Gustav Holst Way
Follow the Gustav Holst Way through the Cotswolds from Cranham to Wyck Rissington and enjoy the scenery and villages enjoyed by the composer.
The walk starts in the pretty village of Cranham where Holst lived for a while in 'Midwinter Cottage'. The first section of the walk takes you from Cranham to Cheltenham, passing through Buckholt and Witcombe Wood, Birdlip and the delightful Crickley Hill Country Park. The park is set in 143 acres of countryside within the Cotswolds AONB and includes Limestone Grassland, Beech Woodlands and panoramic views of this beautiful area. This section of the walk also passes the Devil's Chimney - an unusal limestone rock formation that stands above a disused quarry at Leckhampton Hill.
The walk then takes you through the interesting city of Cheltenham (Holst's birthplace), passing the attractive Cheltenham College Grounds and the Gustav Holst memorial statue.
After leaving Cheltenham you continue through the lovely Cotswolds countryside towards the village of Guiting Power. On this section you will pass Cleeve Hill, the highest point both of the Cotswolds hill range and in the county of Gloucestershire, at 1083 ft. Here you will also find Belas Knap neolithic chambered long barrow. A scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage, it has been described as an 'outstanding example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group'. After leaving Cleeve Hill the path passes through the peaceful Guiting Wood, before arriving at the pretty village of Guiting Power.
The final section of the walk follows the River Windrush to the popular tourist destination of Bourton on the Water. The village is particularly picturesque with the River Windrush flowing through the centre where it is crossed by several low, arched stone bridges. Shortly after, the walk comes to an end at Wyck Rissington where Holst was the resident organist for the church.
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Gustav Holst Way Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Gustav Holst Way Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Gustav Holst Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Gustav Holst Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
In Birdlip The Golden Heart is a nice place for a pit stop on the walk. This 16th Century traditional Cotswold country inn has a lovely patio area overlooking the beautiful valley. It's a great place to relax with a meal on a sunny day. Inside there's a coffee lounge with sofas & log burner with a tv available to watch special events. It's a cosy place set in a quaint stone building with plenty of history. You can find the pub east of the village at a postcode of GL4 8LA for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
For more walking ideas in the area see the Cotswolds Walks page.