Since becoming caravanners we have sought to do most of our walking from, or near, the site we are staying on. In part because we like to get to know the local area well and also because I dislike driving. When younger I enjoyed a long car trip, in those days I never tired of being behind the wheel. Nowadays I go to all possible lengths to avoid driving and view it as a necessity in order to get to and from our adventures.
Added to my dislike of driving is the recent dramatic increase in fuel prices. I can hardly believe that before we set off I felt fortunate to be able to fill up with diesel at £1.95 per litre. I am old enough to remember people saying petrol would never be more than £1 per gallon!
It is therefore no surprise that today’s walk is from our pitch at Burnt Ash Farm CL and we are heading towards the wide expanse of Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons. We leave the site by the footpath which runs besides the ménage and then heads across paddocks to join another footpath close to the road. Here we stay in the field and turn right to walk along the edge of the field with the wall on the left. After crossing a stone stile we continue into another field and keep walking with the wall to our left.
After crossing another stone stile the footpath forks. We take the left fork to walk through a meadow and then cross the wall via a stone stile and enter an arable field.
This leads us to another stile where we enter a field divided into horse paddocks and on the far side is a caravan park. The path is clearly fenced and well-marked.
We cross a stone stile over a wall under the close attention of one of the horses and then continue to the entrance to Tobacconist Farm campsite, turning left to pass well-maintained allotments.
At a junction we turn right into Tetbury Street and head into the town centre. Nearing the High Street there are a number of interesting old properties.
At a crossroads we continue straight on and pass the butcher’s and then at a junction we go left into Cuckoo Row and follow this until we reach a junction with Box Lane where we turn left.
We stay with the lane until we reach Box where we pass St Barnabas church. It was originally built in 1880 as the village school and at the time was constructed of corrugated iron. From 1918 it was used by the church as a Sunday school and for the occasional service. At the time it also doubled as a village hall. It was not until 1952, after restoration, that the building was dedicated as a church.
We continue through Box, keeping right at a fork in the road, passing the village hall and keeping with the road as it sweeps to the right and goes uphill. At a junction close to the Halfway Cafe we cross the road onto Minchinhampton Common. The cafe is a former pub which, despite a campaign by locals was closed in 2013 and allowed to re-open as a cafe.
We head in a north westerly direction across the common towards the clubhouse of Minchinhampton Golf Club. This is open access land but we follow a footpath besides holes on the golf course.
Minchinhampton Golf Club has three courses, two of which are near the village of Avening, but this is the original course, known as the “Old Course”. This course was established in 1889 and is clearly not the most popular of the club’s courses. It is a Saturday afternoon and we can’t spot a golfer on it.
After passing the Old Course clubhouse we keep with the footpath going north across the common crossing a minor road and then keeping in the same direction to reach the Amberley War Memorial.
From the War Memorial we take a road heading north west that goes downhill towards Littleworth.
At a fork in the road we go downhill to the right to a junction where we cross the road and take a footpath opposite which goes steeply downhill to reach a junction of paths where we turn right and follow a footpath through trees. This is an attractive bit of woodland and we stay with the path towards the southern edge.
We reach a minor road and turn right and then after going through a gate beside a cattle grid take a path on the left that goes steadily uphill onto Rodborough Common.
There are cracking views from here, we follow a path around the common close to a wall. This protects the gardens of Rodborough’s houses from the cattle that roam on the common.
We stay reasonably close to the wall to come to a road, which we follow briefly heading south east crossing a common on a clear cut path towards a crossroads where we take a minor road downhill towards Winstones Ice Cream Parlour. Unfortunately for Lynnie it is closed but I assure her we will be visiting here again in the next few days.
We now follow a road which tracks a wall to the east of the walled estate of Bownham. There are some cracking views over the Golden Valley from this lane. I am looking forward to walking in the valley, it is part of my planned routes for our stay in the area.
We reach a track that forks to the right from the lane and follow this steadily uphill and after passing cottages keep going onto Minchinhampton Common. There are a number of well-worn paths cut through the long grass on this section of the common. We turn to the left and follow a path heading south easterly above the houses of Burleigh.
After crossing the road we continue on and meet cattle enjoying the afternoon sunshine besides a fenced green on the golf course.
We cross a road on the common and continue along the Bulwarks, this is an Iron Age earthworks sweeping around part of the common. After crossing another road we continue walking over the common and then turn to the right so that we can pay a visit to Holy Trinity church with its unusual tower.
Apparently the original spire of Holy Trinity church was pulled down in 1563 because the arches in the nave were failing under the weight. The stub of the pair was retained and surmounted with a coronet structure.
We leave the church by the main entrance and arrive in Minchinhampton in the Market Square with its raised Market House with cattle barriers in the lower part.
From the Market Square we follow Butt Street and then turn right at a cattle grid and pass through a gate to follow a road through housing. After going besides another cattle grid we join a lane and turn right. At the end of the lane we reach a small common.
Where the common becomes a track we take a footpath on the right and cross a gate stile to enter a meadow and walk towards trees.
We then cross a stone stile into another field and follow the path along the wall to reach a second stone stile and take the footpath as it head towards the road and then as we near the road we turn left to follow the path diagonally across the field to return to Burnt Ash Farm.
Our walk has covered nine-miles and it has been interesting to explore a part of the Cotswolds we have not previously visited. We are now looking forward to exploring more of the local area and Lynnie has a visit to the Winstones Ice Cream Parlour high on her list of activities.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer – 168 Stroud, Tetbury & Malmesbury
2nd July 2022
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2022)
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Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.