Our glorious green spaces have helped to keep us sane during the lockdowns, so now restrictions are easing and town centres are getting busier again, there’s never been a better time to reconnect with nature.
In this hot list, sponsored by Stroud District Council, SoGlos shares 8 stunning beauty spots near Stroud, perfect for soaking up some sunshine and taking a moment to breathe.
From taking care of Stroud’s incredible green spaces to running attractions like Stratford Park and Museum in the Park, Stroud District Council works hard to make Stroud a better place to live, work and visit.
Its key priorities are the local economy, providing affordable housing for residents, protecting the environment and improving health and wellbeing.
For more information, visit stroud.gov.uk.
Selsley Common is home to an array of wildflowers, birds and insects all year round – and it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its Bronze Age burial mound too.
What makes Selsley Common most spectacular though, are the views over the River Severn and the Malvern Hills. Eagle-eyed visitors can even see as far as Wales on a clear day.
With a new wildlife corridor promoting biodiversity, plenty of opportunities to get on the water with canal boat trips from Saturday 26 June 2021, as well as canoeing and paddle-boarding, the Stroudwater Navigation Canal provides a fantastic nautical-themed day out for all the family.
The Cotswold Canals Connected Project is also working hard to restore and improve the canal – from upgrading towpaths for pedestrians, buggies, bikes and wheelchairs, to linking the Stroudwater Navigation Canal with the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, allowing boats to sail through Stroud and Stonehouse for the first time in 78 years.
Stroud’s award-winning Stratford Park is a popular spot for locals and tourists – and for good reason!
With its beautiful lake and mature trees; children’s playground; leisure centre; and Stratford Park Lido, there’s plenty of outdoor activities on offer. Stratford Park is also home to Museum in the Park, with a museum, art gallery and gorgeous walled garden to explore.
Where the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal meets the Stroudwater Canal, Saul Junction is an idyllic waterside spot.
With the fully restored historic lock and colourful boats in the marina, there’s plenty to see on a canalside stroll. There’s even the occasional chance to spot Tall Ships sailing down the canal from the River Severn up towards Gloucester Docks.
Famous for its stunning unfinished mansion that has provided the backdrop for TV shows including the BBC’s BAFTA-winning His Dark Materials and Netflix’s The Crown, Woodchester Park is a place where imaginations can run wild.
As well as uncovering the fascinating history of the mansion itself, which is owned by Stroud District Council and run by Woodchester Mansion Trust, visitors can explore the magical woodlands and enjoy a picnic by the lake in the National Trust-run park. As dusk falls, brave souls can try and spot the resident bats emerging from the mansion’s bell tower!
Providing uninterrupted views across the Cotswold countryside and over the Severn Estuary, Cam Long Down near Dursley is a must visit.
Pick up the Cotswold Way for a walk that takes in sheltered woodlands and open hilltops, ideal for soaking in the glorious views. Head there in springtime to see the peak covered in beautiful bluebells, too.
This woodland is thought to have been planted in the 1800s, with towering beech trees and breathtaking views over the Painswick Valley and Slad Valley.
Another Site of Special Scientific Interest, great spotted woodpeckers and a rare snail called Ena montana call Frith Wood home, as well as a variety of rare plants like white hellborine, yellow bird’s nest and wood barley.
Wotton Hill lies on the edge of the Cotswold Hills near Wotton-Under-Edge, known for the group of trees that stand proudly at the top of the hill to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.
With plenty of footpaths to follow and recent improvements to replace the traditional stiles with kissing gates to make routes more accessible, climb the hill from Wotton to take in the views from the top, then head to Westridge Wood to spot wood anemones, primroses, violets and bluebells in bloom.
For more information about Stroud District Council, visit stroud.gov.uk.
By Chloe Gorman
Thursday 10 June 2021
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