Cockleford, Cowley, Nettleton, Brimpsfield and Elkstone

An anti-clockwise walk going through several small villages on either side of the main A417 road.

  • Start Point:
  • SO 9683 1418. Green Dragon car park, Cockleford.

  • Length:
  • 6.75 miles
  • Ascent/Descent:
  • 950 feet
  • Description:
  • A mixture of tarmac roads, farm tracks and footpaths. Mainly gentle gradients, with a few steeper inclines and one long descent which uses narrow footpaths crossing rough ground, threaded through with streams, which can be boggy and slippery after periods of wet weather.
  • Date Walked:
  • 30th December 2011

The Green Dragon.

Start from the car park at the Green Dragon in Cockleford, grid reference SO 9683 1418. PDF of the walk and/or Google Earth Track of the walk.

Map No Grid Reference Distance Instructions
1 SO 9683 1418 600 yards

Take the lane leading northwest from the car park for 600 yards to the footpath going off to the left at the right hand bend in the lane.

  • Leave the car park through car entrance, turning left into the lane leading to Cowley heading northwest. The lane undulates at first through trees, passing the Gloucestershire Girl Guides centre on the right.
  • Follow the lane for about 600 yards to where it bears sharply right just after the views to Cowley Manor on the right, see photograph.
2 SO 9634 1450 200 yards

At the bend in the road, take the footpath signposted to the left, over a stile into a rough meadow. Continue northwest gently climbing across the field for about 200 yards to a stile opposite.

3 SO 9623 1459 75 yards

Go over the stile and cross straight across the lane going through the gate into the meadow opposite. Cross the meadow for about 75 yards heading west to a gate in the right hand corner, leading into a lane.

4 SO 9617 1460 350 yards

Turn left into the lane and follow it through part of Cowley village for about 350 yards uphill heading west to where it turns sharply to the right. From the lane there are views over Cowley to the north and east.

5 SO 9586 1462 600 yards

Take the path heading east for about 600 yards to a metal farm gate just before Hill Barn.

  • At the bend in the road, bear left on to the signposted track continuing uphill and heading west.
  • After a few yards where the wide track bears sharply left, continue straight on up the narrow path into light woods.
  • Follow this path for about 600 yards, coming out of the woods through a gate at SO 9549 1463, the path continues with a wire fence on the right to a metal farm gate.
6 SO 9530 1463 50 yards

Through the gate turn sharp right and follow the right edge of the field heading north for 50 yards to a gate into the lane.

7 SO 9530 1468 300 yards

Turn left onto the lane and follow it gently uphill heading west for about 300 yards.

8 SO 9504 1464 1,000 yards

Take the footpath heading southwest across the fields for about 1,000 yards to the same lane just above Stockwell.

  • Just over the brow of the hill turn left at the sign through a gate (probably open), off the lane into a large open field to head southwest. As you cross this field you go over the highest point of the walk and weather permitting, get good views to the south and west.
  • Cross the field, gently climbing to the high point and then gently descending passing through a hedge.
  • Follow the line of a wall on the left to a gate in the southwest corner, leading back to the lane, just above Stockwell. The photograph right show the view down to Stockwell from the lane.
9 SO 9425 1435 300 yards

Turn left into the lane and follow it southwest turning south as it passes through Stockwell Farm buildings for about 300 yards, then turn left off the lane at the signposted footpath.

10 SO 9403 1415 600 yards

Follow the path east and then south for about 600 yards to the A417.

  • Follow the path east for about 200 yards with a hedge to the right.
  • Pass through a metal gate then bear slightly right passing through another metal gate after a few more yards.
  • Turn sharply right to head south gently down across the field for about 400 yards and go over a stile to the main road.
11 SO 9430 13784 650 yards

Take the footpath south past the Golden Heart Inn across several fields for about 650 yards to the lane northeast of Brimpsfield.

  • The A417 here is very busy, take great care in crossing straight over to the Golden Heart Inn public house. Take the footpath down the left hand side of the Golden Heart, through the pub garden to the rear and through the wooden gate at the back of the garden. Nice views down a pleasant valley as you cross the meadow.
  • Continue south across the undulating meadow heading for the metal gate in the right hand corner after about 250 yards.
  • Continue south for about 350 yards gently downhill to the right hand corner of the meadow crossing a turf/stone bridge over a ditch, then take the narrow steep path climbing up south east into the trees for about 50 yards turning right at the top to reach a stile. This path can be slippery so take care.
  • Go over the stile and bear left across the field to head southeast to a stile into a lane beyond.
12 SO 9423 1315 150 yards

Turn right into the lane and climb gently south for about 150 yards to a turn left off the lane at the signpost through a narrow gap in the hedge.

13 SO 9421 1307 440 yards

Take the footpath southwest across fields for about a quarter of a mile to rejoin the lane in Brimpsfield village.

  • Climb gently southwest across a field to go over a stile after about 250 yards.
  • Continue gently downhill for another 250 yards towards the houses and track passing a solitary golf flag and green on the right across a cattle grid to join the lane in Brimpsfield village.
14 SO 9395 1274 375 yards

Turn left and head south along the lane through the village for about 375 yards to the lane/drive going off left, signposted Brimpsfield Park (private)/Public Bridleway.

