A beautiful circular Cotswold walk with a few surprises.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start in Bell Lane, Blockley, near the shop and cafe. Parking around there is now restricted to 1 hour so please park elsewhere in the village. It's usually possible to park at the village hall unless there's a big event on. It's in Park Road, a continuation northwards of Bell Lane, just past the school.
(D/A) From the village centre, walk southwards down Bell Lane, passing the Crown Hotel. The name of the road changes to High Street, but it's the same road. Pass the road junction at Chapel Lane and carry on. Pass the Russell Spring on your right. Pass Days Lane and carry on.
(1) Take the next right turn, signed to Warren House. Where the road splits, keep left and walk up the hill and through the woodland. Pass Warren Farm, keeping straight on across fields in a south westerly direction until you enter woodland and reach the A44.
(2) Turn right and walk alongside the main road for a few metres then cross the road to go through a gate. Cross the field with a hedge and fence on your right and descend to go through a gate. Walk between two woods, keeping close to the one on your left. Emerge from woodland and join the farm track, keeping straight on between houses.
(3) The track leads to a road. Cross the road and go through a gate to continue the path. Cross a bridge across a stream and follow the track uphill and through a gate. Pass through a short wooded area to emerge into a field. Keep close to the wood on your left then cross the field to go through a gate in a fence near the other wood on your right. Continue across the field keeping close to the woodland on your right.
(4) At the end of the field turn left onto a track then turn right beside a tall hedge. Follow the track as it turns 90 degrees right then 90 degrees left. 200m after the right angle turns, veer left on an indistinct path to keep on the same level along the hillside.
(5) This brings you down into woodland. Walk southwards through the woodland for a km to a road. Turn left at the road then right and go through a gate.
(6) Turn left and walk eastwards up the hill towards a clump of trees on the horizon. Ignore the field gate on your left, find the stile in the wall at the top of the hill.
(7) Before crossing the stile, turn and look down on Hinchwick manor. This a good place to stop for rest and a drink. Cross the style, cross the field and follow the path down the steep bank and up the steps on the other side. This brings you to a field with a racehorse track paved with carpet! Walk beside the horse track keeping the woodland on your left. Pass a stone memorial. Follow the track to its end at a tarmac road and turn left, or if you can find it there's a shortcut through the woodland a few metres before you reach the road.
(8) At the end of the road you can turn left and visit the Cotswold Food Store and Cafe cotswoldfoodstore.com, 150 metres along the A424 (Cudds Farm on OS maps), or turn right, walk a few metres along A424 and cross the road to enter a footpath through woodland in a disused quarry. The woodland path brings you to a road junction. Go straight across the junction and down the road to Longborough. It will take about 3 hours to reach Longborough.
(9) In Longborough, turn left to a track signed Heart of England Way. The route is northwards from here to Blockley. Alternatively, carry on a few metres further into Longborough to find the village green with a seat and the Coach & Horses Inn, a good place for lunch. Follow the Heart of England Way northwards out of Blockley, passing the unusual Indian style Sezincote House.
(10) Follow the well-signed route to Bourton-on-the-Hill. Arriving at a minor road, turn right and follow the bend to bring you to the main road A44. Turn right at the A44 and walk alongside the road out of the village to the entrance to Batsford Arboretum.
(11) Walk alongside the entrance drive towards the arboretum and turn left when you reach woodland. This part of The Heart of England Way is shared with Monarch's Way. Follow the signs north westerly through and beside woods. Cross a road and carry on across fields until the signed route turns sharply left.
(12) At this point, you will find a good view down to Blockley 100m below. Walk along the line of trees then turn right where signed and walk down to the start of your walk.(D/A)
D : mi 0 - alt. 495ft - Village centre
1 : mi 0.39 - alt. 528ft - High Street
2 : mi 1.26 - alt. 840ft - A44
3 : mi 2.01 - alt. 712ft - Road
4 : mi 2.53 - alt. 784ft - Track
5 : mi 3.37 - alt. 745ft - Woodland
6 : mi 4.03 - alt. 594ft - Road
7 : mi 4.27 - alt. 735ft - Stile
8 : mi 5.62 - alt. 761ft - A424
9 : mi 6.16 - alt. 597ft - Longborough
10 : mi 7.95 - alt. 604ft - Bourton-on-the-Hill
11 : mi 8.42 - alt. 505ft - A44
12 : mi 9.93 - alt. 735ft - View down to Blockley
A : mi 10.56 - alt. 456ft - Village centre
The toilet will be open if the cafe is open. (Closed at July 2020)
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4.5/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 5/5
Global average : 4.33 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good
This is a beautiful walk and we had great weather, which helps! Amazing views and the lunch stop above
Hinchwick was lovely. A couple of changes possibly since the walk was published which might make it easier.
4. The tall hedge is a row of closely planted conifers. Easier to follow track and take signed bridleway on the left. The 90 degrees right and left were a bit confusing.
7. You walk past the memorial in this section and continue straight ahead across field to go down steep bank and it's a slope up the other side which may have been stepped at some point. The racetrack isn't paved with carpet anymore but you can see remnants all the way along.
11. Head up the drive till you reach the gatehouse and turn left to go through field to reach woods on the other side.
12. You have to turn left when you reach the view to follow the trees and as you cross the stile, head to the right hand corner of the field to cross the stile. Continue through two fields and you're back at the village (which is beautiful!).
We're planning to do this walk again and can highly recommend it. Thanks to whoever posted it!
Thanks Paul, glad you enjoyed it. One of my favourite walks and come to think of it, one where I meet few other people.
Re muddy ground, every walk is weather-dependent. As a walker you will know that every walk from October 2019 to the lockdown was a mudbath. Mud is a "known unknown" i.e. walkers know to expect it. The only occasion I'd warn of weather conditions is if the route could be impassable in bad conditions such as a stream in flood.
Global average : 5 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good
Instructions were as clear as any I have used for a walk, very little chance to misstep. Having the OS print of the walk is most useful. The walk was a delight; beautiful countryside with some interesting sights on the route. Walking on or alongside the road was kept to an absolute minimum.
To be hyper critical, the only thing missing would be a foul weather warning for mud. One very short stretch could be quite bad I imagine. We did the walk in September after a spell of good weather in walking sandals but would have been found wanting if we'd walked after a period of rainy weather. Don't let this put you off - 99.9% of the walk on good paths and grassland.
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