Festival Programme

 
“With its timbered inns, centuries-old architecture, fascinating history, independent shops and local produce, Winchcombe is every inch the perfect English walking town. Surrounded by stunning countryside …..”  Country Walking  (January 2019)

 

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Friday 17th May walks

  • Walk 1 Over Cotswold outliers to Beckford nature reserve

    Start time: 9:00

    Distance: 10.5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 15:30

    Cost: £9

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A varied walk over hills and across the vale to Beckford nature reserve where primroses, violets and bluebells cover the woodland floor. The small island in the lake is home to larger water birds’ nests with other nesting birds all over the reserve. We then walk on to Beckford Silk. Started in 1975 the original idea was to make things, by hand, in the countryside, very much the same idea that had… Read more

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  • Walk 2 Something is brewing – Sorry sold out

    Start time: 9:15

    Distance: 9 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 16:30

    Cost: £12

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    Transport to the Donnington Brewery. A rare chance to visit a brewery set in a 13th-century watermill beside a millpond in a secluded setting.  Richard Arkell began brewing on the site in 1865 and today the mill wheel is still used to drive pumps and machinery to brew our beer the same way 150 years on. After the tour we walk through pretty countryside through Lower and Upper Slaughter to finish o… Read more

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  • Walk 3 Sowing the seeds

    Start time: 9.30

    Distance: 7 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 15.00

    Cost: £8

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A circular walk out towards Hailes where we tour seed trials. The grass seed breeder offers one of the world’s largest research and breeding programmes for both turf and forage.  We walk around the trial sites and learn more about the research which lay behind these trial beds and their adaptation to different climatic and environmental conditions. The different grasses are used from premier footb… Read more

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  • Walk 4 Diseases and cures

    Start time: 9.45

    Distance: 9.5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 16.00

    Cost: £8

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A popular circular walk, but with a twist. The walk leader, with a medical background, will explain how diseases have afflicted the local population over centuries. The walk heads off to Hailes, then Farmcote to explore the medieval scourges of leprosy, smallpox, scrofula and Black Death. Discover the probable site of a village plague pit and learn about the local contribution to smallpox vaccinat… Read more

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  • Walk 5 The heavy metal walk

    Start time: 10.15

    Distance: 8 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 16.30

    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 MetalArt, 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 chandelie… Read more

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  • Walk 6 Dig the Tudors

    Start time: 12.45

    Distance: 4 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 16.30

    Cost: £5

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    With kind permission of Sudeley Castle we visit the property to gain an insight into an important archaeological dig about to start. A recent geophysical survey has revealed that a mysterious hump in one of the castle’s fields is surrounded by the ghostly layout of a nearly perfect, undisturbed Tudor garden. This could be one of only two remaining gardens in England where the original Tudor paths… Read more

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  • Walk 7 A sortie along the Sudeley Valley

    Start time: 13.00

    Distance: 5.5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 16.30

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    Transport to Sevenhampton village just beyond the head of the Sudeley valley.  We walk from Sevenhampton to the nearby village of Brockhampton and then on to the tiny settlement of Charlton Abbots which is near the head of Sudeley Valley. We then follow the Beesmoor Brook along the valley towards Sudeley Castle before returning to Winchcombe. Bring some refreshments. Linear walk along Sudeley Vall… Read more

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  • Walk 8 Early evening walk

    Start time: 17.45

    Distance: 3 miles

    Difficulty: Easy

    End time: 19.15

    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 by the ancient Salt Way, the packhorse route used to transport precious salt during the Middle Ages. We descend with beautiful vistas of the Cotswold landscape, past sheep with their lambs towards the welcoming sight of Winchcombe. Although there is no uphill on this walk, the ground underfoot can be rough and st… Read more

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  • Event 9 Festival dinner and quiz

    Start time: 19.45 for 20.00 dinner

    Distance: n/a

    Difficulty: n/a

    End time: approx 22.15

    Cost: £21

    Starting Point: Corner Cupboard Inn, 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.

