Take the train to the famous racecourse and see the racecourse close up before climbing the escarpment to the foot of Cleeve Common. Follow the edge of the common before a gentle descent to Winchcombe via the Isbourne valley. The walk continues through Winchcombe to Winchcombe station situated in Greet.
Distance: 9 miles / 14.4 km
Duration: 4.5 hours (walking)
Start/finish: Winchcombe GWSR Station situated in Greet. Grid ref: SP 050/232
Postcode: GL54 5LD
OS maps: Outdoor Leisure 45, Landranger 163
Refreshments: Rising Sun, Cleeve Hill Golf Club, several places in Winchcombe or Winchcombe Station.
Ascent: 1,027 feet/313 metres
Descent: 968 feet/295metres
This walk needs to be planned in conjunction with the train timetable available at: www.gwsr.com
Park at Winchcombe Station or considerately in a nearby street. After purchasing your ticket take the train to Cheltenham racecourse.
Go up the main steps to leave the station through the gate. Turn left and follow the railway line cutting on your left for 50m to a stile, continue straight on towards a signal box and a gate on the left hand side of a fence. Follow the left hand field boundary and a track to a gate and footbridge over a stream. Cross and continue to a road; turn left along the road to a gate almost immediately on your right A.
Follow the path across the field and head towards a post situated by a junction of tracks. Turn left at the post onto a track which curves to the left towards a windsock post. The track turns to the right and heads towards a hedge. Immediately bear slightly right away from the track towards a gate/fieldgate. Go through and follow the path with the hedgerow on your left to another gate/fieldgate.
Continue straight on and follow the path by the racecourse perimeter fence on your right to a stile/gate. Go through and continue along the path to a junction. Here turn left by a house on your left and walk 50m to a stile B. Cross and enter a lane (Park Lane); follow this to a T-junction with Spring Lane and turn left. Follow the lane to the end where you meet a gate C.
Go through and turn left to follow the left hand field boundary to another gate. Go through and continue across the field to a gate followed by a footbridge. Follow the path to a gate and enter the next field. Continue by the left hand field boundary to the far side and a gap between fields. Go through and bear right on a track towards the rear of Ellenborough Park hotel to join another path.
Continue as the path runs parallel to the hotel to reach a field gate. Go through to reach a lane (Southam Lane). Turn right along the pavement to a T-junction; turn right up to next T-junction with the B4632.
Turn left at the junction taking care of any traffic and walk ahead to a bus stop. Here cross the B4632 and enter Sunset Lane D opposite. Follow the lane to the end and a stile/fieldgate. Cross and bear right to a waymarked post and follow the right hand field boundary to a stile; cross and continue straight on to meet a track.
Continue straight on and follow the track to a three-way fork; take the less distinct middle track and continue uphill (ignoring other paths going to left and right) as the path steepens and enters a scrubby area before narrowing and reaching a gate. Go through and there is a sign post ahead.
Turn right and follow the fence on your right until you reach a metal field gate and footpath sign E. Here turn left and follow the path uphill towards the escarpment as it curves right and then left to meet some large rectangular blocks of stone. Turn left and follow the left hand track with a seat ahead, the track bears right towards some houses and keep to the track that passes next to a house. The track rises, past two further stone blocks before joining a lane.
Follow the lane to the right until you reach some houses and a junction adjacent to the rear of a pub (Rising Sun). Bear right and follow the track along the edge of the common with a stone wall on your left. The tracks rises, fork right by the rear of some houses before heading towards a solitary tree. Keep to the right of a house F and straight on up to meet a golf fairway. Follow the edge of the fairway to arrive at the golf club house (open to the public) and a track leading off the common.
Continue straight across the track and follow the Cotswold Way and edge of the common to a field gate where you exit the common. Go through and continue straight on and descend slightly until you meet a second field gate to re-enter the common G. Keeping to the Cotswold Way, take the middle of three paths downhill towards a Cotswold Way marker post and bear left at the post towards some trees flanking a wall and gate. Go through the gate and follow the wall to a small stabling area. Keep to the footpath around the wall and pass through field gates to arrive by some buildings. Follow the Cotswold Way through the gates and skirt Postlip Hall to your left behind a high stone wall (the Hall can be glimpsed from time to time). Follow the path to a gate by a tarmac drive H.
Cross the drive leaving the Cotswold Way and go through the gate opposite; follow the path to another gate entering a field. Continue beside the left hand field boundary for approx ½ mile (0.8km), passing some restored pools on your left. At the end of the field, turn left through the gate, over a footbridge and turn right; follow the path towards Postlip Mill. This is a working industrial site so please take care.
The path leads you to an access road, cross and turn right; continue on a stone path ignoring a gate on your right; follow the path to the left, above the buildings before the path turns left and descends to a gate. Turn left and follow the lane; where the main track bears left, go straight on and up to a gate ahead. Follow the path beside the right hand field boundary and the River Isbourne until you reach a gate on your left; go through followed by another gate to meet a road J.
Continue ahead for approx 40m before turning right into Corndean Lane. Cross the river and continue up the lane taking care of any traffic for approx 200m before turning left along the Cotswold Way.
Follow the path and go though a gate; continue across the field bearing left to another gate by a road. Go through and turn left, go over the river and follow the road up to a T-junction in the centre of Winchcombe.
Turn right and follow the pavement towards the shops; before the White Hart Inn turn right into Castle Street and follow the road down and cross the river again. Between some cottages on your left is an alleyway marked Isbourne Way; turn left along the path and go through a gate to enter a field. Follow the path to a gated footbridge and continue by the river to another gate adjacent to a road K.
Turn left at the road and after 50m cross the road and enter ‘Riverside’. Go past three houses on your right and turn right into a cul-de-sac. At the end take the footpath on your left beside a large tree; do not go straight up but bear right around a house and follow the footpath beside the river.
The tarmac path veers left into a housing estate; follow the path up and continue straight ahead (Wyndham Way) to meet a T-junction with Greenways. Turn right and follow the road to meet Greet Road, opposite a cemetery L.
Turn right and follow the road past a surgery to the school where you need to cross the road and continue in the same direction to a railway bridge crossing the heritage railway. Before the bridge turn right and follow the road to the station.
The walk can be shortened at the Rising Sun by taking the bus back to Winchcombe. Passengers are advised the bus stops are request stops. Indicate to the driver to stop.
WWaW hope you enjoy the walk, however the walk is undertaken at your sole risk and WWaW have no responsibility for loss, damage, injury or interpretation. Every possible care has been taken to ensure the information given was accurate at the time of creation.