Staunton & English Bicknor

Featuring the impressive Suck Stone and Near Hearkening Rocks, two medieval churches, a lengthy section along the Wye, the Yat Rock viewpoint and a quiet stream valley, this walk offers an in-depth introduction to the landscapes of the Forest of Dean.

Technical sheet
No. 18974700
A West Dean (Gloucestershire) walk posted on 02/02/22 by Walks from the Door. Update : 03/02/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h15[?]
Distance Distance : 18.46km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 353m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 354m
Highest point Highest point : 228m
Lowest point Lowest point : 32m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : West Dean (Gloucestershire)
Starting point Starting point : N 51.813514° / W 2.627125°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) From the Forest Retreat, turn left down the hill and follow the road for 1⁄2 mile to the Bracelands entrance, on the right. Follow the track heading straight on beyond the entrance, passing a wooden barrier.

(1) By a gate from the campsite, turn left, with a grey waymark and a sign to “River”. At the bottom of the valley, go straight on at a crossroads and follow the track uphill and to the right. Keep right when another track joins from the left.

(2) Keep left at a fork to a metal barrier into Forest Close, Staunton, and walk out to the main road (A4136). Turn right to the church. Beyond the churchyard, turn right onto a hedged track leading away from the road. Beyond the last house, follow a path into the woods.

At a junction of paths, bear slightly left onto a path which curves right and leads downhill. On meeting a track, turn left to meet a forest road. Turn right and follow the gravelly track to Redding’s Lodge.

(3) Beyond the house, continue along the track past a barrier. Just before a fork, turn left onto a footpath with a Highmeadows Trail waymark disk. Bear right at the top of Near Hearkening Rocks and follow yellow arrows on the trees as you pick your way down the slope between the rocks, before swinging left to pass below the main overhang.

(4) At the end of the cliff the path swings right to the Suck Stone, then drops left to meet a wide surfaced track. Turn right and follow the track for a third of a mile. Turn left off the track onto a descending track below some overgrown clearfell; at the bottom of the wood, bear right.
The track descends before swinging right below some rocks.

(5) After a metal barrier, the path bends left to meet a bridleway, where you turn sharp right and descend to the Wye. The bridleway runs above and parallel to the main riverside track for a while before eventually joining it.

(6) After just under a mile, you pass the Biblins footbridge; continue along the riverside track for a further 11⁄4 miles to Symonds Yat East.

(7) Beyond the Royal Lodge Hotel, take a walled footpath on the right signposted to Yat Rock. After 200 yards, turn right up steps through the trees and past a bench.

The path continues uphill with intermittent steps; at the next junction by a wooden fence, turn right (again signposted “Yat Rock”). On meeting a broad path below a barrier, take a few steps left then take the path opposite, still climbing with intermittent steps.

(8) Just before the road, turn right up some stone steps and past a small, low cave on your left. A further flight of stone steps leads up to the picnic area by the Symonds Yat Café.

(9) Cross to the footbridge and turn left along the boardwalk to visit the Yat Rock viewpoint.

(10) Returning to the café, bear left through the staff car park to the road. Follow a footpath on the right that passes behind a white-painted house.

(11) On meeting the metalled entrance road for the main Symonds Yat car park, turn left and walk out to the public road. Turn right along the road for 75 yards, then cross and climb a stile at a public footpath sign after the last house on the left.

Follow the hedge on your right then, when it turns right, strike out across the field ahead, aiming for the far left-hand corner. Join a farm track along the top of the wood on your left and continue beyond a farm gate, ignoring a footpath off to the right.

After 600 yards, when the track bends right into a farm, carry straight on to a kissing gate into a paddock and cross to a second kissing gate. Bear right to a third and fourth kissing gate and enter a wood, following the path down to a lane.

(12) Turn right, then left at a road junction, and walk up into English Bicknor, passing the primary school entrance. At the T-junction at the top of the hill, turn left (look over the wall on your left for the earthworks of the former motte-and-bailey castle).

