Sunday, 7 November 2010

Old Sodbury circular walk - The Dog Inn - Distance 2 1/2 miles along the Cotswold Way

Pythius waiting to leave the car

Old Sodbury circular walk – The Dog Inn – Cotswold Way
Two and a half miles

Our drive to Old Sodbury, where we began our two and a half circular walk to Little Sodbury and back  along the Cotswold Way, was far longer than usual. This caused Pythius to become slightly agitated by the time we stopped the car. A half an hour's drive to our destination suits him well – any more than that causes him to fret. When we did let him out of the car however, having crossed the road opposite The Dog Inn, towards a farm yard that leads to the Cotswold Way, he soon cheered up. He could smell the countryside and sense the wonders of beautiful scenery that surrounded him.

Old Sodbury is situated in South Gloucestershire, 13 miles from Tetbury on the A432.
This circular walk is easy, for although the actual walk winds through woods, an orchard, meadows and fields, it is so well signed posted, that it is impossible to get lost. You will find waysigns  pointing out the Cotswold  Way posted at every twist and turn along the way.

The 11th century church

The Cotswold Way

Our first stop was the  13th century medieval church, St John the Baptist, which sits on the top of a hill, and when viewed from the foot of the  hill looks as if it is growing out of the very earth surrounding it. A seat strategically placed beside the church wall provides walkers with a chance to stop and relax for a moment as they absorb the view over the village and to the hills beyond.
After walking through the churchyard and crossing the road that leads to the village school and a short enclosed path you reach a grassy area, then an uphill woodland path which eventually leads to the double ramparts of a fascinating bronze age to Iron Age hill fort.

Pythius explores the Hill Fort

Signs all the way

Pass through the fort, enjoying the sensation of walking over a historical spot and you will encounter more woodland and eventually an orchard, that leads to a minor road. The waysigns will direct you to the right and after about 300 yards, point you to the left and a series of fields all linked by metal kissing gates that twist back to the hill on which the church stands. There were signs throughout the walk requesting walkers to keep their dogs on a lead. We obeyed (mostly) but admit that when we found ourselves in a field free of livestock, we let the little fellow run free.

The Dog Inn

The 16th century Dog Inn lived up to its name, for not only is it dog-friendly, but a real ale named Dog Best was available too.

Even the beer is named after the dog!

This pub looks quite austere when viewed from the road, but once you enter the main bar, with its beams trimmed with hops and illuminated with sparkling lights, you know you are in for a treat.
The food is amazing, and far cheaper than we expected. Indeed at the time of writing, Uncle John and I both enjoyed a delicious main course that cost just £4.99 each.
It’s a family owned pub, which may account for the friendly service and the buzzy atmosphere. Certainly an establishment we will visit again whenever we are in the area.


  1. That is a very reasonable price for a meal, I also like the name of the pub.

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