Walking for RUH Bath – thank you!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgie-knaggs

This photograph is for Karen, whose donation is “to honor those who have struggled with cancer and in memory of those we have lost”

The walk along the Cotswold Way has now raised £2,150! All of it will go towards “providing ‘gold standard’ treatment and support for patients and their families”, as part of the Forever Friends Appeal of the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Your support, and the shade from trees, kept me going as I walked towards Katrina, in Bath – thank you.

Here is a little more information about the walk.

This ‘elevation profile’ of the walk is courtesy of tmbtent.com, and taken from this page https://tmbtent.com/cotswold-way-map/#profile – I only found this after the walk!

One thing I did not check before I set off – a foolish mistake – was the elevation profile of the Cotswold Way. I thought, happily and misguidedly, that lockdowns spent walking around the City of London would have prepared me well for a hundred miles. Perhaps if the miles had been flat it would have, but it did not get me ready for the ‘glorious’ hills of the Cotswolds. A few hours up and down the Thames is not the same as a daily five hours or more on the ups and downs of this national trail.

I think (I may be wrong) that I met this lady as we came down from Cleve Hill, the highest point on the Cotswold Way

Another failure on my part was to underestimate the usefulness of map-reading skills. Thankfully the Cotswold Way is as well marked as everyone suggested, but the extra distance to the night stops, sometimes several fields, or even a steep valley away, would have lost me forever, if it had not been for Charlie, who was able to assist as navigator for a good two thirds of the way.

Mid-walk there was one hot, happy day when Robert, Ed and Georgie were able to come along and walk with us

It is amazing how much difference company can make when you set off on a long walk, especially when that walk turns out to be far harder than you thought!

Another great asset for us was the weather. We were lucky to have no mud or rain. Over the ten days of walking we only met a little bit of drizzle as we came down the hills into Bath. Other than that it was sunny, and hot … and then it was the humidity that proved to be the problem.

On each and every one of those hot, heavy, steep days I gave thanks for trees.

I learned how deeply cooling the shade from trees is. Thanks to the Woodland Trust and others for all those they have planted

It was such a pleasure to walk through deep acres of trees. I don’t think I would have got to the end without them. Their shade stengthened our plans to plant as many as we can, especially having seen the loss and damage caused by ash dieback.

Apart from the joy of trees, another happiness of the Cotswold Way, especially as we had come straight from London, was that almost all of the over one hundred miles, are on footpaths through countryside and farmland. It even felt as if we had most of them to ourselves for much of each day, this perhaps due to the pandemic.

Occasionally, and especially as we neared Bath, we saw runners. It was the long distance, gazelle variety that so impressed. We learned from one that there was soon to be a relay race along the length of the course. We also heard of the 30 hour challenge – running the entire Cotswold Way within that time. I still find it difficult to understand how anyone can complete that run, let alone so quickly.

Our pace was barely visible in comparison. It was slow and peaceful, birdsong being the dominant sound. We didn’t listen to podcasts, music or audio books. We just walked, and talked, and when I was alone I just walked, happy to have the company of the small animals and the birds.

A dozy young rabbit in the midday heat, in the Prestbury Hill Reserve on the Cotswold Way

Blackbirds were my most frequent companions, flying down often on to path just ahead of me as though to check on what I was up to.

Blackbird – always curious

The other privilege of the Cotswold Way is walking through farmland. I walked down the edge of a shoulder high crop of barley, and we passed through and beside fields of livestock. There was no rubbish left anywhere.

The pleasures of parenting

One day of the walk took us through Sir James Dyson’s Dodington Estate. It looked beautiful. Even the lambs had that ‘little bit special’ look.

Lambs on Dodington Estate

Which was not at all how I felt by the end of each day. My legs ached, my knees creaked, and my blisters expanded, especially towards the end.

A detail from the large St Peter’s Church in Winchcombe

But … the views were spectacular, England looked blissful, and every day there were wonderful messages urging me on, particularly from Katrina, and the ladies we walked with in Spain. And together we made it.

Cheltenham Race Course

If you’re thinking of doing the Cotswold Way, I would highly recommend it. I think it’s a work of art … but I would advise a little more advance research than I did.

Finally, thanks again to Katrina for her passion about the Forever Friends appeal, and to you for your support. The combination has helped me to feel that I have been able to do something for her, and for others.

One of the many wild roses that were in bloom on the Cotswold Way

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgie-knaggs

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2021

12 thoughts on “Walking for RUH Bath – thank you!

  1. Congratulations. I envy you having done it. I find it hard enough to walk to the station when I know a bus is near. But I did once read a book by someone who walked the length of Britain and found that quite inspiring. But well done. I hope you managed to raise a lot of money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful summary of your walk Georgie! I sincerely hope those blisters are almost a thing of the past, your limbs well rested and the satisfaction of your dedication, effort and love sill being enjoyed! Your fund raising has been spectacular; well done!! And do you know what? I feel inspired and hopeful that one day we can walk the Cotswolds Way!! Much love, Katie xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katie, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Love the idea of making a plan to walk the Cotswold Way together! Let’s hope it happens soon, and that the hills shrink a little meanwhile 🙂 Much love Georgie xx

      Like

  3. Congratulations Georgie on completing what seemed like an epic walk and on raising so much for such a great cause. Thank you for sharing your journey with fascinating snippets of information and photos along the way.
    I hope you can now enjoy a well deserved rest!
    Kate x

    Liked by 1 person

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