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The Bear of Rodborough recommended walk on Rodborough Common - The Figure of Eight Walk.
This walk is in two sections, each section is approx 4 miles in length, linking back close to the Bear in the middle and conveniently passing the local famous Winstone’s Ice Cream Factory!
The first section is a very easy walk over Minchinhampton Common and then hugging the Besbury Common hillside, and has wonderful views over the Chalford and Brimscombe Valleys, the second section is a complete contrast, covering Rodborough Common, though the woods beneath the Bear and ending with quite a steep climb back into the village of Amberely, giving wondrous views over the Woodchester Valley and towards Nailsworth.
Turn right either out of the Front door of the Hotel or from the car park and follow pavement until the Common opens out. Walk on the Common in the general direction of Cirencester on whichever side you prefer (watch for the golf course) but staying parallel with the main Cirencester Road and carry on for 1.3 miles.
As road bends left (with Minchinhampton lying on the right), turn left into ‘The Knapp’, walk straight for 75 metres and cross stile following the Footpath sign. Keep straight on this route, crossing another couple of stiles, until you reach a T junction and then turn left onto a very well defined path. At junction with small lane, turn left, then after approx 1/4 mile, turn right following another small lane. Continue along, passing a couple of houses, then keep left at the next junction passing a post box. Immediately after this, turn right and continue until you hit the larger, Burleigh Hill road. Take care crossing the road, turn left up the hill for only a few metres and then turn right down a small track with the 40 speed limit sign. Carry on until the common opens out again and turn left at the end, a small T junction. Continue along with Bownham Common on your right until you come across another small junction where you will see Winstone’s Ice Cream Factory straight in front of you - a good place for a stop, they also sell hot and cold drinks. Continue up the small lane and this is where you will see the Bear on your left if you wished to return or pop back for lunch.
To continue the walk cross the main road and enter the ‘Private Road’ between two large stone posts. Walk down the road to the bottom and continue beyond the house named the Curtal, onto a track that takes you out onto Rodborough Common. This is again another opportunity should you wish to turn left and follow the top of the hill back to the Bear - superb views from here. To continue, veer in a diagonal direction towards the left, and whichever route you prefer, scramble down the very steep hillside to a good sized metalled track, clearly visible about two thirds of the way down the hill. Turn left as you arrive on this track and continue along to the end until you reach Bear Hill. Cross carefully (blind bend) over the road and take the footpath by the entrance to Rodborough Manor, keeping left alongside the wall of ‘Spinney Bank’.
Continue straight-ahead - the Bear figure of the hotel, visible at the top of the tree line, do not turn off any of the uphill smaller tracks, carry on straight through a broken down wall, but marked as a footpath. At the bottom of the small slope, keep left, the path is windy but stay on the main lower route. Soon come across an old bridge, go straight on here and not over the bridge. Approx 30 metres, path forks left, take this left hand fork to the higher route where the path starts to climb. Turn right at the junction and continue uphill along a more defined stony track. This will lead you up into the hamlet of St Chloe.
At the three road junction when emerging from the woods, take the middle road uphill and straight ahead, bearing left with the road at the corner. Immediately after a sign on the right for ‘Netherwood’, turn right into a defined footpath and through a metal gate, to continue uphill alongside some allotments - carry on until the path emerges onto a proper small road into the heart of Amberely Village. Turn right and you pass the Black Horse Public Horse - a great little country pub with wonderful views from their beer garden.
Continue uphill and head out onto the Common again, cross a small lane and follow a well defined route that keeps to the wall and the tree line, with the road clearly visible on the right. The Amberely Road joins the main road, keep left and you will soon return downhill to the Bear, just in time for tea!
There are a number of various walks over the beautiful common and surrounding area. Please ask at reception for full details.