The 6.6km (4.2m) walk follows the Cotswold Way from the car park near Harefield Beacon amongst the magnificent beach trees of Standish Woods. It is superb on a sunny day in the Spring when the bluebells are exceptionally abundant. The return is across the valley climbing to Harefield Beacon, rejoining the Cotswold Way back to the car park (about 220m or 700' of climbing in total). This could be completed in two hours at a brisk pace, but we always find that we linger taking photographs in the woods, or enjoying the view from Haresfield Beacon. Allow at least 30 minutes extra!
Park in the car park marked on the map. This can be popular with dog-walkers on a sunny day at a weekend and can fill-up. There is room for cars beside the road if the car park is full, or further along, near to the Beacon itself.
- Follow the Cotswold Way marks through the wood to the south east.
- There are many crossing tracks in the woodland. Just stick to the high ground and keep following the Cotswold Way signs, as the track curves around to the south south west above Randwick.
- You will eventually emerge from the woodland looking over fields towards Stonehouse and Stroud. This is where you leave the Cotswold Way. Turn back north west along a bridle track which first goes through woodland below an old quarry and then descends towards Roadway Farm.
- Follow the road around taking all the right-hand turns up towards Tudor Farm, passing Tiled House Farm and the track to Arlebrook on your left. Before reaching the farm gate, look for a public footpath sign on the left and climb up to a stile on the opposite side of the field. (Note that there are often geese in this field.) The next field is a short but steep climb up to another stile.
- After that there is a long stretch across grassland more or less straight towards the beacon. Use a large old Oak tree as an aiming point.
- There is a final style that gives access to the open access area around the Beacon. Start climbing on the obvious track. (Ignore the track going right along the bottom of the beacon unless you wish for a faster return avoiding the steeper climb to the Beacon. Note that you will eventually have to do the climbing anyway.)
- From the trig. point at the Beacon follow the path along the southern edge of the ridge, along the Cotswold way to a gate.
- Just continue following the Cotswold way along the escarpment back to the car park.
There are few navigation difficulties as long as you stay on the Cotswold Way through the woodland. Even if you leave it, as long as you keep moving in the same direction along the escarpment and stay in the woods you are bound to intersect the track descending to Roadway Farm.