43 – Cotswold Water Park 2.7 miles – 15th December

In short: another short stroll squeezed into a week of Christmas shopping, this one whilst taking a 24 hour shopping holiday near Cirencester. Some pavement walking, mostly firm footpaths so not very muddy and a gorgeous cafe in the Cotswold Outdoor Centre at the hallway point. 1 hr walking + 1 hr pitstop (including Christmas shopping!!)

We start from our beautiful overnight location at one of the Cotswold Water Park complexes on Bradleys Fishing Lake near the lovely village of South Cerney in Gloucestershire. Walking out of the code controlled pedestrian gate alongside the tennis courts we turn left, enter a gate in front of a pair of houses and then right onto a quiet lane running parallel to Station Road.

We have lovely views over Spring Lake on our right with the lovely pastel colours of the New England style houses on the lakeside too. We turn left onto the access road from Station Road and then right at the road itself. Crossing here we take a path that runs alongside the road with yet another lake over to our left.

On reaching a busy crossroads junction we turn left to walk along the pavement for a while until after we have passed the end of the watersports lake where we can take a footpath off left and continue parallel to the road.

At the end of this path we cross the busy road just before the bridge and take the lane opposite leading to the Cotswold Outdoor centre. After a browse and a few purchases on the shop we enter the really delightful cafe for a delicious scone and coffee – with lovely views over the next lake and a spot of birdwatching – and make use of the very clean smart public toilets.

On leaving we retrace our steps back to the main road, the footpath and then the pavement walking to the crossroads junction but this time we continue straight on for a short while – albeit we have to cross the road to pick up the pavement – until we are opposite the crumbling viaduct at which point we cross the road to take the footpath ahead which runs straight all the way back to gate beside the tennis courts where we started.

Here we enter the secret code to return to the gated estate and our start point beside the South Cerney Sailing Club. A super stroll to round off a lovely 24 hour break.



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