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The Winchcombe Way

The Winchcombe Way is a new 42-mile figure-of-eight trail centred on Winchcombe. The way marked trail is designed to show walkers the hidden gems of the northern Cotswolds. The landscape is constantly changing and reveals the charm of the Cotswolds.

The trail has been featured on the Chris Baxter morning show on Radio Gloucestershire. Chris walked the 42-mile trail over a weekend. You can listen to a clip, courtesy of BBC Radio Gloucestershire, by clicking below on the play button to the left of the panel below.

Country Walking magazine write:

"Can anything make the Cotswolds more beautiful? Meet the brand new trail that's aiming to try".

The eastern loop climbs out of Winchcombe and follows the Farmcote valley before entering Guiting Wood. From here it passes through quiet valleys and the tranquil villages of Cutsdean, Taddington and Snowshill. The route turns and follows the Cotswold escarpment through the villages of Buckland, Laverton and Stanton nestling at the bottom of the hill. The trail passes Stanway House and the recently restored watermill before passing Hailes Abbey on the return to Winchcombe.

The western loop ascends Langley Hill with splendid views before dropping down into Gretton and across to Alderton. From here the trail skirts around Dumbleton Hill with ever changing views before heading to Alstone. From Alstone the views ahead of wooded hills inspires one to climb Nottingham Hill and onto Cleeve Common. The vast common has rare plants and spectacular views before you head to Belas Knap long barrow and descend towards Winchcombe with fine views of Sudeley Castle and the surrounding countryside.


An official guide is available to accompany the route. The guide has detailed maps showing paths and refreshment stops together with clear instructions on following the way marked route. The route is broken down into sections allowing many parts of the route to be walked as a circular walk.

Please send a cheque for £5:60 (including P&P), payable to "Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome", c/o

  • 31 Delavale Road
    Winchcombe
    Gloucestershire
    GL54 5YL

Alternatively, copies may be obtained from the following locations:

Alderton: Winchcombe Camping & Caravanning Site
Bishop's Cleeve: Courtyard Books, Tarling's Yard
Broadway: Blandford Books, 39 High Street
  Tourist Information Centre, Cotswold Court
Cheltenham: Tourist Information Centre, The Promenade
Gretton: The Royal Oak
Northleach: Discovery Centre
Stanton: The Mount Inn
Tewkesbury: Alison's Bookshop, 138 High Street
  Tourist Information Centre, 100 Church Street
Upton upon Severn: The Map Shop, High Street
Winchcombe: Tourist Information Centre
  Keelings Newsagents, High Street
  Food Fanatics Delicatessen, North Street
  Sudeley Castle
  The Wesley Restaurant

To view some maps, aerial photography, pictures and elevations:
please click here to see the GPS Cycle & Walking Resources website

Two GPS files are available for the trail - one each for the Western and Eastern loops.
Please click on the relevant link to download the free file


 

Section 1 - Winchcombe to Gretton

  The route starts in Abbey Terrace, Winchcombe and ascends Langley Hill with fine views before dropping down into Gretton, situated where natural springs emerge from the hillside.
Distance 2.5 miles (4km)
Duration 1.25 hours
Difficulty* Steep ascent then easy
Ascent 530ft
Descent 560ft
Refreshments Bugatti Inn / Royal Oak pub in Gretton and several pubs, restaurants and teashops in Winchcombe
Accommodation
  • Please refer to the "Where to Stay" section for accommodation in Winchcombe
  • Elms Farm
    Gretton Fields, Gretton, GL54 5HQ
    Tel: 01242 620150
    Approx 0.5 mile from the route

 

Section 2 - Gretton to Alderton

  The route follows Working Lane, passing under the steam railway and across agricultural land with hills either side, to Winchcombe Camping & Caravanning Site. The route follows a stream before arriving at Alderton church. There are fine views of Dumbleton Hill and Langley Hill.
Distance 2.25 miles (3.6 km)
Duration 1 hour
Difficulty* Easy
Ascent 36ft
Descent 129ft
Refreshments Gardeners Arms public house in Alderton & local shop, Alderton & Dumbleton Hall Hotel
Accommodation
  • Elms Farm
    Gretton Fields, Gretton, GL54 5HQ
    Tel: 01242 620150
    Approx 0.5 mile from the route
  • Gantier
    12 Church Road, Alderton, GL20 8NR
    Tel: 01242 620343 or 07787 504872
    www.gantier.co.uk
    Situated on the route
  • Tally Ho
    Beckford Road, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 621 482
    Approx 400 yards from the route
  • Corner Cottage
    Stow Rd, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 620 630
    Approx 800 yards from the route

 

Section 3 - Alderton to Dumbleton

  The route leaves the village and flirts with the foot of Dumbleton Hill, often referred to as Alderton Hill, depending where you live. The route has fine views northwards to the Vale of Evesham before reaching Dumbleton.
Distance 2.75 miles (4.4km)
Duration 1.5 hours
Difficulty* Easy
Ascent 236ft
Descent 194ft
Refreshments Gardeners Arms pub & local shop in Alderton, otherwise none on route
Accommodation
  • Elms Farm
    Gretton Fields, Gretton, GL54 5HQ
    Tel: 01242 620150
    Approx 0.5 mile from the route
  • Gantier
    12 Church Road, Alderton, GL20 8NR
    Tel: 01242 620343 or 07787 504872
    www.gantier.co.uk
    Situated on the route
  • Tally Ho
    Beckford Road, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 621 482
    Approx 400 yards from the route
  • Corner Cottage
    Stow Rd, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 620 630
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Dumbleton Hall Hotel
    Dumbleton
    Tel: 01386 881240
    Entrance adjacent to the route (Approx 600 yard drive).

