The walk starts with more ups and downs and interesting sites enroute. As you near Winchcombe, the way levels out into a gentle finish.
Leaving Broadway, walk past the idyllic village of Stanton with yetmore tempting tearooms! Discover the Iron Age hill fort Beckbury Campdating back to 2000 BC, before arriving at medieval Hailes Abbey. The13th Century atmospheric ruins and the newly build museum (openApril-August, payable locally) are wonderful places to explore anddiscover the history of the monks who lived and worshipped at the abbeyfor nearly three centuries.
Continue through the rolling hills of the Cotswold countryside to the bustling Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe. Filled with cozy country inns, tea rooms and gift shops, this is the perfect little town for a strollaround before dinner.
Take your time on this short walk today to enjoy the panoramic views over the surrounding countryside revealed on the ascent to Stumps Cross and Beckbury Camp.
In the small hamlets of Church Stanway and Hailes, seek out Stanway House and the Tithe Barn as well as the ruins of Hailes Abbey. The stone monument passed on the walk supposedly marks the spot from which Thomas Cromwell watched its destruction.
The Cotswold Way is well marked so navigation should be easy. Look out for the acorn signs which are the National Trail markers.
The only sections of the walk today where you might encounter traffic are leaving Stanton and entering Winchcombe. Care should also be taken crossing the main road at Stanway. There are a few climbs and descents which are not particularly steep but which might be tricky during or after wet weather.
Tips and hints
Stanton is a small hamlet with just one pub no facilities. The only opportunities for refreshments on the walk are at the Fruit Farm near Hailes Abbey or on arrival in Winchcombe itself. Be sure to carry enough fluids for this short walk.
Points of Interest
Stanway House is a Jacobean manor which has only changed hands once in almost 1300 years. As well as the Manor House there is a Medieval Tithe Barn, the 12th century church of St.Peter and the three storied gabled gatehouse.
Beckbury Camp is the site of an Iron Age hill fort covering some 4 acres. It originally consisted of a single ditch and rampart but the ditch has since been filled in.
The Abbey was built in 1251 by Henry III as a thanksgiving for having survived a near shipwreck. It was a community of Cistercian monks and became a place of pilgrimage for nearly 300 years. During the dissolution of the monasteries the Abbey was closed and later dismantled.
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.