Jackie had a short day at work (11-3) but I had a long run overdue for the weekend. Scouring the empty space on the pub map for a candidate trail, I found a nice bit through the Savernake Forest toward Great Bedwyn from Marlborough. The path through the middle of the forest is dead straight and quiet and only a little undulating and, on this pleasant morning, filled with birdsong.
At the forest’s exit (reached beneath a dense canopy), you are confronted by a huge gate with no fence on either side of it and some signage stating the property is protected by Gurkhas…impressive and weird. A few hundred metres to the northeast you can get off the B-highway onto the drive toward St. Katherine’s Church, a 19th-century parish house that looks a lot older. Their Sunday Service is in the evening so I could have taken a peek inside but I was in a hurry so only stopped for a drink of water.
Once back out on the paved roads, I was confronted by a regatta of cyclists who seemed equally amused and bemused that there was a runner in this remote section of Wiltshire. The verge was nearly non-existent and there was more automotive traffic than I had expected, but eventually I found my target, The Three Tuns (which opens at 10 am on Sunday–twenty minutes before my arrival). I was served a pint of Good Old Boy and retired to the garden to consider the day.
Leaving the pub, I changed the planned route slightly from a direct shot to the tow path to include a pass by the Church of St Mary, started in 1092 on top of a Saxon church, and which houses a memorial to Sir John Seymour (one of Henry VIII’s fathers-in-law). As it was in the middle of Sunday morning service, I satisfied myself with some exterior views and a short wander around the cemetery before heading on. Besides, Ii had already been to my temple: