Whether you’re after a gentle stroll through the forest or a heart-pumping hike up a hill, SoGlos has handpicked 11 of the most beautiful walks across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds – perfect for locals to exercise and soak up some fresh air.
The Forest of Dean is a magical place to explore for all ages and during all seasons. Whether you want to wander around the Sculpture Trail at Beechenhurst, enjoy amazing views at Symonds Yat Rock or take a stroll around Mallards Pike Lake, the Forest of Dean has so much to offer.
Bursting with colour in the autumn months, beautifully crisp in the winter and offering endless picnic spots in the spring and summer, the Forest of Dean is a fantastic year-round destination.
For more information, visit forestryengland.uk.
Covered in a canopy of towering trees, the Sculpture Trail in the Forest of Dean promises a stunning stroll all year round. Starting from Beechenhurst, walkers can enjoy the famous four-and-a-half-mile trail, looking out for the impressive spectacles along the way.
Meanwhile for children, there’s the Gruffalo Spotters Trail at Beechenhurst, which launched in October 2020, and is buggy-friendly on a dry day and perfect for keeping kiddies entertained. Make sure you download the app to enjoy the augmented reality interactions.
Starting off in the picture-perfect village of Broadway, this lovely loop to Broadway Tower and back boasts some of the most impressive views over the surrounding countryside.
With a choice of distances, from around four miles, walkers can expect to amble up steep hills, over stiles and across gloriously green fields around Broadway.
There are a host of trails to choose from at Symonds Yat Rock in the Forest of Dean. Head up high to the ancient hill fort or wander down to the river for a gentle stroll along the glorious banks of the River Wye.
As well as being one of the best places in the UK to spot peregrine falcons, Symonds Yat Rock visitors can also spot goshawks, sparrowhawks, buzzards and owls – so bring your binoculars, as well as a picnic.
Starting off in the heart of Gloucester Docks, this canal route leads walkers to Sharpness Port and promises plenty of opportunity to spot beautiful birds from Slimbridge Wetland Centre along the way.
Spanning 16 miles in total, keen walkers can take on as much or as little as they like on this clear pathway, soaking up glorious views of the Severn Estuary and the Cotswolds along the route.
While the village of Bourton-on-the-Water is closed to visitors at the moment, it’s well worth waiting to visit. Arguably one of the jewels of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is a great place to start a stroll through the village.
Expect postcard-worthy honey-coloured cottages on this short walk which is approximately one and a half miles long, and which leads through the village green and past the Parish Church.
Don your walking boots and head out on a hike across the Cotswold Way. Spanning 100 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath, this challenging walk includes views across some of the most stunning parts of the county.
Covering the highest point in the Cotswolds at Cleeve Hill, pretty Painswick and heading all the way to the spa city of Bath, this is a great walk for those looking to choose their distance and get out in the elements.
Breathtakingly beautiful all year round, Mallards Pike has two glorious lakes and a looping path to leisurely stroll around.
Particularly special in the autumn, this leafy walk is covered with towering trees and also boasts shady grass areas, which are perfect for a barbeque on warmer days.
With spectacular views across the Stroud Valley, Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons promise plenty of space to roam freely, passing some of Gloucestershire’s most interesting archaeological sites along the way.
With a superb spectacle of wild flowers in the spring, Rodborough Common also offers stunning views of the Severn Vale and is a great place to blow away the cobwebs.
Rich in history, Tewkesbury is a great place to take a walk and includes the chance to trail around battle fields, take in views of the impressive Norman Tewkesbury Abbey, as well as soak up the sights in the Medieval town centre itself.
With both the River Avon and River Severn meeting in Tewkesbury, a riverside walk is one of the nicest ways to while away an afternoon – with peaceful pathways and plenty of self-guided options to explore.
Tewkesbury is also the end point of the 88-mile The Shakespeare’s Avon Way walk, if you’re looking for a long distance challenge.
Picking up part of the Cotswold Way, this route takes you up the picturesque Paradise Valley and along to the Painswick Beacon.
Enjoy wrap around views of the Severn Vale and the Forest of Dean and even the Welsh Mountains too!
With 250 acres to explore, Robinswood Hill is the perfect spot to wistfully wander along the marked trails or alternatively, weave through the orchard.
Head up to the summit for fabulous views to the south as well as a chance to see the Malvern Hills, Black Mountains and beyond.
For more information about the hot list sponsor, visit forestryengland.uk.
Monday 21 December 2020
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