Day 20 – Old Sodbury to Malmesbury

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A Royal refuge

During a blizzard in 1981 whilst many travellers were taking shelter in the Cross Hands hotel, there was a knock on the door and a well spoken gentleman asked it there was room at the hotel for shelter for HRH Queen Elizabeth. Now I’m sure the landlord was a bit taken aback by this request, but he found a room and Her Majesty was looked after. According to reports she stayed for only 8 hours until the storm and passed and she could make her way back to Windsor, with none of the other travellers any the wiser that they had shared the evening with her. As I write this it’s even more poignant with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations coming up this weekend. God Save the Queen.

We’ve been following the Millennium Way again, and unfortunately it’s not the first time on this route that the path is not there. We were hoping to find it near an air shaft for the railway tunnel that runs under hills in this area, but the owner of the field has decided that a 4 ft wide row of crops is more important so we have to detour and add about 3/4 mile to the day.

We’re walking past Badminton estate the seat of the Duke of Beaufort and the Somerset family. Not only is it the venue for the horse trials, but also where the game of badminton was invented in 1863.

Minding our own business just walking along a lane that borders the Estate we are suddenly mugged by a pack of hounds out for their morning walk. I put my phone away quick!!

Unfortunately the theme of poorly marked paths, paths that weren’t there and invisible signs continued with another mile added due to diversions.

Todays miles – 10.9

Ians Beer of the Day

This is a nice, not too hoppy despite its name, brew. Local to Swindon comes with a very tactile label. Feels a bit like sandpaper

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