Cleeve Hill to Seven Springs
Macs Adventure Verified partner Explorers Choice
Cheltenham race course from Cleeve HillPhoto: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
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
*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided full written turn-by-turns to aid you on your walk from Cleeve Hill to Seven Springs. Whilst, the Cotswolds are waymarked it can be featureless and off the beaten path at some sections so we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).
NOTE: If you stayed overnight in Cleeve Hill, you will need to retrace your steps back to the Cleeve Hill summit - use yesterday's route if necessary but you should have no issues in finding the way back! Alternatively, if you stayed overnight in Cheltenham, Winchcombe or Broadway, you will be returned to the Cleeve Hill Golf Club to continue your walk. Be aware with both options will add some mileage to your walking day.
0.00 km – Standing By the triangulation pillar summit marker and with your back to the viewpoint, GO STRAIGHT ON over the golf course following the wooden post markers. (NB; there is a direction arrow on the side of the triangulation pillar to show the way). Follow the edge of the steep escarpment on your right with panoramic views over Cheltenham.
0.90 km – Just through some hill fort ramparts and by a wooden seat, GO STRAIGHT ON, again following the edge of the steep slope and the wooden marker posts to a metal gate.
1.40 km – Go through the metal gate off the common and GO STRAIGHT ON following the wooden marker posts. The path traverses the escarpment gradually descending with the transmitter masts visible on the ridge to the left.
2.00 km – Just through a wooden gate and by Prestbury Nature Reserve, TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON slightly uphill. In 50 m where the path forks, BEAR RIGHT following the marker sign. Go through the wooden gate into Prestbury Nature Reserve and GO STRAIGHT ON.
2.50 km – At a path, junction GO STRAIGHT ON, following the waymarked sign up through a narrow valley. There are good views as you emerge onto the common again.
3.20 km – At the edge of the Nature Reserve cross the wooden style and GO STRAIGHT ON.
3.60 km – Arriving at a path junction TURN LEFT following the Cotswold Way signpost, then in 50 metres BEAR RIGHT, following the wooden marker posts by the power cables.
4.10 km – Emerging through a gate onto a tarmac lane, TURN LEFT through a metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON along the path signposted to Dowdeswell.
4.40 km – At a tarmac road TURN LEFT and GO STRAIGHT ON for approx 300 m, then TURN RIGHT at the road junction following the sign for the Cotswold Way.
5.50 km – As the road bends to the left, BEAR RIGHT through the metal gate and GO STRAIGHT ON to reach another tarmac road.
6.40 km – At the tarmac road cross over and GO STRAIGHT ON along the opposite signposted path.
6.70 km – immediately under the power lines GO STRAIGHT ON along the well-defined path down along the edge of Dowdeswell Woods.
7.70 km – At the bottom of the hill, BEAR LEFT through a wooden gate and go over the bridge. Then TURN RIGHT onto a tarmac track for 100m. A t wooden gate, TURN LEFT uphill to the busy main road.
7.90 km – Cross the main road with care and TURN LEFT, following the Cotswold Way signpost. GO STRAIGHT ON up to Lineover Wood car park and BEAR LEFT through a wooden gate. (Do not go straight on). GO STRAIGHT ON uphill, with the power lines to your right.
8.70 km – At the top of the wooden steps, GO STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate following the waymarked path.
9.10 km – At the top of the hill GO STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate, then immediately BEAR RIGHT, onto the path with a stone wall on the right. GO STRAIGHT ON along the edge of the escarpment for approx 1 km. (Do not be tempted to take any of the paths down to the right). There are good views on the right over the surrounding area.
10.10 km – Leaving the woods at a wooden gate, TURN LEFT onto the path signposted Cotswold Way and out onto Wistley Hill. Here panoramic views unfold in front of you. GO STRAIGHT ON following the edge of the escarpment and the wooden marker posts for approx 1.4 km.
11.50 km – Arriving at some wooden steps, GO STRAIGHT ON down then BEAR RIGHT down the path parallel to the main road.
12.40 km – Arriving at the busy main road and roundabout you have reached the end of this section.
As there are no accommodations in Seven Springs you are likely to get a transfer to Cheltenham or Charlton Kings from the Hungry Horse Pub to your overnight accommodation. This is a short walk away - be careful when crossing busy roads.
*** This is the end of our Cleeve Hill to Seven Springs route. ***
Book recommendation by the author
DISCLAIMER: Please note, the distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch. There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).
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
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