Updated: Feb 7, 2020
"Walk to the top of the
"Yes, but if you park at the top, then walk down to the bottom, then walk up again, you'll be fine."
What a jolly folly!
What a jolly folly. I did this ages ago but have completely forgotten to write it up.
Twas a dark winter’s day in fact, in December I believe, when we had a deluge of rain and storms and precipitation and other ground-dampening events that I found myself with an unexpected spare afternoon, and in the unfortunate vicinity of Broadway Tower. This folly, built for reasons unknown, stands on Beacon Hill, the second-highest point in the Cotswolds - a whopping 1,024ft above sea level! It’s more of a grassy sand dune then.
It was unfortunate that on that day I didn’t have proper walking shoes, nor trail runners, but just normal house shoes of the flat-soled variety. Nor did I have my Nordic sticks, which are always handy for walking - especially uphill, and particularly so up very muddy hills. Nor was I dressed for walking, but then I’m not really dressed for any particular activity it has to be said - I’m of the view that if I’m wearing clothes at all then all’s well with the world.
I got my first inkling that walking up to the Broadway Tower would be a mistake when I arrived at the first gate…
Although thankfully dogless, I did wonder how often people have been mistaken for dogs and ended up in A&E? I’m guessing errors are more likely when one is to be found flailing around in mud, with the odds rapidly shortening when combined with the exertions of summiting mound after mound, leaving one panting like a rabid dog. My general dis-ease of the day was not helped by the sounds of shotguns popping off all around me, nor my startling several pheasants skulking around the hedgerows evading the groundsmen’s destiny.
I got my second inkling that I’d made a mistake at the second gate…
On the plus, I think I’ve invented a new sport: mud-skiing. It’s great - one doesn’t really need much by way of equipment, just some flat shoes, some mud and a slight incline.
Although technically only about an mile uphill, it’s like a 3-D game of snakes and ladders, with no snakes, no ladders, but still with lots of swooping backwards and downwards without so much as a die being cast. I think it’s the slowest mile I’ve ever walked. At least an hour upwards. I was knackered by the time I approached the final mounds, even with the steps cut into the side of the hill. Quickest downhill mile I’ve ever done though.
Was it worth it? Well, that depends. For £5 I got to go into the tower, only to climb 75 mile more steps to see a pretty Christmas tree. So if you want to repeat the experience, do make sure to go in December.