This is a fairly level walk that follows the outer boundary of Minchinhampton Common. It can be started from a number of places, including the Bell Lane car park, the Common Road car park, the Beaudesert car park, and for local residents pretty much anywhere within Minchinhampton itself with the addition of a few minutes street walking to reach the Common.You can hardly get lost as long as you stick to the Common, and it can be made shorter by cutting corners. The views all around are excellent and the going normally very dry, unless after recent rain, and mostly on short grass. At the right season you will see abundant orchids and may come across relatively rare butterflies. The suggested route keeps you clear of the golfers on the Common - beware of walking across the fairways if golfers are active! It passes sufficiently close to two pubs in Amberley (the Amberley Inn or the Black Horse) to make the diversion negligible if you want to combine a walk with a pub lunch, or take a drink part-way round an evening walk.
The total length is about 4 miles (6.5 km) and the height variation no more than about 90ft (30 meters).
The following description assumes a start at Bell Lane, and follows the route clockwise. It works just as well the other way round.
- Walk north-west, more-or-less along the boundary of the Common that runs from Minchinhampton Primary School, keeping the boundary on your left.
- Cross Dr Browns Road and continue west. The most obvious path follows the top of a stretch of Minchinhampton Common's "Ramparts".
- Keep following the boundary until the Common opens out to your left and right. Keep following the line you have just been walking. (You do not need to follow the boundary wall here.) You will have a golf course tee-off on your right and straight ahead (you are now facing a little south of west) you will see Windmill House, at the end of Windmill Road surrounded by trees. Head just to the right of this aiming point, crossing Windmill Road and keeping the raised Ramparts on your right.
- Turn south, towards Box, and keeping the Ramparts and golfers on your right continue until Common Road car park.
- Turn west along the edge of the road, following the obvious path, until you cross the Nailsworth road.
- Head towards Beaudesert School, and the car park along the road to Amberley, and then turn north west, following any of the the several paths. We prefer the one that stays closest to the edge of the Common.
- The Adonis Blue is often found on the western edges of the Common in the breeding season (there are two broods per year, one in June and then August/September).
- Continue North along the boundary towards Amberley, keeping to the right of the golf green, and taking care when crossing the Amberley road because the crossing is on an unsighted bend.
- Keep Amberly on your left and stay on the Common (unless you fancy a visit to one of the two pubs - the Amberley Inn and the Black Horse). Pass the Amberley war memorial on your right and then turn north-east-ish, again keeping the houses on your left and staying with the higher ground.
- When you meet a road emerging from the boundary wall to your left, follow it to the junction with the main Cirencester road and cross, aiming to pass to the left of the golf course tee.
- Head east towards the dew pond (which may not be obvious until you are almost on top of it). The ground around the pond can be a little marshy in wet weather.
- Pick up the obvious track just to the east of the dew pond, passing clumps of trees to your right growing on old quarries. Follow it south east to meet the Burleigh road.
- The area between the quarries and the Burleigh road is often good for orchids in Spring. Autumn Ladies Tresses may also be found in this area in the autumn.
- Cross the road (again look out for orchids - there is often a patch of Green Winged Orchids here in the Spring.
- Continue along an obvious track until you meet the Cirencester Road again.
- You are now almost along the route along which you left Bell Lane car park. Cross and head back to Bell Lane car park.