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.