The Cotswolds has a never-ending list of beautiful walks amid the rolling hills, cute villages, and forests, but there is really something quite special about taking a hill walk. Do you love the challenge of the climb or perhaps it’s the views you get from the top that motivate you to hill walk, whatever it is you’ve come to the right place if you’ve headed to the Cotswolds. Here are our favourite places for a hill walk in the Cotswolds:
1. Cleeve Hill Ring Walk
The Cleeve Hill walk is a six-and-a-half-mile trek taking you up to the highest point in the Cotswolds where you’ll have stunning views out across to the Malvern Hills and if it’s a clear day you may even see into Wales. The peak is 330m above sea level and because of this the old English name for Cleeve Hill was actually Cleeve Cloud. This walk is best done on a fair weather day as the bad weather can roll in pretty quickly and make visibility really poor. You’ll pass through a lot of limestone grassland that is home to many rare plants, wildlife, and birds. It’s a beautifully peaceful spot. If you fancy a pint after your walking efforts then head for the Rising Sun which has spectacular views from its garden as it perches on top of the hill.
2. Crickley Hill
Crickley Hill lies within an area of outstanding natural beauty and overlooks the Severn Valley. The views are breathtaking and you don’t have to completely exhaust yourself to see them either since you drive up a long driveway and park right on the hill. The walks meander along the edge of the hill or into a forest area. There is a really peaceful atmosphere up here and it’s a great spot to watch the sun go down if it’s not a cold day. In the chillier weather, the winds can pick up here and really be biting but if it’s clear and sunny you are in for a treat. There is also a relatively new coffee house at the top so you can have a nice warm drink after your walk. The terrain is fine for most walkers but not always great for wheelchair or buggy users although there are definitely some paths that could be followed on wheels. There are so many species of plants up on the hillside to see and many insects, especially butterflies in the right season.
3. Broadway Tower
When it comes to this hill walk you have two options, either start in the village of Broadway and walk up the hill to the tower at the top, or cheat and drive up the hill and take a walk around the top taking in the views. If you decide to climb to the second highest point in the Cotswolds which stands at 65 feet, then expect a bit of a steep climb up Dove’s hill at the start of the walk but after this, the route levels out a little and isn’t too difficult at. For the round trip allow 2.5 – 3 hours so that you have time to take in the views at the top and perhaps stop for a bite to eat or drink at the lovely coffee shop. If you decide to drive up don’t worry you won’t miss out, there are lovely walks at the top and you will still see the stunning views all around.
4. Leckhampton Hill
The best way to see this beautiful area is the circular walk which visits Leckhampton and Hartley Hill. Start the walk from the car park next to the A435 and pick up the Cotswold Way to Charlton Kings Common and Hartley Hill. From here cross the hill to the Devil’s Chimney, a limestone rock formation that stands above a disused quarry in Leckhampton. The views are stunning, the hill walk is very peaceful, mostly frequented by local dog walkers and the area has so much beautiful wildlife. From here you will walk back down a country lane to the starting point. This hill walk is 4.5 miles in total.
5. Bath Skyline
Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the fabulous city center of Bath you’ll find this beautiful hill walk above Bath that wanders through six miles of meadows, woodland, and secluded valleys. From up here you’ll gain a whole new perspective on the city of Bath, seeing it in all of its glory yet from a peaceful viewpoint. The walk itself is on varied terrain and is unfortunately unsuitable for wheelchairs or buggies. The route follows roads at times but does go onto steep hills, uneven paths, steps, and a stile. This hill walk is 6 miles and takes roughly 3.5 hours to complete. This is a dog-friendly route if you fancy bringing your pooch along.