Cotswold Way Circular Walk - Upton Cheyney, Hanging Hill, Prospect Stile and North Stoke

Statistics and Files
Start: Upton Cheyney Distance: 5.4 miles (8.7 km) Climbing: 224 metres
Grid Ref: ST692699 Time: 3 hours Rating: Moderate
GPX Route File Google Earth File About North Stoke
Statistics
Start: Upton Cheyney Distance: 5.4 miles (8.7 km)
Grid Ref: ST692699 Time: 3 hours
Climbing: 224 metres Rating: Moderate
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Summary: This walk from Upton Cheyney avails of the Cotswold Way footpath on its eastern side which includes a gentle climb from Beach to Bath Race Course on Lansdown Hill. The height provides fantastic views of Bristol while walking a little further south along the hilltop to Prospect Stile provides breathtaking views of Bath. The walk also has some lovely small woodland and copse sections to it as well as visiting the quaint village of North Stoke where the Church of St Martin dates from the 12th century and has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building.


The Walk:

Natural shade footpath between Beach and Hanging HillNatural shade footpath between Beach and Hanging Hill
Fingerpost sign near BeachFingerpost sign near Beach

Upton Cheyney was designated as a conservation area on 24th October 1983. It is a picturesque village situated on the steep slopes of Lansdown Hill within the greenbelt and the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It consists of a cluster of traditional natural lias stone buildings and walls which, together with mature trees and hedgerows, create an attractive enclosed environment. The village setting is one of open countryside characterised by varied and sloping topography, open fields and mature trees. Designation is intended to protect this attractive rural character along with the traditional buildings, stone boundary walls, trees and other features which make this area 'special'. (source: South Gloucestershire Council)

Apart from the villages proud status it has one more claim to fame and one of especial interest to lovers of spicy food. Upton Cheyney is home to one of England's most prestigious Chilli Farms where some of the most powerful varieties in the world are grown. The farm holds festivals during the year to celebrate the Chilli. It was hot in Upton Cheyney as I began my walk and that had nothing to do with the Chilli, it being all down to the weather. It was a magnificent summer's day. I first walked on lovely quiet lanes with mature trees and hedgerows, creating an attractive enclosed environment and across fields from Upton Cheyney to Beach where there was no sign of sea. Then I walked from Beach to Hanging Hill Cottages where another lovely shaded path led me up to the high ground of the walk. The walk had been total enjoyment so far, the only pleasure I had not yet taken on the walk was lovely views to the far distance. Things were about the change.

Bristol, the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary and the Bridges as seen from Hanging HillBristol, the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary and the Bridges as seen from Hanging Hill

After walking up the shaded path through a copse I arrived into unbroken daylight on Hanging Hill. The picture I looked out to in the west from the hill were magical. The city of Bristol shimmered through the heat haze and in the foreground there was a beautiful patchwork of green and parch brown fields, a rural masterpiece. Beyond the city I gazed out to the Bristol Channel and to the right were the famous bridges, one old and one not so old spreading across the Severn Estuary. It was such a fantastic scene, all the more so as I was blessed by such a wonderful sunny day.

Taking stock while enjoying the dayTaking stock while enjoying the day
Walking from Hanging Hill to Lansdown HillWalking from Hanging Hill to Lansdown Hill

While I was looking out to the west some walkers came up to me and we chatted for some time about the fortune we were sharing in being up on Hanging Hill on such a perfect day. They were heading north along the Cotswold Way and I wished them luck with the weather for the remainder of their journey. One of the walkers took a photograph of me and then they were on their way. I walked in the opposite direction, on the hill top with Congrove Wood and then Brockham End falling away down the hill slope to the right. I passed the remains of a Roman Villa, according to the map anyway, but I couldn't see any evidence as I now know it his hidden by trees in Pipley Wood at Brockham End.

The City of Bath as seen from Prospect StileThe City of Bath as seen from Prospect Stile

I walked further around the hill top and turned my direction from south to west and then back to south as I walked on the edge of Bath Race Course. Soon afterwards I reached Prospect Stile which gave me a lovely high view over the City of Bath.

Bath Race Course on Lansdown HillBath Race Course on Lansdown Hill
Pipley BottomPipley Bottom

The final section of the walk took me on a descent from Prospect Stile to North Stoke first through a young wood and then across fields. From North Stoke I continued across more fields to cross a small stream at Pipley Bottom where I got a little respite from the relentless sunshine. The final half mile was across more fields then onto a farm lane back into Upton Cheyney. Lovely walk done with excellent views as the highlight.

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