My friend Louisa lives in Stroud in the Cotswolds. She's super cool, she works for Giffords Circus - heard of them? If not you should check them out and also look at the work she does on her blog!
Anyway, a few weekends ago, us London folk - (Becky and Jack and me) took a trip out of the city for a weekend of fresh air and wholesome country living (or read - a weekend of many ciders and many bottles of wines)
We got the train from London on Friday night - M & S pina coladas on hand to get through the journey - luckily we had Jack with us as an over efficient shop assistant didn't want to serve Becky or I due to lack of ID...I was thrilled - did that man think I was underage?! Brilliant! (When you're very late twenties scenaries like this make you feel great!) An hour and half later we were away from the hustle and bustle and in the calm of the countryside and at Louisa's beautiful house which she shares with two artists and a sweet little cat called Tipex.
Look at their cute collection of egg cups!
On Saturday morning we got up bright and early, gobbled down bacon sarnies, pulled on our walking boots and were ready for a full day of countryside fun!!
Louisa has planned a walk for us to do which incorporated stopping at several lovely pubs! Perfect!
This was our rough planned route..
We started by walking to Slad which is a little village about 2 miles from Stroud. On the way up the hill we came across these fun badgers painted onto the fence poles.
Louisa loves badgers!
We ambled on and before I knew it we were heading up a big hill! This was the moment in the trip when I realised how unfit I was...Louisa, Jack and Becky practically sprinted up whilst I wheezed my way up to the top a long way behind them all!
It was worth the struggle though and the view was great - although it was very windy at the top!!
My scarf literally blowing off my neck...
And so on we went and we headed straight for the first stop off - The Woolpack.
Such a lovely pub with a very sceneic view of the surrounding areas. We warmed up by the roaring fire, a nice cider in hand and befriended an affectionate dog named badger (bit of a badger theme going on here...well we were visiting Louisa after all - Badger Birkin we call her!)
Tempted as we were to stay in the pub a little longer and have another cider, they weren't serving food and it looked like rain so we wrapped ourselves back up in our coats, scarfs and hats and set off again.
We crossed fields, river and streams and up and down more hills.
Louisa stopped off for a swing on a tire!
Louisa and Jack embraced country living...Jack was looking for wifi so he could check in on foursqaure!
With our tummies rumbling hungrily we arrived at The Butchers Arms at just the right time and were pleased to be greeted by a lovely warm pub that was serving food! Hurrah!
After spending a lot of our walk discussing cheese - as you do on long walks - we were pleased to see a Camembert on offer on the menu and without hesitation ordered that to share.
I decided I needed some hearty pub grub so went for a the homemade beef and ale pie and chips. It was delish!
We eventually decided we should leave the cosy warmth of the pub and start on the trip back to Stroud. By this time my legs had started to ache from all of the walking! I was so full of food I had to practically be rolled back up the hill.
We found a bus stop only to be alarmed to see that the bus only came once a week on a Thursday - we'd have a long wait!
So on ward we went...the map somewhat now forgotten, we accidentally went a little off course and into a field full of sheep who all started to charge at us - ok not charge as such, but gather menacingly around us - we had to leg it quickly over a fence and through a stream to escape!!
We eventually made it back to Louisa's all of our legs well and truly aching! We cooked a big risotto for tea and drank copious amounts of wine whilst playing cards against humanity and listening to Happy by Pharell on repeat! Perfect Saturday!
We slept well that night I can tell you - well me and Louisa did - Jack and Becky had a somewhat uncomfortable nights sleep on a rock hard futon.
When I woke up on Sunday I could barely move my legs! Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed and we headed back out and up another massive hill to the Stroud common.
We walked to a lovely pub in Minchinhampton for a Sunday Roast only to be told on arrival you needed to book ahead and they were full! Doh!!
So we headed back to Stroud in our quest for a Sunday lunch only to be met with more disappointment - if you ever go to Stroud for a visit - book ahead for Sunday lunch!!
Evnetually we settled on a little Italian by the station and stuffed our faces with pizza before hopping back on the train to the big smoke!
As soon as we returned we put another date in our diary for another visit in a few months!! It was a great weekend and I learnt that I am very very unfit so need to get exercising so I can race up the hills with the others and not lag behind taking photos of the back of their heads!!
Love K xx