 

Section 4 - Dumbleton to Alderton (Hobnails Inn)

  The route passes Dumbleton Church and the cricket pitch before heading slightly uphill and following the base of the hill with ever changing views. The route passes through some woodland before skirting the edge of Alderton village and emerging adjacent to the beer garden of the Hobnails Inn!
Distance 3.13 miles (5km)
Duration 1.5 hours
Difficulty* Easy
Ascent 248ft
Descent 325ft
Refreshments Hobnails Inn on route, Gardeners Arms in Alderton village
Accommodation
  • Dumbleton Hall Hotel
    Dumbleton
    Tel: 01386 881240
    Entrance adjacent to the route (Approx 600 yard drive).
  • Gantier
    12 Church Road, Alderton, GL20 8NR
    Tel: 01242 620343 or 07787 504872
    www.gantier.co.uk
    800 yards from the route
  • Tally Ho
    20 Beckford Road, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 621 482
    Approx 400 yards from the route
  • Corner Cottage
    Stow Rd, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 620 630
    Approx 950 yards from the route
  • Teddington Hands
    Alstone Fields Farm, Stow Road, Teddington Hands, GL20 8NG
    Tel: 01242 620592 Approx 1 milefrom the route

 

Section 5 - Alderton (Hobnails Inn) to Cleeve Common

  The route heads along field boundaries to the picturesque village of Alstone. Cross fields heading for the lovely wooded slopes near the Bugatti Hill Climb. Oxenton Hill appears to have its fair share of birds of prey with buzzards patrolling the sky. Pass the GWR railway station at Gotherington Halt before climbing up Nottingham Hill to Cleeve Common.
Distance 4.5 miles (7.2km)
Duration 2.5 hours
Difficulty* Moderate
Ascent 964ft
Descent 245ft
Refreshments Hobnails Inn at the start and Cleeve Hill Golf Club at the end of the section
Accommodation
  • Gantier
    12 Church Road, Alderton GL20 8NR
    Tel: 01242 620343 or 07787 504872
    www.gantier.co.uk
    800 yards from the route
  • Tally Ho
    20 Beckford Road, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 621 482
    Approx 400 yards from the route
  • Corner Cottage
    Stow Rd, Alderton
    Tel: 01242 620 630
    Approx 950 yards from the route
  • Alstone Fields Farm
    Stow Road, Teddington Hands GL20 8NG
    Tel: 01242 620592
    Approx 1 mile from the route
  • Pardon Hill Farm
    Prescott, Gotherington, GL52 9RD
    Tel: 01242 672 468
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Heron Haye
    Petty Lane, Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PW
    Tel: 01242 672516
    Approx 500 yards from the route
  • Cleeve Hill Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PR
    Tel: 01242 672052
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Malvern View Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PR
    Tel: 01242 672017
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Rising Sun Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PX
    Tel: 01242 676281
    Approx ¾ mile from the route
  • Upper Hill Farm B&B
    Beechfield House,
    Upper Hill Farm,
    Cleeve Common, GL54 4EU
    Tel: 01242 235128 or 07825 396449
    Approx ½m from the radio masts on Cleeve Common
    Transport is available for pickup and drop off by arrangement and to local pub for evening meals

 

Section 6 - Cleeve Common to Winchcombe

  The landscape changes here to a wide expanse of common with hidden valleys and the source of the River Isbourne. Cross this SSSI area to Belas Knap, a Neolithic long barrow. Descend into the Sudeley valley with glimpses of Sudeley Castle, before entering Winchombe by a pretty street lined with trees.
Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)
Duration 3 hours
Difficulty* Moderate
Ascent 390ft
Descent 956ft
Refreshments Cleeve Hill Golf Club or several places in Winchcombe
Accommodation
  • Please refer to the "Where to Stay" section for accommodation in Winchcombe
  • Heron Haye
    Petty Lane, Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PW
    Tel: 01242 672516
    Approx 500 yards from the route
  • Cleeve Hill Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PR
    Tel: 01242 672052
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Malvern View Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PR
    Tel: 01242 672017
    Approx 800 yards from the route
  • Rising Sun Hotel
    Cleeve Hill, GL52 3PX
    Tel: 01242 676281
    Approx ¾ mile from the route

 

Section 7 - Winchcombe to Farmcote (Lynes Barn)

