This circular walk explores the area surrounding the Gloucestershire village of Slad near Stroud. The Slad Valley is famous for its associations with the author Laurie Lee, who based his book 'Cider with Rosie' on his own life in the village. It's a beautiful area of the Cotswolds and well worth exploring with a copy of the book under your arm!
The walk starts in the centre of the village and follows various footpaths and country lanes around the village. You'll pass woodland areas and attractive farmland with pretty streams and brooks to look out for. Also on the route is the lovely Steanbridge Mill and its pond with ducks. It is mentioned in the book as the place where a young Lee used to ice skate in the winter. In the village you can also visit Lee's grave in the peaceful churchyard and visit the Woolpack Inn for refreshments. It's a lovely walk and of particular appeal to fans of the book who will recognise many of the locations.
Part of the walk uses the Wysis Way long distance footpath. This section is at the northern tip of the route. You can follow the path east towards Piedmont and visit the Snows Farm Nature Reserve on the way. It consists of limestone grassland with a huge variety of wildlflowers including early purple orchid, fragrant orchid and pyramidal orchids. It's located just to the north east of the village and worth a visit. You can further extend your walk by continuing along the Wysis Way south to Bisley or north towards Painswick Beacon. Here you will find an Iron Age Hill Fort and fabulous views over the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean and the Welsh Mountains.
The Cotswold Way National Trail runs to the west of the village through the Painswick Valley and is another good option for continuing your walking in this lovely area.
Slad Valley Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Slad Valley Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Slad Valley OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Slad Valley Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The Woolpack Inn is a noteworthy pub well worth investigating. It's over 300 years old and retains much of that old world charm. Indoors there's a cosy interior with lots of interesting old pictures and photos on the wall. The pub was the old haunt of Laurie Lee and after you have finished your meal you can head across the road to the church where he is buried. They do excellent food and also have an outdoor area for warmer days. You can find the historic inn on the Slad Road at a postcode of GL6 7QA for your sat navs. The pub is also dog friendly if you have your canine friend with you.