15 SO 9396 1244 650 yards

Turn left down the lane/drive and head east gently descending on tarmac for about 650 yards to the Brimpsfield Park farm buildings.

16 SO 9452 1246 575 yards

Follow the footpath southeast and mainly downhill for about 575 yards to a four way path crossroads.

  • Take the wide track running to the right hand side of the farm buildings, heading southeast, descending quite sharply passing the Brimpsfield Park lakes on the left.
  • Cross the stream which runs out of the lake. This track can be quite wet at times as estate traffic churns it up.
  • After about 575 yards as it passes through a wooded area and crosses another stream, the track reaches the four way crossroads.
17 SO 9496 1224 750 yards

Take the footpath heading east then southeast climbing for about 750 yards to a gate by a stone wall about 100 yards west of the A417.

  • Turn left at the crossroads to head east climbing gently with a stream on the left.
  • After about 100 yards bear right to head southeast and up a steeper incline through woods for another 200 yards. The photograph on the right shows the view looking back down the incline as you enter the wooded area.
  • As you leave the woods, the path appears to go straight ahead, but you need to head to a stile in the left hand corner of the field, which is not visible over the brow of the hill.
  • Continue to climb aiming to the left of the tree stump with the steps and viewing platform which is visible over the brow of the hill, to reach the stile in the corner of the field at SO 9533 1220 after about 200 yards.
  • Over the stile continue southeast across a field (which when I walked it was left with sweetcorn stems as game bird cover with a number of paths left through it), for about 350 yards aiming for the far corner of the field where two walls meet with a large metal farm gate in the east facing wall.
18 SO 9560 1215 400 yards

Follow the path northeast, go under the A417 and climb up the lane to the sign for the Highwyman Inn after about 400 yards.

  • Turn left through the gate and head northeast toward the A417 main road for about 150 yards.
  • At SO 9573 1221 just before the main road, turn left through a gate and follow the track north down toward the road underpass for about 100 yards and through a gate onto tarmac at SO 9572 1228. This used to be a lane coming from Elkstone, but since the A417 dual carriageway was built it is no longer used by road traffic.
  • Go under the A417 and climb gently southeast for about 100 yards to the sign for the Highwayman Inn.
19 SO 9580 1223 880 yards

Follow the old lane (starting to break up now), east for about half a mile falling gently at first, then climbing gently through a gate to the crossroads in Elkstone village.

20 SO 9663 1222 600 yards

Go straight over the crossroads and follow the lane through the village heading east then north for about 600 yards to where the lane turns sharply left towards the top of a small incline.

  • The photograph right shows Elkstone village looking over the crossroads.
  • Go straight over the crossroads heading east and round the left hand bend to face the church.
  • Stay on the lane round a right hand bend and descend round a left hand bend to head north.
  • Follow the lane for about 350 yards north rising towards a sharp left hand bend at the end.
21 SO 9689 1258 700 yards

Follow the footpath east then north across fields for about 700 yards to the lane running west to east from Bubb's Hill.

  • Turn right along the front of the cottages (not the wider track a few yards further south) and head east for about 50 yards to go through a farm gate.
  • Bear left to head north across the rough field for about 150 yards to a stone wall with a stone stile at SO 9701 1276.
  • Climb over stile and head north along the edge of a field for a quarter of a mile to the opening on to a lane. The footpath is signed to come out about 50 yards further down the lane but it is easier to use the opening and walk down the lane.
  • Turn right onto the lane for about 50 yards to the footpath signs.
22 SO 9707 1317 350 yards

The next two sections of the walk go down a steep descent across ground threaded with streams and can be boggy and slippery. Unless the weather has been very wet, the bogginess is mainly surface deep only, and with due care should not present any problem. Take the path north downhill for about 350 yards to a gate in the fence on the right hand side.

  • The path can be indistinct in places, but there are footpath markers on posts which show the direction to follow.
  • Turn left off the road through a metal gate and head north downhill over rough ground and scrubby woods towards the footpath marker visible ahead.
  • Beyond this marker another one becomes visible, then look out for the gate on the right hand side at SO 9715 1344 about 350 yards down from the lane.
23 SO 9715 1344 400 yards

Follow the path downhill north east for about 400 yards to the lane running east from Cockleford.

  • Go through the gate and downhill in a northeast direction through scrubby woodland (the path is better defined from here on, but may be slippery when wet) with a stream on the right hand side.
  • After about 200 yards the path levels out and goes over a wooden footbridge over a ditch/stream at SO 9729 1356.
  • Continue northeast bearing right to follow the footpath sign for about 200 yards and then turn left and descend the bank to join the lane at the bottom.
24 SO 9737 1373 800 yards

Follow the lane west for about 800 yards then turn right to return to the Green Dragon.

  • Turn left and head west along the winding undulating lane.
  • After about 300 yards there are views of a recently built large 'eco-house' pictured on the right (foliage obscures views a little at times).
  • After about 700 yards at the T-junction, turn right and go downhill for about 75 yards to the lych gate on the left into the Green Dragon car park.