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Painswick to Kings Stanley

Hiking route · Cotswolds
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  • St Mary's Church Painswick
    St Mary's Church Painswick
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Painswick Churchyard Waymarker Stonehouse … meal Haresfield Beacon St Mary's Church Vine Tree Inn Cliff Well Stanley Mill

A short but delightful walk through open meadows, shaded woodland, and open common with some of the finest views on the Cotswold Way.

Distance 14.8 km
5:00 h
254 m
354 m
249 m
27 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.

Author’s recommendation

This is a walk to be enjoyed for the variation on such a short section. 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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Macs Adventure
Update: August 30, 2022
Highest point
249 m
Lowest point
27 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Vine Tree Inn
Waymarker - Stonehouse location for an evening sit-down meal
Kings Head
General Food & Drink Supplies - Kings Stanley

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. 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.

A few minor climbs and descents might be tricky during or after wet weather.

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. 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 essential as there are no towns or villages to stop in.

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:   

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.


Public Transport 

The 66 Stagecoach bus goes from Painswick to Kings Stanely. 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. (148 m)
OS Grid
SO 86644 09717
51.785954, -2.195011
51°47'09.4"N 2°11'42.0"W
30U 555525 5737538
Show on Map


Old Rectory, Kings Stanley.

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 Kings Stanley. 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. 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 Randswick. 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.

10.8 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.

11.2 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. 

11.7 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.

13.0 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.

13.4 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.

14.0 km – Just past Stanley Mill and across the River Frome, TURN LEFT across the road then BEAR RIGHT through a wooden gate. GO STRAIGHT ON across the fields towards Kings Stanley. BEAR RIGHT at the signpost for Kings Stanley and leave the Cotswold Way, crossing the small stream to the road.

14.8 km – Arriving at the road opposite the Old Rectory you have reached the end of your walk.


*** This is the end of our Painswick to King's Stanley route. ***


all notes on protected areas


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. 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 no opportunities to buy food/water today - only really as you approach Kings Stanley so be sure to bring enough with you.

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14.8 km
5:00 h
254 m
354 m
Highest point
249 m
Lowest point
27 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest Botanical highlights


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