Saturday 24 October 2020

11 of the most beautiful walks in Gloucestershire

Discover 11 of the most beautiful walks in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds – with stunning views, spectacular scenery and fresh air guaranteed.

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 sock up some fresh air.


About the sponsor – Forestry England Forest of Dean

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.


1. Beautiful walks at Beechenhurst

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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 also the much-loved Highway Rat Trail which is buggy-friendly on a dry day and is perfect for keeping kiddies entertained.

Beechenhurst, including the car park and toilet facilities, reopened to the public on Wednesday 20 May 2020, but the café, play area and Go Ape all remain closed. Anyone visiting must stick to social distancing guidelines.


2. Beautiful walks in Broadway

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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.

Broadway Tower and park are currently closed, although the public footpaths surrounding are open.


3. Beautiful walks at Symonds Yat Rock


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.

Symonds Yat Rock, including the car park and toilet facilities, reopened to visitors on Friday 22 May 2020. The Log Cabin Café is currently closed.


4. Beautiful walks along the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal


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.


5. Beautiful walks from Bourton-on-the-Water to Lower Slaughter


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.


6. Beautiful walks on The Cotswold Way


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.

Anyone walking the Cotswold Way should stick to social distancing guidelines.


7. Beautiful walks at Mallards Pike Lake

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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.

Mallards Pike Lake reopened to the public on Wednesday 20 May 2020, but the café, Go Ape and Forest Segway remain closed. Anyone visiting must stick to social distancing guidelines.


8. Beautiful walks at Minchinhampton & Rodborough Commons

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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.

Car parks at Minchinhampton & Rodborough Commons reopened on Wednesday 13 May 2020, but if they are full visitors are encouraged to come back another time.


9. Beautiful walks along the river in Tewkesbury


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.


10. Beautiful walks at Painswick Beacon

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!


11. Beautiful walks on Robinswood Hill

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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.

Robinswood Hill Country Park car park was closed on Monday 30 March 2020, but locals can still visit the park for their daily exercise.


For more information, visit forestryengland.uk.

© SoGlos
Friday 22 May 2020

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