Walks on Wheels throughout the Cotswolds AONB
Walks on Wheels is a series of fifteen short routes throughout the Cotswolds AONB that can be explored by users of wheelchairs, power scooters and children's buggies.
Taking in some of the Cotswolds' best scenery and attractions, the walks will help you to enjoy and explore quiet, accessible country paths, villages or market towns.
The Cotswolds' highest point at Cleeve Common, the prehistoric Rollright Stones, a magnificent aqueduct and classic Cotswolds market towns are just some of the walks' highlights and attractions.
All of the routes have been tested by disability and access groups from across the Cotswolds and have been carefully chosen to ensure that they are appropriate for users. However, some of the routes are not suitable for all wheelchair users and some may be difficult or impassable in bad weather and after rain.
The project was devised by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens to mark 40 years of helping to improve access to the Cotswolds and conserve its landscape.
For further information on walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies across the South West and South East, go to www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk.
See below for the full list of downloadable walks.
Easy 1.2km village walk on hard surface with a very gentle slope. Suitable for all wheels. This 1,200 metre circuit illustrates Ilmington’s apple heritage, passing many small orchards and visiting the magnificent Apple Map in Saint Mary’s Church. With very gentle inclines, it is mostly on quiet paths with two sections on public roads and pavements and 30 metres on compacted gravel.
Start: Take signed minor roads from the A3400 three miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon or from the A429 four miles north of Moreton-in-Marsh. Park in Back Street near Saint Mary’s Church, where the walk begins.
Grassy level walk (1.2km) suitable for all. Extra loop has steep slopes. Wonderful viewpoint. There are two walks with magnificent views from the Cotswold escarpment. The short one is a level 1,200 metres there and back. The longer route of 2,200 metres, with a short steep descent and ascent, is suitable only for large-wheel buggies. The surface is mostly grass, with some uneven patches. After rain there will be puddles. It is grazed by sheep, so be prepared to clean your wheels afterwards.
Start: From Chipping Campden town square, with the Noel Arms on your left, drive one mile towards Weston-sub-Edge. At crossroads on top of the hill go straight on and in 200 yards turn right into The National Trust car park.
Easy 1.8km walk for all on a private road in a remote Cotswold valley with one gentle slope. An easy there and back path of 1,800 metres on tarmac between woodland and fields. After a short rise, there is a very gentle ascent and descent, suitable for all wheels.
Start: Hinchwick manor is on a narrow minor road that runs between the A424 four miles north west of Stow-on-the-Wold and the B4077 four miles west of Stow.
Two very short walks on grass round a prehistoric site with wide views. Suitable for all wheels. Two easy routes for all, mostly on grass with one very gentle slope. The stones are among England’s finest ancient monuments. The King’s Stone and the Whispering Knights date from Neolithic times. The stone circle known as the King’s Men is thought to be Bronze Age. There are magnificent views to the north and south.
Start: The Rollright Stones are four miles north of Chipping Norton. A left turn off the A3400 appears very quickly after the crown of a hill. It is signed to Little Rollright and Little Compton. Take the lane for half a mile and park in either of the lay-bys on the left.
Panoramic grassy walks on the top of the Cotswolds. The short walks are for all wheels. These walks on the highest point of the Cotswolds are on short grass and surprisingly easy. The 600 metre route is almost level, while the longer routes cross uneven ground with several slopes. You are advised not to take any route on Cleeve Common in poor
Start: On the A40 near Andoversford, take the minor road signed to Whittington. After the church turn left and follow a narrow lane for four miles. After Whalley Farm turn right and wind your way up to the car park by the masts near the highest point of the Cotswolds.
Short family walk for all wheels in a country park. Tarmac and earth paths. A pleasant walk of 700 metres suitable for all in a country park, with views from the escarpment over the Severn Vale and then through woodland. The surface is tarmac, crushed stone, short grass and earth.
Start: High on the Cotswolds above Gloucester, at the junction of the A417 and A436 (Air Balloon pub) take the A436 towards Andoversford. Almost immediately turn left towards Cheltenham. After 100 metres turn left into Crickley Hill Country Park and follow the tarmac drive to the visitor centre. Disabled parking is on the left past the visitor centre, other parking is on the right before the visitor centre.
Very short family walk on mown grass leading to a playground. The short walk (only 200 metres there and back) is almost level, mainly on mown grass and suitable for all wheels. An alternative return route (total 350 metres) through the housing estate starts with a short rise on hard surface to a gate. Another longer route on grass around the edge of a wood and meadow may not be suitable for wheelchairs or small-wheel scooters and buggies.
Start: Charlbury is 15 miles north-west of Oxford. Take the through-traffic road (the Slade/Sturt Road) above the town centre. Near a school sign turn into Ticknell Piece Road, signed Bowls Club. As you wind between the houses watch out for the car park on the right. There are three blue badge spaces.
4km on lanes and the common. Tarmac and grass with one steep descent. Not for wheelchairs. This 4km walk is not recommended for hand propelled wheelchairs. On the way to the turn around point at the Bear of Rodborough Hotel you are on minor village paths and roads, with gentle ups and downs but one steep 250 metre descent. The return is largely level: after a short section of tarmac you walk on grass along the edge of the common. The common is habitat for a variety of birds, butterflies and orchids. This section may be difficult, even impassable, after heavy rain.
