Locals Walks

New Inn Short Circular Walk – 2 Miles

This short circular walk from our front door is 2 miles long (1 mile to the New Inn) relatively flat and takes approximately 40 minutes. The walk is on quiet country roads all of the way.

From Forthay leave the gate taking the road opposite (with Forthay Farm on your left hand side). Proceed along the road for 300 yards until you reach the cross roads at Pitt Court. Continue straight ahead, past the phone box towards Smarts Green.

After one mile turn left down a narrow steep tarmac road, cross the brook and up the other side.In front of you is a mini roundabout made out of a tractor tyre, New Inn is straight ahead. The New Inn is in an idyllic location in a wonderful setting with a great selection of local ciders and a delightful garden.

From the New Inn turn left back down to the tractor tyre mini roundabout, take the 3rd turning. Walk along the road for half a mile until you enter Mill End, with its scattering of houses. You will start to drop down, keep right at the T junction and walk up the slope. At the top of the slope keep left at another T junction and continue for 200 yards where you will reach a further T junction, bear left at the T junction following the sign to Crowell Brook. Once across the brook you will find Forthay Bed and Breakfast at the top of the hill on the right hand side.

Tyndale Monument Walk – 2.5 Miles

This is a wonderful 2.5 mile walk, which includes steep hills and takes approximately an hour.

From Forthay front door leave the gate taking the road opposite our house, leaving Forthay Farm on your left. Proceed along the road for 300 yards until you reach the cross road at Pitt Court. Opposite the telephone box turn right into the field climbing over the stile. Follow the track up the field to the next gate where you go diagonally left up the hill towards the woods. Once you reach the top of the field do look back over Waterley Bottom and Hermitage Wood. Skirt along the wood for 200 yards and then climb over the style on your right into the wood. 

Once over the stile, take the steep track through the woodland up the hill bearing left at the fork near the top. Continue for approximately 250 yards until you meet The Cotswold Way footpath. Take a sharp right turn along The Cotswold Way heading to the open land. You will see Tyndale Monument in front of you. Proceed up the gentle slope. If you have the strength you should climb the 111 steps for spectacular views of the two bridges into Wales, The Black Mountains, Malvern and Mendip Hills and of course nearer to home, North NIbley and Forthay.

Once you leave the monument head down on the left hand side of the Common Land taking the first footpath round a disused quarry. You will meet a large track, which is The Cotswold Way. Turn left, leaving the swinging ropes on your right hand side. Descend the track to the bottom where you meet the Wotton to Dursley Road. Turn right and after 50 yards right again onto Barrs Lane. Continue down Barrs Lane past The Black Horse and Village Shop and Coffee Shop. 250 yards after the shop take the left hand fork signposted Forthay. You will pass Hunts Court and Forthay House before reaching Forthay Bed and Breakfast.

Circular Walk Through Westridge Wood – 5 Miles

This 5 mile walk takes you through some very pretty woods and back along a single track road with wonderful views across Waterley Bottom. The paths through the woods can be muddy after periods of rain.

From Forthay Bed and Breakfast depart through the gate taking the road opposite leaving Forthay Farm on your left hand side. Proceed along the road for 300 yards until you reach the crossroads at Pitt Court. Opposite the telephone box turn right into the field climbing over the stile. Follow the track to the next gate, climb the next stile and head diagonally left up the hill towards the wood.

Once you reach the top of the field look back over Waterley Bottom and Hermitage Wood. Skirt along the wood for 200 yards and then climb over the next stile on your right into the wood. Go up the path for 50 yards and then turn left onto another track, which drops away and follows the perimeter of the field. Follow this path for half a mile at which point you will meet a large track. You should keep left moving parallel to the fields.

The track follows round the side of the hill for a mile at which point you should continue to bear left, following the track round the hill for a further half mile. You will reach a blue five bar gate and see a narrow tarmac road in front of you. Turn left onto the road and descend down the hill for a mile to Binley Farm. Go past the farm to the crossroads where you turn left heading towards Pitts Court. You will pass a small house on your left and then Waterley Farm. Follow the road for a mile passing through Smarts Green, towards Pitts Court. You will see the phone box on your right this time and should go straight on at the cross roads. After 300 yards you will see Forthay Bed and Breakfast in front of you.

Stinchcombe Hill Walk – 6 Miles

A wonderful six mile walk along the Cotswold Way with breathtaking views of The Cotswold Escarpment and The River Severn. There is a short-cut reducing the walk to 4 ½ miles, whilst still including all the views.

