You might remember on my post “Last of Launton” I mentioned there might be a walk to Marsh Gibbon at sometime in the future ? Well yesterday we tried it.
We set off for Launton at about 1.30ish and walked passed The Bull Inn with a plan for a meal and a drink in The Plough at Marsh Gibbon when we arrived. I’d printed off a map from online which showed two footpaths, we walked up and down for a while looking for the footpath signpost which I had remembered was next to the bus stop but couldn’t find it so eventually set of on a bridleway which also said Marsh Gibbon was just another two miles away.
We set off though a farm-yard, I’m sure the pigs thought we were off our trolley wandering about in the sun – mad dogs and Englishmen and all that – the ground was hard but I don’t think it would be quite so sure underfoot after a bit of rain, definitely a wellie walk after wet weather.
The walk was pretty well signposted and we were soon climbing over styles into open fields … and into more open fields … now and again we had to walk around the outside of a field to find the next style but we were pretty certain it was there, and the thought of our meal at The Plough kept us happy. I hear the food at The Plough is good, and the welcome always warm. However, as we neared the end of our walk to Marsh Gibbon we climbed another style and found ourselves in another field … full of cows. I’ve never had a problem with cows, I’ve always believed since one of those rare science lessons in school when I actually listened that their magnifying eyes make them more afraid of me than I am of them. The cows obviously hadn’t been to the same lesson though and as they headed towards us Hubby chose this moment to tell me about his work colleague who had been recently trampled by some cows who were unhappy with intruders so close to their calves. The cows moved a little faster and a little closer, we moved a little faster too.
They moved faster and closer still and I don’t think I’ve had to use so much restraint not to break into a run in a long while. We reached the gate and tugged at the latch, slamming it shut behind us. Only after a few more steps did I feel safe enough to turn and point the camera.
The cows made it very obvious that we weren’t welcome in their field not just by herding us out, but by stamping their feet scraping their hooves at the ground on the other side of the gate. We decided that wouldn’t be our route back and headed up the road to Marsh Gibbon, actually we headed away from Marsh Gibbon until I asked directions from a couple of farmers and we turned around. But never mind all that, our meal would be worth it, and we could have a good sit down and a couple of drinks before we decided our different route back.
Marsh Gibbon is very pretty, lots of thatched rooves and well-kept garden, but I’d already decided the camera would stay mostly in my pocket and wait until next time, I was too hot and bothered to point and shoot, then disaster struck … The Plough was closed !
I insisted on sitting down on a low wall for half an hour before we set off back, but Hubby negotiated me down to just five minutes with his trump card … a bottle of water he’d been carrying since we left home.
Not about to brave the cows again we set off down the road, a very long road, and plodded off in the right direction.
Before long, we came to the other end of the second footpath marked on my map and as it would cut off a huge corner of the roadway we climbed yet another style into another open field. Unfortunately at the end of the field we found a gate which was very overgrown and padlocked so had to turn back to find the second option of joining the footpath.
This one seemed ok and the styles had the little round footpath signs on them with arrows pointing us in the right direction for the next so we did pretty well for a while.
Then we came to a style which had fallen down, along with the post with the arrow on it, according to my map we should be walking in a straight line so we gauged which direction to go across the field and set off.
Not such a good idea as it turned out, we walked up and down looking for the style to climb out of the field, and then up and down again eventually almost giving up and heading towards a farmer’s gate to private property before we found the style tucked in besides it.
Once over the gate we could see houses behind the trees and although it looked as if we would be heading to the back gardens of the houses, we kept going and eventually found a gap taking us out in between two newly built houses and through another gate where we found the missing footpath sign and the old bus stop sign waiting for us.
Further down the road was the new bus stop … with a bus stopped at it … there I was thinking I couldn’t manage another step, actually putting on a spurt and almost sprinting to the waiting bus. I don’t think I’ve ever been so willing to pay so much for so short a bus ride before.
I think it’s a pretty unanimous decision between both me and Hubby that the Marsh Gibbon walk isn’t going to be added to our favourites list.
Just a note to add here, Hubby’s collegue is fine, she got off quite lightly with just a few nasty bumps and bruises.
More from before : Various visits to and from “Launton“.