Plan a route here Copy route
Hiking trail recommended route

Painswick to King’s Stanley

Hiking trail · Stroud
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Haresfield Beacon
    / Haresfield Beacon
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
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
4:30 h
254 m
354 m
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.

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.

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

Profile picture of Laura Paterson
Laura Paterson
Update: July 03, 2019
Highest point
249 m
Lowest point
27 m
Best time of year

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 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.

Tips and hints

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 

Edge Common 

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.


Cliff well. 

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.


Haresfield Beacon 

 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.


Stanley Mill 

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.



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


King's Stanley

Turn-by-turn directions

These maps and routes are designed to be used in conjunction with our traditional documentation. We have recently embarked on a conversion initiative to bring the two elements together, and this itinerary will be covered in due course.

In the meantime, using the two elements alongside each other should go a long way to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem free day.


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


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.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Write your first review

Help others by being the first to add a review.

Photos from others

14.8 km
4:30 h
254 m
354 m
Scenic Botanical highlights Linear route


  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
2D 3D
Maps and trails
Duration : h
Distance  km
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
Push the arrows to change the view