Festival Programme

We are pleased to announce the programme for the

2017 Winchcombe Walking Festival

“Join the lovely Winchcombe Walkers in their beautiful surroundings

on one of their walks.”  Julia Bradbury

                 

 

Friday 19th May walks Book here >

Walk 1 The heavy metal walk

Start time: 9:00 am

Distance: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 3.30 pm

Cost: £9

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

The theme of this walk is metalwork, not rock music. Transport takes us to Wormington, a quiet village, before our walk back to Winchcombe. We visit Metal Art, a small business creating individual hand crafted sculptures for the garden or for the home. We continue our walk towards Toddington and call in at Forgeability workshops. Here they design and make bespoke metalwork from ornamental chandeliers and contemporary tables to ornate balustrades. As we approach Winchcombe our final stop along the walk is at Winchcombe Reclamation to see reclaimed metalwork etc being brought back to life. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 2 Cotswold hamlets in springtime

Start time: 9:15 am

Distance: 14 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

End time: 4:30 pm

Cost: £8

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

An excellent exploration of the area to the east of Winchcombe. We leave Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Way steadily climbing the escarpment to reach the hamlet of Little Farmcote. We visit the site of the abandoned village of Pinnock, recorded in Domesday with a minimum population of 25 and by 1603 only seven communicants were recorded. We continue on our way to Temple Guiting associated with the Knights Templars and on to the pretty hamlets of Ford and Cutsdean. We follow the escarpment with open vistas past Beckbury Camp before starting our descent to Hailes. Here we will stop for a welcome cup of tea at the fruit farm before our return to Winchcombe. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 3 In the footsteps of Cromwell, Parr and Boleyn

Start time: 9:30 am

Distance: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:00 pm

Cost: £8

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

A circular walk for those interested in important historical characters featuring in Winchcombe’s past.  We pay a brief visit to St Peter’s Church to see the altar cloth, thought to have been stitched by Queen Catherine of Aragon during her stay at Sudeley Castle. We walk on to Hailes Abbey and discover the connection with Anne Boleyn before a steady rise to visit St Kenelm’s Well linked with St Kenelm. We descend to Sudeley Castle where we will have a talk about royal connections and the slighting of the castle before finishing at the Wesley House in Winchcombe.  Matthew Brown will give us an insight about its history over a cup of tea. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 4 Medieval Cotswold villages

Start time: 9:45 am

Distance: 8.5miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4.30 pm

Cost: £9

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

Transport takes us to the start of the walk at Roel Gate on the Salt Way, where we set off on our linear walk linking sites of the three long-abandoned medieval Cotswold villages of Hawling, Sennington and Whittington. The walk also visits four unspoilt present-day villages/hamlets and ends with a visit to the grounds of a unfortified stone-built Elizabethan and Jacobean manor house in Whittington by kind arrangement with the owner. Bring a picnic lunch.

 

Walk 5 Lights, camera, action

Start time: 10:30 am

Distance: 10 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:45 pm

Cost: £10

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

 A beautiful 10 mile walk from Snowshill to Winchcombe, taking in well known TV and film locations and passing some of the best local scenery. Transport to the hillside village of ‘Snozzle’ where  the village green and a local house featured as the home of Bridget’s Jones parents.  We descend to Stanway House, used for filming a number of big screen period dramas including BBC’s Wolf Hall.

Then over Salter’s Hill to Sudeley Castle, used for filming BBC period drama Father Brown, a television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and the 2008 mini-series adaptation of  Tess of the D’Urbervilles and on to Winchcombe. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 6 Whittington to Winchcombe via the ‘hamptons’

Start time: 11:30 am

Distance: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:00 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

Transport takes us south to Whittington, then we head north through delightful Cotswold countryside to the villages of Sevenhampton, Brockhampton and Charlton Abbots. The name Charlton Abbots harkens back to its association with the monks of Winchcombe Abbey. These villages are all off the beaten track and fairly hidden away in the wolds. We return through fields in the peaceful Sudeley Valley on our way to Winchcombe. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 7 Stroll to a private Roman villa

Start time: 1:30 pm

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:00 pm

Cost: £3

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

Starting from Winchcombe we take a circular walk to visit the private remains of a Roman villa (by kind permission of the owner). There is a collection of coins at Sudeley Castle excavated at this site. We return via the abandoned Waterhatch Farm and the Sudeley Valley. This is a rare opportunity to visit the site and see the mosaic floor inside.