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Saturday 18th May walks

  • Walk 10 Winchcombe Way 21 mile ‘Challenge’

    Start time: 8.00 to 9.00

    Distance: 21 miles

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    End time: 18.00

    Cost: £7

    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 heads out through tranquil settings to Temple Guiting, Cutsdean and Snowshill before descending the escarpment and passing through several hamlets and back to Winchcombe.  Entrants will receive a copy of the Winchcombe Way Guide for navigating pl… Read more

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  • Walk 11 The pub lunch walk

    Start time: 9.00

    Distance: 13.5 miles

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    End time: 16.45

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A circular walk via Belas Knap and remote West Wood to the Craven Arms, a C16th inn in Brockhampton for lunch (lunch extra). We return via Wardens Wood and a secretive valley on the edge of Cleeve Common back to Winchcombe.

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  • Walk 12 Take the high road

    Start time: 9.15

    Distance: 10.5 miles

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    End time: 16.00

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    The walk climbs out of the valley to take in great views, whilst passing a Cistercian Abbey and Iron age hill fort, then following an old drover’s route to Deadmanbury Gate, before returning to Winchcombe. Bring a picnic lunch.

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  • Walk 13 Sample one of the Cotswold Way’s best bits

    Start time: 9.30

    Distance: 8.5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 15.15

    Cost: £8

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A short bus ride to Stanton junction where we alight and walk to the picture-postcard perfect village of Stanton situated at the bottom of the Cotswold escarpment. We follow the Cotswold Way through parkland to Stanway House. The walk becomes more challenging as we ascend the escarpment to Stumps Cross with fantastic views to the west. We drop down to Winchcombe via Hayles Fruit Farm and the ruins… Read more

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  • Walk 14 Cleeve Hill and its social history

    Start time: 9.40

    Distance: 6 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 14.00

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    Transport to Cleeve Hill, where we explore the common to look for fascinating features that explain the social history of the area.  We will look at the development of Cleeve Hill as a leisure destination and a health resort in the nineteenth century. We will also see how the topography shaped industrial development in the North Cotswolds.The walk returns via the abandoned Wontley Farm and Belas K… Read more

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  • Walk 15 The Three ‘Ways’

    Start time: 10.00

    Distance: 8 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 14.30

    Cost: £3

    Starting Point: Guiting Power Village Hall

    We meet at Guiting Power Village Hall (GL54 5TX), 50p donation for the car park. A delightful circular walk using the Winchcombe Way, the Warden’s Way and the Windrush Way to take in Guiting Wood and the village of Hawling. There will be an opportunity for refreshments at the end of the walk in the Old Post Office at Guiting Power. Bring a picnic lunch.

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  • Walk 16 Making a bee line

    Start time: 13.30

    Distance: 6 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 17.00

    Cost: £5

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A short but steep walk over the hill to Gretton where we meet a bee keeper and his apiary. We learn about bee keeping and there will be an opportunity for a cup of tea in the garden while a brave few can get togged up in bee suits for a much closer look. From there we visit the crumbling Gretton Tower. This place of worship was founded in the 11th century, but was closed in 1868. We then take a sh… Read more

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  • Walk 17 Train and trek

    Start time: 14.00

    Distance: 5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 17.00

    Cost: £7

    Starting Point: Winchcombe Station, Greet

    We meet at Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD) and take a train ride (railcar) to Gotherington Halt station where access is by foot only. We walk back skirting the hills with good views of the railway to Stanley Pontlarge before heading across to Gretton and continue following the hill around to return to Winchcombe Station. Bring suitable refreshments.

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  • Event 18 Evening illustrated talk – Walking the coast of England and Wales

    Start time: 20.00

    Distance: n/a

    Difficulty: n/a

    End time: 21.30

    Cost: £5

    Starting Point: The White Hart, High Street

    An Illustrated talk about one man’s mission to walk the entire coastline of England and Wales. Join us to hear about the ups and downs, listen to the moving stories of the people that he met along the way and the amazing acts of kindness received. Join us with a drink for a pleasant evening in the downstairs room of the White Hart, High Street, Winchcombe.

