Members of Stratford Ramblers Group are back on the road with the Summer programme of walks using a coach to go beyond the normal boundaries. With all the excitement about Shakespeare it seems perverse to pay homage to another writer but the Slad Valley and the childhood haunts of Laurie Lee were the destination for the day. In spite of a gloomy weather forecast the day was mainly bright apart from a brief hail storm mid-morning. The main walk started from a point on the Cotswold Way just beyond Prinknash Abbey and followed a line across the local golf course and past the ancient site of Painswick Beacon. The group left the Cotswold Way to follow the Wysis Way down-hill passing a woodland enclosure with wild daffodils and bluebells. Pure delight.
Bull`s Cross was the start point where the members doing the shorter walk had been dropped off earlier in the day. It is also the start point for the Laurie Lee Wildlife Walk. This has been created by Gloucester Wildlife Trust and is marked at 10 points where a post has been placed with an appropriate Laurie Lee poem. The group followed a different (less hilly) route but still managed to pass two poems, the second of which came late in the day and was written in celebration of apples. Walking on the side of the valley gave open views across to Painswick and then Slad.
Lunch had been taken on a wooded bank which gave good views of the village of Slad and the Woolpack Inn which was high on the other side of the valley and about a mile away. The path dropped down to the bottom of the valley below Slad and then sharply uphill to join the track which had been used by the party on the shorter route. It was then down-hill all the way into Stroud and a welcome cup of tea.