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Cotswold Way - Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill - Digital Delivery

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  • Route out of Winchcombe
    / Route out of Winchcombe
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Dent Almshouses, Winchcombe
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / St Peters Church Winchcombe
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Belas Knap Long Barrow
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Postlip Hall
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / A cotswold spring at Postlip Hall
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Path up to Cleeve Common
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / View from Cleeve Hill
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Cheltenham Race course from Cleeve Hill
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
m 300 200 100 10 8 6 4 2 km Cleeve Hill Belas Knap Cleeve Hill Golf Club Sudeley Castle

A short, but demanding walk in places. Leaving Winchcombe you gradually ascend to long barrow of Belas Knap. From here a steep descent takes you down to Postlip Hall before a long and steady climb up to Cleeve Common and the eventual summit of Cleeve Hill.

 

moderate
Distance 10.1 km
3:00 h
385 m
170 m

A scenic and historically interesting walk from Winchcombe, passing Sudeley Castle in the distance, and the Neolithic long barrow of Belas Knap. From here you ascend onto Cleeve Common with panoramic views over the Cheltenham countryside. Finally, the route takes you to the summit of Cleeve Hill, the highest point on the Cotswold Way.

 

Author’s recommendation

Panoramic views are to be seen on several sections of today’s walk but most extensively from the summit of Cleeve Hill. So take time to enjoy them and don’t forget to look back to where you came from. The Neolithic Burial Mound of Belas Knap is one of the finest historical sites on the whole of the Cotswold Way.
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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: October 21, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
315 m
Lowest point
88 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Cleeve Hill Golf Club

Safety information

Traffic should not be a problem today as the route out of Winchcombe is relatively quiet. There are a few climbs and one steep descent which might be tricky during or after wet weather. Care is needed particularly if you are tiring.

 

The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be easy. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail markers.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

 

Sudeley Castle

Although only glimpsed on the walk, Sudeley Castle is easily visited from Winchcombe. The original castle dates from the 12th century and was confiscated by Edward IV after the War of the Roses. The castle eventually became the property of Henry VIII and on his death, his widow Katherine Parr lived here. She is buried in a lead coffin in the St Mary’s Chapel. There are also the remains of the Elizabethan banqueting hall, a tithe barn and the Portmore tower.

For more information: https://sudeleycastle.co.uk/

Belas Knap

This chambered long barrow is one of the finest historic remains on the Cotswold Way and dates from around 3000 BC. When excavated some 31 burials were found to have taken place here along with some Roman coins and pottery.

For more information: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/belas-knap-long-barrow/

Cleeve Hill

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/

 

Food and Drink

Winchcombe is a large Cotswold Town with a full range of facilities. There are a number of shops, small supermarkets, cafes and pubs where you can stock up with food and drink. There is also a Tourist Information Office, a post office and a pharmacy in the town. A cash machine is available in the Coop supermarket during opening hours, or an external machine can be found further down North Street at the larger supermarket on the edge of town.

There are no facilities on this walk so make sure to carry what you need. Cleeve Hill Golf Club is open to non-members for refreshments but this is near the very end of the walk.

 

 

Start

War Memorial Cross, Winchcombe (94 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SP 02432 28239
DD
51.952644, -1.966010
DMS
51°57'09.5"N 1°57'57.6"W
UTM
30U 571057 5756276
w3w 
///stealthier.motels.perfumed

Destination

Summit markers, Cleeve Hill

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 Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill. 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 with your back to the War Memorial Cross and facing Dent Almshouses, TURN RIGHT along the main street, then in 20 m TURN LEFT down Vineyard Street and over the river.

0.20 km – Just over the river bridge, TURN RIGHT through the metal gate and onto the footpath signposted Cotswold Way. GO STRAIGHT ON along well-defined path towards the power cables in the distance.

0.80 km – At the tarmac road, TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 400 m. At the road sign TURN RIGHT through the metal gate and BEAR LEFT up the tarmac drive signposted to Belas Knap. GO STRAIGHT ON past the cricket pitch.

1.60 km – At the wooden signpost BEAR LEFT, through the wooden gate and GO STRAIGHT ON up the grassy slope, following the wooden marker posts. Sudeley Castle can just be glimpsed through the trees to the left.

2.20 km – At the tarmac road junction, GO STRAIGHT ON up the footpath through the wood, parallel to the road.

2.40 km – At a metal gate TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON around the edge of the field. There are good views emerging to the right.

2.90 km – At the top of the slope BEAR LEFT through the metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON to Belas Knap Neolithic Long Barrow.

3.40 km – Arriving at the long barrow TURN RIGHT, over the stone stiles and GO STRAIGHT ON towards the power cables. (However, you should take some time to look around the burial chamber).

4.1 km – At the end of the field TURN LEFT onto the gravel track signposted Cotswold Way and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 0.5 km

4.60 km - At the signpost TURN RIGHT off the track and through the metal gate. GO STRAIGHT ON over the field and under the power cables.

4.90 km – At the end of the field go through a metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON descending steeply through a wood. At the wooden gate at the bottom of the hill GO STRAIGHT ON along the main path. (NB; do not turn left).

6.10 km – Just past a small stable TURN LEFT through a wooden gate onto a path signposted Cotswold Way. GO STRAIGHT ON gradually descending down through the trees.

6.60 km – At the wooden bridge over the stream, GO STRAIGHT ON up the well-defined path, past the farm buildings and towards Postlip Hall.

7.30 km – Just before the river TURN LEFT, through the gate and GO STRAIGHT ON past Postlip Hall. Follow the large stone wall to your right, through the stables and past the wayside spring.

7.80 km – At the wooden gate GO STRAIGHT ON out onto Cleeve Common and follow the prominent sandy path and wooden marker posts up the hill. This long steady climb is approx 1.3 km with the golf course to the left and panoramic views to the right.

9.10 km – Just after the small car park, BEAR LEFT by the Golf Club House (open to non-members for refreshments) and GO STRAIGHT ON up the hill. Follow the wooden marker posts to the summit with splendid views all around.

10.1 km – Arriving at the triangulation pillar summit marker and the viewpoint you have reached the end of your walk.

 

*** This is the end of our Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill route.  If you are walking to Dowdeswell today, then please move onto the Cleeve Hill to Dowdeswell route***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SP 02432 28239
DD
51.952644, -1.966010
DMS
51°57'09.5"N 1°57'57.6"W
UTM
30U 571057 5756276
w3w 
///stealthier.motels.perfumed
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. They may be especially useful on some of the day’s descents. 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.

 


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
10.1 km
Duration
3:00 h
Ascent
385 m
Descent
170 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest Summit route

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