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Sunday 19th May walks

  • Walk 19 Winchcombe’s southern uplands

    Start time: 9.00

    Distance: 13.5 miles

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    End time: 16.30

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    An undulating walk passing through many historic sites neighbouring Winchcombe, including St Kenelm’s Well, Waterhatch, Belas Knap and Postlip Hall. We cross the wide expanse of Cleeve Common for a welcome cup of tea or coffee, before a gentle descent along the River Isbourne back to Winchcombe. Bring a picnic lunch.

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  • Walk 20 Explore Nottingham Hill

    Start time: 9.15

    Distance: 9 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 14.30

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A circular walk following the lower slopes of Nottingham Hill on some less well known paths, with great views all around. We head off west towards Prescott, passing the ramparts of Nottingham Hill Iron Age hill fort before following the contours around the hill. The views across the Severn Vale and Cheltenham open up as we walk above Woodmancote to Cleeve Hill. Then it’s all down hill via Postlip… Read more

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  • Walk 21 A man out standing in his field

    Start time: 9.30

    Distance: 5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 12.30

    Cost: £3

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A nice Sunday morning walk out towards Cleeve Common and Postlip Farm. here we will get an insight into farming before we head to Dryfield. We will follow a path into the valley and return beside Langley Hill.

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  • Walk 22 Sudeley Castle and the Civil War

    Start time: 9.45

    Distance: 3.5 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 12.30

    Cost: £6

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    We take an indirect route to arrive at Sudeley Castle where we will enter the grounds to visit the church. Here, the Castle’s story during the Civil War will be brought to life before you with an educational talk from one of the castle’s knowledgeable guides. Situated midway between the King’s headquarters at Oxford and the staunchly loyal West Country, Sudeley’s strategic importance to the Royali… Read more

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  • Walk 23 Circumnavigate a Cotswold outlier

    Start time: 10.00

    Distance: 6 miles

    Difficulty: Moderate

    End time: 14.00

    Cost: £3

    Starting Point: Outside Gardeners Arms, Alderton

    Meet outside the Gardeners Arms, Alderton (GL20 8NL) for a walk around and over this Cotswold outlying hill. Owned by Dumbleton Estate, the mix of arable and woodland with deep valleys is managed for game birds. On route we pass through Dumbleton village, before taking in views of the Cotswold escarpment and Cleeve Hill on the way back to Alderton. There is an opportunity for refreshments at the G… Read more

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  • Walk 24 Steam train ride, talk and walk

    Start time: 12.30

    Distance: 4 miles

    Difficulty: Easy

    End time: 16.00

    Cost: £7

    Starting Point: Winchcombe Station, Greet

    We meet at Winchcombe Station, Greet (GL54 5LD) and take the steam train to Toddington Station, where we are shown around the workshops by volunteers from the GWSR before walking back to Winchcombe Station. The walk back takes us through Toddington village, crossing the River Isbourne, before returning to Greet.

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  • Walk 25 Identifying wild flowers

    Start time: 13.30

    Distance: 4 miles

    Difficulty: Easy

    End time: 16.00

    Cost: £3

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A gentle walk in the Sudeley Valley looking for wild flowers in hedgerows and field margins. Learn how to take photographs or make   simple sketches and notes to help identify them later. Those interested can return to Abbey Fields to check with wild flower books over a cup of tea. Bring a simple camera (a phone will do) and/or a hard-backed sketch book and pencil.

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  • Walk 26 Ginnels, snickets and alleys

    Start time: 14.00

    Distance: 3 miles

    Difficulty: Easy

    End time: 16.00

    Cost: £2

    Starting Point: Abbey Fields, Winchcombe

    A town walk with a difference. Explore Winchcombe using new and old cut-throughs including new developments and community land to the north of the town. Along the way we will discuss regional dialects for cut-throughs. Very popular for those unfamiliar with the many paths and passageways. 

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