With picture-perfect villages, cobbled market places, rolling hills and world-class views, the county of Gloucestershire is one of the most beautiful walking destinations in the world. The truth is walkers are spoilt for choice when visiting the county. But here are just some of the most beautiful walks that Gloucestershire has on offer.
1. Symonds Yat Rock
Symonds Yat is one of the most famous viewpoints in the county. Its ascent provides uninterrupted views of the glorious River Wye and its surrounding area. Standing 500 feet above sea level, walkers can choose from a number of marked trails as they explore the rock. And they’re likely to see birds of prey as they climb. An internationally renowned viewpoint, it’s easy to see why Symonds Yat is one of Gloucestershire’s most beautiful locations.
2. Painswick Beacon
Painswick Beacon Walk is a 8-kilometre circular trail located near Painswick in Gloucestershire. Beginning in Painswick itself, this is one of the county’s very best walks. Hikers take The Cotswold Way trail north to the Beacon. The trail is well signposted and provides wondrous views as you ascend past the perfectly named ‘Paradise Valley’ golf course and on towards an Iron Age Hill Fort, which offers incredible views over the Forest of Dean and the Welsh Mountains. Once at the top of the hill walkers can choose to wander back down into the village of Painswick, or else continue along the majestic Cotswold Way towards Pope’s Wood and Kites Hill.
3. Pittville Park, Cheltenham Spa
Cheltenham’s Pittville Park is one of the most serene corners of the county. The park opened in 1825 and today walkers can explore its magnificent Pump Room and lakes. As the largest park in Cheltenham, Pittville has much to explore, including a boating lake and aviary. In addition to several cafes, there is also a very large adventure playground if you’re looking to keep the children entertained.
4. Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill is another Cheltenham gem. Standing 1,083 feet (330 metres) above sea level, walkers can enjoy magnificent views of the Gloucestershire countryside from its summit. On a clear day you can even see across into Wales. Cleeve Hill is also home to Belas Knap — a neolithic, chambered long barrow of great historical importance.
5. Highmeadow Woods, Gloucestershire
Sometimes a walk in the woods is in order. If you enjoy threading through an atmospheric forest, then look no further than Highmeadow Woods in the celebrated Forest of Dean. The Highmeadow Way Walk is an 11 mile circular walk through the forest which provides amazing views, and even includes a ferry crossing. It’s a demanding hike, with steep climbs, but it’s the perfect way to explore the beauty of the Forest of Dean.
Walking in Gloucestershire is one of the best ways to explore the county. There are walks for everyone, whether you want to meander through the wooded glades of the Forest of Dean or walk The Cotswold Way.