A pleasant woodland walk leads away from Birdlip before the ascent onto Cooper’s Hill. Continuing through Buckholt Wood, the path crosses Painswick Golf Course before the leisurely walk into Painswick. Leaving Painswick is a short but delightful walk through open meadows, shaded woodland, and open common with some of the finest views on the Cotswold Way.
A gentle woodland walk leads out of Birdlip, following the foot of the escarpment towards Cooper’s Hill. The woods are a carpet of flowering plants in the spring. The path then climbs steeply up to the top of Cooper’s Hill, the location of the famous annual Cheese Rolling festival! Continuing through Buckholt Wood and Painswick Golf Course, a short detour to Painswick Beacon is recommended. From Painswick, follow ancient woodlands, rural tranquillity and vast panoramas combine to deliver a walker’s paradise on today’s walk. Stanley Mill on the edge of Kings Stanley once employed 1,000 people and is a testament to the area's rich history in the woollen trade.
At the top of Cooper’s Hill look down the steep slope and imagine the sanity, or not of chasing a large roll of cheese down the hill - a quick search on youtube you will see what we are talking about! We also recommend the short detour from the way onto Painswick Beacon is rewarded with extensive views over the surrounding area.
Rest stopsThe Royal George Birdlip
Cheese Rolling Festival Location (Cooper's Hill)
Painswick Rococo Garden
The Falcon Inn
St Mary's Church
Vine Tree Inn
Waymarker - Stonehouse location for an evening sit-down meal
General Food & Drink Supplies - Kings Stanley
There are several sections of the walk today where you might encounter traffic but most minor roads are quiet. However, care should be taken when leaving Birdlip at the start of the walk as there is only a narrow path. Although only a short distance the road is narrow and busy. Also when crossing the main road at Cranham Corner. The main street down into Painswick is also narrow and traffic can be busy at peak times so be vigilant when arriving and leaving Painswick. Also, when crossing the main road at Edge and Ryeford on the final section into Kings Langley. This is a major dual carriageway and must be crossed at the lights.
There are a few descents and one steep climb up Cooper’s Hill which might be tricky during or after wet weather.
When crossing Painswick Golf Course be alert for golfers playing their shots and always remember to give way if needed.
In today's section, you may cross fields with livestock. Treat them with respect and walk safely past them, taking a wide berth if they happen to be grazing on the path.
The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be straightforward. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail Markers.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
Food and Drink
There are a number of shops, cafes and two pubs in Painswick. Also, there is a small general store where you can stock up on food and drink. There is a Post Office, tourist information office and a pharmacy in the town. Barring a pub in Randwick (which requires a short detour off the trail), there are no other facilities in this section until arrival in Kings Stanley. You may also wish to come off the trail into Stonehouse before arriving in Kings Stanley for dinner - see the section below on this.
Packed lunch today is not essential but still worth taking. You should be able to grab something in Painswick (around the halfway point of the walk).
Post walk Drinks
Kings Head Pub in Kings Stanley (currently waiting on their kitchen being renovated and don't do food).
IMPORTANT NOTE ON EVENING MEAL IN KINGS STANLEY: Unfortunately at the time of writing this (Summer 2022) due to Covid also there are currently no options for a sit-down meal in Kings Stanley - the only option previously was the King's Head but they are renovating their kitchen for the foreseeable future (no word yet when it will be open). Your only option currently is to get a takeaway meal and eat it at your accommodation. Alternatively, if you do want an evening sit-down meal you can go to the Main Street of neighbouring town Stonehouse where most of the restaurants are located. Trip Advisor recommendations are as follows: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g503807-Stonehouse_Stroud_Stroud_District_Cotswolds_England.html
To get to Stonehouse you can do the following:
Walk (come off the trail and go before heading to your accommodation): There are various trails that come off the Cotswold Way into Stonehouse as you walk towards Kings Stanley. This is a good option for those not wanting to detour back in the evening.
Walk (via Kings Stanley): Alternatively, if your legs are still feeling fresh, you can walk to your accommodation, freshen up then walk back to Stonehouse later on in the day. It is approx 1.5 miles each way from Kings Stanley (approximately 30-45 mins walk each way)
Bus: Monday-Saturday you can catch a 66 bus (PDF timetable provided on the link). This service goes to/from Stonehouse to both King’s Stanley and Leonard Stanley and runs well into the evening. Unfortunately on a Sunday/Bank Holiday, the service does not run in the evenings.
Taxi: Costs vary – expect to pay between £7-10 per journey. We are not partnered with any taxi companies directly in King’s/Leonard Stanley or Stonehouse so to save on costs we recommend you book one locally via a google search or ask your accommodation for their recommendation.
A taxi is probably a better/cheaper alternative than public transport.
There are various ways to get to Kings Stanley from Birdlip but it likely requires multiple connecting journeys - generally, you need to take a bus to Cheltenham first to then get a connecting bus to Stonehouse (varies depending on the time of day and a google search is probably the best option to check this at the time you wish to make this journey).
Please note that bus services may be affected by public bank holidays in the UK and in some cases may run a limited service or no service at all on weekends.
Recommended Local Taxi Services along the Cotswold Way
Northwick Private Hire (Chipping Campden Area): +44 (0) 1386 701 806
TDM Taxis (Broadway Area): +44 (0) 7919 160 630
Starline Taxi (Cheltenham/Charlton Kings Area): +44 (0) 1242 250 250
Galaxy Private Hire (Dursley/Painswick/Wotton-Under-Edge Area): +44 (0) 7796 545 261
V Cars (Alternative for Wotton-Under-Edge Area): +44 (0) 1793 701 701
Book recommendation by the author
Good comfortable boots or walking shoes are recommended. The ground can be quite soft and the paths are well used by walkers and riders. Whilst the terrain is not particularly difficult it can be muddy with some waterlogged stretches after heavy rain. Walking poles are an option if preferred. The British weather is changeable so waterproofs should also be carried just in case.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike/or if you have an older phone, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank as a backup.
There are opportunities to buy food/water today in Painswick, however, ensure you bring enough snacks and fluids with you.
Weather at the route's trailhead
- 16 Waypoints
- 16 Waypoints