15 Best Walks in Gloucestershire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Gloucestershire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

If you’re looking for a way to get out of the hustle and bustle of daily life, then Gloucestershire is the perfect spot for a refreshing walk.

With its rolling hills, lush green meadows, and serene rivers, it’s the ideal place to take in some breathtaking views while getting some exercise.

To make your experience even better, we’ve put together a list of 15 of the best walks in Gloucestershire.

From hikes up high peaks to leisurely strolls through picturesque villages, these routes will give you an unforgettable day out.

1. Painswick And Edge Circular Walk

Longridge Wood - Painswick, Gloucestershire
Photo by Martin Richard Phelan

This scenic circular walk in the Cotswolds is a great way to experience some of the best walks in Gloucestershire.

Starting from Painswick, a picturesque village with honey-colored buildings and rolling countryside, it quickly becomes apparent why this area has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The route follows a variety of footpaths and lanes, giving spectacular views across the surrounding valleys and hillsides.

Along the way, you’ll pass through Edge, a charming hamlet nestled in a peaceful valley that is home to many ancient trees.

Take time to explore its delightful church before continuing on your journey.

As you make your way along the network of paths, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including red kites and buzzards soaring overhead.

After enjoying miles of picturesque scenery, return to Painswick where you can reward yourself with refreshments at one of the local cafes or pubs.

2. Cooper’s Hill And Buckholt Wood Circular

Footpath from The Buckholt
Photo by Jonathan Billinger

Continuing the exploration of the best walks in Gloucestershire, our next stop is Cooper’s Hill and Buckholt Wood Circular.

This walk offers a delightful combination of beautiful rolling hills and peaceful woodland trails.

The route begins at Cooper’s Hill, where you can admire the breathtaking views as you ascend to the summit.

Once you reach the top, take a moment to savor your accomplishment before beginning your descent into Buckholt Wood.

Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush greenery as you meander along winding paths.

Along the way, be sure to keep an eye out for plentiful wildlife which may include deer and birds of prey.

At the end of this journey, you’ll have gained a new appreciation for nature and its beauty.

As such, this 5-mile circular walk is a rewarding experience that will leave you enriched and inspired – making it an ideal choice if you’re looking to explore some of Gloucestershire’s finest countryside.

3. Painswick And Slad Loop

Slad valley
Photo by Derek Harper

The Painswick and Slad Loop makes for an excellent day out in the Gloucestershire countryside.

This 6-mile walk is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy some of the area’s best views.

The route takes in rolling hills, lush green pastures, classic Cotswold villages, and ancient woodlands – all just a stone’s throw from each other.

The walk begins in Painswick, an enchanting village full of character.

From here you can take in stunning views across the valley before heading off into the hills.

Along the way you will be treated to classic Cotswold scenery – rolling hillsides with grazing sheep, winding lanes lined with ancient trees, and picturesque villages like Upper Slaughter.

The route also passes through Slad Valley – a peaceful place that inspired Thomas Hardy’s famous novel ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Once you reach your destination at Slad, there are plenty of places to eat and drink before heading back home.

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Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or something more strenuous, this loop is sure to fulfill your needs while providing an unforgettable experience!

4. Beechenhurst

Beechenhurst is the perfect destination for a day of exploration in the Gloucestershire countryside.

This popular spot is located within the Forest of Dean and offers stunning views across the River Wye.

Beechenhurst boasts a variety of walks, from easy strolls through woodlands to challenging hikes across hilltops.

The Sculpture Trail follows a circular route and winds past eleven incredible artworks created by local artists.

The trail also passes by an 18-hole golf course, so you can take a swing while admiring the beautiful landscape.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, then why not tackle one of the many mountain bike trails?

There are plenty of options, ranging from gentle rides through woodland to extreme downhill challenges.

Beechenhurst also has an aerial adventure course, where you can explore high up in the trees and test your nerve!

After all, that exercise, reward yourself with a delicious lunch at one of the cafes or pubs nearby.

No matter what kind of activity you choose, Beechenhurst provides an escape from everyday life and a chance to enjoy nature’s splendor.

So why not take some time out and explore this enchanting part of Gloucestershire?

5. Symonds Yat Rock

Symonds Yat Rock is one of the most iconic hikes in Gloucestershire, and certainly a must-do for any visitor to the region.

This spectacular natural feature is found on the edge of the River Wye, which winds its way through some of England’s most beautiful countryside.

It’s an easy walk up to Symonds Yat Rock, with stunning views across the river below.

As you make your way up, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of flora and fauna along the way.

Once at the top, there’s a great view over both sides of the valley, making it an ideal spot for a picnic and some time to take in the scenery.

There are also lots of opportunities to spot some interesting wildlife in this area such as red kites and buzzards.

The freedom of being outdoors coupled with stunning views makes this hike a perfect escape from everyday life – it’s easy to lose yourself in nature here!

