22 Glorious lockdown walks
Life may be locking down but the great outdoors of Glos & Worcs is there for the taking. We've curated the 21 best walks (with added coffee pit-stops) to kick out that cabin fever.
Deep breath people – yup, this winter’s going to be a tricky one. Life as we know it, from bonfire night and cosy soirees to cinema visits and festive days out are off the agenda. So what to do?
There’s nothing else for it – time to throw on the thermals and force yourself into the great local outdoors, an instant remedy for cabin fever or fights over the remote.
Here are Muddy’s picks of wow-factor wintery-feel walks right on your doorstep, complete with walkable route maps and takeaway coffee ‘n cake pit stops along the way (you’re very welcome).
Wellies at the ready, shall we? …
Bibury to Coln St Aldwyns, Glos
This circular walk takes you around the delightful village of Bibury (and famous Arlington Row) and the surrounding countryside. Admire the pretty cottages and Saxon church then follow a scenic riverside path to the idyllic village of Coln St. Aldwyns. Follow the winding River Coln into the village before returning to Bibury through the open countryside on wide footpaths and bridleways. One of our all time, fresh-air faves.
Plus … Baz & Fred at the brilliant New Inn in Coln will be firing up their sanity-saving pizza takeaway hatch for this second lockdown. Rock up for one of their delicious, warming pizzas when you reach the end of the walk.
The details: Distance: 6 miles (10k), duration: 2 hours, difficulty, moderate.
Leckhampton Loop, Glos
This walk guides you around one of the most beautiful and varied stretches of the Cotswold Way. From rich grassland to peaceful woodlands, from Iron-Age remains to Victorian quarries. A taste of the entire Cotswold landscape in 4½ miles.
Plus ... just outside of Leckhampton is the popular Meadow Cafe on the edge of Charlton park, they will be operating a special lockdown coffee and tea takeaway service to keep walkers going until normal services resume.
The details: Distance: 4 and a half miles; duration 2 and a half hours; difficulty:,moderate, no stiles but some steep bits.
Cirencester Park and the Bathurst Estate
The circular (or any other shape you wish) walk through Cirencester Park on the Bathurst Estate is a stunning outing. The parkland covers thousands of acres which border the stunning Bathurst Estate House, it’s the perfect place for a bit of solo forest bathing with it’s secluded glades, and peaceful woodland trails and kids love it too for the tree climbing. PLUS … see these incredible hand carved wonderful Asian elephants!
They have come to spend six months in the Park before they go onto their next adventure as part of a larger exhibition to be held in the Royal Parks, London during 2021. Lent to the park by The Duchess of Cornwall who needed to find a special temporary home special family a home for them after they were unable to be exhibited with 40 others due to Covid.
Plus … Keep your eyes peeled for the Beano in the Park here – a fantastic horse box cafe by the park entrance that could be doing takeaway drinks and snacks still as it did during the first shut down. Ideal for refuelling on your wintery walk.
The details: Difficulty, very easy; duration, 1-2 hours; distance, 2-3k.
Cranham, Coopers and Buckholt Wood, Gloucester
This beautiful, easy-going walk whisks you around one of England’s most treasured habitats and beech woodlands. Follow four miles of dappled sunlight and colour-popping trees to discover the cathedral-like calm of Buckholt Wood, and wonder at the dizzy heights of Cooper’s hill where for hundreds of years the foolhardy have risked their necks for cheese and glory. Autumn awesomeness with a touch of the wild and crazy.
Forest of Dean, The Sculpture Trail, Coleford
The fabulous Forest of Dean is a delightful place for some autumn and winter leaf-crunching. This ancient woodland stretches for miles. Set off from Beechenhurst Lodge, head to Symonds Yat for spectacular read and yellow views across the River Wye or hot foot it up to the Blaize Bailey viewpoint for some truly breathtaking autumnal scenes. Then enjoy the wow-factor Sculpture Trail – an arty outdoors experience we love.
