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Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip

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Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 21 Oct 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walkstar1 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walkstar1 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walkstar1 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walkstar1 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk
Gloucestershire, Cotswolds
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk boot Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk boot Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk
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0002_sunny_intervals Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold WalkToday's weather
6 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 8 mph ENE
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0007_fog Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk 0002_sunny_intervals Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk 0001_sunny Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk 0007_fog Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk 0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk

A 4 mile circular walk from the village of Whiteshill in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. Whiteshill, as the name suggests, sits on a steep valley side giving truly beautiful long distance views. The walking route explores some of the quiet lanes and tracks within the village before entering Standish Wood, one of the finest examples of woodland in the Cotswold Hills. Just beyond the woodland, the views really open up, giving unbeatable panoramas across Stroud to the south and across the Severn Estuary in the north. The return leg takes you steeply down to the village of Westrip before climbing gradually back to Whiteshill, through fields, meadows, paddocks and playing fields.

The route includes several climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of quite steep parts. The surfaces are generally good, but some of the fields and tracks can be very muddy in winter and after periods of rain. You will need to negotiate several gates plus 8 stiles and 4 squeeze gaps. Whilst all the stiles have gaps in the fencing alongside that should be suitable for Labrador-size dogs to squeeze under, the squeeze gaps (some wooden and some solid stone) are quite narrow – our standard poodle passed through ok but broader dogs (or humans for that matter!) may struggle. (The narrowest stone squeeze gaps are pictured in the Gallery for reference). There are a couple of stretches along quiet lanes so take care of traffic at these points. You will need to cross one horse paddock and two rough pastures (these were empty when walked but could be holding livestock at times). Approximate time 2 hours.

The village of Whiteshill is located between Stroud and Gloucester in Gloucestershire. The walk starts and finishes at the free village car park, alongside the Village Shop and Playing Fields. The entrance to this car park is signed from the main road, just by the junction between Lower Street and Main Road. Approximate post code GL6 6AP.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ruscombe Chapel
Start to Ruscombe Chapel

Start point: 51.7616 lat, -2.2342 long
End point: 51.7658 lat, -2.2367 long

The walk begins in the village car park, alongside the Village Shop, Coffee Bar and Playing Fields. Even from this car park, the views are really beautiful, giving you a taste of what is to come. Walk to the far end of the car park, heading towards the shop and coffee bar and, just before this, turn right through the staggered barrier. Follow the tarmac footpath uphill and you will emerge out to a junction with a minor road.

Turn left along the road, heading steadily uphill and passing school buildings on your right. Along this stretch, the views across the valley on your left begin to open up further. After passing The Old Post Office on your left, ignore the footpath to the left, instead keep ahead on the tiny residential road. Just beyond the brow of the rise, you will pass a chapel, Ruscombe Congregational Church, on your right.

Ruscombe Chapel to Standish Wood
Ruscombe Chapel to Standish Wood

Start point: 51.7658 lat, -2.2367 long
End point: 51.7639 lat, -2.2459 long

Join the left-hand pavement at this point and follow the lane as it swings left and begins to descend. Almost immediately you are forced to swap to the right-hand pavement. As soon as this pavement ends, turn right into Zion Hill, signed as a public footpath. Follow this tarmac walkway heading steeply uphill and, beyond the houses, continue ahead as this walkway becomes a stone and grass track. At this point, glance over your left shoulder for more amazing views.

Stay with this track which soon swings left, leading you between steep woodland banks on your right and a handful of properties on your left. Further along, the stone track becomes a tarmac access lane once again, Lightwood Lane, passing a line of properties on your right. At the end of this you will come to a T-junction with the road. Turn right, heading uphill, taking care of any occasional traffic. Just after the last house on the left, turn sharp left to pass alongside a National Trust vehicle barrier and join the stone track leading you into Standish Wood.

Standish Wood to Ash Lane
Standish Wood to Ash Lane

Start point: 51.7639 lat, -2.2459 long
End point: 51.7577 lat, -2.257 long

Follow this stone track bridleway directly ahead into the woodland, ignoring any paths to the sides. This ancient bridleway track is known as Robber’s Way, it brings shivers to your spine to consider how that name came about! Further along, it also forms part of the Cotswold Way.

Standish Wood, managed by the National Trust, is known for its tall elegant beech trees as well as its display of bluebells in the spring. Within the woodland evidence has been uncovered of ancient human remains including a long barrow (a ceremonial burial mound) which is thought to be about 5,000 years old.

