Popular routes for Orchard CL Walkers and Cyclists
From Bibury to Coln St Aldwyns and back: In the north Cotswolds the famous Arlington Row at Bibury draws thousands of visitors each year, but if you start out from the peaceful haven of Coln St Aldwyns you’ll have a lovely walk far from the madding crowds and can then return to have a meal at the New Inn in Coln, or enjoy a picnic beside the river.
The Bathurst Estate: Over the years Cirencester Park has been a deer park, a military base, a hospital, and the venue for a Glenn Miller concert. It was originally laid out in the 1700s as a deer park by the first Earl Bathurst. It remained that way until the First World War when it became a military camp, once home to the Warwickshire Yeomanry. You are more than welcome to experience the wonders of Cirencester Park for yourself as the park is open to members of the public, there are entrance fees, they allow dogs however they have beautiful walks.
The Sapperton Valley: this secluded valley, in a corner of the great Bathurst Estate not far from Stroud, contains one of the most luxuriant small wetlands in Gloucestershire, including the river Frome, a chain of river meadows and the swamps and shady pools of the abandoned Thames and Severn Canal.
Walking in the footsteps of Laurie Lee up the Slad Valley: after visiting Painswick Rococo Gardens head up the valley to Slad and enjoy some refreshments at Lee’s local the Woolpack Inn.
Woodchester Mansion and Park: Part of the Crown on Netflix was filmed here. The mansion is an unfinished Gothic masterpiece, abandoned in 1868 after 16 years of building, which has been carefully preserved. The park has beautiful woodland walks, lakes and ponds, and a children’s activity trail with a mini zip line. Be aware for little legs that it’s quite a long downhill walk from the car park to reach the main walks.
The Miserden Estate: the whole estate and village are untouched by time or development, making it a popular film production location as well as a beautifully tranquil place to visit. At its heart are the Carpenters Arms pub and a stunning church. The gardens and parkland of Miserden House are open to the public, with a beautiful circular walk, and there’s a very good plant nursery in the old walled garden with a tearoom.
The Tyndale Monument Walk: towering above North Nibley in the south Cotswolds is the Tyndale Monument from where there are fantastic views down the Cotswold escarpment towards the Severn estuary and on to South Wales. Head up to the monument from the village and then follow one of the way-marked paths through the woods to the Wotton War Memorial and back again to North Nibley. If you fancy a bite to eat at the Wotton end, head down the scarp into the town and make a beeline for The Edge coffee shop.
The Cotswolds is a fantastic area for keen road and off-road cyclists, and family cycling trips too.
The Cotswold Water Park is another superb stop for cyclists who want to get away from traffic but not necessarily go all out off-road. You’ll find a couple of trails that perfectly suit cross-bikes and/or mountain bikes: the Cleveland Circuit (4.3 miles) starting out from Cleveland Lake, the largest lake in the park, or the Circular Cycle Route (10 or 11 miles), which is more suited to experienced riders. The Water Park’s Gateway Centre (GL7 5TL) provides route maps.
For a super-easy, family friendly ride, head to the Tetbury Trail – a mostly flat and historically interesting trail that’s suitable for walkers, off-road cyclists, and horse riders. The Trail starts from the Tetbury Goods Shed and continues for three miles towards Kemble. It’s part of the National Cycle Network’s Route 48 that runs between Cirencester, Northleach, Moreton-in-Marsh and Southam. There’s a picnic area at the start, plus the Goods Shed café is there too.
A great 29-mile road ride that takes you through beautiful Cotswold countryside is the Burford West Circular that starts at Burford, or from here we are at number 14 on the map, it heads along the Windrush Valley, Northleach then on country lanes to Bibury, through the Coln valley, finally looping back to Burford.
If you like a challenging off-road ride with trails that require advanced riding skills, head to Westridge Woods near Wotton-under-Edge where there are swooping descents and single-track paths. Be aware that there are some short sections where you will need to carry your bike.
The Infant Thames
Highlights along the route, Cotswold Country Park & Beach, The infant Thames, Thames & Severn Canal. Cotswold Country Park & Beach An attractive country park and ideal family day out. The Park offers everything from peaceful lakeside walks, a fossil and sculpture trail and cycle hire to the UK’s largest inland beach with boat hire, lakeside barbeques and Watermark Café
Chedworth Withington – 12 miles
This ride combines quiet back roads with some off road stretches on bridleways. It explores the wide-open vistas of the high Wold and dips down into the villages, woods, and pasture of the Upper Churn and Upper Coln valleys. You can start the ride at any point, please try to get to it on your bike if possible. If you do drive, please park with consideration for the local community. Brackets indicate the wording of signs and the route is described in a clockwise direction.
Aldsworth Bibury – Up to 21 Miles
This ride is made up of 3 interlocking loops so you can make it as long or as short as you like. It takes you around the good tracks and quiet lanes of the mid-Cotswolds lowlands and cuts down into the stunning lower Coln and Leach valleys.