  Leave Winchcombe and ascend Dunn’s Hill to the Salt Way with elevated views towards the Vale of Evesham and Toddington Manor. Go through Little Farmcote looking across to Farmcote and the orchards in the valley below.
Distance 3 miles (4.8km)
Duration 2 hours
Difficulty* Moderate
Ascent 690ft
Descent 215ft
Refreshments Various pubs, restaurants and teashops in Winchcombe, none on route
Accommodation
  • Please refer to the "Where to Stay" section for accommodation in Winchcombe
  • North Farmcote B&B
    North Farmcote, GL54 5AU
    Tel: 01242 602304
    Approx 1 mile from the route

 

Section 8 - Farmcote (Lynes Barnes) to Temple Guiting

  The route continues down a quiet lane in remote countryside before heading off into Guiting Wood where deer can often be seen. Follow a narrow lane beside a stream before emerging into open countryside. Look out for unusual stone carvings before entering Temple Guiting.
Distance 3.7 miles (6 km)
Duration 2 hours
Difficulty* Moderate
Ascent 567ft
Descent 690ft
Refreshments Village shop open mornings only in Temple Guiting
Accommodation
  • North Farmcote B&B
    North Farmcote, GL54 5AU
    Tel: 01242 602304
    Approx 1 mile from the route
  • Tall Trees
    Temple Guiting, GL54 5RP
    Tel: 01451 850 467
    Approx 200 yards from the route
  • The Plough Inn
    Ford, GL54 5RU
    Tel: 01386 584215
    Situated on the route

 

Section 9 - Temple Guiting to Snowshill

  This section follows along the edge of a valley before reaching Ford and gallops. The route takes you through Cutsdean, a quiet village tucked away. Cross open countryside with undulating views before descending into Snowshill with its fine manor house and cottages clustered around the church.
Distance 5 miles (8 km)
Duration 3.5 hours
Difficulty* Easy
Ascent 577ft
Descent 444ft
Refreshments Village shop open mornings only in Temple Guiting.
The Plough Inn, Ford / Snowshill Arms &?National Trust, Snowshill
Accommodation
  • Tall Trees
    Temple Guiting, GL54 5RP
    Tel: 01451 850 467
    Approx 200 yards from the route
  • The Plough Inn
    Ford, GL54 5RU
    Tel: 01386 584215
    Situated on the route
  • Sheepscombe House
    Snowshill, Broadway, WR12 7JU
    Tel: 01386 853769 or 07976 921 905
    Situated on the route
  • Snowshill Hill Estate
    Snowshill Hill, GL56 9TH
    Tel: 01386 853959
    Approx 2 miles from the route

 

Section 10 - Snowshill to Stanton

  The walk begins in a tranquil valley before transforming into elevated views. The route descends and passes some tranquil villages at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment.
Distance 4 miles (6.4 km)
Duration 2.25 hours
Difficulty* Moderate
Ascent 467ft
Descent 804ft
Refreshments Snowshill Arms &?National Trust, Snowshill or The Mount Inn, Stanton
Accommodation
  • Sheepscombe House
    Snowshill, Broadway, WR12 7JU
    Tel: 01386 853769 or 07976 921 905
    Situated on the route
  • Snowshill Hill Estate
    Snowshill Hill, GL56 9TH
    01386 853959
    Approx 2 miles from the route
  • The Old Post House
    Stanton, WR12 7NE
    Tel: 01386 584398
    Situated on the route
  • The Vine
    Stanton, WR12 7NE
    Tel: 01386 584250
    Situated on the route
  • Shenberrow Hill
    Stanton, WR12 7NE
    Tel: 01386 584468 or 07811381067
    Situated on the route

 

Section 11 - Stanton to Winchcombe

  The route emerges in Stanton High Street and follows the Cotswold Way through the Stanway Estate to Wood Stanway where the route heads towards Hailes, where you pass the abbey and medieval Hailes church. Further on there are views of the steam railway before joining up with the Cotswold Way again into Winchcombe.
Distance 6 miles (9.7km)
Duration 3.25 hours
Difficulty* Easy
Ascent 367ft
Descent 440ft
Refreshments The Mount, Stanton or Hayles tearooms
Accommodation
  • Please refer to the "Where to Stay" section for accommodation in Winchcombe
  • The Old Post House
    01386 584398
    Situated from the route
  • The Vine
    Stanton, WR12 7NE
    01386 584250
    Situated on the route
  • Shenberrow Hill
    Stanton, WR12 7NE
    Tel: 01386 584468 or 07811381067
    Situated on the route
  • Wood Stanway Farmhouse
    Wood Stanway, Nr. Didbrook, GL54 5PG
    Tel: 01386 584318
    eMail: greensbedandbreakfast@hotmail.com
    Situated on the route
  • North Farmcote B&B
    North Farmcote, GL54 5AU
    Tel: 01242 602304
    Approx 1 mile from the route

Difficulty*
  • Easy: length may vary but terrain mainly flat (level)
  • Moderate: includes some hills and some rough ground
  • Strenuous: may be rough underfoot and ascents and descents may be steep