Four of the group set out from Charlton Kings at 9.30 for a 6 mile walk that took in Dowdeswell Reservoir, Lineover Woods and Ravensgate Common. A perfect morning for walking, not too hot and a bit of a breeze.
Followed Cheltenham Circular from Glenfall Way into grassland and past horse fields looking down towards the A40 (not in view thankfully), before meeting Cotswold Way into a wooded path alongside Dowdeswell Woods. Here, the buzzing of overhead lines soon went away and we reached the reservoir , where some sheep were grazing and Rob contemplated skinny-dipping but thankfully thought better of it for the good of the rest of us.
Crossing the A40 by the old Reservoir Inn – now a restaurant – we climbed up into Lineover Wood (Woodland Trust) up the now made-up path on the edge of the wood. Home to Small and Large-leaved Limes and open flower-rich grassland. Stopped at the top for a bite to eat and viewed some of the panorama across Cheltenham, watching butterflies enjoying the sunshine.
Onwards along Cotswold Way, held up for a while by a Roman Snail crossing the path, none of us had actually seen a live one before (you usually see the empty shells), Steve was particularly entranced by it, thinking about its welfare in getting across the path without being trodden on.
Once we left Lineover there was a steep climb up onto Ravensgate Common but loads of species of plant including Wild Valerian, Birds-foot trefoil and Kidney Vetch and we hoped we may see a Small Blue or two but did come across several Small Heath instead.
Descending down and back onto the Circular Trail through more meadows, including a large display of Betony, we reached Beeches Road and then met the A40 again after going past Balcarras School and Eastend Road, then returning to same grassland that took us back to our cars.
A great walk and worth repeating at some point.