Swineford - Upton Cheyney - North Stoke

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This walk offers a lot of variety, from the water meadows of the River Avon through pastures and woodland to the steep limestone slopes of the Cotswolds Ridge. Considering it is a walk from river level up to the highest land in the area (trig point at Hanging Hill), the route is surprisingly gentle, with only one persistently steep stretch beyond Beach.

For part of the way the route follows the Cotswold Way (which leads from Bath Abbey to Chipping Campden) and this section is particularly well-signposted with obvious footpaths and well-maintained stiles. It is not suitable for pushchairs and some agility is needed to climb a few of the stiles and maintain a footing on the slopes.

History enthusiasts will enjoy the battlefield information point, which helps interpret the civil war earthworks still visible in the fields today. The route then takes you further back in time by passing through an Iron Age hill-fort.

For nature lovers, buzzards, woodpeckers, redwing and skylarks have been abundant on my walks with the occasional deer visible on the woodland fringes. The route passes the entrance to Pipley Wood, which has paths laid out as a circular nature trail (albeit one that requires additional descent and ascent on sometimes very wet ground).

The views across to Bristol and beyond, across the Bristol Channel to Wales, are fantastic on a clear day, especially from Prospect Stile which is equipped with a useful guide to the visible landmarks.

England - South West England - Somerset - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
04/05/2010 - Simon Thomas

Did this walk today (3 May 2010)and it was a good one. The instructions for waypoints 8 to 9 could have been clearer though. Where it says "continue to the higher ground" (waypoint 8) you need, at some point, to go through a gate which then leads up a steep hill to then get to the radio mast.

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