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Randonnée Parcours recommandé

Cleeve Hill to Birdlip

Randonnée · Cotswold
Ce contenu est proposé par
Macs Adventure Partenaire certifié  Explorers Choice 
  • Crédit : Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure

A short walk from Cleeve Hill to its summit following the edge of the Cotswolds down to Prestbury Hill Nature Reserve. A gradual descent leads through the classic Cotswold countryside descending through Dowdeswell Woods passing through Lineover Woods and out onto Wistley Hill before arriving at Seven Springs junction. The section between Seven is a classic Cotswold escarpment ridge walk, with panoramic views along the route into Birdlip.

Distance 24,7 km
7:30 h.
448 m
476 m
316 m
106 m

The walk starts when you retrace your steps to the summit of Cleeve Hill and follows the western edge of the Cotswold escarpment high above Cheltenham and descends through Dowdeswell’s ancient beech woods to the busy A40. Crossing the road, the route ascends up through Lineover Wood, owned by the Woodland Trust. Finally emerging from the wood, the way opens out onto Ravensgate Common, then alongside Wistley Plantation, before descending to Seven Springs. The name derives from the disputed claim to be the source of the River Thames! Leaving the busy roads of Seven Springs, you are soon in open countryside, ascending Hartley Hill and onto Leckhampton Hill with its panoramic views and interesting rock faces. The route then passes through the countryside and a short road section to climb Crickley Hill and finish in Birdlip.

Note de l'auteur

The views on this section of the walk are genuinely 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.

Image de profil de Adventure Macs
Adventure Macs
Mise à jour : 18.01.2023
Niveau physique
Point le plus élevé
316 m
Point le plus bas
106 m

Type de chemin

Asphalte 1,22%Chemin 8,62%Sentier 59,41%Route 1,66%Inconnu 29,06%
0,3 km
2,1 km
14,7 km
0,4 km
7,2 km
Afficher le profil altimétrique

Lieux où se restaurer

Cleeve Hill
Rising Sun Hotel
Prestbury Hill Nature Reserve
Dowdeswell Wood & Reservoir.
Lineover Woods
Hungry Horse Pub & Restaurant
Leckhampton Hill
Devil's Chimney
Star Bistro
Crickley Hill Cafe
Crickley Hill
Barrow Wake
The Royal George Birdlip
Clavell & Hind Brewery

Consignes de sécurité


There are a few climbs and descents which are not particularly steep but which might be tricky during or after wet weather.  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.

Care should be taken when crossing the busy A40 at Dowdeswell and at the roundabout at Seven Springs and Birdlip. 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 on Wistley Hill, especially in windy weather and poor visibility.

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. 

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

Conseils et recommandations supplémentaires

Points of Interest

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and cafe stops.  Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk. 


Food and Drink

There are no general convenience stores in Cleeve Hill however there are plenty of opportunities for refreshments on this walk. There are various pubs and cafes you pass next to the Way. 


Packed lunch today is not essential but recommended. There is a pub in Seven Springs, a café and a visitors centre on Crickley Hill and there is also a pub (Air Balloon) on the busy roundabout near the end of the walk before Birdlip.

Post walk Drinks

The Royal George in Birdlip. There is also a craft beer brewery, a short walk away from the centre of Birdlip that is mainly open on weekends. It has a draught taproom and serves food outdoors. Check the point of interest on the app and call ahead to see if it's open when you arrive


Public Transport

A taxi is probably a better/cheaper alternative than public transport.

There are various ways to get to Birdlip by bus from Cleeve Hill but it likely requires multiple connecting journeys (varies depending on the time of day and a google search is probably the best option to check this at the time you wish to make this journey). 

Please note that bus services may be affected by public bank holidays in the UK and in some cases may run a limited service or no service at all on weekends.


Recommended Local Taxi Services along the Cotswold Way

Northwick Private Hire (Chipping Campden Area): +44 (0) 1386 701 806

TDM Taxis (Broadway Area): +44 (0) 7919 160 630

Starline Taxi (Cheltenham/Charlton Kings Area): +44 (0) 1242 250 250

Galaxy Private Hire (Dursley/Painswick/Wotton-Under-Edge Area): +44 (0) 7796 545 261

V Cars (Alternative for Wotton-Under-Edge Area): +44 (0) 1793 701 701


Summit markers, Cleeve Hill (315 m)
Coordonnées :
OS Grid
SO 98575 26373
51.935868, -2.022128
51°56'09.1"N 2°01'19.7"W
30U 567226 5754357


Cotswold Way signpost, on main road below Birdlip


*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided full written turn-by-turns to aid you on your walk from Cleeve Hill to Birdlip. 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. ***


DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).


