The cleeve hill walk

Cleeve Hill the highest point in the Cotswolds & Belas Knap long barrow.

Cleeve Hill is the highest point both of the Cotswolds hill range and in the county of Gloucestershire, at 1,083 feet (330 m). It commands a clear view to the west, over Cheltenham and the racecourse, over the River Severn and intoWales; and to the north over Winchcombe. It is a conspicuous outcrop on the edge of the limestone escarpment, (sometimes called the "Cotswold Edge"). It is crossed by the Cotswold Way footpath

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We picked some great weather again and headed for the Town of Winchcombe at the base of the Cleeve hills, parking was easy however this town is a very popular tourist destination so arrive early to make sure you get a space. Our walk for this day was a ten mile round with the objective on reaching the highest point and crossing another county top from our list. The paths on this trip were great and much of the route follows the Cotswold way, this 102 mile national trail was created in 2007 and runs through some of the best cotswold landscape, towns & Villages. The highest point on this trip stands at 330m but is a slight way off the path that runs over the top of cleave common, it easy to find with a map but the Trig point blends into the background so keep your eye out for it (Trip point loc.) Keep an eye out for the Ring settlement and Dyke, an ancient village that lies on the NW side of the hill, I only spotted this from the ridge as we walked past and cannot find much about it on the web.

Belas Knap long barrow.

Belas Knap long barrow
Apart from some of the most beautiful cotswold countryside the highlight of the walk was Belas knap long barrow (location). The Barrow dates from c. 4500bc and is owned & maintained by English heritage and has been fully restored and looks in great condition. It runs 178feet by 60ft wide and 14ft high and in the excavations of 1863-1865 the skeletal remains of five children, aged between 6 months and 8 years, the skull of a young adult male, horse and pig bones and fragments of pottery and serrated flint blade were found. If you do not fancy a 10 mile walk there is a small lay-by where you can park the car and walk up, please note the route is steep but the paths are in good order. The barrow contains many chambers and a false entrance and you do wonder how the Neolithic people constructed and moved the spoil there are tonnes of earth, it is a strange and magical sight and a must see on this trip or a afternoon out in the cotswolds by car.