Gates, Kissing Gates, and Stiles of the Cotswolds

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( January 26th, 2015 )

Cotswolds Kissing Gate Green

Whenever my husband and I walked through a “kissing gate” in the Cotswolds we, well, kissed. Really. Just about every time. How romantic. Either that, or I’ve just told you too much information.

Cotswolds Kissing Gate Wooden
I actually did not really know what a kissing gate was before we went to the Cotswolds. It is a gate that, because of the way it is constructed, usually in a U or V shape, allows people to pass through, but not animals. Which is important in the Cotswolds because of all the pastures of sheep, horses, cows and even bulls that you might walk across.

Cotswolds Kissing Gate
I also didn’t know what a “stile” was before we went to the Cotswolds. And while we didn’t kiss each time we walked over a stile, stiles are a way to climb over a fence or a wall, via a single step on either side, or via a ladder, and are also meant to not allow animals through.

Cotswolds Stile

Cotswolds Steps
At least I knew what a regular gate was. One very important rule to follow is to very carefully please close all gates and kissing gates, and leave them as you found them.

Cotswolds Gate Wooden

Cotswolds Gates Double
Basically, to connect the dots between the footpaths and roads, tracks and trails and the signs and symbols, acorns and arrows, are the gates, kissing gates, and stiles of the Cotswolds.

They lead you through to villages:

Cotswolds Stile Village
Wildflower fields:

Cotswolds Gate Wildflower Fields

Cotswolds Gate Wildflowers Field
Grass, trees, and rolling hills:

Cotswolds Gate Grass Trees
Cotswolds Stile Trees Grass
Cotswolds Kissing Gate Field
Big trees:

Cotswolds Stile Big Trees
Cotswolds Gate Grass Big Trees
Pastures of sheep and horses:

Cotswolds Stile Sheep

(There is a sheep waiting on the other side of the stile in the above picture.)

Cotswolds Gate Sheep

(There are sheep in the field half way in the distance in the above picture.)

Cotswolds Kissing Gate Horses

(There are horses in the open grassy area in the above picture.)

And blooming fields of bright yellow rapeseed:

Cotswolds Gate Rapeseed Field
Gates can be opened with metal handles or chains:

Cotswolds Gate Metal Handle

Cotswolds Gate Chain
Some gates are rusty, or even old and broken:

Cotswolds Gate Rusty Metal

Cotswolds Gate Broken
Occasionally you need to pass through both a kissing gate then a regular gate:

Cotswolds Kissing Gate Second Gate
And remember to please close the gate:

Cotswolds Gate Please Close

Cotswolds Gate Please Close the Gate
Sweet Travels!

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Signs and Symbols, Acorns and Arrows, of the Cotswolds

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( January 15th, 2015 )

Cotswolds Wardens Way
I’ll admit, my husband and I occasionally got lost walking around the Cotswolds for 12 days. Well not very lost, just off track a few times. But no worries, after making our way back to the place we felt we got off course, we were able to get on the right path again. The majority of the time, we knew exactly which way to go.

Cotswolds Public Footpath Winchcombe Way

To navigate around the Cotswolds, we were provided with pages and pages of laminated, very detailed written instructions by a travel company, plus a handful of Ordnance Survey maps, and a guidebook. Without these, we would have been really lost, as there is a maze of possibilities for walking in the Cotswolds.

Cotswolds Public Bridleway Wardens Way
In addition to what we were provided with, the footpaths and roads, tracks and trails themselves that we walked on were well marked, and that definitely helped in the navigation. They were well marked with written signs, such as showing the words, “public footpath,” which are for walkers only, or “public bridleway,” which are for walkers, cyclists, and horses. The signs usually included the name of the specific route, a “way,” such as the “Cotswolds Way” or “Wardens Way.” Some signs also included the name of village you are heading towards, and the distance to go till you arrive at the village.

Cotswolds Wardens Way Winchcombe Way
There were also directional arrows which were used to point you, well, in the right direction. These arrows were of different colors, usually yellow, but sometimes white. To aid with the navigation, there were distinctive symbols as well, such as the acorn, which is the symbol used for all National Trails in England and Wales.

Along with our written instructions, maps, and guidebooks, it was these signs and symbols, acorns and arrows that helped us find our way in the Cotswolds.

