Longer Walks

A longer walk that may start from either Minchinhampton, or a start point within a short car ride.

Longer walks typically require more than 2 hours, more than 5 miles (8km) and may involve modest amount of up-and-down hill (500' to 1000'/180-300m).

Rudge Hill is also probably better known as Edge Common (and registered as an SSSI under this name). The reserve was renamed when it became part of the Cotswold Commons and Beach Woods National Nature Reserve. The walk start from the Leisure Centre car park in Stroud and surprisingly quickly leaves the town behind to follow a low ridge up towards Painswick. After crossing meadow and arable farm land with good views over towards Whiteshill and Randwick, we join the Cotswold way, coming south from Painswick and climb through vary varied woodland and farmland to Edge Common - now also designated as "Rudge Hill Nature Reserve". In Spring and early Summer you can get fine displays of orchids on the unimproved grassland, plus excellent views back towards Painswick.

Painswick from Edge Common

Painswick from Edge Common

A circular walk from Minchinhampton, descending to the Golden Valley, then climbing through the fine woodland west of the Toadsmoor Road, to head for Nether Lypiatt Manor. Return is via Bowbridge and Rodborough Common. The total length is 12km/7.5m and requiring 400m/1300' of climb. You should allow at least 3 hours, but it is worth taking a picnic and a bit more time.

This is a longer walk, and certainly requires a bit more commitment. You are strongly advised to take your own map, preferably the 1:25000 "Explorer" (168), and know how to use it, because the tracks in the woodland along the Toadsmoor Valley can be confusing - though most end up somewhere reasonably sensible in the end. Please note that the track in the Google map was not created by walking the route with a GPS and particularly in the woodland it may not lie exactly on the paths.

The walk, in my opinion, is best in Spring and Autumn, when you either have spring flowers or autumn colours.