Cotswolds - Hailes Abbey

A walk in the heart of the Cotswolds, its countryside, its hills and its woods from the ruins of Hailes Abbey, taken over from the National Trust. This circuit takes part of the Cotswolds Way, an SGR hiking trail that crosses the Cotswolds from North to South for 164 km (from Chipping Campden to Bath).

Technical sheet
No. 4098841
A Stanway walk posted on 24/11/19 by jacques.nys. Update : 16/01/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h45[?]
Distance Distance : 7.8km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 183m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 176m
Highest point Highest point : 278m
Lowest point Lowest point : 90m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Cotswolds
Location Location : Stanway
Starting point Starting point : N 51.96945° / W 1.92796°
Download : -


Free parking with a few spaces near Hailes Abbey and Hailes Church.

(D/A) Head north-west and then right due north at the first crossroads towards the Hailes Abbey Halt (GWSR) ‘train station'.

(1) At the first clear bend in the road to the left, pass through the gate and take the dirt road to the right.
A little further on, avoid the right fork and follow the main path to the left.

(2) Cross the pasture diagonally or right/left, going towards a metal gate at the north end. Arrive at the hamlet of Didbrook.

(3) Follow the small road to the right, including at the crossroads with a red telephone box converted into a defibrillator shelter.

(4) Take the small dead-end road to the right towards Wood Stanway where you have to follow the Cotswolds Way to the Southeast.

At the end of the road, turn right and go straight up to the pastures along the farm stables on the left. At the end of the path, cross the metal gate, turn left, pass the gate and climb the hill to a group of houses.
Go around it to the right and reach the ridge to the left of a row of majestic beech trees. Continue straight ahead and reach the road at Stumps Cross.

(5) Turn onto the first path on the right and continue to the next crossroads.

(6) Turn right, cross a gate on the left and continue the track in the field along the dry stone wall.

(7) At the end of the field, turn left, admiring the view over the valley below until you reach a stone monument. Go down the slope and follow the track to the left until the edge of a forest (Hailes Wood).

(8) Pass the portico and turn right onto the forest path which descends into a magnificent undergrowth to return to the starting point (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 103m
1 : km 0.43 - alt. 95m - Metal gate
2 : km 1.25 - alt. 96m - Separation of portico-gate paths
3 : km 1.48 - alt. 91m - Way into Didbrook
4 : km 2.25 - alt. 106m - Crossroads
5 : km 4.3 - alt. 252m - Stumps Cross crossroads
6 : km 5.15 - alt. 278m - Crossroads of country lanes
7 : km 5.49 - alt. 266m - Angle of the pastures
8 : km 6.58 - alt. 205m - Forest path
D/A : km 7.8 - alt. 103m

Useful Information

Wear proper shoes because the region is often subject to severe weather ... and the paths and trails may be flooded or muddy in places.
There are no picnic tables, water points or shops on the route.
Opportunity to eat at Hailes Fruit Farm.

Make sure to close the gates, porticos or other passages separating or isolating the fields. Keep dogs on a leash when crossing fields when there are flocks of sheep.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Splendid oaks and beeches on the first part of the route.
Beautiful views of the surroundings from the heights, at the halfway point.
Magnificent properties and charming local stone hamlets.
Hailes Abbey: ruins of a Cistercian abbey open to visitors from April to September.
Didbrook Church and its old cemetery.
Hailes Fruit Farm: fruit for seasonal picking, camping, tea-room and restaurant.
Cotswolds Way: this walk follows the Way between Wood Stanway and Hailes Abbey. The northern part leads to Chipping Campden. The southern part joins Bath at the other end.
GWSR: Gloucestershire - Worcestershire Steam Railway, tourist steam train operating in season.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.83/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 3/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Tue 16 Feb 2021 01:00:15 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 15/02/21
Description quality : N/A
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Average

This was a nice easy 8km walk. Some nice buildings along the way, although we didn’t stop very long to take everything in as light was fading.

We didn’t use the written directions, but the map was good enough, and for a large part the route is marked either by signposts or white posts in the ground across fields.

on Thu 24 Sep 2020 12:41:30 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 13/09/20
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

This was a lovely walk but we noticed a few things which make the directions easier.
4. The small dead end road is the second road sign posted for Wood Stanway. You then reach a junction and have to go left to reach the end of the road to go up to the pastures. The farm stables are on the right not left.
An easy walk with the option of visiting Hailed Abbey (which we didn't do as we hadn't booked in advance).

Other walks in the area

Sudeley Castle and Salter's Hill from Winchcombe
distance 11.15km Vertical gain +243m Vertical drop -245m Durée 3h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Winchcombe - Gloucestershire

This circular walk from Winchcombe goes past Sudeley Castle and leads to great countryside viewpoints including Salter's Hill viewpoint using sections of Windrush Way and Gloucestershire Way.

Broadway Tower
distance 6.8km Vertical gain +221m Vertical drop -221m Durée 2h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Broadway - Worcestershire

Broadway and its highest tower castle in the Cotswolds is ideally situated for exploring this hilly region of the English countryside and the Cotswold Way (National Trail 164km running north-to-south).
In good weather, the top of Broadway Tower offers a 360° view, especially of the Welsh landscape to the west.

Saintbury Church, Dover's Hill, Chipping Campden and Broadway Tower
distance 17.17km Vertical gain +344m Vertical drop -340m Durée 5h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Broadway - Worcestershire

This pretty long circular walk (but not very hard!) from Broadway uses two famous trails, Donnington and Cotswold Ways letting you discover gorgeous Cotswold villages, churches, viewpoints and monuments.

distance 16.99km Vertical gain +323m Vertical drop -333m Durée 5h45 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Blockley - Gloucestershire

A beautiful circular Cotswold walk with a few surprises.

Along River Windrush, Nauton, Upper and Lower Slaughter
distance 16.65km Vertical gain +137m Vertical drop -138m Durée 5h10 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Bourton-on-the-Water - Gloucestershire

This easy but quite long circular walk from Bourton-on-the-Water uses a peaceful section of Windrush Way along the river before you follow a section of Warden's Way visiting typical Cotswold villages including Nauton, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water as well!

Leckhampton Hill, Hartley Hill and Coberley from Hartley Lane car park
distance 9.35km Vertical gain +162m Vertical drop -157m Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Shurdington - Gloucestershire

This circular walk uses a section of Cotswold Way with great views of Cheltenham from Leckhampton Hill which is an impressive Iron Age hillfort! Then you will use paths and tracks inland close to Coberley and South Hills.

River Severn and Apperley from Tewkesbury
distance 11.84km Vertical gain +41m Vertical drop -37m Durée 3h30 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Tewkesbury - Gloucestershire

The River Severn provides a focus for this walk which starts from the attractive town of Tewkesbury with its wonderful Abbey. The outward route follows the Severn Way following the river to reach Apperley. Here the walk turns inland and continues across fields to Deerhurst and back to the start. The walk also offers good views to the Malvern Hills which line the western skyline.

distance 5.14km Vertical gain +65m Vertical drop -64m Durée 1h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Coberley - Gloucestershire

A circular walk through two beautiful Cotswold villages past an Alpaca herd or two. Look out for more animals in the parkland near Cowley and head over the hill and down through the valley of sheep. Beautiful in May when the hawthorn is in flower. If you are lucky you'll spot orchids on the downs too.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.