Walking in the Stroud District

If you like your walks to hold your interest, you have come to the right place. You only have to look around to realise that the Stroud valleys obviously are anything but flat! No apologies on that front. After all, that is what makes this part of the Cotswolds what it is.

Are you looking for a weekend away? See further below for our NEW Cotswold Weekends with Walks suggestions.

1Randwick Woods
Randwick Woods

Ramblers with a zest for steep slopes, whether it's going up or down, may find that their muscles ache after a few miles... but the scenery is worth the effort.

Link to Downloadable WalksDownloadable Walks - Including The Cotswold Way National Trail

Link to Cloth, Coal & Canals (Stroud Canal Walk)Cloth, Coal & Canals (Stroud Canal Walk) - Royal Geographical Society's Discovering Britain Series

Link to Strolling in the Stroud DistrictStrolling in the Stroud District - Guided and Self-Guided Walks

Scarlett and Green Stroud Trails

These walking trails allow you to explore not only the countryside around us, but some of the sites within the town itself. This includes some of the history and culture of the town and valleys that surround it.

PDFPDF Walk 1 Stroud to Rodborough Common

PDFPDF Walk 2 Stroud Town to Stratford Park

Further Information

Feature walks

1Poetry Post - 'Field of Autumn' on Swift's Hill
Poetry Post - 'Field of Autumn' on Swift's Hill

NEW Laurie Lee Wildlife Way

This six mile circular walk, created by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, follows 10 poetry posts around the wildlife-rich Slad Valley. Each cedar post features a different poem by Gloucestershire's most famous twentieth century writer, inspired by the landscape around him. The walk is very steep in places, but well worth the effort! An 11th post is located at the Museum in the Park in Stroud.

The Laurie Lee Way map is available to buy from Stroud TIC, Stroud Bookshop or Stroud Valleys Project in Stroud, The Woolpack Inn in Slad or direct from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust on 01452 383333.

1Stroudwater Canal near Ebley
Stroudwater Canal near Ebley

Cloth, Coal & Canals - Stroudwater Canal walk

This new walk from the Royal Geographical Society, along the canal towpath from Stroud to Stonehouse, tells the story of the Stroud Valley - from the past, present to the future. With plenty to observe along the way including mills, locks, bridges, warehouses, beautiful scenery and wildlife. It is available in audio or downloadable format or can be purchased from the Canal Visitor Centre and Tourist Information Centre in Stroud.

Link to Download the walkDownload the walk - Cloth, Coal & Canals

Whiteshill and Ruscombe

A NEW circular walk has been created with 40 beautiful waymarkers to follow around Whiteshill and Ruscombe. It is approx 4.5 miles, taking a good 2 hours. Although it does include some steep hills, it is a pleasant ramble through typically beautiful cotswold countryside. Maps can be purchased for £1 at the Whiteshill and Ruscombe village shop.

The W.A.S Way

The W.A.S Way, is an ambitious 11-mile circular route following public footpaths around the entire boundary of Stroud. It offers fantastic views from each of the five valleys plus a stretch of canal, exploring many quiet, hidden corners of the town.

To find out more and link to a PDF leaflet click on the link below.

Link to Download the walkDownload the walk - The W.A.S Way walk

Whiteshill and Ruscombe Diamond Jubilee Circular Walk

The Diamond Jubilee Circular Walk links
Whiteshill and Ruscombe, following ancient pathways through fields and woodland,and along roads and tracks. Numbered waymarkers designed by Whiteshill Primary School pupils make the route easy to follow.

PDFPDF Whiteshill & Ruscombe Diamond Jubilee Circular Walk

Cranham Woods

Cranham to Sheepscombe is a six mile woodland walk encompassing these two delightful villages - each with popular local pubs and attractive cricket grounds - surrounded by sheep pastures and conserved woodland.

The Cotswold Way

1Cotswold Way, Nick Turner
Cotswold Way, Nick Turner

Another area of interest is the 102 mile Cotswold Way  National Trail which passes through the Stroud District between Alderley and Birdlip. The Cotswold Way passes through a significant landscape of national importance and it provides a quality walking experience that offers pleasure to visitors from near and far.  Transport publications linking walks along the Cotswold Way and other Cotswold villages to bus routes are available.

Slad Valley

1Slad Valley
Slad Valley

Perhaps one of the most famous of these lonely hollows is the Slad valley. Secluded, yet not forgotten. The village has now lost its most popular and most famous resident, Laurie Lee, who will be sadly missed. He spent his whole life in this delightful part of Stroud and many a school boy and girl from all over the world studies his childhood through his widely acclaimed book Cider with Rosie.

Walking around Slad is fairly strenuous but rewarding, walking up and down hidden combes offering breathtaking views. Venture on this rewarding walk and you will see what inspired Laurie Lee to capture in words the delights of nature, hidden until sought out.

"But the mole sleeps, and the hedgehog lies curled in a womb of leaves, the bean and the wheat-seed hug their germs in the earth and the stream moves under the ice."

Stroud Commons

1View from Rodborough Common
View from Rodborough Common

Minchinhampton, Rodborough and Selsey Commons are stretches of common land providing an ideal open space for walking, horse-riding, kite and model plane flying, or simply relaxing while listening to the soaring song of the skylark.
Across the valley you can see the slow stately movement of the wind-turbine at Nympsfield, the very first one in the Cotswolds Area Of Outstanding Beauty.

Winstone's home-made local ice cream is irrestible on warm sunny days, especially when served directly from their shop-front on Rodborough Common!

Outstanding View Points

1View from Cam Peak, Nick Turner
View from Cam Peak, Nick Turner

The views from Coaley Peak Picnic Site are truly magnificent but, for many, the countryside around Cam Peak and Cam Long Down, cannot be beaten. Or, why not leave the car and discover the Site of Special Scientific Interest at Stinchcombe Hill. Here, you can enjoy the views and also admire the conservation projects which are reclaiming large areas of limestone and grassland for protected flora and butterflies, as well as the threatened skylark.

The South Cotswolds epitomises all that is best about an unspoiled English landscape listen to the birdsong, enjoy the butterflies, delight in the rare orchids and escape from the pressures of everyday life.

Cotswold Weekends with Walks

Base yourself in one of our colourful market towns or pretty villages for a weekend or mid-week break with walks. These downloadable itinerary ideas are full of inspiration for places to stay, things to do and a selection of wonderful walks, whether you want a gentle stroll or a longer hike.

The itineraries below feature some of our favourite walking routes in the undiscovered south Cotswolds. Some of the included routes are available to buy from the Tourist Information Centre in the town/village, others are available to download free of charge. The TIC staff will be delighted to suggest lots more great walking ideas too.


This small market town nestles in a steeply sided wooded valley, sitting alongside the Cotswold Way national trail. From the summit of any of the hills surrounding the town, you will get breathtaking views of the Gloucestershire countryside. It is close to Uley and WWT Slimbridge.

PDFPDF Weekend with Walks - Stay in Dursley


Often described as 'the Queen of the Cotswolds,' Painswick has a good choice of accommodation, fantastic dining options and wonderful walks. It is located between Stroud and Cheltenham and is on the Cotswold Way.

PDFPDF Weekend with Walks - Stay in Painswick


Known as the 'Covent Garden of the Cotswolds,' the colourful market town of Stroud sits in the beautiful Five Valleys of the south Cotswolds. It is close to the Cotswold Way and the small, pretty towns of Painswick and Nailsworth.

PDFPDF Weekend with Walks - Stay in Stroud