Sunday, 31 October 2010

Great Barrington - the Fox Inn - Donnington Way

Great Barrington – The Fox – The Donnington Way - A walk that can be as long as you want it to be.

The Fox
I love this pub as it has retained its character, besides, there's no question about it being dog friendly – it's so dog friendly that village dogs such as Fingal a lonely brown spaniel, actually knocks the front door with his paws to ask if he can come in.

Auntie Liz and I were sitting at the table near the fire, with Pythius happily settled on the floor besides us when we first heard the knock.
"Oh that will be Fingal," the bar man said as he strode out from behind the bar to open the main door.
Pythius and fingal
In walked Fingal, who after looking around and greeting all the customers by the bar, trotted over to our table, said hello to Pythius and curled up besides him and went to sleep.
Pythius was miffed. He is used to having the space under the table to himself, but soon realised that there was nothing much he could do about the situation. So after giving Fingal a penetrating stare, moved as far from this new acquaintance as possible and  then pretended to go to sleep.
When we prepared to leave Fingal decided he would like to come with us, but this was one step too many as far as Pythius was  concerned, so we left rapidly before the little chap had a chance to follow us.

The walk was fantastic as glorious autumn colours dominate the landscape at the moment  - the kaleidoscope of colours that danced before us as we walked were absolutely breathtaking.
We followed a minor road towards the charming little village of Evenlode after leaving the pub, taking the Donnington Way after about half a mile which eventually leads  to the village of Naunton ten miles away. This Way took us across undulating pastures, past flocks of grazing sheep and a few horses as we walked the Windrush Valley.
After ambling along for a couple of miles, we turned and made our way home again, turning it into a four-mile walk, which was fine for us.

Pythius has his say:I am not going to comment about that pesky dog that joined me under the table, the less said about him the better.
My comments concern those big slabs of stone that call themselves stiles in this part of the Cotswolds. They got higher and higher as the walk progressed, such that I did hesitate when we got to the last one.

This caused the girls some concern – they were not sure what to do – should they attempt to lift me over? And what’s more "could they lift me over?"
Pythius and the Style

Suddenly, coming out of nowhere, arrived the friendly farmer.
He asked what the matter was and the girls told him.
Walking purposefully towards the stile, he looked over and spotted me.
"Oh, that’s only an old collie, I can lift him over for you."
Gosh I was furious – me ONLY AN OLD COLLIE! How could he say such a thing? I just had to prove I was more than that, so taking a very deep breath, and remembering everything I had learned in my agility classes, I ran and leapt, landing safely the other side, having cleared that massive stone with several inches to spare.
The farmer took off his cap and scratched his head. "That’s some old collie you have got there," he said with a certain amount of admiration.
Must admit I wasn’t sure I could leap that stile – but I did because no one calls me an OLD collie and gets away with it!

Firstly I am a Border collie and secondly I do not consider myself old.