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Painswick to Dursley

Hiking route · Cotswolds
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  • Table tombs, Painswick churchyard
    Table tombs, Painswick churchyard
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure

Things start with a delightful walk through open meadows shaded woodland, and open common to Kings Stanley. Leaving Kings Stanley, things start to get a bit more demanding - the steep climbs and descents are rewarded with some of the best views on the Cotswold Way. 

Distance 26.2 km
8:00 h
634 m
675 m
242 m
26 m

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. Climbing out of Kings Stanley the path follows shaded beech woodlands up onto Coaley Peak and Nympsfield Long Barrow for panoramic views over the surrounding area. Then descending, only to climb again up onto Cam Long Down for more stunning views.

Author’s recommendation

The open meadows out of Painswick soon give way to ancient woodland and stunning views along Haresfield Beacon. Keep your eye out for all the different varieties of plants and butterflies to be seen, especially in springtime.

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Adventure Macs
Update: January 19, 2023
Highest point
242 m
Lowest point
26 m

Track types

Asphalt 0.78%Dirt road 0.09%Forested/wild trail 2.25%Path 41.28%Road 0.32%Unknown 55.25%
0.2 km
Dirt road
0 km
Forested/wild trail
0.6 km
10.8 km
0.1 km
14.5 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

The Oak
General Food & Drink Supplies - Painswick
The Falcon Inn
Vine Tree Inn
Carpenters Arms
Waymarker - Stonehouse location for an evening sit-down meal
Kings Head
General Food & Drink Supplies - Kings Stanley
Everest Nepalese & Indian Restaurant
The Old Spot
The Bank Cafe
Della Casa
The Kings Head Dursley
General Food & Drink Supplies - Dursley

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 Painswick at the start of the walk as it can be busy at peak times, when crossing the main road at Edge and Ryeford into Kings Stanley - this is a major dual carriageway and must be crossed at the lights. Also the main street down into Dursley can be busy at peak times, so be vigilant.

There are several steep descents and climbs which might be tricky during or after wet weather. 

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 cafe 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. There is a post office, tourist information office and a pharmacy in the town should you need it. Before Kings Stanley, there are a couple of options off the trail to stop for refreshments. Upon arrival in Kings Stanley, there is a small newsagent and pub. A full range of facilities is available in Dursely.


A packed lunch is recommended today. There are some options to stop at Randwick and Stonehouse - however, they both require a detour off the path on what is a long walking day. In Kings Stanley you should be able to grab something to go but as things stand there is nowhere for a sit-down meal (Kings Head pub kitchen is being refurbished).

Post walk Drinks

Old Spot Inn in Dursley is the best pub but after a long day of walking the King's Head is a more centrally located option!


Public Transport

The 66 Stagecoach bus goes from Painswick to Kings Stanley. Getting off at Kings Stanley, you can then catch a 65 Bus towards Dursley. Bus timetables change year on year and can be seasonal. Be sure to check  (the local operator who runs this service) for up-to-date timetables.

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.

There are also useful websites to find when the next bus is due at or simply have a quick google search.


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


Victoria Square, by St Mary’s Church Painswick. (145 m)
OS Grid
SO 86644 09717
51.785954, -2.195011
51°47'09.4"N 2°11'42.0"W
30U 555525 5737538


Entrance to St. James Church in Dursley.

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 Painswick to Dursley. 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. ***


DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).


0.00 km – Standing by the signpost in Victoria Square and facing the church, GO STRAIGHT ON down New Street, past the church on your left. At the half-timbered lych-gate, cross the road with care and GO STRAIGHT ON along Edge Road, leaving Painswick with views over the Frome Valley. (If preferred you can start the walk by going through the churchyard to see the yew trees and unusual table tombs.)

0.30 km – At Hambutt’s Drive TURN LEFT through the wooden gate signposted to Edge and GO STRAIGHT ON across the field.

0.50 km – Arriving at a small tarmac road TURN LEFT onto a narrow path between the houses. Emerging into a field, GO STRAIGHT ON downhill and BEAR RIGHT, on the main path by the sports field. Follow the wooden marker posts over a stream and past Washbrook Farm. This is a former woollen mill and has an interesting old doorway with a coat of arms dated 1691.

1.20 km – Immediately past the farm TURN LEFT onto the gravel track signposted to Haresfield Beacon. GO STRAIGHT ON following the path along a small wooded valley and over a stream. At the wooden gate BEAR LEFT across the field, past the stone milepost and up to the road.

1.90 km – At the small tarmac road TURN RIGHT uphill to the main road. TURN RIGHT and just before the pub, cross the road with care. GO STRAIGHT ON into Rudge Hill Nature Reserve and follow the wooden marker posts for approx 0.75 km. Look out for cowslips and several varieties of orchids in the spring.

2.80 km – Arriving at a main road GO STRAIGHT ON into Maitland Wood and descend to a gravel track (take care here as there is a steep decline). TURN LEFT at the signpost and GO STRAIGHT ON through the ancient beech trees to Stockend wood for approx 1.5 km.

4.40 km – Reaching a small tarmac road, GO STRAIGHT ON, following the Cotswold Way signpost. In 300 m TURN LEFT uphill, off the road on a path signposted to Haresfield Beacon. On the left is an ancient well giving its name to Cliffwell cottages on the right. GO STRAIGHT ON passing a memorial stone to the Civil War siege of Gloucester.

4.80 km – At the tarmac road TURN LEFT uphill, then almost immediately TURN RIGHT past the barn and GO STRAIGHT ON up to Haresfield Beacon and the summit marker.

