Thursday, 30 September 2010

Barnsley - The Village Pub - Akeman Street

Barnsley- The Village Pub - Akeman Street
A beautiful Cotswold Village that lays close to Bibury and Cirencester
Walk aprox 2 1/2 miles

The Village Pub
 Finding a dog-friendly pub that stands close to a
"Way" is getting more and more difficult, but I won’t be beaten. I have six more walks to find to complete Paws Along the Way, and am confident that they are out there somewhere..
Today’s walk gets in by the skin of its teeth, as we managed to incorporate a ¼ mile of Akeman Street, the Roman Road, that runs from Cirencester to London.
It proved a walk full of interest actually as we began by taking lunch at The Village Pub, Barnsley, which put many of the pubs we have visited over the years in the shade.

Crispy Duck Salad

Not only was Pythius allowed to choose the table he wished to sleep under while Auntie Liz and I enjoyed a scrumptious crispy duck salad, the staff were friendly, the d├ęcor stylish but comfortable and the food absolutely delicious.
Auntie Liz and I left feeling we had visited the pub of our dreams and promised each other we would visit again – often!

Cotswold cottages

The circular walk covered about 2 ½ miles and took us past beautiful Cotswold cottages, down quiet country roads, lush green lanes that ran besides unspoiled woods, and on into large meadows filled with wild flowers that we didn’t expect to see blooming at this time of the year. Sweet chestnuts trees too!

Highland cattle we met on the way.

Stile that Pythius couldn't climb
 Our walk, was not without its problems however - stiles not designed for dogs almost forced us to turn round and find other routes! These would have proved particularly dificult, had  Pythius not been so compliant and accepted our help.  Bless him, after sniffing round the first difficult stile and recognising that there was no other way, he permitted Auntie Liz to lift him up towards me, and then allowed me to pull him over the stile's high wooden boards. He has been known to leap a difficult stile, but these were far too  high.
Posh Horses
 That done we all felt very pleased with ourselves – but this mood was short-lived whenl we realised we'd entered a field filled with some very posh horses, who on seeing us enter their territory, immediately galloped over to greet us.
This would have been fine if we hadn’t had Pythius with us and if I was not scarred of horses, but I am.

Some trotted besides us as we headed for the next stile, praying that it would be dog-friendly, and the rest followed, nuzzling into my rucksack as they did so.
I did try not to panic – honestly – but admit my heart was beating like mad. Auntie Liz on the other hand was stoic, having fastened Pythius on his lead she marched purposefully towards the stile and ushered him through. (Yes – it was dog friendly!)

Barnsely House
 Having left the field things got better, as the lane we were travelling passed t Barnsley House, with its glorious 11 acre garden developed in the 1950’s by the legendary gardener Rosemary Verey. Gosh the garden is impressive. As we approached the main gate we bumped into Richard the head gardener who after admiring Pythius, stopped and chatted about his four dogs who are lucky enough to roam this beautiful part of the Cotswolds on a daily basis.
He suggested that we call in one day when the gardens are open to the public and take a proper look at all that this glorious garden has to offer. Obviously we promised to do so.

So in the end– apart from a couple of hazards - it proved a lovely day.

Danger Bull
  Pythius  has his say:
The girls don't panic very often - it is not their style, but they were in a real panic when they saw those posh horses galloping towards us. It didn't take me long to realise this was not a time for stacking on an act or doing one of my whirligig barking acts, which I am inclined to do if we meet a horse. These horses were far too big, far too well bred and far too close for that. Auntie Liz was leading me forward on a tight lead, and although she didn't speak, I could tell  that this was one of those moments when I had to follow in her footsteps, which is exactly what I did - so did Helen.
As to those stiles which were not  designed for dogs - I guess they were made that way to stop dogs like me walking over the horse's field, even though we were travelling on an official foot path marked with a yellow arrow.
By the way (just to make you laugh) had it not been for the horse incident, perhaps I would have told them about the other yellow sign we passed in the last field. It was a twisted plastic notice which said "Danger Bull". Perhaps you will agree with me if I say that some things are best unsaid!

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