As a furlough/sabbatical/menopausal hobby I’ve decided to do all 22 of the Winchcombe Walks. What a beautiful way to rest and de-stress especially with all the beautiful sunshine we have had lately.
The Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers website is very well laid out with maps and excellent directions, making it easy enough to go exploring. Since the bluebells are out we decided to start with Walk # 5 to Belas Knap.
We started from our home and walked along the lovely River Isbourne, a slight detour to Vineyard street but always such a beautiful walk. Vineyard street was looking as lovely as always, I would love to get a photo without the cars somehow though to really capture how pretty the street is.
We walked over the bridge as instructed and took a right through the gate shortly after the bridge that was clearly marked Cotswold Way.
The field was lovely to walk through and a very obvious path so no way to get lost. Although the road at the end isn’t marked Corndean Lane it is definitely the only road you will come across at the end of the path, so it’s safe to turn left and assume you are on the right track.
The following turn is right and although marked Cotswold Way it is more easily identified as a big wooden gate onto a beautiful tree lined drive.
You could easily miss the beauty of the next section if you forget to look back, walk left through the gate marked Cotswold Way and straight up the hill. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a pillar of salt but you may still get frozen into a statue as you become mesmerized by the incredible views.
The view looking back – click to play video
It’s not completely obvious where you are walking to and it’s too easy to get completely distracted by looking back or even walking backwards up the hill as it is so beautiful, far more beautiful than my little phone camera could ever capture. However, this is the gate you are aiming for.
Apparently there are two options from here, we took the one that seemed the most obvious and was visible from the gate. Simply cross over the road and continue following the Cotswold Way, turn right and up the hill then left as the signs clearly indicate. We didn’t notice the signs to see that there is a request not to take short cuts but to stick to the edge of the field, however, we did just keep walking straight and purely by accident walked around the edge of the field until we got to the top of the hill. On the way back however, we walked directly down the hill through the centre of the field as others were doing so and there seemed to be a natural path. At the bottom of the hill we noticed the sign saying not to do so. Clearly, many others didn’t read the sign either.
My reason for going on this walk was to see the bluebells, my husband was genuinely interested in the long barrow as this was his first visit by I have been before.
The walk back was a breeze as it’s all downhill which was great! Winchcombe welcomed us back looking as beautiful as ever in the afternoon sunshine.
Door to door it took us 3 hours, we walked at a leisurely pace with many stops for photos and to absorb the incredible views. It’s a gorgeous walk and definitely one I would recommend and do again. I did it in my flip flops as I had blisters from a previous walk and it was very comfortable doing so. I also saw a few young children on the walk with their parents, so it is suitable for a family walk too, however, we could not entice our children to join us despite our best attempts, and I didn’t see any other teenagers on the walk either!