Cotswold Way Circular Walk - Little Sodbury, Old Sodbury and Horton

Statistics and Files
Start: Little Sodbury Distance: 4.7 miles (7.6 km) Climbing: 147 metres
Grid Ref: ST757832 Time: 2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Little Sodbury
Statistics
Start: Little Sodbury Distance: 4.7 miles (7.6 km)
Grid Ref: ST757832 Time: 2 hours
Climbing: 147 metres Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Summary: This walk is a gentle excursion in the south Cotswolds. Although part of the walk is on the Cotswold Way there is relatively little climbing with a short climb at the beginning to the site of the iron age hill-fort in Little Sodbury and another short climb towards the end of the walk between Horton and Little Sodbury In Little Sodbury there is a manor which in the 15th century was the home of Sir John Walsh who employed William Tyndale to whom the Tyndale Monument is dedicated as chaplain and tutor to his grandchildren in 1522-3; by tradition he began his translation of the Bible in his bedroom here. The manor retains the porch and Great Hall, with a timber roof resting on corbels carved as shield-bearing angels, of the fifteenth-century courtyard house. The house fell into disrepair in the nineteenth century, but was restored by architect Sir Harold Brakspear for Lord Grosvenor and later Baron de Tuyll. Little Sodbury is one of three Thankful Villages in Gloucestershire. A rare place that suffered no fatalities during the Great War.


The Walk:

Signpost to the iron age hillfort in Little SodburySignpost to the iron age hillfort in Little Sodbury
Raised north facing bank of Little Sodbury hillfortRaised north facing bank of Little Sodbury hillfort

I started this walk from the picturesque village of Little Sodbury, a very quiet place which shows few signs of having changed over the last century. Known for its Iron Age Hill Fort which was my first point of call on leaving the village. I parked up by the church and after putting on my walking boots I was on my way. Heading south along the road I soon came to a signpost which pointed my way up to the Iron Age hill fort which reshaped by the Romans. When I reached the hillfort I noticed it has an outer raised bank standing about 2 metres high and then an inner bank of the same height protecting the hillfort itself. I walked all the way around between the two mounded banks which can be seen clearly in this aerial photograph. After walking all the way round I left by returning to the Cotswold Way via a gate on the south west edge of the field which surrounds the hillfort.

Walking from Little Sodbury to Old SodburyWalking from Little Sodbury to Old Sodbury
HMS Old SodburyHMS 'Old Sodbury'

After walking down a path through a copse I emerged into a field and from there ambled along the left hand side of it with the copse to the left. It was very easy walking for the next half mile to Old Sodbury. In the village I first came to the Old Sodbury Primary School and was amused to see a ship in the school playground, a ship so far from the sea but a proud ship all the same. HMS 'Old Sodbury' is probably the school children's effort and they should be proud of it.

Old Sodbury ChurchOld Sodbury Church
Knolled tree in HortonKnolled tree in Horton

From Old Sodbury Primary School I made my way to the village church. The Cotswold Way path led me through the churchyard which has two paths leaving from it, the Cotswold Way to the west and south which was not my course and the Jubilee Way which was. The path took me diagonally across the field and a couple more before I arrived at Portway Lane which I followed west for a few metres before leaving it to walk across more fields in a north direction to Great House Farm and then to Little Sodbury End. It was a lovely section of walking, so peaceful and skies were big on a lovely sunny day. This is quiet Cotswolds country and perfect for contemplative walking. From Little Sodbury End I walked along the side of the road to Horton village. While I walked on the road not a single vehicle interrupted my journey. In Horton I was stopped in my tracks by a tree with a interesting spur branching off just above ground level. The spur was covered in moss and fern, a fascinating sight.

Cows block the Cotswold WayCows block the Cotswold Way
Signpost in need of a little TLCSignpost in need of a little TLC

From Horton I reconnected with the Cotswold Way to follow it all the way back to Little Sodbury. Again I was in total solitude and walking in utter peace but on the way back the peace was broken and the way barred by a group of curious cows who stood guard at a stile to a field which I had to cross. They did not budge as I approached the stile and nor did they as I stepped onto it. I had to raise my voice, wave my arms and look annoyed before they scamped away. I made sure kept an eye on them as I edged round the field but on being spooked they though better of annoying me again. After my vigilant field crossing I crossed one more to arrive at a road from which I turned right, walked on a few paces to a junction and from there I turned left and walked back to my start point beside the church.

The walk was very enjoyable, highlights were not only the hillfort and the three lovely villages but also the peaceful solitude of it all. Altogether, a lovely Cotswolds walk proving you do not always need the hills to have a great day out in the countryside.

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