Cleeve Hill Circular Walk
Climb to the highest point in the Cotswolds on this splendid circular walk. The walk makes use of the Cotswold Way so is well defined and way-marked. It begins at the car park at the southern end of Cleeve Common before crossing the common and climbing up to the peak of Cleeve Hill which stands at 1,083 ft (330 m). From here there are marvellous views: to the west, over Cheltenham and the racecourse, over the River Severn and into Wales, and to the north over Winchcombe.
You can extend the walk by heading to the eastern side of the hill where you will find Belas Knap. The neolithic, chambered long barrow is a scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage. The fascinating site dates from 3000BC and features a false entrance and independently accessible side chambers. The Cotswold Way can be followed to the site from Cleeve Hill.
You could also start the walk from nearby Winchcombe and follow the Cotswold Way to the hill. The Winchcombe Way runs through the town and the area surrounding Cleeve Hill.
Cleeve Hill Circular Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Cleeve Hill Circular Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Cleeve Hill Circular OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Cleeve Hill Circular Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The Rising Sun Hotel is a great place for some post walk refreshments. The pub is wonderfully positioned on the hill with a fine beer garden with views over five different counties of England. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal on a fine day. You can find it just west of the hill summit at a postcode of GL52 3PX for your sat navs.
The hill and surrounding woods make for an excellent dog walk for fit dogs. The Rising Sun mentioned above is also dog friendly and will provide dog bowls too.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
There's another car park closer to the hill if you'd like a shorter, more direct path to the summit. You can find it just off the B4632 about a quarter of a mile north east of the hill. Postcode for your sat navs is GL52 3PW. From there you have a choice of footpaths heading south to take you up to the viewpoint.
After climbing the hill you could head into the nearby village of Bishop's Cleeve. It's a nice place to stroll around with a real olde England feel to it. There's dozens of listed buildings with thatched, half-timbered houses dating back to the 12th century and 13th century.
Pictured above, some of the fine buildings you can see in the village of Bishop's Cleeve which sits at the foot of the hill.
Also of interest is the historic Sudeley Castle. It's located only a few miles due east of Cleeve Hill and another worthy addition to your outing. There's lots of footpaths to follow around the 1,200 acre estate with some stunning gardens to see on the way.
To visit the hill from the nearby town of Winchcombe you could try the circular Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill Walk. The route visits Belas Knap and the River Isbourne as well as the hill summit.