Bruce Trail Friendship Trail – Beacons, Commons and Woods
A stile free walk that leads you along peaceful woodland tracks and out onto windswept hillsides with breathtaking views. A true jewel in the Cotswolds crown.
Not only is is a stunning route, it is also twinned with an equally beautiful part of the Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada as a mark of friendship and cooperation between our two trails.
The details: Distance, 6 miles; duration, 2 – 3 hours; difficulty, moderate – stile free with moderate slopes.
Minchinhampton Common, Stroud
This is a fairly level walk that follows the outer boundary of Minchinhampton Common and can be started from a number of places, including the Bell Lane car park, the Common Road car park, the Beaudesert car park, and for local residents pretty much anywhere within Minchinhampton itself.
You can hardly get lost as long as you stick to the Common, and it can be made shorter by cutting corners. The views are stunning and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too.
Plus … Winstone’s Ice Cream Parlour in the heart of the Common has confirmed it will be staying open for takeaways during this month, so get down for a pick-me-up treat if you are walking nearby.
The details: Distance, 4 miles; duration, 1-2 hours; difficulty, easy.
Or head up to the Painswick Beacon on this spectacular route. A moderate (think uphill!) 3.4k loop with some of the best views in the Cotswolds.
Plus … On your way back home stop off at The Warren Food Trailer at Five Valleys shopping Centre in Stroud. As we went to press we were told it should be remaining open for takeaway drinks and snacks through lockdown (please check ahead before setting out).
Head to the calm-inducing lakes of the Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney, Glos – hundreds of miles of open water lakes to walk around and get some fresh air and exercise.
Plus ... Visit the Gateway Takeaway Hatch for a coffee and slice of cake before you head off on one of the many beautiful walks around the lakes and then reward yourself with our signature Mother Clucker Burger BURGER or full English as a takeaway lunch or Brunch. Finish off with a cheeky tub of Dolcetti Ice Cream.
Cotswold Way, Wotton-Under-Edge Circular Walk
Gorgeous rolling farmland and woodland tracks make up this enchanting walk which leads you from scarp top to valley bottom, back into one of the Cotswolds’ most charming and thriving small towns. Expect some spectacular views.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 3 hours (4 hours if you detour to Newark Park); distance, 5 miles
Rollright Stones Circular Walk, near Chipping Norton
If you’re feeling energetic head to this longer but great walk for a taste of the Cotswolds’ answer to Stonehenge – the Rollright Stones (the mid point) A lovely, scenic walk that takes in the King’s Stone and Whispering Knights (pictured).
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 3 hours;
Cranham, Coopers and the Beechwoods
This beautiful walk takes in the famous Cooper’s Hill – where in less Covid-y times Cotswold locals can be found rolling giant lumps of cheese down this very mound for glory. Take it in, whilst enjoying the beech woodlands, the cathedral-like calm of Buckholt Wood, and some beautiful views.
The details: Difficulty, easy; duration, 2 hours; distance, 4 miles.
Faringdon Circular Walk
If you’re craving stunning views you’ll love this amble. This route takes you through the pretty village of Littleworth and ends with a route up Folly Hill with it’s wild woodland and 360 degree views. And if you want a ‘walk-lite’ version for the kids (or ehem, you), just follow the last bit of the trail – keep your eyes peeled for the woodland sculpture trail.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration 2-3 hours; distance, 8k
Chipping Campden and Escarpments, Glos
This delightful, short walk leads you around shaded woodlands, grazing sheep (does it get more bucolic?) and breathtaking views, then back to charming Chipping Campden. A great intro to the Cotswold way and a nice family walk, as it’s easy and fairly flat.
The details: Difficulty, easy to moderate; duration, 2 hours; distance, 4 miles (3 with a short cut)
And over Worcestershire way try one of these wonderful walks …
Broadway and the Tower
This enchanting walk leads you through the picturesque Cotswold lanes of Broadway, along historic tracks and up to the stunning Broadway Tower (the second highest point in the Cotswold after Cleeve Hill) with spectacular views across the Severn Vale into Wales.
