Walk – Bredon Hill Circular
Description: Bredon Hill is an outlier of the Cotswolds, isolated although sharing the same underlying geology. The walk rises steeply from the village of Elmley Castle and makes a circuit of the plateau, before a steady descent from the folly which crowns the highest point.
Walk length: 9.9 kilometres (6.2 miles)
Duration: approx 3 hours
Height gain: 250 metres
Difficulty level: Moderate
This walk starts and ends at The Queen Elizabeth Inn
(based on a walkingworld.com walk – ID: 1468)
Please respect, protect and enjoy the countryside.
Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints.
Follow The Countryside Code.
Map showing suggested route
2. From the pub, enter the churchyard which you will see 50 metres in front of you to the left. Go up the main drive but turn left across the grass, just before an unusual sundial. It is worth having a good look at this, as well as going into the church. You leave the churchyard and pass a small lake, before coming to a stile leading into a field.
3. The right of way actually goes across the middle of this field but you can follow white markers around the edge to the right, which is probably easier. In the far corner is a plank bridge and a stile.
4. From here go left to the corner where there is another stile.
5. On the other side of this stile is a track. Turn right on it and keep going until you come to this second bridge.
6. Beyond it one track goes left along the edge of the wood and another goes right, uphill. Naturally our route goes uphill. You will come to another similar bridge.
7. You should cross this bridge to the white marker and go uphill to another white marker (in fact there may be easier ground on the near side of the stream). The field narrows to the width of a gate, beyond which the path continues. A little higher up you come to the junction of two bridleways.
8. You don’t want the one to the left – keep going uphill. You reach a gate at the edge of a wood.
9. Just follow the path through and up. On your right there will be some high deer-fencing for a time and clear signposting at the occasional junction. You reach a gate at the end of the wood, with a track leading into the open.
10. Follow the track to its junction with another track and go straight over through a gate. After two fields a wider track goes to the right.
11. Follow this track towards the wood with pine trees and an arable field on the right, until you come to the access road to a radio mast which you will see to your right.
12. Carry on over the crossroads in the same direction. You reach yet another crossroads.
13. Once again continue in the same direction. You come to a T-junction where the appearance is of your track curving left.
14. The branch to the right is not obvious but you don’t want it anyway. Just go left on the gravel track until another track goes off to the right.
15. This time turn right. This track leads to a barn, all that remains of Sundial Farm apart from some ruins.
16. Follow the track past the barn but when you are in sight of the entrance on the far side, look for a stile on the right. Cross it.
17. A path along the field edge leads to a stile in front of a strip of woodland.
18. Go over this and turn right – you have a choice of parallel paths. Both lead to a gate onto open ground.
19. The path is clearly visible and leads to a second field, where you can see the tower of Parson’s Folly.
20. Before you reach the tower you will pass through the ramparts of an enormous Iron Age hill-fort. The tower, incidentally, was built to raise the height of the hill to 1000 feet (310m). Continue past the tower and look in a hollow near it for an erratic boulder called the Banbury Stone. Follow the stone wall on the left, ignoring the gate that you see and passing again through the ramparts. You will find a gate in a corner by a small copse. Go through this and when you reach a fence on your right, follow it to a gate by a wood.
21. Turn left and go downhill following the edge of the wood (in other words don’t go through this gate). The direct path is obscure, so this is an easier route to follow. The little path joins one from the left in an area of bushes.
22. The path is clear enough as it goes through these bushes and out into the open. Now follow roughly the fence line on your right, going downhill all the time until you reach the junction of a number of tracks.
23. Turn right, taking the track along the fence by the large tree, not the bigger double track. This leads to an enclosed track beneath trees, which in turn becomes a surfaced lane by a half-timbered house. This lane leads down to the village, and back to The Queen Elizabeth.
24. Enjoy the walk !!
The countryside code – rules for walkers
1. Be safe – plan ahead and follow any signs
- Check current maps to be sure you have access to the land you plan to walk on. The public footpaths will be signed. Follow these signs to be sure you are on the correct footpath.
- Check the weather and pack your backpack accordingly. Be prepared to cancel your plans or turn back if the weather is bad.
- Many places are remote and do not have cell phone coverage so let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
2. Leave gates and property as you find them
- Frequently you are walking through fields of sheep, horses, cows, or other livestock.
- Gates along the trials are kept closed to keep the livestock in their fields or left open so livestock can move between fields. Leave all gates as you find them. Take note when you open the gate of how it is latched (e.g. a rope may be looped over the gate in addition to the latch) and make sure to leave it as you found it. Our rule is that the person who opens the gate also closes it, because they know how it should be done.
- Use the gates and stiles provided. Do not climb over fences or walls (this can damage them).
- Keep to the paths through the fields, do not walk into the crops.
3. Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
- Do not leave litter behind. Keep it and dispose of it when you are off the trails.
- Do not get too close to the animals. Sheep get distressed if you get too close to them. Walk around the animals.
- Do not attempt to help an animal in distress; alert the farmer.
- Don’t take any plants, trees or stones with you.
- Do not drop matches or cigarettes (don’t start a fire).
4. Keep dogs under close control
- There are specific rules for when and where you must leash your dogs.
- Clean up after your dog.
5. Consider other people
- Drive carefully on the narrow country roads. Some are wide enough for one car only and have pullouts every so often to allow two cars to pass. If you meet another car, one of you must backup to the nearest pullout.
- Be courteous to the people who live in the countryside where you are walking. Don’t block driveways or roadways with your car. Most walking books show you where to park for each walk.
- If you come across a farmer doing something with his/her animals, you may have to wait until he has finished until you can proceed.
- Slow down when driving by people riding horses.
- Support the countryside and buy local products.
6. Footpath Signs
- Most public footpaths are marked with round markers with arrows. You will find these at the start of the footpath and along the way.
- Yellow arrow: Footpath waymark.
- Blue arrow: Bridleway waymark (trail for horses or walkers).
- Red arrow: Byway waymark.
- Acorn symbol: National trails (e.g. Cotswolds Way).
- Icon of a person in a field: Open Access. You do not need to keep to the path, and you can walk where you like. Note that landowners are permitted to close Open Access areas from time to time for specific purposes.