Day 1: Chipping Campden to Stanton, 10 miles

The 2-hour train ride from Paddington station to Moreton in Marsh was uneventful.

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When I arrived in Moreton on Marsh, I was immediately approached by an unlicensed taxi driver who was looking to take someone to Chipping Campden.  I politely declined after he quoted me a price of 20 pounds.  Chipping Campden was only 6 miles away and my train fare was a mere 15 pounds.  I set off looking for the bus spot and when I finally found it, I discovered there is no bus service on Sundays.  Luckily, I had a pub guide, which directed me to a close establishment, where I enjoyed my first (and second) real ale of the trip.

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The publican gave me a number for a local cab and soon I was off, twisting and turning through the countryside on my way to Chipping Campden.  The driver, a Cotswolds native, was very enthusiastic about my trip and told me a couple cool stories.  Total cab cost 8 pounds.  Score.

My Chipping Campden inn was part 17th century pub, part Indian restaurant and part b&b.  I had a quick pint, checked in and headed to a more upscale pub for lunch.  After a bite and a beer, I roamed the village for a couple hours.  Every twist and turn in the road revealed new wonders.  This place is brimming with character and history.

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After my little walk, I crashed for a few hours, woke up, and had dinner and promptly went back to sleep.  I think my family in London showed me too good of a time the previous night.  I was beat.

I can’t begin to describe how excited I was to get on the trail this morning.  It’s hard to believe something I looked forward to for so long was finally starting.  I practically pranced to the stone that marks the beginning of the trail.

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In about 10 minutes, I found myself outside the village, climbing a steep hill.  At the top, I was treated with my first, of many, sheep pastures.  The next segment of the path was relatively flat, crossing through wheat fields and pastures.

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Overlooking Chipping Campden

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About three miles into the trail, I came upon Broadway Tower and climbed to the top.  On a clear day, you can see 12 counties.

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It’s another two miles to the village of Broadway, almost all down hill.

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Broadway was another beautiful village.  I stopped in a pub for lunch and had a few beers.  On my way to Stanton, I made a wrong turn and walked about a mile before I realized I was no longer on the right trail.  Unfortunately, that mile was all downhill so I had to go back up a steep hill to get back on the path.  Normally, this kind of detour would make me all grumpy but today, I didn’t mind being on the trail for a little longer.

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A picture of a person minutes before they realized they are lost

Describing the path thus far is a little hard.  Today I went through open country with huge vistas, down to flat farmland, through numerous woods and down old country roads.  Every part was unlike the previous parts.  It was exactly what I was hoping for.

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I’m currently lying on the bed in my Stanton inn.  I don’t think I’ve heard a car for an hour, but I’ve heard at least four horses trot by.  Birds are chirping and the breeze is rustling the trees.  It’s bliss.  I’m off to explore Stanton now.  Here’s a short video of what it looks like right when you enter the village.

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