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Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury

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Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury
Author: Claire, Published: 27 Feb 2019 Walk Rating:star1 Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guidestar1 Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guidestar1 Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guidestar0 Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guidestar0 Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guide
Gloucestershire, Cotswolds
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guide boot Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking Guide
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0004_black_low_cloud Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, Cotswolds Walking GuideToday's weather
8 °C, Overcast, Wind: 7 mph NNE
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A 3 mile circular walk from the village of Old Sodbury in the Southern Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. The walk begins with a short climb to Old Sodbury Church which has a commanding position with far-reaching views. The route continues north on the Cotswold Way through oak-fringed farmland to reach the plateau of an Iron Age Hillfort and on to reach the village of Little Sodbury. The return leg leads you through simple peaceful fields with more glorious views.

The walk has several steady climbs and descents throughout, with a couple of steep but short climbs. It follows a mixture of field paths, woodland paths and quiet lanes, with some stretches that can become muddy at times. You will need to negotiate several gates, kissing gates and bridges, but there are no stiles on route. You may be sharing the fields with grazing animals (sheep and horses when we walked). Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes in Chapel Lane, immediately south of the Dog Inn crossroads in the centre of Old Sodbury. There is roadside parking available along Chapel Lane, but please make sure you do not obstruct any driveways. Approximate post code BS37 6LY.

Walk Sections

Start to Church View
Start to Church View

Start point: 51.5317 lat, -2.3575 long
End point: 51.5346 lat, -2.3541 long

From the roadside parking in Chapel Lane, head north back to the crossroads at the centre of the village (with the Dog Inn on your right). Cross over with care and go ahead into Cotswold Lane. Fork immediately left down the tarmac farm driveway (signed as the Cotswold Way). Pass through the small gate to enter Church Farm Yard and pass just to the right of the large barn ahead to reach a bridle gate.

Go through this gate into the grass paddock and cross the field diagonally right. Exit via a kissing gate and then turn immediately right to follow the grass path leading uphill towards the church. Just before the churchyard, you will see a bench and viewpoint on your left. Pause to enjoy the views – on a clear day it is possible to see the Brecon Beacons.

Church View to Iron Age Hillfort
Church View to Iron Age Hillfort

Start point: 51.5346 lat, -2.3541 long
End point: 51.5406 lat, -2.3473 long

When you have finished at the viewpoint, go through the metal gate to enter the churchyard and pass the 11th century church on your left. Exit the churchyard via the lych gate, turn right along Church Lane for a few metres and then turn left (immediately before the school) to continue on the Cotswold Way.

This enclosed path leads you through a metal kissing gate then ignore a gate on the right, instead keep ahead to go through the next gate ahead. Walk ahead through the field to reach a majestic sycamore tree and then fork left through the kissing gate to enter the next large hillside paddock. Go ahead along the top boundary of this field, staying close to the hedge line on your right. Take time to enjoy the views to your left.

At the end of this long field, go through the kissing gate and then turn immediately right to follow a path leading uphill (with woodland on your left). At the top of this path you will see a choice of gates. Take the left-hand kissing gate to enter the site of the Iron Age Hillfort. NOTE: There are normally sheep grazing the site. Go ahead on the path that leads you through the centre of the old earthworks.

Iron Age Hillfort to Little Sodbury Church
Iron Age Hillfort to Little Sodbury Church

Start point: 51.5406 lat, -2.3473 long
End point: 51.5473 lat, -2.3511 long

This hillfort is believed to be the fort mentioned in the Domesday Book as Soppa’s Fort. Perched on the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment, it commanded impressive views of the Frome Valley, Severn Vale and Welsh Mountains. Enclosing 11 acres, it served as a Bronze to Iron Age hill fort, was used by the Romans as a camp to protect their western frontier and in 577 it protected Saxon armies in advance of a decisive battle between the West Saxons and the Britons of the west country.

Pass through the far end of the ramparts to reach a path T-junction. Turn left, go through a kissing gate and turn right to join the woodland path. Pass a large stone property on your right to reach a staggered path T-junction. Turn left to follow the path downhill. At the end of this path you will reach a bridle gate ahead. Go through this to enter an orchard.

Cross the orchard and exit via a gate onto the road. Turn right along the quiet lane, still following the Cotswold Way. You will pass the grounds of Little Sodbury Manor on your right (more about that later). After about 300 metres, you will reach a fingerpost marking a path to the left. This will be our return route shortly, but first we visit the church of Little Sodbury. Continue on the lane for about 300 metres to reach St Adeline’s Church on your right.

Little Sodbury Church to Portway Lane
Little Sodbury Church to Portway Lane

Start point: 51.5473 lat, -2.3511 long
End point: 51.5424 lat, -2.3531 long

Take time to explore this pretty church. It has the distinction of being the only church in the UK named after St Adeline, an Abbess of the Benedictine order who died in 1125. The church has a close connection with William Tyndale who tutored at Little Sodbury Manor from 1521. William Tyndale is best known for his work in translating the Bible into English, which he began whilst living in Little Sodbury. St Adeline’s Church, in which Tyndale would have preached, was built in 1492 next to Little Sodbury Manor. It was rebuilt on its present site in 1895 and is built to almost the same layout as the original chapel and with much of the original materials. Little Sodbury is known as a Thankful Village, one of only three in Gloucestershire, rare villages that suffered no fatalities during World War I.

When you have finished at the church, head back onto the lane and retrace your steps back for about 300 metres to reach the fingerpost that you passed earlier. Turn right to join the footpath, passing through a gate to enter the field. Follow the obvious path leading diagonally through the field. In the far corner, pass through a kissing gate to reach a quiet lane, Portway Lane.

Portway Lane to End
Portway Lane to End

Start point: 51.5424 lat, -2.3531 long
End point: 51.5318 lat, -2.3574 long

Cross over the lane and take the steps and kissing gate ahead to enter the next field. Follow the path across four fields, passing through several gates and a gated footbridge along the way. At the end of the fourth field, take the bridge and gate ahead, to enter the large hillside paddock by the church (which you should recognise from the outward leg).

This time simply go straight ahead, following a level contour across the field. You will now be retracing your steps back to the start. At the far right-hand corner of this large hillside paddock, pass through the kissing gate and cross the paddock to reach Church Farm Yard. Go through the yard and on to reach the village crossroads in Old Sodbury where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2019 by iFootpath and 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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