One of the perks of moving is that our new house is only about a ten minute walk from the Cotswold Way, so this leg would actually be walking home (and rather splendidly the next leg will start from my front door!)
Last Wednesday I set out at about half seven to walk up to the main road, where I would catch the number 46 bus to the outskirts of Cheltenham. Rendezvousing with Chris, my walking buddy for the day in a pub car park (strangely prophetic of the day ahead) we drove up to my finish point from the last leg. Sadly, roadworks meant the road up the hill was closed so we had to park much lower than we wanted to. This added an extra couple of ks to our day, but seeing as it wasn't going to be too strenuous we grinned and bore it.
This particular stretch, from Leckhampton to the outskirts of Cranham, was fairly wooded, which in light of the hot sunshine was well received by us both.
Skirting around Leckhampton Hill we picked up where I had previously left off and wended our way towards Crickley Hill.
We availed ourselves of the ice cream purchasing facilities at the small but interesting visitor centre before pressing on. Shortly we came to the most unpleasant bit of the Cotswold Way so far.
The A417 has to be crossed, and then you walk up the hill alongside the nose-to-tail traffic for a few hundred metres before you can peel off in to the fields again. The crossing is a real life-in-your-hands moment. Yuck. Nestled in the elbow of this exceptionally busy junction is the Air Balloon pub. We were early so it was shut, but frankly I cannot understand why you would want to stop here.