Wotton-under-Edge and Tyndale monument
A local favourite that combines woodland and heath with amazing views and a historic tower.
|Time:||1 hrs 19 mins|
|OS map:||Explorer sheet 167|
|Total Ascent:||755 ft|
|Total Descent:||755 ft|
- Broad views across Severn estuary and to the South
- Woodland walk
- Historic sites
- Monument tower climb (subject to obtaining the key)
You can fit this walk into an afternoon or stretch it out and take the children for a picnic (it's good for kite flying on windy days). In the early stages the path ascends a steep grassy slope but the rest of the walk is easy and pleasant. Running along the edge of the Cotswolds, this walk is all about views.
Leave the car park in a westerly direction, walking away from the town for 400 metres. Just past London Road, take the steep path up the bank on the right (with a handrail). After 50 metres the path turns sharp right, continue over stile. After 200 metres go through gate and cross a small road.
Follow the path up the steep face of the hill (signposted "Cotswold Way"). You can catch your breath on a seat at the top next to Jubilee Clump facing a glorious view to the Severn Bridges, the Somerset Monument (at Hawkesbury ), across Wotton, beyond Bristol to the Mendips.
Continue north-west (behind Jubilee Clump enclosure) through a gate, keeping the field on your right and the woods on your left.
Cross a lane into the Westridge Wood and follow the sunken trackway straight ahead through the trees. (NB the National Trust area of Westridge Wood is through the gate on the left but our path goes straight ahead.) As paths criss-cross through these woods choose the one that is nearest to straight ahead.
The path passes Brackenbury Ditches and you begin to glimpse views opening out through the trees. Continue through a gate (signed "Cotswold Way") into open grassland and walk towards the Tyndale Monument, where you can take a well-earned rest and survey the view across the Severn valley to Wales.
Return on the same path at first, but veer right after passing through the gate. The alternative path skirts the edge of the hill giving a constant view to the right, then loops back to rejoin the original route.
Most of this walk is easy, but the first climb may be difficult for some. There are no dangerous stages. Wear non-slippery shoes to cope with the grassy slopes.
Wotton-under-Edge is a small town at the junction of the B4060 and the B5058. It has a range of shops, pubs, garages, Guest Houses and B&Bs.
The stone walled enclosure and group of pines at the top of Wotton Hill is called the Jubilee Clump. It was planted in honour of Queen Victoria. This hill was also an ancient Beacon site.
The Tyndale Monument was built in 1866 in memory of William Tyndale, who was born in nearby North Nibley. Tyndale was a prominent Protestant in the time of Henry VIII and produced the first complete translation of the New Testament in English. He was martyred in Vilvorde, Flanders in 1536. Inside the tower a narrow, dark, winding staircase leads to an enclosed viewing platform. If you have the energy and don't suffer from claustrophobia, the view is worth the climb.
The key to the monument is obtainable from The Stores, Barr Lane, North Nibley (from the monument, follow the track down through the woods to the village). A deposit of £2.00 is required for borrowing the key and the admission charge is £0.50 per adult and £0.20 per child.
Looking from the Jubilee Clump, or from the foot of the Tyndale Monument, you can see the river Severn in the valley. The Severn Bridge (built in 1963) is the suspension bridge with high white towers. The Second Severn Crossing is the wider cable-stay bridge crossing a vast span of the estuary. From this viewpoint the bridges seem close together, though they are actually two miles apart.