Part two of walking the Cheltenham Circular Footpath - we started where we finished last time at the Racecourse park and ride and walked to Charlton Kings. (Sections A to D in the guidebook)
We went wrong pretty much straight away. I'm still not sure how it happened, but I set off the wrong way around the Racecourse! The actual route follows the North side, past the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, but we went East and only realised when we found a marked signpost pointing in a different direction to what we'd expected. Oops.
Once we got back on track we headed through the churchyard in Prestbury, then along a well kept footpath until we ran into this:
Ah. You will note a lack of information about exactly which bits of path are closed, how long for, or an alternative route. It later turned out that this information was at the other end of the path, which was not helpful for us!
I can't possibly comment on whether we retraced our steps and found a detour, or just carried on past pushed over/apart fencing with well trampled paths through the grass and nettles. But put it this way - it was the weekend and there was nobody working on the building site...
Once back on track, we stopped for lunch stop at Harp Hill, then continued through the fields and up a hill where we enjoyed lovely views across Cheltenham, spoilt only by the delightful bit of architecture than is Eagle Tower. Heading back down we eventually reached the main road, but not before another game of "hunt the overgrown stile in the corner of a hedge". Always a fun one.
Eagle Tower looking, er, lovely in the middle there...
Once we reached the A40 we left the Cheltenham Circular and walked all the way into town. This was 4km of tarmac - not ideal, but we weren't sure what the bus situation was. There is a Pulhams bus that goes along the A40, but we had no idea of the timetable, or whether dogs were allowed on board. Once we'd walked to Sixways we could have got the B, but by the time we walked that far we figured we may as well just keep going.
As with last time, we ended up in the Swan for another well earned burger. Then it was just a case of getting the bus back to the racecourse before heading home.