With plenty of different routes available, including shorter loops for those who don’t want to tackle the full circuit, Symonds Yat Rock hikes offer something for everyone.

So why not explore Gloucestershire by taking a stroll through this incredible part of England?

6. Mallards Pike

Mallards Pike is a stunning walk located in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

A peaceful stroll through this ancient forest will take you past tall trees, picturesque streams, and a variety of wildlife.

The trail is suitable for all ages and abilities.

There are plenty of benches to rest on along the way and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife such as deer and badgers.

The path is well-marked with easy-to-follow signs that guide visitors around the trails.

There are also several points where you can stop for refreshments or take a break from walking.

As you make your way around the loop, you’ll pass by some stunning views across the valley, which make Mallards Pike an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike.

This tranquil forest provides an escape from urban life, giving visitors the opportunity to reconnect with nature and enjoy some fresh air.

With its beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere, Mallards Pike has something for everyone; whether it’s a gentle wander through the woods or an adventurous hike up its slopes, this place has something special to offer everyone who visits it.

7. Castle Combe And Nettleton Mill Circular

The next best walk in Gloucestershire is the Castle Combe and Nettleton Mill Circular.

This captivating trail combines a mix of nature, history, and plenty of captivating sights.

As you take a walk along this route, you’ll enjoy an idyllic valley setting with some of the country’s most stunning vistas.

The circular route begins in the picturesque village of Castle Combe, where you can take a stroll through the meandering streets to admire some of the oldest buildings in England.

From here, head south towards Nettleton Mill, which is surrounded by lush green fields that are home to many species of wildlife.

Along your journey, keep an eye out for wild deer grazing in the meadows and birds fluttering overhead.

As you make your way around the circular route, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views across rolling hills and pastures.

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You’ll also pass through charming little hamlets and villages that have been unchanged for centuries – an enchanting journey back in time!

After completing this delightful walk through Gloucestershire’s countryside, you won’t be able to resist coming back for more invigorating hikes.

8. King Arthur’s Cave

Gloucestershire is home to one of the most captivating and mysterious caves in the country – King Arthur’s Cave.

Nestled deep within the limestone hills of the Forest of Dean, this cave has been steeped in mythology and legend for centuries.

The entrance to King Arthur’s Cave is a narrow crevice that opens up into an expansive chamber with dramatic stalactites and stalagmites that stretch up to 20ft high.

Visitors can walk through winding pathways, admire incredible rock formations, and take in the breathtaking views from its lofty heights.

This magical experience is sure to leave one feeling inspired and invigorated.

With its mystical atmosphere and impressive natural features, King Arthur’s Cave is an unforgettable journey into a world unlike any other.

9. Blockley And Batsford Circular

The Blockley and Batsford Circular is a stunning walk that will give you an insight into the beauty of Gloucestershire.

It’s an easy-to-moderate route with some lovely views across the Cotswolds – it’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or even a brisk hike.

Starting in Blockley, you’ll wind your way through pastures and hedgerows, taking in streams, woodlands, and rolling hills as you go.

It’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along the way.

You’ll pass by the Batsford Arboretum too, which is home to many rare species of trees.

As you reach Batsford, you can wander around the gardens or have lunch at one of the local pubs before heading back along the same path.

This laidback loop is full of wonders waiting to be explored, offering plenty of chances to get away from it all and savor some much-needed peace and quiet on your own terms.

With its fresh air and unspoiled countryside, this picturesque walk is sure to leave you feeling reinvigorated and ready for whatever comes next.

10. Severn Way And Berkeley Castle Loop

The next walk on the list is an incredible combination of two of Gloucestershire’s most beautiful trails.

To begin, you’ll find yourself meandering along the banks of the River Severn as you follow the Severn Way.

This path offers some of the most picturesque views in all of England, including an array of wildflowers, rolling hills, and ancient woodlands.

As you continue along this section keep your eyes peeled for a variety of wildlife, including kingfishers and otters.

Once you reach Berkeley Castle, you can turn onto the Berkeley Castle loop to explore the castle grounds and its charming village.

The castle dates back to 1153 and stands proudly atop a rocky hilltop with spectacular views over the River Severn.

You can also explore the gardens here, where you’ll find an abundance of rare plants and trees.

As you make your way around the loop, take some time to admire the old buildings that line its route before returning to your starting point at Berkeley Castle.

With its stunning scenery, historical sites, and abundant wildlife, this walk is sure to be one that will stay with you long after your journey is complete.

11. Sapperton Loop

The Sapperton loop is a stunning walk in the stunning Gloucestershire countryside.

It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, taking in the sights and sounds of this unspoiled landscape. Starting at King’s Stanley, the route takes you through some of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds area.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and quaint hamlets with their charming cottages.

The walk itself is quite easygoing, as it follows mainly flat paths and trails.