6.20 km – At the summit marker TURN LEFT and follow the escarpment edge with panoramic views to the right. Go down some wooden steps before the small car park then GO STRAIGHT ON up to Shortwood viewpoint.

7.60 km – At the viewpoint marker TURN LEFT and follow the grassy path to the car park.

8.00 km – At the car park TURN RIGHT into Standish Wood and immediately BEAR LEFT as the path splits into three. GO STRAIGHT ON through Standish Wood for approx 2.8 km. Follow the wooden marker posts to Randwick. NB; There are lots of paths in this popular area so be sure to follow the prominent Cotswold Way markers. Standish Wood is an ancient beech wood mentioned in documents as far back as 1297.

10.80 km – Arriving at a small car park GO STRAIGHT ON through the metal gates, with good views of Stroud to the left and the Severn Valley to the right. In 300m where the path divides BEAR LEFT towards the small wood and a stone stile.

11.20 km – Cross the stile and TURN RIGHT down through the wood. GO STRAIGHT ON across the small road and another stone stile, then BEAR LEFT on the path across the open field. 

11.70 km – At the tarmac road TURN RIGHT and go uphill for 200m, then BEAR LEFT over a stone stile. NB; this is not well marked. GO STRAIGHT ON downhill across several fields, through a vineyard to the railway.

13.00 km – Cross the Railway Bridge and GO STRAIGHT ON down to the main road. TURN RIGHT along the main road and follow the footpath to a small roundabout.

13.40 km – At the roundabout, TURN LEFT down Ryeford Road North, and GO STRAIGHT ON over the Stroudwater Canal to the main road. TURN LEFT on the cycle path and cross the main road with extreme care at the traffic lights. BEAR LEFT on the other side of the road following the cycle path along Ryeford Road South towards Kings Stanley.

13.90 km – Just past Stanley Mill and across the River Frome, TURN LEFT across the road then BEAR RIGHT following the trail for around 400m you will BEAR RIGHT then TURN LEFT (if you wish you go to the Kings Head Pub then follow the road straight on instead into Kings Stanley itself). Shortly after TURN RIGHT again following the prominent path and way markers across the fields towards the hill away from Kings Stanley.

15.40 km –Arriving in Middleyard TURN LEFT onto the main road then in 50m TURN RIGHT onto Coombe Lane. Just after Withington Cottage BEAR RIGHT where the path divides and GO STRAIGHT ON uphill to a small tarmac road.

15.80 km – At the tarmac road, BEAR LEFT before the driveway to The Penn, and GO STRAIGHT ON steeply uphill.

15.90 km – At the Cotswold Way signpost TURN RIGHT following the path to Coaley Peak and GO STRAIGHT ON through the woods along the side of the escarpment for approx 1.5 km.

17.30 km – At a wooden stile and metal gate, GO STRAIGHT ON across the open field with panoramic views of the Severn Estuary in the distance.

18.00 km – Re-enter the wood through a wooden gate and GO STRAIGHT ON, climbing steadily up the hillside. Follow the wooden marker posts and signs to reach Coley Peak Picnic Site and Nympsfield Long Barrow.

19.40 km – At the Long Barrow GO STRAIGHT ON along the edge of the escarpment,t with spectacular views over the Severn Valley, to Coley Peak viewpoint. BEAR LEFT and follow the path along the escarpment and then parallel to a road.

20.30 km – At the road junction, cross with care and GO STRAIGHT ON for 50m then BEAR RIGHT onto the path and descend steeply through the trees. Should you wish a short detour to Hetty Peglar’s Tump (a Neolithic long barrow) carry on for a short distance up the road instead of descending down the path.

21.00 km – Just through a wooden gate BEAR LEFT up the steeper path following the wooden marker posts. Hetty Peglar’s Tump is above the steep slope on the left. GO STRAIGHT ON an old quarry face to a gravel track and a welcome seat by a road.

21.90 km – At the wooden marker post TURN RIGHT and descend steeply downhill through the wood to Hodgecombe Farm. GO STRAIGHT ON along the track to a tarmac road.

22.50 km – At the road TURN RIGHT then in 200m by the farm, BEAR LEFT over a wooden stile and GO STRAIGHT ON steeply uphill to Cam Long Down.

23.20 km – At the top of Cam Long Down GO STRAIGHT ON following the marker signs along the ridge then descend steadily down to a path junction and signpost. There are panoramic views across the whole area.

24.00 km – At the signpost TURN LEFT towards Dursley then in 50m BEAR LEFT through the wooden gate, down the field to a road. 

24.40 km – BEAR RIGHT across the road and GO STRAIGHT ON along the path signposted Cotswold Way, beside a small stream and then across several fields for approx 1 km.

25.60 km – At a metal gate TURN RIGHT along a small tarmac road and GO STRAIGHT ON towards Dursley.

26.00 km – At the road junction, GO STRAIGHT ON along Long Street to the town centre.

26.20 km – Arrive at the entrance to the St James Church at the end of Long Street.


*** This is the end of our Painswick to Dursley route. ***


OS Grid
SO 86644 09717
51.785954, -2.195011
51°47'09.4"N 2°11'42.0"W
30U 555525 5737538
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).


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 especially on some of the steep descents and climbs. 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 on today's walk to buy food and drink, however, ensure you bring enough snacks and fluids with you.

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26.2 km
8:00 h
634 m
675 m
Highest point
242 m
Lowest point
26 m

Weather at the route's trailhead


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