The Commons (Rodborough, Selsley and Minchinhampton)
The five valleys meet at the town of Stroud - and the commons are plateaus between the valleys, especially the wide, lofty heights of Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons. They can make you feel as if you are in a strange new world. With magnificent views and roaming, grazing cows... this really is escapism!
Together with Selsley Common, these stretches of common land provide 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 AONB. Winstone's home-made local ice cream is irresistible on warm sunny days, especially when served directly from their shop-front on Rodborough Common!
The Tyndale Monument is a tower built on a hill at North Nibley. It was built in honour of William Tyndale, the first translator of the Bible into English, who is believed to have been born at North Nibley.
The tower was constructed in 1866 and is 111 ft (34 m) tall. It is possible to enter and climb to the top of the tower, up to a spiral staircase of about 120 steps. From the top, enjoy a wide range of views, especially looking down to the River Severn.
Purton is on the banks of the River Severn. An easy walk along the Sharpness to Gloucester Canal, arriving at the final resting place of some old working barges. The barges were placed in an attempt to stop the erosion of the riverbank to protect the canal. This historic site is well thought out by those responsible. A plaque names all the barges at the site and there are individual nameplates with more detail on each barge. There is also a memorial for the barges that struck the railway bridge in October 1960, and to the five crew who were lost. The foundations of the bridge are still visible. There is parking just over the canal bridge off the mini roundabout in Purton. A perfect picnic spot with super views, full of history and well worth a visit.
Coaley Peak Picnic Site
With breathtaking views of the Severn Valley, Coaley Peak, near Stroud, is a picture-perfect spot, whether you want to fly a kite with your kids or pitch up on one of the picnic tables or bring a blanket to sit in the wild flower meadow. It’s also a popular stop point for walkers along the Cotswold Way National Trail, which passes through the site.
Haresfield Beacon Estate incorporates a variety of woodlands and grassland areas high on the Cotswold scarp. Today the estate provides open public access, where people can appreciate the beautiful landscape, superb views and abundance of wildlife. There is also a long history of occupation, the evidence of which can be found on this walk. Take in the major archaeological features and monuments and appreciate the estate from a different perspective.