Walk 8 Early evening walk

Start time: 5:45pm

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

End time: 7:30 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

  A short bus ride up Sudeley Hill to the top of the escarpment. We then begin our walk along the ancient Salt Way, the packhorse route used to transport precious salt during the Middle Ages. We then descend past Stancombe Wood with picturesque views towards Cleeve Common and Sudeley Castle, heading for the welcoming sight of Winchcombe in the valley below.  A pleasant way to end the day.  The walk will finish in time for those wish to participate in the dinner and quiz.

Event 9 Festival dinner and quiz

Start time: 8 pm

Distance:

Difficulty:

End time: 10:15 pm approx

Cost: £20

Starting point: Corner Cupboard, Gloucester Street

Always a very popular evening for festival goers. The evening is spent in a typical old Cotswolds Inn formerly a farmhouse built with some stone from Winchcombe Abbey. We start with a two-course meal and a chance to meet other walkers and discuss the day’s walks. After coffee there is a fun quiz with prizes.

Saturday 20th May walks Book here >

Walk 10 Winchcombe Way 21 mile ‘Challenge’

Start time: Between 8am - 9am

Distance: 21 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

End time: 6:00 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

This is a self-guided walk along the eastern loop of the Winchcombe Way, a signposted route with finger blades and way markers along the route.  The walk climbs up the escarpment and passes through woods, follows streams and goes through isolated villages. Entrants will receive a copy of the Winchcombe Way Guide plus a pen and certificate for finishing. Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water. There will be one checkpoint and water stop halfway round.

Terms and conditions for entering – you need to be in good physical health to enter this walk and be good at map reading. The walk has some steep sections so care is needed. You may encounter some fields containing cattle. There is some road crossing and lane walking, be aware of traffic and take care.            

Participants must have a mobile telephone and they must contact the event team if they plan to drop out for any reason. We will require contact details and a back up phone number in case needed. We will have a walker sweeping up behind. Participants must have enough food and water. 

Walk 11 Steam train and trek

Start time: 9 am

Distance: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 3:30 pm

Cost: £8

Starting point: Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD)

Meet at Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD) for a steam train ride to Gotherington Halt. The zigzag route back takes in Nottingham Hill and Prescott before dropping down into the Tirle Brook valley. Our route then climbs Langley Hill to meet the Gloucestershire Way. We return to Winchcombe Station via Gretton Hill Farm and Littleworth. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 12 From the north west frontier

Start time: 9 am

Distance: 12 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:30 pm

Cost: £10

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

We go by bus to pretty viilage of Overbury at the foot of Bredon Hill, an outlier of the Cotswolds. We set off eastwards along the lower slopes of Bredon Hill to Ashton under Hill, another lovely village. Then we head south, meeting the Winchcombe Way at Dumbleton Hill and following it through Alderton to Gretton. The final stage of the walk is up and over Langley Hill, with views back to the route walked. Bring a picnic lunch

Walk 13 Walk and a pub lunch in 16th century inn

Start time: 9:15 am

Distance: 13 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

End time: 4:15 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

Back by popular demand, but on a different route. This circular walk from Winchcombe sets off through the grounds of Sudeley Castle, then climbs past Parks Farm to the sinister sounding Deadmanbury Gate at the top of the hill. It is then a fairly level walk across farmland to Hawling, the site of a Medieval Village and on to the Craven Arms in Brockhampton just in time for lunch! Your table will be waiting and you shouldn’t have to wait long for your pre-ordered food. After lunch we return to Winchcombe via Warden’s Wood (planted by Cotswolds Wardens many years ago), Wontley Farm and Hill Barn Farm. Lunch is extra

Walk 14 Capturing the rural scene

Start time: 9:30 am

Distance: 11 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4.15 pm

Cost: £8

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

Join us for this circular walk from Winchcombe to the leaning tower of Woolstone. We follow the Gloucestershire Way past Dixton Manor where a historian will compare C18th landscape paintings with the current landscape. The lunch stop is at Woolstone Church before we return via Gotherington and Nottingham Hill. There are lovely ever-changing views, glimpses of steam trains and interesting things to discover along the way. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 15 Ancient route from Stumps Cross to Winchcombe

Start time: 10 am

Distance: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 1:30 pm

Cost: £7

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

We travel by bus to Stumps Cross at the top of Stanway Hill, then set off along Campden Lane, an old route from Chipping Campden.  After a mile we turn off to North Farmcote and its little church with big views.  Following the footpath around the valley, we stop for a break near Lynes Barn before picking up the Gloucestershire Way and the final descent to Winchcombe. Bring some refreshments.

