Mark Richards is the author of the first ever book on the Cotswold Way (Penguin edition of ‘The Cotswold Way’ reviewed elsewhere in this Bookshop). He is a smiling enthusiast, whose narrative and walking styles complement each other in their jauntiness. He wishes to place all the points of interest along the route in their highly varied historical context, and he manages to do this without dwelling on the details.
His love for the area verges on unashamed sentimentality. This doesn’t stop him having the occasional mischievous dig: John Wesley’s fancy, he suggests, was not only for Stanton village but also for its vicar’s daughter.
The Way was video-ed at a time of quite grey skies, but Richards’ sunny personality and his selection of details give the overwhelming impression of the Cotswold countryside in idyllic pastoral summer. The fields have lazy cattle in them; there are sheep and more sheep; colourful pictures of flowers show them explored by bees and butterflies; winding lanes echo to the clip-clop of horses; and across the fields comes the sound of church bells.
You are introduced to a number of interesting local personalities. Rose Helleman has run the Haven Tea Garden for sixteen years, giving hospitality to walkers from all over the world. She introduces the local tradition of cheese rolling and points to a steep slope where it takes place. There are shots of many of the thirty varieties of butterfly she has in her garden.
There are fascinating towns and villages along the Cotswold Way. From Chipping Campden to Bath, Mark Richards enthuses over them all.
This video will successfully whet your appetite for the walk. Alternatively, why not present yourself with a very acceptable souvenir when you have completed it?
Back to the Books Page |
to top of the Page