Barrow Wake - Buckholt Wood - Cranham - Birdlip - Barrow Wake

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Barrow Wake is a viewpoint on the Cotswold Edge, overlooking Cheltenham and Gloucester and far-reaching views beyond. The site derives its name from three skeletons lying in a stone-lined burial tomb that were discovered in 1879. Several other objects were also found, all dating from the late Iron Age.

The walk starts by heading through wildflower-rich grasslands, home to a huge variety of flowers and insects, including the rare Musk Orchid and Chalk Hill Blue Butterfly. Belted Galloway cattle have also been introduced to the site that you are likely to see roaming around, which keep more coarse grasses and scrub at bay, protecting the more delicate flowers.

The walk then heads into woodland, which dominates much of this walk. It continues along the Cotswold Edge for some time, following the Cotswold Way, with occasional glimpses of the view below and further along, the Witcombe Reservoirs can be seen.

After leaving the Cotswold Way, there is a short climb back to the top of the ridge, then through Buckholt Wood to Cranham. After a short walk through the village and the chance for a stop at the local pub, the walk heads across Cranham Common and then into yet more woodland, this time in a steep-sided valley, where a small stream can be seen flowing at the bottom. Much of the woodland on the walk is part of a national nature reserve, preserving some of the best examples of beech woods in Europe.

England - South West England - Gloucestershire - Cotswolds


Ancient Monument, Butterflies, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Wildlife, Woodland

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16.8 Miles
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