Start: From Stroud take the A46 south towards Nailsworth for two miles. After the Old Fleece Inn at Rooksmoor take the second left turn (Culver Hill) climbing for one mile to arrive at the Amberley Inn.
Tour of town and park (4km) on hard surface with negligible slopes. Suitable for all wheels. This generally level 4km route takes you on tarmac, (suitable for all wheels) through a classic Cotswold market town and attractive parkland. There are historic buildings in Dollar and Gloucester Streets and attractive Cotswold stone houses in Cecily Hill. Cirencester Park has a gazebo and extensive views.
Start: Approaching Cirencester from the A417/A419 bypass you head into town on the A429 Burford Road to a roundabout on the ring road. Take the road ahead, signed to the town centre (London Road) and soon turn right at the traffic lights for the Waterloo long stay car park (pay and display).
Pavement tour of a market town (2.8km) with steep sections so not suitable for wheelchairs. This 2.8km town tour, mostly on pavement and tarmac, winds through narrow streets with some steep ups and downs which are not suitable for hand propelled wheelchairs, and will be hard work for parents pushing buggies. Tetbury is a charming Cotswold market town with many listed buildings, among them the Market House, parish church, merchants’ houses and craftsmen’s cottages.
Start: Tetbury is on the A433 10 miles SW of Cirencester and 23 miles NE of Bath. Approaching from Cirencester turn left before the town, at a sign for Tetbury industrial estate and take the road downhill for half a mile. The Old Railway Yard car park is on the left at the bottom of the hill. From the town centre, opposite the Market House take Chipping Lane downhill and turn right into the car park.
Easy 3km tarmac route through village and park, suitable for all. Optional extra village loop. The easy 3km walk is generally level, on village lanes and public rights of way. On the return there are views through the trees of Badminton House, the 17th century stately home of the 11th Duke of Beaufort. (The extra 600 metre circuit of the hamlet of Little
Badminton has steeper gradients and is not recommended for hand-propelled wheelchairs).
Start: Badminton Park is five miles north of junction 18 of the M4. Take the A46 and the B4040 to Acton Turville. At the village sign fork left and at a T-junction turn left. Cross the narrow railway bridge and continue for one mile to Badminton village. Here turn right and left, following two signs for the village hall. Approaching from the north turn left off the A46 onto a minor road signed Little Badminton, where you continue to Badminton, following the village street and then right to the car park.
Strenuous 4km climb, only for Tramper-type scooters and mountain buggies. Wide views. This walk, with magnificent views from the Cotswolds escarpment over the Severn Estuary and Avon valley to Wales and the Mendips, is feasible only for Tramper-type scooters and large-wheeled mountain buggies. It rises 120 metres (395ft) to Lansdown Hill, then after a level section (with an optional extension to the Civil War memorial) it either returns by the same route or (for those with two cars) continues on a 150m (490 ft) descent to Upton Cheyney. The surface varies from tarmac to gravel, uneven grass and rutted stony paths. Sections may be muddy.
Start: The villages of North Stoke and Upton Cheyney are on minor roads close to (but well above) the A431 halfway between Bristol and Bath. Upton Cheyney can also be reached on minor roads from Wick on the A420. The walk starts at North Stoke and returns by the same route, but those with two cars can leave one at Upton Cheyney and complete the route.
Explore two canals. Short and ideal for all wheels, plus bike and boat hire. This is a rural waterfront path of 400 metres along the Avon Valley to a magnificent aqueduct that carries the Kennet and Avon Canal high over the river Avon and the railway. You can return the way you came (total 800 metres) or take in an interesting extension alongside the largely disused Somersetshire Coal Canal, making a total 1,200 metres. The walk to the aqueduct is on gently climbing tarmac, and the canal towpaths are on level smooth grit. The route can be further extended as far as you wish in either direction along the Kennet and Avon towpath. The walk is open to all.
Start: From Bath take the A36 towards Warminster. After three miles and an entry sign for Limpley Stoke there are double traffic lights. At the lights turn left down the B3108 (signed Bradford-on-Avon) and quickly turn left into the Dundas Marina car park. You pay for parking between April and October.
Easy 4km canal walk on hard surface for most wheels. Alternative grassy path for wheelchairs. This 4km route alongside the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal passes through the historic Barton Farm Park and leads to the Avoncliff aqueduct. The complete walk is accessible for all except hand-propelled wheelchairs. Subject to conditions underfoot, wheelchair users can enjoy a riverside walk of similar length. The surface is largely metalled or hard grit, with mown grass on the riverside. All users have a steep short descent at the beginning. Thereafter wheelchairs are on the level while others face a short ascent to the towpath. At Avoncliff there is an optional steep descent to an inn, or a longer descent and steep ascent to a café.
Start: Bradford-on-Avon is on the A363 between Bath and Trowbridge, and the walk starts at the railway station car park. Park at the far end in Zone B, pay and display.