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Cotswold Way - Seven Springs to Birdlip - Digital Delivery

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  • Cotswold Way onto Hartley Hill
    / Cotswold Way onto Hartley Hill
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Heathland on Hartley Hill
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Hartley Hill escarpment
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Leckhampton escarpment
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cotswold Dry Stone Walling
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The wooded approach to Crickley Hill
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 500 400 300 200 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Hungry Horse Pub & Restaurant Devil's Chimney Leckhampton Hill Crickley Hill
This is a classic Cotswold escarpment ridge walk, with panoramic views all the way along the route into Birdlip.
moderate
Distance 12.2 km
3:30 h
186 m
132 m

Leaving busy Seven Springs you are soon in open countryside ascending Hartley Hill and onto Leckhampton Hill with its panoramic views and interesting rock faces. From here the route passes through countryside and a short road section to ascend Crickley Hill and on to finish in Birdlip.

 

Author’s recommendation

The views on this section of the walk are truly spectacular. Extensive sections follow close to the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment revealing interesting rock formations such as the Devil’s Chimney and unique meadow land habitats. Red Kites can be seen over Crickley Hill.

 

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
292 m
Lowest point
210 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Hungry Horse Pub & Restaurant

Safety information

There are several sections of the walk today where you might encounter traffic but most minor roads are quiet.   However, care should also be taken crossing the main road at and at the start and the busy Birdlip roundabout. Also, there is only a narrow path up the main road into Birdlip at the end of the walk. Although only a short distance the road is narrow and busy. There are a few climbs and descents which are not particularly steep but which might be tricky during or after wet weather. Be careful along the steep edge of the escarpment especially in windy weather and poor visibility.

 

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

 

Crickley Hill

This is one of the Cotswolds major archaeological sites. From Neolithic times the area was occupied by a large camp protected by a ditch and bank. Later the defensive position was settled by Iron Age farmers and their livestock. The final occupation was ended by fire. There is an observation platform and information boards describing the various stages of the settlement.

For more information: https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/crickley-hill

Leckhampton Hill

The flat-topped plateau of the hill has a summit triangulation pillar and viewpoint with fine panoramas over the surrounding area. The steep scarp slope and exposed rock crags have been extensively quarried for building stone and one of the landmarks; the Devil’s Chimney is a remnant of those days. The rock pinnacle projecting from the lower shelf of the escarpment is a major attraction.

For more information: https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/info/33/parks_and_open_spaces/568/leckhampton_hill_and_charlton_kings_common

Barrow Wake

This is the site of an ancient female burial unearthed by quarrymen in the 19th century. Objects including a silver broach, bronze owls, a decorated bucket and a richly ornamented bronze mirror were discovered and are now displayed in Gloucester City Museum.

For more information: https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/barrow-wake

 

Food and Drink

There are opportunities for refreshments on this walk. There is a café on the way to Crickley Hill and toilets, café and visitors centre on Crickley Hill itself. There is also a pub on the busy roundabout near the end of the walk before Birdlip. For those walking Charlton Kings to Birdlip. The Hungry Horse at Seven Springs is a good lunch spot.

Start

Roundabout, Seven Springs (212 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SO 96822 17148
DD
51.852915, -2.047531
DMS
51°51'10.5"N 2°02'51.1"W
UTM
30U 565600 5745108
w3w 
///duties.weekends.commands

Destination

Cotswold Way signpost, on main road below Birdlip

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 Seven Springs to Birdlip. 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 – At the Cotswold Way signpost on the A436, TURN RIGHT up the small tarmac road and go STRAIGHT ON, uphill for approx 0.5 km.

0.60 km – At a bend in the road GO STRAIGHT ON along the gravel track for approx 200 m then TURN LEFT onto the signposted footpath. GO STRAIGHT ON uphill following the wooden marker posts. There are good views on the right as you ascend Hartley Hill with Cleeve Hill and its masts clearly visible on a good day. Follow the edge of the steep escarpment on the prominent and well-marked path for approx 2 km. Note the numerous hollows where the ragstone has been excavated for dry stone walling.

2.50 km – At the wooden gate GO STRAIGHT ON, along the footpath through the trees. The wooden marker posts are soon visible. As you emerge onto Leckhampton Hill, GO STRAIGHT ON, past the triangulation pillar, the viewpoint and on to an information board.

3.20 km – At the information board BEAR LEFT along the signposted footpath, again following the edge of the steep slope. A short detour to the Devil’s Chimney is worth the effort and a good picnic spot. GO STRAIGHT ON towards the power lines.

3.90 km – Reaching a small tarmac road at the bottom of some steps, TURN LEFT uphill. GO STRAIGHT ON to the top of the hill.

4.10 km – At the crest of the hill BEAR RIGHT onto the signposted Cotswold Way path. GO STRAIGHT ON slightly downhill, under the power lines and down to a road.

5.30 km – At the tarmac road by the golf club, TURN RIGHT uphill to the crossroads. Cross with care and GO STRAIGHT ON along Greenway Lane.

6.70 km – By a wooden gate on the right just as the road starts to descend, TURN LEFT up the steps onto the footpath signposted to Crickley Hill. GO STRAIGHT ON through the woods following the steep edge of the escarpment for approx 1km.

7.50 km – At a wooden gate and information board, TURN RIGHT and GO STRAIGHT ON through the wood.

8.00 km – Just before a small road BEAR RIGHT through a stone wall and emerge onto the open hilltop. GO STRAIGHT ON to a wooden gate then BEAR LEFT across the tarmac road. Having crossed, immediately TURN RIGHT along the footpath to the Café and Visitor Centre at Crickley Hill.

8.30 km – At the wooden gate just past the Visitor Centre, GO STRAIGHT ON, past the viewpoint. Keeping the steep edge on the right, follow the wooden marker posts to the point of the escarpment and a wooden signpost. Panoramic views can be seen all along this section.

8.70 km – At the signpost, BEAR LEFT and follow the path beside the stone wall. GO STRAIGHT ON through the gate towards the masts and main road on the horizon. Follow the wooden marker posts for approx 1 km.

9.70 km – Arriving at the busy roundabout, cross with extreme care. GO STRAIGHT ON past the pub on the right along the tarmac footpath. Just past the bus shelter the footpath leaves the main road and emerges onto common land.

10.2 km – Just through a metal gate BEAR RIGHT onto the footpath and follow the wooden marker posts. GO STRAIGHT ON along the edge of the escarpment for approx 1 km. Panoramic views can be seen over Cheltenham and back to Crickley Hill.

11.3 km – Leaving the open hilltop, TURN RIGHT through a wooden gate and GO STRAIGHT ON through the wood to the point of the escarpment known as Birdlip Peak. A short detour will take you to the point.

11.5 km – At the signpost TURN LEFT signposted Cotswold Way and GO STRAIGHT ON through the woods to reach the main road.

12.2 km – Arriving at the road you have reached the end of your walk.

 

*** This is the end of our Seven Springs to Birdlip route. If you are walking to Painswick today, then please move onto the Birdlip to Painswick route***

 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SO 96822 17148
DD
51.852915, -2.047531
DMS
51°51'10.5"N 2°02'51.1"W
UTM
30U 565600 5745108
w3w 
///duties.weekends.commands
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 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 but be sure to bring enough with you.

 


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
12.2 km
Duration
3:30 h
Ascent
186 m
Descent
132 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights

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