When I awoke it was another blue sky morning, but the weather report was saying that it wouldn't last. I had hoped for a more relaxed start to the day but realised that in order to get to my planned destination while the weather was still good I would have to set out early.
Today's destination was Castle Combe. Not a castle, but a small village on the way to Bath from here. I know of it because it has somehow managed to remain relatively untouched from its medieval beginnings and is particularly picturesque.
To get there would involve catching the 8:13am train to Didcot Parkway and then the 8:41am train to Chippenham. When presented with the huge array of fare choices I opted for the conservative option which finished up being very expensive. I think I diddled myself there.
On the train I noticed how tired I was feeling. It's been go go go for the last 8 days and I'm beginning to feel it. I will need to slow down a bit.
By 8:30am it was starting to get a bit cloudy. I reached Chippenham at 9:13am to connect to the bus which was due at 10:00am according to the timetable I downloaded a couple of days ago. However, when I got to the bus stop there was a notice with a change in times. Luckily it was just a delay until 10:16am, though that means I could probably have left Oxford a little later.
The bus arrived on time with only one other person on board for the whole trip. When I arrived, the village looked exactly as I expected and picture post card perfect views were around every corner.
Though I really wish they could find a better place for those two wheelie bins!
As I walked to one end of the main street I noticed a foot path heading up the hill. I decided to follow it.
I could tell where I was from the church tower.
Beneath the trees was a sea of white wildflowers.
When the path rejoined the road I was greeted with these words of warning.
The bus back to Chippenham wasn't due until 12:39pm which was actually quite good because it meant that I had to slow down and take things in. I began to look at the village in another way and pick out some of the finer details.
I noticed the pattern on this guttering.
The bus arrived on time. By this time the village was quite busy with tourists. I assume they had all driven there or were part of tours. The weather had held out too with patchy cloud and occassional periods of sun.
On the way to the station the bus went under this impressive via duct for the train. Incredible how solid it looked.
I had a short wait for the train back to Didcot Parkway at 1:55pm. This time the fare was a lot cheaper which reinforces my belief that I stuffed up this morning. From there I caught the 2:49pm train to Oxford.
After returning to the hotel I decided I had enough time to go shopping for replacement walking shoes. I located an outdoor gear shop and purchased some more more suitable shoes. My feet are thanking me already.
Tomorrow morning I leave Oxford for my next destination. It's been 5 nights but I feel I could definitely see more if I were to stay longer. Oh well, a different adventure awaits.