Cotswold Edge Walks
A selection of walks climbing the scarp
This walk starts in the pretty village of Stanton, snaking through Stanway before heading uphill. Be sure to listen out for an audible curiosity as you climb through Lidcombe wood. Later on, views come and go as you descend from Shenberrow Hill. There are unmissable views from the pub garden at the end of your walk too.
|OS Grid Ref||SO 952 189|
|Post Code||GL53 9QQ|
From Stanton village car park turn right and go past the cricket pitch. Follow the road round to the right, now walking through the lower part of the village. As the road turns right again, go straight on, following the Cotswold Way sign. Continue along the drive until you see a gate in front of you. Go through the smaller gate on your right and follow the footpath going up and down across the furrows left by ancient strip farming.
Already you will see views of the Cotswold foothills all around you. Go through the gate into the next field, now keeping the hedge to your left. After about half a mile go though the next gate and follow the path across the middle of the field, skirting to the left of a large Oak tree.
The next gate is a double one separated a little bridge crossing a ditch. Again cross the middle of the field. In the distance you should be able to see the village of Winchcombe climbing out of the valley towards Cleeve Hill. After the next style, bear right under three large Sycamore trees. Follow the path to the gate in the corner of the field.
Go directly across the middle of the field passing under the boughs of a majestic Black Beech tree and continue through the gate in a metal fence. Proceed to the next gate which takes you out onto a road. Turn left here and walk along the road where you will eventually pass a church and the grand entrance to Stanway House.
At the end of the wall enclosing the grounds of the house, turn left just as the road starts to climb. The Cotswold Way footpath will take you past Stanway Watermill and onwards to a road. Turn left onto the road. This road can be quite busy but there is a good path and one or two cottages to look at on the way.
As the road turns to the right go straight on and then take the Bridleway on the left, heading uphill. This is the start of your climb. At the top of the first uphill stretch, views of the valley and farmhouse open up (to the left) as you swing left along the track. (Don’t follow the forestry track on the right.)
As the track dips and crosses a stream (hardly visible but you can hear it in wet weather) you may hear the peculiar thumping sound of a hydraulic ram pump hidden in the trees at Lidcombe Wood. This pump is part of the system used to power the enormous fountain at Stanway House. Keep on uphill. The path gets rockier and more uneven as you climb.
Continue on the main track ignoring the less-well-walked path on the left, now climbing through a wood of Ash and Beech towards a gate. Ignore the track crossing your path. Go through the gate. You will see a barn on your right here.
As the track bends to the right, take the footpath through the small gate on your left. Now cross the field, eventually walking under some electric power cables (the local type, twin wires suspended on wooden poles).
Turn left, then immediately left again, almost doubling back on yourself, now keeping a stone wall on your left. You are now at the top of Shenberrow Hill. This is the highest (but surprisingly least dramatic) part of the walk. However on a still summer’s afternoon stay here for a while and listen to the typically Cotswolds sound of twittering skylarks and the bleating of distant sheep. In the distance you may also be able to see Broadway Tower.
After a short while you will meet some farm buildings. Turn right, following the “Broadway 5km” sign. The footpath then snakes through the farmyard and takes you to a gate by the side of a cattle grid. Go through the gate and immediately turn left on the track that leads back to the farm buildings. Views of the Severn Valley and the Malvern Hills now come into view on your right. When the track swings left towards the farmhouse take the gate immediately in front of you.
After about 30 yards, continue down two or three steps and start descending along the Cotswold Way along a well-defined, slightly rocky path. As you continue along the valley bottom brief views of the Severn Valley and the hills beyond will come and go. Eventually cross a style and continue on the path along the right hand side of the field.
As the path dives under some trees you will come to another style. The path divides and joins again just after the style. You can take either way. Continue downhill. As you come to a stream (not very visible but you will probably hear it), go through the gate and through another one soon after.
Now turn left onto a wide farm track heading back to Stanton. Go through a gate and pass Little Sheppey Yard on the left. As the track turns into a lane, follow the road to the right passing Pixie Cottage and Little Sheppey House.
Your entry into the village will be marked by another of the distinctive Stanton lamps. At this point, it is thoroughly recommended that you turn right and visit the Mount Inn for some well-deserved refreshment. From the pub garden, the views over the village are stunning. When you are finished here, return to way point 30 and continue gently downhill along the main street through Stanton, old Cotswold-stone cottages lining your way. At the junction turn right and return to the car park.