Late booking of accommodation for the Easter weekend period meant that our stage today was necessarily short – only 8 miles (12.5km). After leaving Stanton the Cotswold Way passed through a number of fields (including one with a beware of bull sign, but no visible bull) before reaching Stanway, a small village dominated by a manor house and church. Stanway, a Jacobean manor house, is only open in summer so we had to content ourselves with views from the outside of the Jacobean gate and the adjoining 12 century Church of St Peter (probably for the best given the amount of mud on our boots and gaiters).
From Stanway it was a short walk through more fields to another small hamlet, Wood Stanway, before a steep ascent up through Glebe Farm to the top of the hill. Once at the top of the hill we walked along a farm track for a short while before the path marched us back down the other side of the hill, to the ruins of Hailes Abbey. Founded in 1245 or 1246 by Richard, Earl of Cromwell to thank God for his survival from a near shipwreck, Hailes Abbey was surrendered by the monks to King Henry VIIIs commissioners in 1539 pursuant to the Dissolution Act 1536.
From Hailes Abbey it was only 2 miles to Whinchcombe, our day’s destination and yet another Cotswald town filled with tea rooms, pubs and bakeries.
Accommodation: White Hart Inn, Winchcombe which dates back to the 15th century. Filled with character and served a pretty good pub meal.
Food: We managed to restrain ourselves and not visit the local tea rooms, notwithstanding a passing rambler’s recommendation to stop in at the Lady Jane Tea Rooms for apple pie and custard. Instead we made do with the three course meal at the White Hart Inn.