From Forthay turn right down the hill to Crowell Brook. Cross the brook and at the fork at the top of the hill turn left into Park Road. Follow the single track road for half a mile passing Park Farm and the turning on the left sign posted to North NIbley. Continue up the hill and you will see a footpath off to the right signposted Cotswold Way, just after a five bar gate leading to a private house. 

Follow the path across the field to the woods. Stop and sit on the bench looking down towards Stancombe Park where Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisted and Officer and a Gentleman, amongst other books. Go through the kiss gate into the woods crossing a wooden bridge. At the end turn right following the Cotswold Way signs to the top of the hill.

At the top of the hill you will come out onto Stinchcombe Golf Course. It is worth noting that you come out at the 2nd tee, as you will be coming back down this path. Turn left along the path between the wood and the second fairway. You will see a car park on your right hand side. Keep on the path, which swings left along a steep bank. After half a mile you will come to a green, which you leave on your right hand side, climbing up to the escarpment. From here you have tremendous views of Forthay, North NIbley and Tyndale Monument. You will be able to pick out our house, which has six beeches and a copper beech.

Follow the path to the right for four hundred yards where after a short wooded area you come out at Drakestone Point. The views of the Cotswold Escarpment, Severn River and Severn bridges are terrific. Continue back to the golf course and follow the path to the trig point. Keep bearing left through the woods along the Cotswold Way to The Tubbs Memorial Shelter. Follow the path for about sixty yards passed the Shelter and then pick up The Cotswold Way, which runs alongside the 11th and 12th fairways.

You will come to the Mounting stone, which is on the side of the Old London Road. The road ran from Berkley Castle. The stone was used to remount the horses after they had walked up the hill. You follow the path leaving the wood on your left.

If you want to complete the shorter walk follow the Old London Road passed the car Park and down to the first tee. Turn right along the footpath, which runs parallel to the first hole. Between the first hole and the second tee you will find the path you took up to Stinchcombe Hill. You should now retrace your steps back to Forthay.

For the longer walk bear left towards Stinchcombe Hill House. You will have views of The Severn,, May Hill and The Forest of Dean. Enter the woods to reach the viewpoint overlooking Dursley. From here you will see Cam Peak, Cam Long Down, Uley Barrow and the Cotswold Escarpment. Be sure you stay close to the golf course and do not go down the hill into the woods. From Stinchcombe House you will have completed a large U going around the edge of the golf course. Leave the 18th tee on your right and walk down to the clubhouse.

Just passed the club house take the footpath to the right leaving the first fairway on your right. Follow the path to the woods where you will pick up the Cotswold way. Retrace your steps down the hill and back to Forthay.

Wotton-Under-edge Circular Walk - 5 Miles

As rich farmland gives way to woodland tracks and rolling parkland, this enchanting walk leads you from scarp top to valley bottom, back into one of the Cotswolds most charming and thriving small towns. With spectacular views, intriguing shops and historic architecture, all tastes will find something wonderful in this special little corner of the Cotswolds ...

1). Begin the walk underneath the Jubilee Clock on the corner of High Street and Market Street. Head down Market Street passing the heritage centre and tourist information point of your left, and corss the car park towards the far left corner. Follow the alleyway to the right of the church and cross the road to head up the path opposite towards the school. Continue up the wide grassy path, through the kissing gate at the end. Carry on across the middle of the field towards the gap in the hedge and head down across the next little field, crossing over the stile in the bottom right corner. Keeping the hedge on your left, continue round towards the farmhouse. 

2). Turn immediately left after the the stile at the bottom, and take the path over the little stream. Pass through the gate on the far side of the next field, and head towards another farmhouse. Continue around the left of the house and pass through the wide gate on your right, to turn left up the access track towards the road. At the T- Junction, cross over the stile opposite and follow the path along the edge of the fields. Halfway across the last field follow the path to your right, diagonally through the field. After the stile next to the gate at the far corner, take the path to the left and head towards the gates at the far side.

3). Keeping a good ear out for traffic, cross the road and take the footpath towards Ozleworth. Head towards the gap in the hedge and over another field towards a stile at the far end. Turn immediately left after the next stile, and head left across the field to pick up the Cotswold Way at the far corner. Head through the kissing gate, and cross the road to follow the Cotswold Way towards Wotton-Under-Edge. Before the wide gate at the end, pass through the kissing gate on your right and follow the steep-sided gully uphill. At the top, take the path up to the right and continue to follow the Cotswold Way along a shaded woodland track. After about half a mile, look out for the waymarker on your left and take the path down through the woods. Pass through the kissing gate at the bottom and continue around the side of the hill as breathtaking views begin to open up to your left. Follow the Cotswold Way as it rejoins the track, and continue for half a mile until you reach the road. 