Walk 16 life at Postlip Hall

Start time: 1:30 pm

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 4:30 pm

Cost: £4

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

A pleasant circular walk to Postlip Hall, a Grade 1 listed building. A resident will meet us there to talk about life in a Jacobean Manor House. We will find out how the eight families who live there manage to maintain the Hall, Church, Tythe Barn and grounds and what life there is really like.

Walk 17 Sunset walk

Start time: 6:30 pm

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 8:30 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

We take the service bus from Winchcombe to the top of Cleeve Hill. We cross onto Nottingham Hill and descend through fields to visit the ‘frog’ carving at Frog Wood. From here we take a path up on to Stanley Hill and pass through Langley Hill Farm before descending back to Winchcombe.

Event 18 Evening illustrated talk – Walking the Camino de Santiago

Start time: 8 pm

Distance:

Difficulty:

End time: 9:30 pm approx

Cost: £5

Starting point: White Hart Inn, High Street

A fascinating illustrated talk by Paul Clark (one of our walk leaders). Paul’s aversion to physical activity, laid-back manner and sense of humour will have you enthralled! Why not book a meal at the White Hart before the talk?  Profits from the evening will go to Marie Curie and Parkinson’s charities.

Sunday 21st May walks Book here >

Walk 19 Dawn chorus

Start time: 5 am

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

End time: 8:30 am

Cost: £4

Starting point: Cleeve Hill Golf Club car park

Meet at Cleeve Hill Golf Club car park (GL52 3PW) for an early morning walk on Nottingham Hill to identify birdsong with a local enthusiast and enjoy the Cotswold countryside at dawn. Cooked breakfast is available at the golf club at the end of the walk for an additional cost.

 

Walk 20 Steam to the races

Start time: 9:15 am

Distance: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 3:00 pm

Cost: £12

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

 Back by popular demand. This should be a great day out combining the fun of a steam train journey to Cheltenham racecourse station, with the exhilaration of walking over Cleeve Common. We start with a 1 mile walk to Winchcombe Station, where we board a steam train. From the station at Cheltenham racecourse we will walk around the northern perimeter to Prestbury before a steep climb up to Cleeve Cloud where the original races were held. The views should be spectacular and we will return to Winchcombe via deserted Wontley Farm.   Please bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 21 Winchcombe rollercoaster

Start time: 9:30 am

Distance: 11 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

End time: 3:45 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

This circular walk has a few ups and downs as the name suggests! We start with an ascent to Belas Knap, one of the best examples of a bonze age burial mound in the area. From here we drop down to the peaceful Sudeley Valley, before rising again to Roel Gate. From here there is a gradual descent to Winchcombe via Parks Farm, with views across to the Malvern Hills. This walk is not for the faint-hearted, but the views will reward you. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 22 Winchcombe’s spring flowers

Start time: 9:45 am

Distance: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

End time: 1:00 pm

Cost: £4

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

A leisurely circular walk around Winchcombe with a knowledgeable guide who will help you to identify the common wildflowers along the riverside, hedgerows and unimproved grassland on the lower slopes of the hills. This is a great way to learn and share knowledge with others and there will be time to take photos of your favourite flowers.

Walk 23 What goes on in Guiting Power?

Start time: 10:00 am

Distance: 7 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

End time: 3:30 pm

Cost: £6

Starting point: Guiting Power village car park (GL54 5TX)

Meet at Guiting Power village hall car park (£1 donation) for a circular walk through Castlett Wood and Kineton. We take the bridges beside four fords along the way (unless you fancy a paddle). We return to Guiting for a picnic lunch or if you prefer there are two pubs and a cafe in Guiting. After lunch in Guiting Power we visit a local farm owned by Guiting Power Ammenity Trust to learn about conservation. Bring a picnic lunch.

Walk 24 Steam train ride, talk and walk

Start time: 1:15 pm

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

End time: 4:30 pm

Cost: £8

Starting point: Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD)

We meet at Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD) for a ride on a nostalgic steam train to Toddington station. Here we are shown around the sheds and workshops where the old engines and carriages are restored, before walking back via Toddington village and the Isbourne Way to Winchcombe station.

Walk 25 Ginnels, snickets and alleys

Start time: 2 pm

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

End time: 4:00 pm

Cost: £1

Starting point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

A town walk with a real difference. Instead of looking at the historic buildings of the centre of Winchcombe, we discover as many cut-throughs as possible and explore history in the making! This three mile route explores the new developments to the north of the town and the proposed public open areas.

It makes an ideal ‘healthy walking’ route around town on hard surfaces for those days when you don’t want to brave the mud. Along the way we will be discussing all the regional names for alleyways, so it’s your chance to tell us of any lesser known names. 

For the festival’s terms and conditions please click here