The market town of Stroud has several long distance walking trails running through it and a number of woods, parks and hill climbs to try. As such it's a fantastic place for walkers and makes a great base for exploring this lovely area of the Cotswolds.
This route is a popular walk along the Stroudwater Canal to the village of King's Stanley using a section of the Cotswold Canals Walk and the Cotswold Way National Trail.
The walk starts in the centre of Stroud, near the train station. Here you can pick up the canal towpath and follow it west to Cainscross. The path continues to Ryeford where you head south on the Cotswold Way to King's Stanley. Here you can visit the 12th century parish church of St George before heading back to the town. You can extend the walk by continuing along the trail south to Middleyard where you will find Pen Hill and Pen Woods. Just to the east of King's Stanley you can enjoy more walking trails across Selsley Common with its variety of flora and fauna.
Other Walks around Stroud
- Stroud Valleys Trail - This route runs from Stonehouse to Nailsworth following a disused railway line. The route is traffic free with splendid views of the Cotswolds and makes for a pleasant afternoon's cycling or walking particularly for families. Click here for more information on this route.
- Selsley Common - This large open area near Stroud has miles of footpaths and wonderful panoramic views over the Cotswolds. It covers 97 acres and consists of wide open grassland with a variety of rare flora and fauna. Look out for wildflowers and orchids including the Green-winged Orchid and Fragrant Orchid. Butterflies such as Small Blue, Grayling and the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary fly around the flowers in the summer months.
- Slad Valley - 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!
- Painswick Beacon - Visit the delightful Cotswolds village of Painswick and climb the nearby Painswick Hill on this walk near Stroud.
- Woodchester Park - This National Trust owned park in the Cotswolds is the perfect place for a peaceful afternoon stroll. There are miles of easy footpaths taking you through the tranquil wooded valley to the five pretty lakes within the park. The walk also visits the Boat House, built in the early 19th century and the fine Victorian mansion. There's plenty of wildlife in the park too - look out for kingfishers and herons on the ponds and voles and bats in the woodland.
- Standish Wood - Enjoy peaceful woodland trails in this large area of woodland near Whiteshill, Stroud. In the springtime there are carpets of bluebells to enjoy.
- Cotswold Canals - Follow a series of delightful waterways from Framilode to Lechlade on this waterside walk through Gloucestershire.
- Cotswold Way - This trail takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.
- Rodborough Common - Enjoy splendid views over the Severn Vale from this lovely open space near Stroud. The common covers nearly 300 acres and is criss crossed with miles of nice footpaths. There is a car park towards the eastern side of the common with direct access to the well surfaced paths.
- Minchinhampton Common - This large area of common land near Nailsworth is criss-crossed with miles of nice footpaths. The common is also in an elevated position so there are great views of the surrounding Cotswold hills, countryside and villages. You'll reach a height of well over 600ft on the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment. On a clear day you can even see across the Severn Vale into Wales. It's also great for flora and fauna with skylarks and orchids to look out for.