There are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in your surroundings along the way.

The route takes you past some of Gloucestershire’s finest churches and monuments – including St Mary’s Church at Sapperton which dates back to Norman times.

As you make your way around the loop, keep an eye out for local wildlife too – there are plenty of deer, badgers, and foxes living in these parts!

With its peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking scenery, the Sapperton loop is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Gloucestershire.

12. Winchcombe

Winchcombe is a small market town in Gloucestershire, England, and its surrounding countryside makes for a wonderful day of exploration.

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The area is filled with steep hills, deep valleys, and delightful woodlands. It’s the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just take in the sights of nature.

A popular walk here is the Cotswolds Way, which passes through Winchcombe on its 100-mile journey across the Cotswold Hills.

Along this route, you’ll find plenty of picturesque villages, rolling meadows, and ancient woodland.

You may even spot a few wild deer or red kites if you keep your eyes peeled!

For those wanting to explore more of rural Gloucestershire, there are many other great walks around Winchcombe.

From romantic strolls along country lanes to invigorating hikes up into the hills – there’s something for all abilities here.

Whether it’s an afternoon hike or an overnight adventure – Winchcombe has it all!

So why not get out there and discover what this beautiful part of England has to offer?

13. Highmeadow Woods

Leaving Winchcombe behind, the next stop is Highmeadow Woods, a lush green haven just off the Cotswolds Way.

Here, visitors will find miles of trails to explore and a true sense of serenity.

The woods are part of a larger network of ancient woodlands that have been around since the Iron Age, creating an atmosphere rich with history.

The paths here range from easy to moderate in difficulty, with some great views over the hills and valleys that make up the landscape.

As you wander through these woods you will be surrounded by an abundance of wildlife including badgers, buzzards, red kites, and deer.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike, this is certainly one of Gloucestershire’s finest walks – perfect for getting away from it all and reconnecting with nature.

14. Wotton-Under-Edge

Wotton-Under-Edge, located in the picturesque Cotswolds, is one of the best walks in Gloucestershire.

This charming village offers a variety of walking routes for all levels of hikers and ramblers.

From gentle strolls along the banks of the River Frome to more challenging hikes up hills and through woodlands, there’s something for everyone here.

The village itself is bustling with independent shops, cafes, and pubs – perfect for refueling after a long walk.

There are also some excellent historical attractions such as Wotton House and St Mary’s Church which are great to explore on your way around the village.

As you wander around Wotton-Under-Edge you’ll be able to experience its meandering riverside paths, steep inclines, and winding lanes – all while surrounded by stunning views of rolling countryside.

For those looking to take it easy, there are plenty of delightful picnic spots where you can relax and admire the beautiful scenery.

Wotton-Under-Edge is an ideal destination for hikers looking for a peaceful day out in nature or a longer challenge – whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed!

15. Devil’s Chimney & Shurdington Beacon

Leaving Wotton-Under-Edge behind, our next venture is to the Devil’s Chimney and Shurdington Beacon.

This is a wonderful walk that offers amazing views from the highest point in Gloucestershire.

As we ascend up the hill of Shurdington we can feel the energy begin to rise, with each step bringing us closer to our destination.

The Devil’s Chimney is a limestone pinnacle rising out of the landscape like a sentinel, offering breathtaking views of the rolling landscape below.

From here it’s just a short climb up to Shurdington Beacon, where you can take in the wide vista across Gloucestershire and beyond.

This is the perfect spot for a picnic or just some rest and relaxation before making the return journey back down the hillside.

Best Walks in Gloucestershire – Final Thoughts

I’ve explored some of the best walks in Gloucestershire and I can honestly say they are all stunning.

From Painswick and Edge Circular Walk with its beautiful views of the Cotswolds, to Cooper’s Hill and Buckholt Wood Circular, with its dramatic scenery, you’re sure to find something that suits your walking needs.

For a longer journey, take the Painswick and Slad Loop which will let you explore two villages as well as the beautiful countryside around them.

Or if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, why not try Beechenhurst or Symonds Yat Rock where you can appreciate breathtaking views?

Whatever walk you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

All 15 of these hikes offer something different, so no matter what kind of walker you are, there’ll be something to enjoy in Gloucestershire!

So grab your walking boots and get exploring!


What are some easy walks in Gloucestershire?

Some easy walks in Gloucestershire are Chipping Campden Walk, The Cleeve Hill Ring, and The Leckhampton Loop.

What are the best circular walks in Gloucestershire?

Some of the best circular walks in Gloucestershire are Painswick Beacon Circular, Stow-on-the-Wold Circular, and Nettleton Mill Circular.

What are some good family walks in Gloucestershire?

Some good family walks in Gloucestershire are Bibury Court Estate Circular, Painswick Beacon Circular, and Cleeve Hill Circular.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.