I’ve been off the internet for a few days having ventured into deep country where the Hot Spots don’t reach!
The weather was grey but dry and reasonably warm when we set off from Trowbridge for the Snowshill on Monday. It’s only a couple of hours drive and we bypassed Chippenham, Malmsbury and Circencester.
Mostly we travelled through farmland. Arable crops mostly – this is prime farmland – although was a field with rootling pigs. There was a surreal moment when the hedge disappeared and beyond the wire fencing was an airfield littered with huge aircraft – I’m talking 747s - in what is apparently an aircraft scrapyard.
In villages with names like Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold we caught glimpses of lilac, apple blossom and the last throw of the magnolias behind the traditional stone walls that mark out this part of the country. In the countryside the verges were billowing with cow parsley and red campion and the bluebells are so late this year that they were everywhere.
The green was broken up with huge swathes of the eye-gouging yellow of the rape crop in full flower, a colour so powerful that it was reflected off the low misty clouds.
We’d left home late the morning so that we could stop for lunch and took a slight detour into Lower Slaughter (yes, there is an Upper!) and ate at The Slaughters Country Inn, where we shared a “country platter” and discovered that this part of the world is a favourite with Americans on walking holidays.