Stow-on-the-Wold is a great place to visit not only for its typically Cotswoldian charm, tea rooms and cricket museum but also as it’s a great place to start a short circular walk from.
Firstly, this is because (if you’re a driver) there’s free parking available all day, secondly you can utilise a whole range of independent tea rooms/pubs when you finish and finally as it’s on top of a hill – at 800ft the highest town in the Cotswolds in fact, you’re guaranteed great views.
The only downer being that you’ll always finish with a hill!
Wednesday I spent an hour doing a circular walk from the town to the village of Broadwell (see route on map below) and back again. It was a mixture of quiet country lanes and footpaths that were well signposted throughout.
It took me approximately an hour and the views throughout were stunning.
Despite the walk being half on roads the lanes used are really quiet with the exception of the Fosse Way. However, there’s a well worn path to the right of the short stretch of Fosse Way you have to walk.
All in all a great way to spend an hour and I certainly felt like I deserved a slice of cake and cup of tea at the end of it.
Distance: Approx. 3.5 miles
Time: depends on what pace you walk and how many photo stops you make! Allow at least an hour.
Hills: yes of course, this is the Cotswolds after all – gradually downhill for the first 1.5 miles then gradually up for the next 1 before a flat finish.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL45 “The Cotswolds”
Terrain: half well marked footpath, half quiet country lane.
Refreshments: The Fox Inn in Broadwell en route, the Queen’s Head in Stow on the Wold to finish.
- If you’re driving park up in the free town parking adjacent to Tesco supermarket just off the Fosse Way.
- From there head towards Stow (down Stow High Street) before turning left opposite two red post boxes.*
- At the end of this road turn left down Well Lane checking out the view to your right.
- A short way down here you’ll pass Stow Well before the road reaches a house and turns into a track.
- This track slopes gently up to begin with before going downhill through a tunnel of trees – fresh with blossom at the minute.
- When you get to the road follow it down and to the right and into the splendid village of Broadwell.
- The village green is immediately in front of you with the Fox Inn pub up to the left. Cross the green and turn left when you get to the road crossing the ford.
- At the top of the slope keep an eye out for a footpath sign on your left before you get to the bus stop. If you go past the bus stop you’ve gone too far.
- Take the footpath alongside the stream which comes out on the road.
- After looking left to check out the quintessentially Cotswolds row of houses turn right and look for a footpath through a gate on your left handside. This will take you up to and through the church yard.
- Emerging on the road turn left and follow it up the hill all the way to the Fosse Way.
- Cross straight over the busy road and follow the footpath to the big silver gate where there’s a marvellous view.
- At the gate, turn left and follow the footpath through a few gates emerging on the Fosse Way.
- Once you get to the busy road turn right and follow the road back towards Stow and your car is on the left by Tesco.
- Go and find yourself a nice drink and piece of cake in Stow-on-the-Wold town centre!
* From the centre of Stow head away from the market square up the High Street with the town hall at your back (stocks & YHA on your right) – the red post boxes are on your left, take the road opposite then follow from instruction 3