Walking in the Cotswolds in the late Summer Sun
According to meteorologists, the 31st August officially marked the end of the summer, but before you start turning your mind to colder weather and open fires, there’s still plenty of time to squeeze out the last few drops out of the summer, and step out into the great outdoors.
In the Cotswolds, we’re lucky to have a wealth of stunning countryside on our doorstep and at this time of year it takes on an ethereal beauty. The sun sits lower in the sky shedding a golden glow over the already glorious honey coloured towns and villages. The heat of the sun, whilst still warm is starting to ease off, the days are shortening, and the surrounding landscapes are starting to change. Hedgerows are filled to bursting with blackberries ripening in the sun, daddy long legs flutter about the long grass, and the first signs of Autumn are creeping in.
Stumbling down a public footpath and taking off into the fields of the Cotswolds will reward you with the treasures of late summer. But if you wish to take some more planned routes, there are a plethora of longer and shorter routes to appeal to all types of walker.
Be sure to pack suitably, remembering that the weather can be changeable at this time of year; you might need sun cream one moment and a raincoat the next! Stick to the rule of lots of layers so you can add or take off accordingly. Small, roll up waterproof jackets are the best for plonking in your bag for those quick downpours, and a small sunscreen and sunhat are also advisable additions. Sensible shoes or walking boots will make the slightly more challenging terrain a bit easier to manoeuvre. Backpacks allow you to have your hands free and don’t forget that all important camera, or camera phone, to snap some pics along the way.
Why not take baskets or containers along with you on your walk and try some blackberry picking to make into blackberry and apple crumble? This is sure to get the whole family on board and involved with the process of picking, making and eating some delicious (and free!) culinary creations. Look out for other fruits ripening as well such as elderberries, also great to be picked. These clusters of tiny dark purple berries are scrumptious in a pie. Just remember to leave enough for the wildlife!
Look out for the changing landscapes and vegetation too. Walking along the Cotswold Way National Trail, you can see twelve different species of summer-flowering orchid such as the rare red helleborine. Keep your eyes open for other wildflowers, and the first few signs of the leaves turning from lush green to vibrant shades of red and orange.
Embark upon a nature walk to take in the sights and sounds that late summer has to offer. For young children, why not take a pad and pencil and jot down or sketch any sightings of wildlife or plants? Take interesting fallen leaves to make artwork with at home.
There are plenty of lovely activities and walks to enjoy in the late summer sun. So make the most of it, and get yourself outside to enjoy all the Cotswolds have to offer.