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The Three Degrees may have posed the question back in the 1970's and last Saturday, 8th Nov. the answer was officially recognised as both at the unveiling of a Cotswold Way marker stone at the start or finish of the Cotswold Way national trail that stretches 102 miles (164km) between Chipping Campden and Bath.
 
The stone itself made from Irish Blue Limestone was designed by local artist, Iain Cotton who was commissioned to make the first almost identical marker stone outside the steps of Bath Abbey back in 2012. The trail can easily be walked in either direction and some prefer to head south to north with the advantage of the sun on their back.
 
The marker is beautiful and lists many of the towns and sights on the Cotswold Way, in the order that you walk to them. On the outer edge is a quote from TS Eliot from East Coker, the second of his Four Quartets.
 
"Now the light falls across the open fields leaving the deep lane shuttered with branches dark in the afternoon."
 
TS Eliot was himself a visitor to Chipping Campden to come and see his friend Emily Hale, when they strayed into the garden of Burnt Norton House, overgrown and abandoned after the owner Sir William Keyte went mad and set fire to it. Burnt Norton is the first of his Four Quartets and if rumour can be believed Burnt Norton House having been lovingly restored might act as the next inspiration for Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows.
 
The marker in Bath has an old testament quote, from Jeremiah 6:16.
 
"Stand ye in the ways and see, ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
 

 
The marker was unveiled by the Mayor of Chipping Campden and a schoolboy who represented children from the local school who had been instrumental in helping to raise the £11,000 needed for the project. Cotswold Walks was also happy to make a donation to such a worthy cause for which we are dependent for our livelihood.
 
It was a rainy day but the crowds gathered in anticipation and were represented by the Cotswold Volunteer Wardens who help maintain the trail and the ANOB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) officer James Blockley who is responsible for the management of the trail.
 
The Cotswold Way is a challenging walk and often completed in 6-10 days of walking depending on how much you want to test your stamina. It is different from the majority of other walks in the Cotswolds as the primary focus is the walk itself rather than encouraging extra exploration once you arrive at you overnight destination and the achievement of reaching Bath or Chipping Campden. Click to read more about The Cotswold Way.
 
If you would like further details on which Cotswold Way itinerary or any walk in the Cotswolds might be best suited to you please contact us.
Posted by Andrew

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