Plus … The fantastic Morris & Brown Cafe is having to shut down during lockdown this month but keep a look out for the Shepherd’s Hut, a mobile drinks and snacks truck that will be serving up refreshments during November’s lockdown (head straight for an amazing hazelnut hot chocolate if so).
The details: Distance, 4 miles; duration, 2-3 hours; difficulty, Moderate, some steep sections and stiles.
Hollybush Walk, The Malvern Hills
The stunning Malverns are teaming with great walks. It’s really fun to walk the length of the ridge (get some sturdy shoes on) and take in the incredible views. One of our faves is the Circular Hollybush Walk. It forms a figure of 8, loops around the Ragged Stone Hill, passes through the pretty village of White Leaved Oak and loops north to Midsummer Hill with its stunning Iron age fort – dramatic views guaranteed.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 2 hours; distance, 3.2 miles.
The Enclosures Walk, The Malvern Hills
Head further north in the Malverns and pep up your family walk-time with a bit of history on this fun stroll. It explores the banks and ditches which are found to be running over the Northern Malverns! Many created by Charles 1 when he sectioned it off to raise some tax revenue. They’ll love the horrible histories element. Plus you’ll get incredible views from Worcestershire Beacon, Sugarloaf, Table and North Hills.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 2 hours; distance, 3.5 miles.
Bewdley to Forest of Discovery Walk
The Wyre Forest is a stunning place to head for a variety of woodland walks and trails amongst beautiful ancient oaks woods and statuesque fir trees. Set across 6,000 acres it’s one of England’s oldest remaining forests (so max forest-bathing vibes here). Head for one of the three marked walking trails, the family cycle route, bike hire, horse trails or strap on the trainers for a techni-coloured jog. Enter at Dog Lane car park in Bewdley for a walk off the beaten track.
The details: Difficulty, Easy; duration, 2-3 hours; distance, 3 miles each way.
Habberley Valley Circular Walk
Habberley Nature Reserve is a beautiful place for a spring stroll as it’s bursting with wildlife. Spot the yellowhammers, green woodpeckers and wildflowers on this easy amble. The perfect secluded spot for a woodland stop off with a flask of hot chocolate, plus, look out for the babbling brook and ancient rock houses along the way.
The details: Difficulty, easy; duration, 1-2 hours; distance, 2 miles
Hartlebury Common Walk
The largest and most important area of heathland remaining in Worcestershire, this site of Special Interest is a lovely, gentle way to have a wander. Skip through dappled woodlands, heather-clad hills and see Hilditch Pool and brook that attract loads of wildlife – kids will also love the sound of the ‘acid bog’ (not really acid we promise). Check them all out on this lovely walk.
The details: Difficulty, easy; duration, 1 hour; distance, 1 mile
Martley Circular Walk, Teme Valley, Worcs
This is a super circular walk in the Teme Valley taking in traditional orchards, pastures and ancient woodlands, sounds lovely doesn’t it? Plus you get gorgeous views across Worcs from certain spots. The walk also meanders along the River Teme which is a haven of wildlife and heaven for dogs.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 3-4 hours; distance, 6 miles.
Pound Green Bell Pits Circular Walk
Worcestershire’s rural charm is in abundance on this walk, which takes in heathland, the Common and the edge of the Wyre Forest.
The details: Difficulty, moderate; duration, 1-2 hours; distance, 3 miles.
Bredon Hill boasts a diverse landscape; with ancient woodland, rolling greenery and arable farmland. Once at the top, stunning panoramic views over the Cotswold escarpment, Malvern Hills and the Severn Valley will blow you away. The ramble up to the top, amongst the autumnal golden hues and fallen leaves, makes the trip even more magical.
The details: Difficulty, easy; duration, 1-2 hours; distance, 2.25 miles
Have we left out a wonderful wintery walk? Let us know in the comments.
Credits: cotswold_scot (Instagram)