Circular Walk on Leckhampton Hill, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Leckhampton Hill, Gloucestershire

A brief history

This is a lovely circular walk which is just outside the Cotswold town of Cheltenham with a section of the walk following the famous Cotswold Way National Trail. If you have time why not visit Archies, a great dog friendly café in Cheltenham.

Over 2000 years ago, Leckhampton Hill was the site of an Iron Age Hillfort. Later the area became a quarry and it was during this time that the famous Devils Chimney was created. Quarrying stopped in 1926 and in 1927 the area was bought by Cheltenham Town Council. The hill was opened to the public in 1929. Today the area is popular for both walking, biking and horse riding.

Walk overview

Distance3.8 miles
Time Required 1hr 30mins
Start / FinishDaisybank Rd Carpark
Leckhampton
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL53 9QQ
DifficultyModerate.
Some steep climbs.
Can be muddy in winter.
RefreshmentsNone on route
Dog FriendlinessOff lead most of the route.
Possibility of cows grazing at top of hill
Link to route on MapometerLeckhampton Hill Mapometer
Overview of walk from Mapometer

Time to get walking…

From the Daisy Bank Carpark, with your back to the woods turn right and follow the tarmac road
Keep following the road as it passes some houses for about 3/4 mile until you come to a gate
Go through the gate and keep to the left hand track. Follow the track as it bends to the right
At a crossroads of tracks continue straight on and follow a wide path as it skirts around the bottom of Leckhampton Hill. If you look up to your right you will see the top of hill where you are walking to. This gives you an idea that there is a steep section coming up.
Continue until you reach a metal field gate with a pedestrian gate next it. Go through the gate following a mud path. There will be a dry stone wall on your left and a fence on the right of the path.
As you come to a field on your right you will see a sign for the Cotswold Way pointing into the field. Go through the gate on your right and you will now follow the Cotswold Way for the next stretch of your walk.
Follow the path across the field as you start to climb until reach a gate in a few trees in the far corner,
Go through the gate and continue climbing up a stony path keeping a dry stone wall on your left until you reach the top of the hill.
A path will join your track from the right, just continue straight on following the ridge of the hill, To your right there are great views over the golf course and Cheltenham towards Cleeve Hill in the distance.
Continue to follow the Cotswold Way markers along the ridge until you reach another gate. Go through the gate and the path becomes quite narrow and undulating through trees, eventually ending up in a open grass field with a tarmac path.
Follow the tarmac path through a small cutting with the trig point for the hill on your right. At the end of the tarmac path, follow the grassy path diagonally across the wide open grass area which slopes slightly downhill.
At the corner of the field you meet a wider track from the right. Join this track and turn left, continuing to follow the Cotswold Way markers. At this point you could take a small detour by following the path to Devils Chimney, it is signposted off the main track.
Continue along the pebble path for about 1/4 mile until you see the bench and the way marker in the picture on your right at the edge of the ridge. This can be a little difficult to spot so keep your eyes open. This is where you leave the Cotswold Way, but are following a part of one of the Cotswold Circular Walks and starting to head downhill.
Take the steep stony path down the hill. Take care here as some of the stones can be a bit loose.
The path continues on a downward slope meandering through woods with a few houses on your left. Continue following this path until you reach the old lime kilns on your right. There is an interesting information board here showing what it would have looked like 100 years ago,
With your back to the information board you follow the wide path straight in front of you which heads quite steeply downhill
Almost at the bottom of the hill at a crossroads take the left turn back down to the car park

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