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 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!
A short walk through shaded ancient beech woods and open common is particularly interesting for the varied habitats they support. Walking in spring or summer, the area has many plant and insect species. Splendid views are also seen along the edge of the escarpment on Wistley Hill.
Rest stopsCleeve Hill
Rising Sun Hotel
Prestbury Hill Nature Reserve
Dowdeswell Wood & Reservoir.
Hungry Horse Pub & Restaurant
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.
The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be easy. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail markers.
Tips and hints
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 facilities anywhere else on this short section until you arrive at Seven Springs. Therefore you will need to carry everything you need for today’s walk.
Packed lunch is essential for this section as there are no towns or villages to stop in (unless you detour off into Charlton Kings).
Post walk Drinks
The Hungry Horse in Seven Springs.
As there are no accommodations in Seven Springs you are likely staying in Charlton Kings or Cheltenham. The W Bus towards Cheltenham goes from Cleeve Hill to Cheltenham (there are connecting buses to Charlton Kings should you need it also), Check https://www.stagecoachbus.com/plan-a-journey (the local operator who runs this service) for up-to-date timetables.
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.
There are also useful websites to find when the next bus is due at www.traveline.info or simply have a quick google search.
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
Book recommendation by the author
Book recommendations for this region:
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.
This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.
- 6 Waypoints
- 6 Waypoints