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Cranham to Westrip
andyh
Author: andyh (ID: 3182)
Posted: 2009-08-13 22:50 GMT+00:00
Mileage: 15.96 km
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Tags: Hiking
Views: 1255
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Part of the Cotswold Way walked on the afternoon of August 13th and a gentle walk of about 9.5 miles. Time about 4.5 hours including several longish stops to take in the views, rest and a visit to the church in Painswick. Maybe this is my favourite walk so far!
Began this walk by catching a bus from Stroud (#46) to the Royal William pub at Cranham - a location also known as Fiddlers Elbow because of the bends and twists in the main road. The track by the side of the pub leads up the hill to pick up the trail and crosses Painswick Golf Course. It's the third golf course encountered in less than fifty miles. What does that say?
The track leads up to Painswick Beacon and the views at the top are, well, stunning!
The trail leads through the golf course into Painswick past the Gyde almshouses. Painswick has a beautiful churchyard with 99 yew trees - legend has it there are and never will be no more and no fewer than 99. The church tower bears the scars of the civil war.
The trail leads down a lane opposite the church and soon takes a left across the fields. This is gentle walking, skirting Painswick rugby club and encountering an unusual marker stone.
The trail then crosses the Stroud/Gloucester road at Edge and makes its way through a pleasant nature reserve. Crossing the back road from Edge to Stroud, the trail then goes through woodlands (Stockend Wood) towards Haresfield. The trail emerges from the woods onto a road and then pretty soon it heads back into the woods. It's at this junction that I came across Holy Well. The gentleman living next door pointed out some grafetti from the late 19th century, and that this is about the halfway mark for the Cotswold Way.
The path passes the Seige Stone in memory of the end of the civil war seige of Gloucester and then, after crossing another small road, rises towards Haresfield Beacon.
The views from the beacon are, again, stunning and, on this day, the Welsh Brecon Hills were very clear.
From the beacon, you double back along the escarpment to the road before turning right through trees to Haresfield topograph. Again, you need to double back along the scarp to pick up the path through Standish Woods. Lots of different tracks in the woods here so keep your eyes peeled for the right markers - but it was an easy walk to Westrip (where I began this series of walks) and the end of this section.

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