Painswick Beacon Circular Walk
Painswick Beacon Circular Walk

Painswick Beacon Circular Walk

The Cotswolds
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Painswick Beacon Circular Walk

Painswick Beacon Circular Walk

Distance: 4.9mi
Elevation: 784ft
Time: 2-3h

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Walking the Painswick Beacon Circular is a great adventure in The Cotswolds AONB that features some beautiful scenery and pleasant terrain, making it perfectly suitable for a fun family excursion. The trail sets out from the Falcon Inn in Painswick and leads you through a variety of terrain such as open farmland, rolling hills, and lovely forests before arriving at the stunning viewpoint atop the beacon. Once there, you will enjoy a panoramic sightline that sweeps across the rolling hills and picturesque countryside that make this area such a popular walking destination.

Painswick Beacon Circular Walk Map

Getting there

To get to the trailhead for the Painswick Beacon Circular Walk from Stroud, head northwest on Beeches Green for 0.2mi and take the second exit at the roundabout onto Painswick Road. Follow this for 1.4mi and keep right to continue on Cheltenham Road. After 1.7mi, you will find the car park on the left. From here, walk to the northeast along the road for 0.1mi to reach the starting point of the walk at the Falcon Inn.

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Painswick Beacon Circular Walk
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Painswick Beacon Circular Walk Description

While not overly challenging, the Painswick Beacon Circular Walk does feature some uneven terrain and a bit of uphill climbing to reach the viewpoint atop the hill. Be sure to wear proper walking footwear to stay comfortable on the trail. Additionally, the beginning/end portions of this adventure will require you to walk along the side of the road, so remember to exercise caution in these areas.

For those walkers that enjoy blending pleasant terrain, stunning scenery, and historical interest into the same route, then the Painswick Beacon Circular Walk is a great option for a fun day out on the trails. The route sets out from the village of Painswick and passes through lovely stretches of farmland and forest before climbing uphill to reach the site of an Iron Age fort atop the Beacon. From here, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding villages and rolling hills of the countryside. This is a great adventure that the entire family will be sure to enjoy.

Setting out from the Falcon Inn in Painswick, follow along the road to the northeast, passing by the Church of St. Mary and the town hall on your right to arrive at an intersection with Gloucester Street. Turn left here and follow the road to the northwest until you arrive at a fork, taking Butt Green on the left to bring you to a T-intersection after 466ft. Make a right here, followed by an immediate left onto a footpath that will take you through some trees.

After the trail bends to the left, you will arrive at another fork in the trail. Continue straight for the next 0.5mi to make your way through a lovely mixture of woodland and open farmland that will produce some beautiful views of the surrounding area. Once you meet up with a laneway, head to the right and continue along the road for 0.4mi, where you will come to another junction. Turn left here and follow the lane as it descends the hillside, eventually arriving at Hillcombe Farm.

Directly in front of the farm, the trail will turn sharply to the right and continue to head downhill until you cross over Wash Brook. From here, you will gradually climb back up the hillside until you reach Upper Hillcombe Farm in 0.2mi. Head to the right here to enter the farm grounds, where you will find a public footpath branching off to the left. Cross over the stile and head uphill, aiming your direction to the right of a telephone pole to eventually come to another stile next to a gate. Make your way across and follow the tree-lined path, which will eventually merge with a wider track.

After passing through a section of wood, make your way downhill until you arrive at the edge of Spoonbed Farm. Head past the buildings and follow the lane until it meets up with the road, turning right just before it to follow a footpath along a stone wall. Continue on to the southeast until you meet up with the road, following it for 0.1mi until you find another footpath branching off to the left. Take this path and climb your way up the hillside, keeping to the right at each junction until you arrive at the trig point for Painswick Beacon after 0.2mi.

Take some time to enjoy the picturesque views that spread out across the English countryside in every direction, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty contained within the rolling hills, sprawling farmlands, and charming swathes of woodland terrain spread out before you. Also take some time to explore the hilltop, as it is the site of a former hill fort dating back to the Iron Age. When you’ve finished taking in the views, head south to descend the hillside and keep right until you reach a junction with the road. Follow this to the left and keep right along the road for 454ft to find a path on the left just before the quarry.

Continue south for 0.7mi, passing through stretches of forested and open terrain until you once again meet up with a road. Turn right here and follow the road for 0.1mi to work your way past a car park and arrive at a junction with Gloucester Street/B4073. Turn left here and follow along the road until you arrive back in the village of Painswick, having completed the Painswick Beacon Circular Walk. Once there, you can head back to the car park or pop into the Falcon Inn right next to the trailhead for some refreshments.

Consider a Walking Holiday in the Cotswolds

One of the best ways to experience this stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is by booking a pre-planned adventure tour in the Cotswolds. Find the famous self-guided Cotswolds Way and other amazing guided and self-guided tours on 10Adventures Tours.

Insider Hints

  • Trails can be quite muddy after periods of rainfall. Wear water-resistant walking footwear in these conditions.

  • Keep an eye out for wildlife, as deer and other animal species are often seen in the area.

  • Exercise caution along the roadside portions of this walk.



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