Eventually, we left the Cotswold Way and had a steep climb back up the hill. The path back to the car followed the ridge line:

and we stopped for a Geocache:

A lovely walk, 5 miles in total.

Standish Woods

We braved the rather showery weather to return to Standish Woods, not far from Quedgeley. After a bit of a struggle getting the National Trust car park ticket machine to actually work, we set off into the wind and headed to the nearby Topograph:

Rocco was his usual happy self, even without a stick:

From here, we headed downhill to the woods:

And I found a couple of sticks for Rocco:

Then into the woods, and the slow climb back up:

Lovely views from the top:

A nice walk, and the showers were not a problem!

Robinswood Hill

Rocco and I are staying with Steve and Toby in Quedgeley, and a Sunday tradition is a walk around the local country park at Robinswood Hill.

Quite a climb to start with; the path then contours through the woods and up the hill.

And finally, we get to the top:

Extensive views over Gloucester and Cheltenham, plus a rainbow for good measure.

The far right hand side of the rainbow was very close to Gloucester Cathedral!

Unfortunately you need rain to produce a rainbow, and it was a bit drizzly (and windy) at the top.

So time to head back down!

A good walk – Rocco did like chasing his sticks!