Cotswold Way Circular Walk - Cooper's Hill and Brockworth Wood

Statistics and Files
Start: Brockworth Distance: 2.1 miles (3.4 km) Climbing: 180 metres
Grid Ref: SO892148 Time: 1 hour Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Brockworth
Statistics
Start: Brockworth Distance: 2.1 miles (3.4 km)
Grid Ref: SO892148 Time: 1 hour
Climbing: 180 metres Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Summary: Cooper's Hill is prestigious. It is a prestigious hill with two claims to fame, one as a haven of tranquility which survives for almost the whole year. However, on one day every year Cooper's Hill is a site of mayhem. Had I come here on Spring Bank Holiday I would have struggled to climb the hill for hundreds of people would have been engrossed in the annual Cheese Rolling competition. Fortunately I was alone, the place was deserted and so I enjoyed a wonderful peaceful ramble on Cooper's Hill and in the nature reserve. I also enjoyed some great woodland walking.


The Walk:

Signpost near Cooper's HillSignpost near Cooper's Hill
The climb of Cooper's Hill is through woodlandThe climb of Cooper's Hill is through woodland

I did not know anything about the history or indeed the significance of Cooper's Hill other than it being a nature reserve when I arrived for my walk. My first impression was of a scarred hill. The north facing bank down to the Hamlet was rutted, showing signs of erosion and significant wear. Ugly red plastic fencing and iron posts were strewn across the hill with signs saying walkers must keep to the Cotswold Way path and not venture up the open hill. Now I know it was the famous annual cheese rolling event which had taken its toll on the hillside. Luckily the Cotswold Way path up the hill through lovely woodland was much more inviting. The path weaved its way up the hill taking me with it and soon I had made the 60 metre climb to the top.

The view north to Brockworth from Cooper's HillThe view north to Brockworth from Cooper's Hill
Brockworth WoodBrockworth Wood

The views from the top of the hill were outstanding. Despite it being cloudy I could clearly see down to the town of Brockworth and to Churchdown Hill on the north side of the M5 motorway. To the left of the hill the conurbations of Cheltenham and Gloucester were also in view. It was pastoral and urban England all in one image. I looked round the wide vista for a while, no sound of motorway or bustle interrupting the moment as a gentle breeze kept all distant noise away. After taking in the views I walked off the bowled hilltop and into Brockworth Wood. There I enjoyed deviating from the path to rustle my feet through the woodland floor. It was an enjoyable section to the walk.

Lush grass in a woodland glade near The BuckholtLush grass in a woodland glade near The Buckholt
The woodland track through Cooper's Hill WoodThe woodland track through Cooper's Hill Wood

From Brockworth Wood I reached a woodland glade where grass grew so lushly. It was a wonderful sight of brilliant green. I was now on the edge of High Brotheridge, Brockworth Wood and Cooper's Hill Wood. From the glade I walked further into Cooper's Hill Wood and came to the Buckholt. I continued from the Buckholt on an east course through easy woodland tracks to resume my connection to the Cotswold Way. After overnight rain the well used National Trail track was muddier to walk on than others in the vicinity which caused me to walk off it on occasions and follow on parallel paths made by walkers. The always followed close to the trail path though making navigation through the wood no problem at all.

A woodland opening provides views to Churchdown HillA woodland opening provides views to Churchdown Hill
The hamlet below Cooper's HillThe hamlet below Cooper's Hill

The Cotswold Way path maintained a close line to the edge of Cooper's Hill Wood. Sometimes the tree line on the edge of the wood cleared to provide views out to the east. Once more I could see Brockworth, Churchdown Hill and sometimes I saw the Witcombe Reservoirs. A kilometer later I emerged from Cooper's Hill Wood to the hamlet, a group of widely dispersed cottages. Here I ended my delightful short walk. Appropriately I had the smile of a big cheese!

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