One of our favourite itineraries - walk the Laurie Lee trail, followed by lunch at The Woolpack, and then pay one’s respects at Lee’s simple gravestone in the church bang opposite the pub.
The Laurie Lee Wildlife Way is a 5 mile walk through the achingly beautiful Slad Valley, up some heart-pumpingly steep slopes, down some knee-testing descents, over grasslands and through woods - the best of England. Lee’s poetry makes its appearance on 10 posts along the way, so by the time The Woolpack comes into view 2 - 3 hours later, one is invigorated mentally as well as physically and in need of a pint (sometimes there’s Bushel+Peck cider or perry available).
The Woolpack itself is, in some ways, a perfect pub. First and foremost, it retains that key element which all pubs should have - it still feels like a place in which to drink and in which locals do drink. But it also does what pubs now need to do in order to survive and that is provide great food for people passing through. The Woolpack manages to do both brilliantly.
And when the sun shines and it’s crowded there’s a terrace on which to relax, overlooking the valley. Suggest you visit - it’s GL7 6QA if you use SatNav rather than an old fashioned map and if you use an old fashioned map the Slad Valley is north of Stroud, Gloucestershire.
So there you have it. And thank you if you’ve read this far.