View from the bottom of the cricket club grounds

View from the bottom of the cricket club grounds

The second walk from Stow-on-the-Wold last week took me a little further and took in the villages of Lower Swell and Maugesbury.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the previous day’s weather but it was still an excellent walk with plenty of typically Cotswold like scenes and ample views.

I hadn’t intended to go as far as I did but I was determined to complete another circular route – I hate doubling back on myself!

The walk starts from the market square and heads through the cricket field and down to the village of Lower Swell (see route on map below).

From there my loop briefly joined the Heart of England Way skirting Hyde Mill before crossing the Fosse Way and taking the old lane to Maugesbury finishing by heading up the hill into Stow-on-the-Wold.

It was a fun little circuit that took me just over an hour and a quarter although my pace was more of a march than stroll.

I’d never been to Maugesbury before so that was a highlight. There’s no through road so it’s a very quiet little village that – despite only being a stones through from Stow – seems a world away. Definitely worth a stroll to – even if your just going to and from the town.

It was from the same starting point (Stow-on-the-Wold)  but it was a completely different walk to the day previous. Another walk certainly worth considering if you have a few hours to spare in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Distance: Approx. 4.5 miles

Time: Unless you want to hammer it around I’d allow at least an hour and half if you want to enjoy it.

Garmin Elevation map for Swell walkHills: I wore my Garmin which plots the hills – see the picture to the right. You start by going downhill and finish on a gradual climb but that aside it’s pretty easy going.

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL45 “The Cotswolds”

Terrain: a mix of footpath/bridleway/farm track and quiet country lanes. Two crosses of the busy Fosse Way.

Refreshments: The Golden Ball (@GoldenBallInn on Twitter) en route in Lower Swell is within the first mile; for a post walk/post hill treat venture into the Bell Inn (@thebellatstow on Twitter)at the top of the hill on the road out of Maugesbury or if tea and cake is your thing then Treebus Tearooms (@treebustearooms on Twitter) on Digbeth Street is excellent.

Stow walk - Lower Swell & Maugersbury


  1. Head through the archway to the left of the public conveniences/bus shelter on the High Street (just off the Market Square) and follow the alleyway crossing the Fosse Way and heading into the grounds of Stow Cricket Club.
  2. Keep to the right of the cricket field heading for the dry stone wall at the far end of the field. Check out the view over the wall before turning left through the gap in the wall running adjacent to the road.
  3. Turn right and head down the hill into the village of Lower Swell passing the Golden Ball pub on your left.
  4. Take the next left in the village sign posted “The Slaughters”.
  5. Follow this road for a short while passing the school on your right before following the green signs down Mill Lane.
  6. Follow the bridleway which takes you all the way to Hyde Mill across open fields and through a few farm gates. If you look up to your left you can see Nether-Swell Manor.
  7. At the mill follow the path to the left hand side, up and over the wooden bridge and then follow the sealed  road all the way back to the Fosse Way.
  8. Cross the Fosse Way and then head up the hill as if you were heading back to Stow-in-the-Wold with the dry stone wall on your right.
  9. After a short while the wall breaks and there’s a path taking you past a big gate and through to the old lane to Maugesbury.
  10. Follow this all the way to Maugesbury heading up into the village.
  11. Keeping to the left follow the signs back to Stow-on-the-Wold up the hill and you’ll soon see the Bell Inn.
  12. Crossing the road at the rear of The Bell follow Digbeth Street back to the Market Square.