If you’re looking for a fantastic walk in the Cotswolds look no further than the route through Cirencester Park to Sapperton.
The park, part of the Bathurst Estate (www.cirencesterpark.co.uk) is open to the public free of charge, on foot and on horseback. The gates are open from 8am to 5pm all year round.
Follow the ride as straight as a dart most of the way and you can’t go wrong-but best to carry an Ordnance survey just in case!
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The longest route is around five miles and runs from Cirencester town centre-entering the park at the top of Cecily Hill near the Corinium Museum (www.coriniummuseum.cotswold.gov.uk) -to the road that runs into the village of Sapperton. However, there are various places to join the route along it.
It’s an ideal walk for pre-lunch or early evening, ending at The Bell (www.foodatthebell.co.uk) for a gourmet feast or pint at the bar. Well behaved dogs are welcome in the pub or there’s space to tie horses up outside-large buckets of water provided.
We tucked into a bottle of red wine, delicious olives, Parma ham and crusty bread, then Sapperton lamb with red cabbage and dauphinoise potatoes and Veal with melted cheese and Serrano ham with chips. Home-made chocolate ice-cream, cappuccino and mint tea finished us off.
Savy local walkers drop a car at The Bell before starting the walk, or there are lots of local taxis that will pick you up (www.a2btaxisofcirencester.com).
The Park is a very beautiful place to walk at any time of the year, but do observe the countryside code and keep dogs on a lead where advised as the land is used for livestock.
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