4).  For a short detour into tranquil parkland and a wonderful Tudor hunting long Lodge, follow the sign to Newark Park past the access road and through the kissing gate on the right. Continue around the edge of the field and switch back through two gates towards an information board in the woods. From here you can follow any of three excellent waymarked trails through this picturesque estate owned and managed by the National Trust. 

To Continue the walk, turn left down the road and continue past half a mile of wonderful valley views until you reach another fingerpost on the right. Watching your footing after wet weather, follow the Cotswold Way down the steep path and turn right when you meet the road at the bottom. 

5). After a short distance, pass through a gate on your left and continue to follow the trail alongside a small stream and through the outskirts of the town. When you reach the 13th Century parish church, pass through the tranquillity of its grounds and follow the signs back towards the High Street. With curious shops for browsing, ancient buildings for wondering and inviting cafés for refreshing, welcoming Wotton has everything you could need at the end of your walk, and even more to entice you back...

Woodchester Park Walk - 3.5 Miles

1). From the car park turn right, down the hill, following the pink waymarkers of the Boathouse Walk into the woods.

2). As you emerge from the woods, take a look at the pasture to your right, restored from the conifer plantation in 1997. It is now 3). grazed by traditional Welsh black cattle.

3). Bear left at the waymarked junction. You'll see the remains of the coach house and stables that were associated with the Georgian mansion to your left. Property details prepared for the sale of the Woodchester in 1846, describe these buildings as everything the most fastidious Gentlemen can desire - a coach house for eight carriages and stables with twelve stalls and harness rooms. 

4). Continue onwards to the Temple Site (now a small ruin). The wooded valley enclosed by the curve of the track contains the remains of terraced gardens, which were created in the early 1800s. Historic records describe a temple overlooking Italian-Style gardens with fountains playing in ornamental ponds. 

5). Entering the pasture, continue downhill to where you will see Brick Kiln Pond, Brick Kiln, Old and Middle ponds are the three of a chain of lakes created by the middle of the 18th century. Keep your eyes open for birds, such as Kingfishers and Herons, as well as mandarin and tufted ducks. the dam was breached in the 1940s and there is now a plan to restore the lake. Larch plantations have been removed so that the historic views can be enjoyed again. 

6). Having walked the length of Middle Pond, turn right onto the dam. These deep lakes were created through a small damming of a small stream. 

7). From a series of boardwalks, the Boathouse comes into view. Continue to follow the pink waymarkers. 

8). Passing Woodchester Mansion on your right, continue up the hill to the car park. 

Leighterton & Westonbirt Circular Walk - 7 Miles

Walk 7 miles, easy, OS Explorer 168. From pub, left through car park to road; ahead to pass cemetery on left (827910). In 100m on left bend, ahead (fingerpost) across fields/stiles on Monarch’s Way (MW), southeast for nearly 1 mile to gate into Hawkesbury Spinney (839902). In 150m, right through trees up broad track (unwaymarked, but labelled “Macmillan Way”; on map). Through gate at top (841900) into Westonbirt Arboretum.

Ahead along Broad Drive for ¾ mile. At southern boundary of arboretum, through gate (844887). Left along field edge; at hedge gap, across field to kissing gate (849888). Cross A433; lane opposite into Willersley. Left at junction; in 200m, left (852887, stone stile (“Westonbirt”). Path through paddocks (stiles, yellow arrows), then along field edge. Where it bends right (855891), ahead to hedge gap at field corner (856893). Field edge to stile/steps into road (858893). Left; in 100m, left to cross A433 (855894). Follow bridleway opposite along valley bottom track for 1 mile to gate into Bennett’s Spinney (844901).

Ignore MW signed straight ahead; instead fork right (blue arrow on gate). In 250m through gate (844904); on with Ellick’s Wood on left, then on up valley-bottom bridleway for ¾ mile to road (846913). Right to Bowldown Road (850917); left on verge for 400m; left (847920, fingerpost) across field to gate at corner of Bowldown Wood (844920). Keep wood on left to next gate (841920); across corner of field (stile); follow same line southwest for 1¼ miles between Sheephouse Covert and Slait Barn, then on (stiles) across fields to Leighterton.

Lunch Royal Oak, Leighterton (01666 890250, royaloakleighterton.co.uk)