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Birdlip to Painswick

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Path through Birdlip Woods
    / Path through Birdlip Woods
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Witcombe reservoir from Birdlip Woods
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Signpost up to Cooper's Hill
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Site of the famous Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Painswick Beacon summit marker
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / View from Painswick Beacon
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Rock strata at Catsbrain Quarry
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
  • / Arriving in Painswick via Gloucester Street
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
m 300 250 200 150 100 10 8 6 4 2 km Painswick Beacon Cheese Rolling … Hill) Painswick
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 itself.
moderate
Distance 11.8 km
4:00 h
237 m
352 m
288 m
149 m
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 here, the path leads downhill into the delight that is Painswick itself.

Author’s recommendation

On the pleasant woodland sections of the path lookout for the occasional views which can be glimpsed through the trees. 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. The short detour from the way onto Painswick Beacon is rewarded with extensive views over the surrounding area.
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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: April 26, 2022
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
288 m
Lowest point
149 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest stops

Painswick

Safety information

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. 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.

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

Cooper’s Hill

This is a superb viewpoint and a very steep section of the Cotswold escarpment. However, its claim to fame is the annual Cheese Rolling Festival held here at the end of May. The origin of this spectacle is unclear. Contestants plunge headlong down the steep slope in pursuit of a mock roll of cheese, the winner awarded with a real 7lb Double Gloucester cheese.

For more information: https://www.soglos.com/sport-outdoor/27837/Gloucestershire-Cheese-Rolling

Painswick Beacon

Painswick hill was originally settled by Iron Age tribes and later used as a temporary Saxon camp during their conflict with Mercia. It was also occupied by Royalist forces in 1643 following the lifting of the siege of Gloucester. It has commanding views over Gloucester and the Severn Vale.

For more information: http://www.visitthecotswolds.org.uk/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/picnic-sites-and-views/painswick-beacon/

Painswick

Painswick is a delightful town roughly at the halfway stage of the Cotswold Way. In common with other Cotswold towns, it owes its elegance and wealth to the cloth trade. At its height mills, 25 were powered by local streams in the area. During the Civil, War Royalists attacked the town and damaged the church. Cannonball marks are still visible today in the walls. The churchyard is famous for its avenues of clipped yew trees and unusual table tombs.

For more information: http://www.painswick.co.uk/

 

Food and Drink

There is only one hotel in Birdlip so if you require a packed lunch it would be advisable to check with your accommodation. However, this is only a relatively short walk. Refreshments are available at Painswick Golf Club but that is nearing the end of the walk. Several cafes and pubs can be found in Painswick itself.

Start

Cotswold Way signpost, main road into Birdlip (263 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SO 92427 14554
DD
51.829552, -2.111296
DMS
51°49'46.4"N 2°06'40.7"W
UTM
30U 561240 5742454
w3w 
///magnitude.cunning.cutlets

Destination

Victoria Square, St Mary’s Church, Painswick

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided full written turn by turns to aid you on your walk from Birdlip to Painswick. Whilst, the Cotswolds are waymarked it can be featureless and off the beaten path at some sections so we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

 

0.00 Km – Standing by the Cotswold Way signpost and with your back to the main Birdlip road, GO STRAIGHT ON down the wooden steps into the wood. At the bottom of the steps, TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON along the path. Do not go through the metal gate into the field.

0.20 km –Where the path forks, BEAR LEFT uphill and GO STRAIGHT ON, following the wooden marker posts to a wider track. Continue along this track.

1.00 km – At a track crossroads, GO STRAIGHT ON parallel to the steep Birdlip escarpment on the left for approx 1 km through the woods. These are covered by carpets of wild garlic, bluebells and wood anemones in the spring.

2.20 km – At another track junction BEAR RIGHT, following the wooden marker posts, and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 1.5 km. Occasional views can be glimpsed through the trees on the right.

3.80 km – At a Cotswold Way signposted track junction, BEAR LEFT uphill, and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 0.75 km.

4.60 km – Emerging from the woods by some buildings, GO STRAIGHT ON along the tarmac road.

4.90 km – At a road junction by a red post box BEAR LEFT uphill on the signposted path to Cranham Corner. GO STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate and into Cooper’s Hill Nature Reserve. In 200 m BEAR LEFT steeply uphill to the top of Cooper’s Hill the scene of the famous May Bank Holiday Cheese Roll.

5.30 km – At the top of the hill BEAR RIGHT following the wooden marker posts downhill. In

200 m BEAR LEFT at the sharp bend and GO STRAIGHT ON through the woods.

6.00 km – At a wooden gate TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON through the woods.

6.80 km – At the information Board for Buckholt Wood BEAR RIGHT downhill to the road.

7.50 km – At the tarmac road TURN RIGHT along Buckholt Road to the main road and cross with care. GO STRAIGHT ON into the woods than in 100 m BEAR LEFT uphill, across a small tarmac road and into Buckholt Wood. GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 0.5 km.

8.20 km – Arriving at a tarmac road GO STRAIGHT ON, following the Cotswold Way signposts to Painswick, under a red & white height restriction barrier and across the golf course for approx 1 km. It is worth making the short detour up to Painswick Beacon for the panoramic view.

9.60 km – At a small tarmac road TURN LEFT downhill, and then almost immediately on the bend, BEAR RIGHT on the signed Cotswold Way path. Follow this path to the left of the quarry. GO STRAIGHT ON across the golf course following the marker posts to reach a road. When crossing the golf course be aware of golfers playing their shots and always give way.

10.8 km – Arriving at the Golf Club Road TURN RIGHT then BEAR RIGHT through the small car park and GO STRAIGHT ON down to the main road.

11.0 km – At the main road TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON downhill towards Painswick.

11.3 km – At the road junction, just past the red post box, BEAR RIGHT down the no-entry road (Gloucester Street).

11.7 km – At the crossroads TURN RIGHT onto New Street and GO STRAIGHT ON towards the church with the spire.

11.8 km – Arriving at Victoria Square in front of the church by the Cotswold Way signpost you have reached the end of your walk.

 

*** This is the end of our Birdlip to Painswick route. If you are walking to King's Stanley today, then please move onto the Painswick to King's Stanley route***

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SO 92427 14554
DD
51.829552, -2.111296
DMS
51°49'46.4"N 2°06'40.7"W
UTM
30U 561240 5742454
w3w 
///magnitude.cunning.cutlets
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

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, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

There are some opportunities to buy food/water today as you approach Painswick but be sure to bring enough with you.


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.8 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
237 m
Descent
352 m
Highest point
288 m
Lowest point
149 m
Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights

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