NOTE: If you stayed overnight in Cleeve Hill, you will need to retrace your steps back to the Cleeve Hill summit - use yesterday's route if necessary but you should have no issues in finding the way back! Alternatively, if you stayed overnight in Cheltenham, Winchcombe or Broadway, you will be returned to the Cleeve Hill Golf Club to continue your walk. Be aware with both options will add some mileage to your walking day.


0.00 km – Standing By the triangulation pillar summit marker and with your back to the viewpoint, GO STRAIGHT ON over the golf course following the wooden post markers. (NB; there is a direction arrow on the side of the triangulation pillar to show the way). Follow the edge of the steep escarpment on your right with panoramic views over Cheltenham.

0.90 km – Just through some hill fort ramparts and by a wooden seat, GO STRAIGHT ON, again following the edge of the steep slope and the wooden marker posts to a metal gate.

1.40 km – Go through the metal gate off the common and GO STRAIGHT ON following the wooden marker posts. The path traverses the escarpment gradually descending with the transmitter masts visible on the ridge to the left.

2.00 km – Just through a wooden gate and by Prestbury Nature Reserve, TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON slightly uphill. In 50 m where the path forks, BEAR RIGHT following the marker sign. Go through the wooden gate into Prestbury Nature Reserve and GO STRAIGHT ON.

2.50 km – At a path, junction GO STRAIGHT ON, following the waymarked sign up through a narrow valley. There are good views as you emerge onto the common again.

3.20 km – At the edge of the Nature Reserve cross the wooden style and GO STRAIGHT ON.

3.60 km – Arriving at a path junction TURN LEFT following the Cotswold Way signpost, then in 50 metres BEAR RIGHT, following the wooden marker posts by the power cables.

4.10 km – Emerging through a gate onto a tarmac lane, TURN LEFT through a metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON along the path signposted to Dowdeswell.

4.40 km – At a tarmac road TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 300 m, then TURN RIGHT at the road junction following the sign for the Cotswold Way.

5.50 km – As the road bends to the left, BEAR RIGHT through the metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON to reach another tarmac road.

6.40 km – At the tarmac road cross over and GO STRAIGHT ON along the opposite signposted path.

6.70 km – immediately under the power lines GO STRAIGHT ON along the well-defined path down along the edge of Dowdeswell Woods.

7.70 km – At the bottom of the hill, BEAR LEFT through a wooden gate and go over the bridge. Then TURN RIGHT onto a tarmac track for 100m. A t wooden gate, TURN LEFT uphill to the busy main road.

7.90 km – Cross the main road with care and TURN LEFT, following the Cotswold Way signpost. GO STRAIGHT ON up to Lineover Wood car park and BEAR LEFT through a wooden gate. (Do not go straight on). GO STRAIGHT ON uphill, with the power lines to your right.

8.70 km – At the top of the wooden steps, GO STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate following the waymarked path.

9.10 km – At the top of the hill GO STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate, then immediately BEAR RIGHT, onto the path with a stone wall on the right. GO STRAIGHT ON along the edge of the escarpment for approx 1 km. (Do not be tempted to take any of the paths down to the right). There are good views on the right over the surrounding area.

10.10 km – Leaving the woods at a wooden gate, TURN LEFT onto the path signposted Cotswold Way and out onto Wistley Hill. Here panoramic views unfold in front of you. GO STRAIGHT ON following the edge of the escarpment and the wooden marker posts for approx 1.4 km.

11.50 km – Arriving at some wooden steps, GO STRAIGHT ON down then BEAR RIGHT down the path parallel to the main road.

12.50 km – Arriving at the busy main road and roundabout with the Cotswold Way signpost on the A436, TURN RIGHT up the small tarmac road and go STRAIGHT ON, uphill for approx 0.5 km.

13.10 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.

15.00 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.

15.80 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.

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

16.70 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.

17.80 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.

19.30 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.

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

20.50 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.

20.70 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.

21.30 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.

22.30 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.

22.70 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.

23.20 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.

24.00 km – At the signpost, TURN LEFT signposted Cotswold Way. Continue STRAIGHT ON.

The Cotswold Way path follows down to the Main Road where you have to walk along a small section that is unpaved into a slight blind corner - so we recommend taking this alternative route that goes down to the back of the Royal George in Birdlip. If you do decide to walk down to the main road and into Birdlip then please take extra care.

24.10 km - TURN LEFT shown on the path that goes down a trail to the back of the Royal George Hotel in Birdlip. 


*** This is the end of our Cleeve Hill to Birdlip route. ***




OS Grid
SO 98575 26373
51.935868, -2.022128
51°56'09.1"N 2°01'19.7"W
30U 567226 5754357
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Recommandations de lecture de l'auteur

DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).


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.

There are some opportunities to buy food/water today but be sure to bring enough with you.

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Photos de la communauté

24,7 km
7:30 h.
Dénivelé positif
448 m
Dénivelé négatif
476 m
Point le plus élevé
316 m
Point le plus bas
106 m

Météo au départ de l'itinéraire


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