Christmas in the North Wiltshire Cotswolds – 22nd – 27th December 2011
Although a veteran of many holidays with Ramblers Worldwide I have only recently started to discover the pleasures of the Countrywide holidays and I was looking forward to my 5 night break this Christmas, exploring the North Wiltshire Cotswolds. We started on the first day with a look at prehistoric Wiltshire, soon reaching Silbury Hill and the West Kennet long barrow, and then on to the Avebury stone circle, which despite the driving rain was impressive in the grey afternoon light.
On the following day our progress was impeded at times by thick, clinging mud, but the usual Ramblers humour and good spirits prevailed as we slipped, slid and slithered our way to the beautiful village of Lacock, where we squelched thankfully into the National Trust café for restorative cups of tea and slices of carrot cake. Christmas day saw the group taking a swift gallop up Wick Hill for the view, and then into the oddly named Dumb Post inn for a pre-lunch drink, and mince pies which emerged from our leader Ray’s rucksack.
On the final day we headed for Bath via the Skyline route, and Ray demonstrated that his rucksack didn’t just contain mince pies, but also spare bootlaces, which he used to carry out emergency repairs for one of the group who emerged from the mud with the sole of her boot gaping like the jaws of a crocodile. Bath itself couldn’t fail to impress: glorious architecture, literary connections and, for some, the joys of shopping!
All in all it was an enjoyable “alternative Christmas,” made memorable by interesting walks, good company and excellent leadership.