During these undeniably challenging times one of the positive outcomes, for many of you we’ve spoken to on social media, has been having the time to explore and discover your own community.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing Instagram posts featuring your experiences of finding new local walking/biking routes, beautiful views and magical woods.  To celebrate these hidden gems of Cheltenham we’re launching a new series, ‘Recommended by Locals…’ starting with Rachel known as @digitalrachel on Instagram.

Rachel and her young family live near Cheltenham Racecourse. With local attractions and playgrounds shut, like many families they have kept themselves entertained by exploring parts of Cheltenham they had never thought to visit before. We spotted her photos of Lineover Woods and Nottingham Hill and asked if she would share a few tips with us to inspire us all to get out and explore.  Take it away Rachel…

My tips for visiting Lineover Wood near Dowdeswell Reservoir...

Walking trails - There are a couple of different trails you can do here. With a 3.5 and 1.5 year old in tow we decided to do the shortest one which was only about a mile long (and buggy friendly)! There are lots of things to explore here:

  • Without a doubt, simply stunning scenery that made us feel like we were in the Rockies rather than Gloucestershire!
  • An ‘off-the-beaten track’ area where you can construct stick houses and explore the others that have already been built – lots of fun for little imaginations.
  • A huge fallen tree which served as a fantastic family photo spot as well as the finest in au natural climbing frames.

Refreshments- Don’t forget to pop into Dunkerton’s cider on the way back. As well as their own ciders, they also stock delicious groceries including freshly baked bread from Hobbs House bakery. Good social distancing measures are in place too.

Where to park at Lineover Wood - The wood’s northern entrance and car park is off the A40 Cheltenham to Oxford Road, opposite the reservoir.

From Cheltenham, head east on the A40 Oxford Road. The wood’s southern entrance is off the A436.

OS grid reference - SO987188

My tips for visiting Nottingham Hill…

This is a special place for me as it’s where my (now) husband proposed to me!

  • Take a camera. When you get to the top prepare yourself for some spectacular views over to the Malvern’s.
  • This is not a buggy-friendly walk.  Suitable for either families with older kids or use a baby-carrier like we did.
  • Once we’d taken in the views, we ventured through a copse of trees where there was plenty to explore, including a few more stick houses.
  • We then walked down a track complete with lots of muddy puddles for Peppa-style jumping… so you definitely “must wear your boots”!

Where to park for Nottingham Hill - Follow sat nav directions for Cleeve Hill Golf Course, Wickfield Lane, Cheltenham GL52 3PW (the car park here is for members only) so once you arrive at the Golf Club continue over the cattle grid turn left and then right for the Cleeve Hill quarry car park. 

OS grid reference - SO989271

My tips for exploring further afield - Rodborough common, Stroud…

The perfect place for a socially distanced stroll with incredible views over the Stroud valleys.

  • Be aware that you may even spot a cow or two as local cattle roam free to naturally ‘mow’ the grass. This encourages important wildlife species.
  • Treat yourself to the finest in Cotswold Ice Cream from Winston’s Ice Cream Parlour at the edge of the common. A winner for kids and adults alike! They are now open, with a queuing system and serving process in place. Opening times at the moment are Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm.

This photo by @an.item.express on Instagram captures the views perfectly...

Where to park for Rodborough Common - The Commons are between A46 (Stroud-Nailsworth-Bath) and A419 (Stroud-Cirencester-Swindon). Quiet lanes lead uphill from these roads. 6 miles from junction 13 on the M5. There are various small car parks.

Further details about the three places Rachel recommends above can be found here:

Woodland Trust – Lineover Wood

Cotswolds AONB – Nottingham Hill

National Trust – Rodborough Commons

If you would like to share your local tips with us do get in touch. Contact Lisa at [email protected] Or contact us via Instagram @visitcheltenham 




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