At the end of this long stretch of woodland, pass alongside a vehicle barrier and you will see a parking area to your right and an access lane, called Ash Lane, to your left.

Ash Lane to Sandpits Lane
Ash Lane to Sandpits Lane

Start point: 51.7577 lat, -2.257 long
End point: 51.7527 lat, -2.26 long

Go straight ahead across the access lane and through the bridle gate, signed as a continuation of the Cotswold Way. Follow this path ahead, staying close to the right-hand boundary of this large crop field. At this point, across to the left the best views yet have opened up, across the valley of the River Frome including the whole town of Stroud. At about 11 o’clock you will see a large mill with a tall chimney sitting alongside the canal at the valley bottom. This is Ebley Mill (sometimes called the Cathedral of the Cotswolds), once the largest woollen mill in the Stroud Valley but today housing the local council offices.

At the end of this first field, pass through the bridle gate ahead to join a grass and stone track, with a pretty dry stone wall running on your right. Beyond this wall to your right, you will have excellent views of the valley to the north-west including the wide channel of the River Severn meandering through the landscape and the Forest of Dean beyond.

Follow this track downhill and, when the hedge on your left ends, you will reach the edge of a grass meadow (with the track continuing ahead and another path forking left). Take the left-hand path, signed as the Cotswold Way. At the far side, cross the stone stile (with adjacent dog gate) to enter a small woodland. Follow the obvious path through the woodland, initially with an ivy-covered wall on your right and then swinging left to emerge directly onto Sandpits Lane.

Sandpits Lane to The Lane
Sandpits Lane to The Lane

Start point: 51.7527 lat, -2.26 long
End point: 51.7586 lat, -2.241 long

Turn left along this lane and follow it steeply downhill (taking care of traffic) and ignoring any footpaths signed off to the sides. At the bottom of the hill, turn left at the T-junction and follow the residential lane through the village of Westrip, with the valley views now on your right. At the next T-junction, cross over to the far pavement, turn left (uphill) for just 5 paces. Turn immediately right (just before Well Cottage) onto the tarmac access lane. Continue for just a short distance and, immediately after Jasmine Cottage and Highfield on your left, turn left onto the signed public footpath.

Pass through the two (very tight!) stone squeeze gaps to reach the corner of a rough meadow. (This was empty when we walked but it may be holding livestock sometimes). Walk ahead, staying close to the left-hand boundary. In the bottom left-hand corner, cross the footbridge over the stream (via two stiles) to reach a second meadow.

Continue uphill through the second meadow, still keeping close to the left-hand boundary. As a set of power lines enter the field from your left, you will see a stile on your left. Cross this and you will emerge into the corner of some playing fields. Turn immediately right and follow the path along the bottom of the fields, staying close to the hedgerow on your right. In the corner, cross the stile ahead to join the enclosed path with a hedgerow on your right and a fenced sheep pasture on your left. Stay with this path, passing horse, sheep and goat paddocks, and at the end you will emerge via another stile onto a road, The Lane.

The Lane to End
The Lane to End

Start point: 51.7586 lat, -2.241 long
End point: 51.7618 lat, -2.2344 long

Turn right onto this lane and follow it as it swings hard left, leading you steadily downhill. At the T-junction with Bread Street, turn left for just a few paces and then cross over to turn right onto the signed footpath (this is immediately before the access drive for Ruscombe Farm). Cross the stile and walk ahead to join a grass path between fences, with a concrete track and stables on your left and a horse menage ring on your right.

Pass through the squeeze stile ahead to enter the horse paddock and follow the path diagonally left (at about 10 o’clock) to reach a narrow squeeze gap within the stone wall. This gap leads you to the end of a concrete track. Turn right, heading downhill and pass a large pretty pond on your left. This pond is fed by Ruscombe Brook.

Continue directly ahead on the grass path between hedgerows. This path leads you steeply uphill to reach a stile. Cross it and continue straight ahead, passing a clump of tall trees on your right. Follow this path, heading uphill, passing a basketball hoop and the opening into the playing fields on your right. At the top of the slope you will emerge back into the village car park where this walk began.

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network Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 images to "Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip"

6782_0clairesharpuk1477036107 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk Image by: clairesharpuk
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The squeeze gaps!
6782_2clairesharpuk1477036107 Whiteshill, Standish Wood and Westrip Cotswold Walk Image by: clairesharpuk
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Wonderful views.... it was a little misty when we walked.

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