Geocaches - 2
Pubs - The Black Horse Inn, Cranham, The Butchers Inn, Cranmore
Walk Inspiration - Walk 8 in Classic Walks in the Cotswolds
The walking guide states that this is a "Delightful walk encompassing two delightful Cotswold Villages, with three excellent Inns....". I stopped reading at that point and banged the details into the GPS.
With a quick glance of the Bible, I also found out that two off them are in the CAMRA 2017 Good Beer Guide.
Seemed almost too perfect for the hottest August Bank Holiday since Twitter began.
We start in Cranham and head out across the common land to pick up Saltridge Woods. This walk is completed almost entirely in woodland - providing shade from the midday sun but offering little in the way of views of the steep sided valley.
|Heading out of Cranham|
|Into Saltridge Woods - the Vista for most of the Walk|
|For the occasional Valley View|
I've completed my research and I know the Butcher's Arms opens at 11:30am. It's 11:10am, so this gives time for a short geocaching detour but we are still sat outside at 11:20am, explaining to the locals that we are not alcoholics.
The Butcher's Arms, Sheepscombe, Prescott Ales Hill Climb
Plenty of time to take the obligatory photos. According the bible, the 3 dimensional carved sign of a Butcher Quaffing Ales, whilst tethered to a pig is world famous.
|Classic Cotswolds Boozer|
|World Famous Signage|
11:30 comes without the glorious sound of the door bolt scraping open, so I head off to investigate, finding the barman messing with barrels around the back.
Inevitably, the curse of the pub ticker strikes. Yes, it normally opens at 11:30 but on bank holidays, it opens at midday.
I have to break this news to Mrs M, knowing its going to be my fault that she cannot use the facilities.
I am more concerned about whether I can class this as tick.
It's simply too hot to hang around with no shade, so we press on with the walk. The return to Cranham is the same terrain, just different woods. Initially Ms M (yes, we are walking 3 today) starts complaining about the lack of variety for her Instagram feed but soon cheers up with the wildlife. A vole running along the road was possibly expected, a large dead lizard was not.
|More of this in the Ebbworth Plantations|
Much to Mrs M's relief, another 75 minutes walking has us back in Cranham, trying to find the ultra shy Black Horse, which unusually for a village boozer, is hiding up a tiny side street.
Black Horse, Cranham, Stroud Brewery Tom Long
|The Black Horse|
The girls are primarily here for lunch. Suspicions that this may not pan out well are confirmed when the only other patron is trying to fashion something suitable by combing various starters and side dishes. There is a menu, the items look delicious but who wants liver. bacon and mashed potatoes when its 29 degrees. We inquire about sandwiches but are met with a "what you see is what you get?"
Ever the optimist, I try and promote the idea of baked Camembert and chips but Ms M is concerned that if we can see this many flies in the bar, what's the kitchen going to be like?
A superb Stroud Brewery Tom Long is taken outside, whilst we peruse our options.
Only one thing for it, off we head back to Sheepscombe.
The tick is earned honestly and the there was a chalk board full of delicious sandwich options.
The girls are still talking to me.