Friday, 21 January 2011

Minster Lovell, The Old Swan and Minster Lovell Hall

Minster Lovell, The Old Swan and Minster Lovell Hall
(Just a mile there and back)
There were patches of frost on the grass and a chill in the air, but the sun was out and the sky was blue, so Auntie Liz, Pythius and I set out for a Paws walk. This time we chose Minster Lovell, an idylic little village that stands on the edge of the Cotswolds, three miles west of Witney off the A44.

The Old Swan Minster Lovell
We began with lunch at The Old Swan, which I can honestly say was really impressive. We had chosen roast beef with traditional trimmings - and got just that and all  freshly cooked with crunchy roast potatoes, home made Yorkshire pudding individual dishes of cauliflower cheese, roast carrots and loads of green vegetables, including Brussels Sprouts.  The meat was served medium, with just enough pink to get the gastric juices going.  It was so good that after declaring our joy, Auntie Liz and I ate in silence, savouring every mouthful. Yes - it was one of the best meals I have had for some considerable time. As it was served with Brakespear beer it was doubly good.

Pythius was not ignored, we were informed that both gravy biscuits and water were available for visiting canines in the bar area set out beneath an attractive fresco of a happy dog. What a nice touch.
We were also impressed by the wood fire in this glorious 15th century inn, which not only added a fragrant aroma to the bar area where we ate, but added dancing colour too. 
Our walk was not long, but it was delightful as, on leaving the Old Swan (having been given permission to leave our car in their car park) we crossed the road and with our backs to the pub, walked left for just a few steps towards a gate that gave us access to the village cricket field and the River Windrush.
Crossing the cricket field, we led Pythius to the river, where he had a wonderful time splashing about, even though the water must have been very cold.
We then continued through the adjoining field, which was VERY, VERY muddy and on to the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, one time home of Lord  Lovell who is thought to have died of starvation in an underground room, where he was hiding having been declared guilty of treason after the battle of Bosworth. Built in 1435
these ruins are like none other as you will realise if you visit. They are mysterious and beautiful in a strange haunting way that is only experienced when old Cotswold stone is allowed to decay in an unspoiled landscape without intervention.
The ruins of Minster Lovell Hall

So that's it today folks, I guess we didn't walk more than a mile, to the hall and back - though Pythius clocked up at least three miles and returned with more mud on him than I would have wished.  It was a great winter walk nevertheless.

Pythius has his say:

Doggie pit stop

Just look at this picture folks - have you ever seen anything like it?  A refreshment stop for dogs in The Old Swan, and in the bar area too. I couldn't believe it when I saw not just a big bowl of water but gravy bones too. As Helen knows they are my favourite snack (not that she lets me eat between meals very often), but when she does these are the ones I choose.
The walk was not long but I certainly enjoyed darting in and out of the river, though the ruins of the old hall frighten me somewhat as I can sense ghosts when I go there, and they are sometimes very scary!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds completely & utterly idyllic and I am green with envy. I would love an outing like this - as would my dog. Tell me, is this Minster Lovell anything to do with Sir Francis Lovell, friend of Richard III? If so, even more reason to visit as I am reading about him right now! Shame LillyP & I live so far away .... in Australia :o(