Cleeve Common

Distance: Short route 3.5 miles, long route 9 miles

Time: 1-4 hrs

Difficulty: moderate

Parking: £2 at the Cleeve Hill Quarry car park GL52 3PW. Note it can get busy at peak times.

Refreshments: Drinks and food at the Golf Club which welcomes dogs on leads. 

Other info: All customers of the Cotswold Café and Cleeve Hill Golf Club can park for free as long as a purchase of at least £2 is made on the day of visit.  Please see any member of the Cotswold Hub team on arrival.

At over 1000 acres in size, Cleeve Common is Gloucestershire’s largest common and home to the highest point in the Cotswolds. So, it’s no surprise that the common is not only heaven for dogs, but boasts spectacular views over Cheltenham, the Vale of Evesham, the Malvern Hills and as far as the Black Mountains in Wales and the Shropshire hills to the north. We also think it offers arguably the best sunset views in the Cotswolds. Take a look at this post to see some of our other favourite sunset spots in The Cotswolds!

Even better, with visitors having the right to roam across the whole common, Cleeve Hill never feels too crowded and due to the limestone grassland that it’s built on, never gets too muddy. A win-win in our eyes!

It’s worth noting that sheep graze on Cleeve Common over the summer months – they usually come onto the common in early May, then get taken off the common around the end of October. A small herd of belted Galloways graze all year round though these are very easy to avoid.

Short walk option

We recommend the family friendly 2 mile route to the main trig point. This walk takes you over the common on a good path uphill towards the main trig point on Cleeve Hill. Interestingly this trig point isn’t technically the highest point on the hill, but certainly offers the best views. You can continue on to the ‘lone tree’ before returning along the Cotswold Way. If you’re feeling peckish, head into the Golf Club for coffee and cake or into nearby Prestbury or Winchcombe if you’d prefer a dog friendly pub. 

Longer walk option

For a longer walk, we recommend the 7 mile loop taking in Belas Knap and Postlip before returning back over Cleeve Common. Belas Knap is one of the four long barrows in Gloucestershire and is a great place to explore and find out more about this historical landmark.

One thing to note is that these walks are best enjoyed in good weather, not only to make the most of the views, but also because route finding can become difficult in poor visibility as there aren’t many clear paths across the common.

Cleeve Hill is easily one of our absolute all times favourite places to walk, we feel so lucky that it’s our local hill. 

Thanks for reading, 

Cara, Andy, Poppy & Maple x