A short walk from Cleeve Hill follows the edge of the Cotswolds down to Prestbury Hill Nature Reserve. A gradual descent leads through the classic Cotswold countryside to the small town of to Charlton Kings.
The walk starts from the summit of Cleeve Hill and follows the western edge of the Cotswold escarpment high above Cheltenham. From here the path passes through a nature reserve, woodland and agricultural land on its way to Charlton Kings and the end of this section.
When walking off the summit of Cleeve Hill and along the edge of the escarpment take care especially in strong winds or poor visibility. This section is fairly straightforward with no particular hazards.
The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be easy. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail markers.
Tips, hints and links
Points of Interest
This is the highest section of the Cotswold escarpment at 330 m and the last area of unenclosed land in the region. It covers an area of 3 square miles and is an area of Special Scientific Interest for its flora and fauna. There are panoramic views from the plateau and in good conditions, the Malvern Hills and the Brecon Beacons may be seen in the distance.
For more information: http://www.cotswoldjourneys.com/cotswolds-guide/cleeve-common/
Prestbury Hill Nature Reserve
Situated on the western slopes of Cleeve Hill the Cotswold Way passes through the southern section. The reserve has a rich mix of limestone and grassland varieties as well as heathland. It is particularly important for the large varieties of butterflies it supports including some rarities.
For more information: https://butterfly-conservation.org/our-work/reserves/prestbury-hill-gloucestershire
Food and Drink
There are no facilities at the summit of Cleeve Hill or anywhere else on this short section until you arrive at Charlton Kings. Therefore you will need to carry everything you need for today’s walk.
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.
This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.