Walks And Walking – Cotswolds Walks Cheltenham Cotswold Way Walking Route
This was the second of 2 walks planned during our family holiday in the Cotswolds. I mapped out a 14 mile section of the Cotswold Way starting at the metal gates of Cleeve Hill following the excellent Cotswold Way way markers all the way to Dowdeswell Wood Reservoir, the Devil’s Chimney and the National Trust Crickley Hill taking me just over 5 hours to complete.
At the top of the hill from our drive up from Woodmancote we turned left to the small car park opposite the wooden stile and metal gate signposted for the Cotswold Way where I got dropped off. I walked up the very steep tracks to the first Cotswold Way waymarker and continued all the way up until I joined the Cleeve Hill Golf Course and the Cotswold Way landmark.
It was damp and windy at the top of the hill but very firm underfoot so I wrapped up warm and had on my favourite walking boots for this day long walking route covering a similar distance to my earlier walk in Deerhurst and the River Severn.
From here I simply followed the Cotswold Way waymarkers which were really clear even through the morning mist. The views to my right hand side as I walked were splendid, at least they would have been if it had been a clearer day but it was still great to be up in the Cotswold hills. I put my map away after a few miles as I really didn’t need it so just enjoyed the rest of my walking route.
I continued my walk along the Cotswold Way to the Dowdeswell Wood Nature Reserve and as I started to walk slowly downhill to the A40 I realised there was probably a very steep climb to come to get back up to the hills, I wasn’t wrong. At the entrance to Lineover Wood Woodland Trust I continued to follow the Cotswold Way signposts all the way up the steep climb to the top to the A436 before heading west through Wistley Hill where I then joined the A436 crossing the road and then up the next lane up to Charlton Kings Common and Hartley Hill, again following the very clear way markers for the Cotswold Way.
It was here that I saw a field of sheep feasting on thousands of what I thought were giant turnips but when I got home I was informed they may have been mangel wurzels. As I reached the top of the hill there were some great views to my right hand side but unfortunately the mist still hadn’t lifted but by this time I was quite excited to see what the Devil’s Chimney was going to look like.
After a good look around the Devil’s Chimney I continued my walk following the Cotswold Way way markers all the way along the pathways and lanes to the Star National College crossing over the road and up the lane where I eventually turned left into the woodlands at Long Barrow down to The National Trust Crickley Hill country park and it’s wonderful old beech trees. Just before the car park I then left the Cotswold Way walking left to cross the road and walk passed the wooden gate into The Scrubs at Crickley Hill where I walked all the way down and then up to the gates by the roundabout at the A417 and A436 where I finished my walk with a gorgeous pint at The Air Balloon pub and got picked up shortly after to take me back to Slad Farm.