They took us through pastures of cows, horses, or sheep, with care:

Cotwolds Way Cows Village

Cotswolds Way Gate

Cotswolds Way Take Care
They led us to villages and churches:

Cotswolds Way Public Footpath Broadway Village

And they directed us through crops and fields:

Cotswolds Way Public Footpath
Sometimes the signs were old-looking concrete blocks:

Cotswolds Public Foot Path
Most signs were big wooden signs:

Cotswolds Way Public Bridleway
Cotswolds Way Public Footpath Broadway Tower
Many signs were on metal posts:

Cotswolds Heart of England Way Public Footpath
Cotswolds Public Bridleway Bourton on the Water Wardens Way
Or the signs were combinations of wood and metal:

Cotswolds Way Public Footpath Buckland
The arrows were usually small circular patches on a post or a gate:

Cotswolds Heart of England Way
Cotswolds Way Public Footpath Circular Walk
Cotswolds Winchcombe Way
Or yellow arrows combined with the acorn:

Cotswolds Way Acorn
Sometimes the arrows with acorns were white:

Cotswolds Way White Acorns
Depending on which way you were walking, you might see the sign heading towards one town on one side of a post:

Cotswolds Way Bath 55
And pointing towards another town on the opposite side of the post:

Cotswolds Way Chipping Campden 47
Sometimes you really need to know which way you want to go, and those written instructions, maps, or guidebooks might come in handy:

Cotswolds Way Three Yellow Arrows
My personal favorite:

Cotswolds Quiet Lanes Footpath
And sometimes you find love along the way:

Cotswolds Way Love
I recommend that if you journey to the Cotswolds, you are well prepared with written instructions, maps, and guidebooks.

Sweet Travels!

For other blogs from our Cotswolds travels, please visit my Cotswolds category.

Written instructions, maps, and guidebook provided by Footpath Holidays.

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Footpaths and Roads, Tracks and Trails of the Cotswolds

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( January 4th, 2015 )

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again. – Willie Nelson

Cotswolds Dirt Road Through Fields

During our 12 days walking in the Cotswolds, our feet encountered a variety of terrain to walk on, including footpaths and roads, and tracks and trails, as my husband and I traveled from town to town, village to village, church to church.

Sometimes we walked on dirt roads that were lined with green grass, trees, crops, and fields:

Cotswolds Dirt Path

Cotswolds Dirt Road

Cotswolds Dirt Road Big Tree Crops

Then there were the dirt roads and muddy footpaths colored with the bright yellow fields of rapeseed in bloom:

Cotswolds Dirt Road Rapeseed

Cotswolds Grass Mud Path Rapeseed Wildflowers

We walked on dirt footpaths going through various crops and farmland:

Cotswolds Dirt Path Through Crop

Cotswolds Dirt Trail Crops
There were definite tracks cutting right through some crops:

Cotswolds Path Through Crops
And grass trails lined with big trees:

Cotswolds Grass Path Big Trees

Cotswolds Grass Path Big Trees Husband
Sometimes grass tracks would go through pastures of sheep, or horses, or cows and bulls:

Cotswolds Grass Path Sheep

Cotswolds Bull in Field
And other times, straight grass paths traveled in between farms heading towards some trees:

Cotswolds Grass Path Through Farm Towards Trees
Grass paths were occasionally lined with wildflowers:

Cotswolds Grass Path Wildflowers

Cotswolds Wildflower Grass Path
We walked on gravel roads in between farms:

Cotswolds Gravel Road Near Farm
And on a dirt footpath through a crop not yet in bloom:

Cotwolds Dirt Path Through Unblooming Crop
Sometimes the roads were paved, and lined with wildflowers and trees:

Cotswolds Road

Cotswolds Road Lined With Trees

Cotswolds Side Road

And roads led through towns:

Cotswolds Road Through Painswick
Rocky trails zigzagged up from a valley and over the rolling hills:

Cotswolds Rocky Trail
Trails snaked through a forest:

Cotswolds Trail Through Forest
And trails went through trees without their leaves:

Cotswolds Trail Through Trees
And once in a while a footpath would meander through some crops heading towards some shrubs, not knowing what would be on the other side:

Cotswolds Path Through Crops to Shrubs

We’re on a road to nowhere… – Talking Heads

Sweet Travels!

For other blogs from our Cotswolds travels, please visit my Cotswolds category.

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