(13) Stay on the main road at a road junction, then turn left through the lych gate to visit the church. Returning to the road, cross over and walk down Godwins Lane. Beyond the last house, continue down the green lane ahead of you.

(14) Cross a stile into a field and walk down to the valley bottom, bearing slightly left, to a stone slab stile and a boardwalk across the stream. Climb the wooded slope to a track then turn right and drop back down to recross the stream at a footbridge. Turn left and follow the stream up the valley, leaving it to cross a stile.

(15) Another stile leads into a lane; cross to yet another stile and bear half-right, climbing to pass above a wood. Climb a stile and continue along the valley side, past another stile into a narrowing field.

(16) A track leads briefly through woodland into another narrow field, beyond which it runs along the bottom of the valley through more woodland. At the end of another small field, bear slightly right onto the obvious track continuing up the valley, now dry.

At a ruined barn, the farm track swings right (private) but the right of way continues straight ahead to a gate into a field. Walk up the right-hand side of the field to a road.

(17) Turn left and follow the road down to the bottom of the valley. Pass the pumping station on the left and continue uphill along the lane, passing the turning to the Dog & Muffler pub on your left.

(18) Continue up the narrow lane uphill between cottages and houses until you meet Park Road in the centre of the village. Turn right and walk along the main village street for 500 yards to the village green and church. Cross straight over into Bracelands Drive and continue for a further 300 yards back to the Forest Retreat. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 221m - The Forest Retreat
1 : km 1.07 - alt. 167m - Campsite
2 : km 1.93 - alt. 203m - Forest Close, Staunton
3 : km 3.4 - alt. 207m - Redding’s Lodge - Near Hearkening Rocks
4 : km 4.42 - alt. 140m - Suck Stone
5 : km 6.13 - alt. 37m - Wye riverside
6 : km 7.9 - alt. 40m - Biblins footbridge
7 : km 9.7 - alt. 47m - Royal Lodge Hotel
8 : km 10.35 - alt. 139m - Symonds Yat Café
9 : km 10.44 - alt. 143m - Yat Rock viewpoint
10 : km 10.54 - alt. 126m - Staff car park
11 : km 10.75 - alt. 151m - Main Symonds Yat car park
12 : km 13 - alt. 126m - English Bicknor - Primary school
13 : km 13.47 - alt. 143m - Church
14 : km 13.82 - alt. 90m - Stream
15 : km 14.39 - alt. 98m - Wood
16 : km 15.43 - alt. 140m - Woodlands - Ruined barn
17 : km 16.35 - alt. 163m - Pumping station
18 : km 17.65 - alt. 221m - Village
D/A : km 18.46 - alt. 221m - The Forest Retreat

Useful Information

One stiff climb to Yat Rock; several stiles, and field and woodland paths may be muddy.

Pdf file : http://walksfromthedoor.co.uk/i/walks/Gl...

The Royal Lodge
www.rhhotels.co.uk
Tel 01600 890 238

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

  • Featuring the impressive Suck Stone and Near Hearkening Rocks, two medieval churches, a lengthy section along the Wye, the Yat Rock viewpoint and a quiet stream valley, this walk offers an in- depth introduction to the landscapes of the Forest of Dean.
  • All Saints, Staunton, is another Grade I listed church with features from throughout the medieval period. Of particular interest is a font which may have originally been a Roman altar. Opposite are the remains of a 14th-century village cross and Church Farmhouse, dating back to the late 1500s.
  • The Suck Stone is said to be the largest detached conglomerate boulder in the British Isles.
  • St Mary’s Church in English Bicknor has a fine Norman arcade with an example of ‘beakhead’ carving. Other treasures include three 14th- century effigies.

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AONB
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Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 2.6km Vertical gain +115m Vertical drop -114m Durée 1h05 Easy Easy
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A steep descent and ascent from the car park at Yat Rock to the River Wye at Symonds Yat East.

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