Wood Carving Walk

Winchcombe to Langley Hill Drover Carving – Wood carving walk

A circular walk from Winchcombe to the new drover wood carving on Langley Hill. Ever changing views of the surrounding hills, Vale of Evesham and the wood carving.

Distance: 4.5 miles /6.5kms
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Steep sections up and down, rough pasture and some muddy sections after rain.
Start/finish: Back Lane car park – £1 all day. Toilets 20p in car park. Refreshments: none on route
Ascent: 500 feet/150 metres

Leave Back Lane car park by the road entrance, turn left and then right into Barnmeadow Road. At the end of the road turn left into Orchard Road. Go straight on, then turn right into Knottes Close. In approx 25 metres turn left in front of a row of houses to a kissing gate, leading into a field. A Go through the gate and follow the path straight ahead through a field gate and on to another kissing gate on the far side to the right of some tall poplar trees.

Go through and cross the farm track and take the narrow path opposite. Go over a footbridge, through a kissing gate and enter a pasture. Head straight up Langley Hill towards a field gate and kissing gate situated at the top of the field. Please be aware there are often cows grazing in these fields. Go through the kissing gate and head straight up again, keeping just to the left of the highest point, to a field gate and a kissing gate. This is a good spot to rest and admire the view behind you.

Continue straight uphill until you meet a path coming in from the left (Gloucestershire & Winchcombe Way). Follow this path uphill to a wooden marker post and then a kissing gate in the top right hand corner of the field. The path takes you diagonally across this field.

You will see a ruined barn on the right, then another marker post and hedge. Follow hedge uphill, as views to the Vale of Evesham open up to your right. Go through a kissing gate to reach a track B; continue straight on to meet two field gates ahead. Bear right through the field gate on the right leading downhill, then turn immediately left along the path to a kissing gate. Go through to re-join the original track and continue to your right, following the signpost for ‘Far Stanley’ along the grassy track around the hillside. (Alderton Hill and Dumbleton Hill come into view). Stay parallel to the trees on your left, and bear left at a waymarked post, C to follow the Gloucestershire Way. Pass through a field gate and continue ahead signposted Far Stanley, ignoring a path that leads up the escarpment on your left.

The exact route of the path through the rough pasture then becomes unclear, but follow roughly the same level. The path goes slightly downhill, levels out past a small pond on the right, and then passes a boggy area on the left (there are several springs in this section, often creating muddy patches in wet weather). The path then rises towards a waymarked post before a gate signed ‘Stanley Farm’ D.

Carry straight on through a narrow ungrazed area for approximately 500 metres to meet a post and wire fence on your right. Follow this to a track which is a bridleway E.

Turn right down the track towards a field gate. Go through, and a the bottom of the slope is a junction of paths. Turn left through the field gate with a sign to Cleeve Hill and Cockbury Butts. Follow the wire fence on your left until you reach the wood carving of a drover and his dog.

Drover Wood Carving on Langley Hill
Drover Wood Carving on Langley Hill

The placard on the right hand side reads ‘

In 1999 the previous landowner (since retired) commissioned a wood carving out of a dead ash tree and the carving became known as ‘The millennium Man’. Sadly, after much tender care from the local Cotswold Voluntary Wardens the carving’s life came to an end in October 2020.

The current carving has been commissioned using cedar and sits on an old drover’s road, an ancient ‘green’ road that would have once been busy  with drovers herding their sheep and cattle to market. The drover sits on a support built by Winchcombe Cotswold Voluntary wardens.

The new carving has come from generous grants  and donations from Gloucestershire County Council ‘Growing our Communities Fund’, the ‘Wardens Countryside Fund’ where funds come from contributions by the public, and Winchcombe Walkers are Welcome.

Carved by Neil Gow.

Retrace your steps through the field gate and up the hill. When you get back to the junction at E, carry on up the bridleway between bushes. Pass through a field gate, then keep to the right hand edge of the field and join the grassy track ahead. Follow this and join a stoney track (can be wet after rain), noticing the good views of Cleeve Hill on the right.

After about half a mile (0.8km), you will meet a junction of tracks near farm buildings. Continue forward and down the hill on the track, ignoring the bridleway going off to the right. The track passes through a farmyard F before reaching the tarmac surfaced ‘Harveys Lane’. Descend the hill for about half a mile (0.8km), admiring the view of Winchcombe and its surrounding hills. Ignore Abbots Leys Road on the left and continue downhill until you reach Langley Road.

Turn left, then at the junction and straight on along Back Lane to the car park.

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.