A short but delightful walk , through open meadows, shaded woodland and open common with some of the finest views on the Cotswold Way.
Ancient woodlands, rural tranquility 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 areas rich history in the woollen trade.
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.
The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be straight forward. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail Markers.
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 at Ryeford on the final section into Kings Langley. This is a major dual carriageway and must be crossed at the lights.There are a few minor climbs and descents which might be tricky during or after wet weather.
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.
There are a number of shops, cafes and two pubs in Painswick. Also there is a small general store where you can stock up with food and drink. There is a Post Office, Tourist Information Office and a pharmacy in the town. There are no other facilities on this section until arrival in Kings Stanley.
Points of Interest
Rudge Hill Nature reserve although bearing the scars of past quarrying is now a protected wildlife habitat. Cowslips and several varieties of orchids and wild herbs grow here as well as supporting a large butterfly population.
This is a well housed in its own stone building and is interesting for the old faded inscription above the now sealed well head. “Whoer the bucketful upwindeth, let him bless God, who water findest. Yet water here but small availeth. Go seek that well which never faileth”.
Further uphill is a commemoration stone to the lifting of the siege of Gloucester during the Civil War in 1643.
This is a magnificent promontory and viewpoint at the tip of Ring Hill. Formally a hill fort, evidence of Roman occupation has been uncovered with the discovery in 1837 of a pot containing over 3000 coins. There are panoramic views overlooking Gloucester, the Severn Valley and the Forest of Dean.
Constructed in 1811, Stanley Mill is a five story brick and stone building whose great woollen looms were once powered by five water wheels. Later steam power was introduced in 1827. Now derelict the mill formerly employed over 1000 workers.