1. Start at the war memorial at the bottom of the grass-fringed High Street and walk eastwards up past the red phone boxes. Continue on past the shops until you reach a sign pointing right, ‘activity park & picnic area’.
2. Follow this path between the avenue of trees with the playground on your left, and pass through the kissing gate at the end. Continue straight across the field, through the kissing gate at the other side, over a small footbridge and through another gate into a ‘ridge and furrow’ field. Be wary of muddy areas near these gates after wet weather. Continue to follow the direction arrows through two more kissing gates and fields until you reach the road. Watching for traffic, turn left and continue up Snowshill Road until you reach St Eadburgha’s Church, parts of which date back to the 11th Century.
3. Turn left just after the church, through the gateway into Coneygree Lane, named after the medieval ‘free’ rabbit warren granted here by King Henry III in 1251. Follow the track up hill for just over half a mile.
4. At the top of the track, turn right and continue on through a 2-in-1 gate, following the path through the field, passing to the right of the house. Follow the track a further 200m then turn left through another 2-in-1 gate just before two stone gateposts.
5. Walk up the track until you reach Rookery Farm. Keeping the farm buildings on your left, continue straight on up the metalled track then through a kissing gate on the left. Go across the field and through the gate into the grounds of the cáfe. Just by the main entrance pass through the tall kissing gate and head on up towards the tower.
6. You are now at the second highest point in the Cotswolds with its beautiful landscape laid out beneath you, so take a few minutes to soak in the breath-taking views over fields, hills and hedgerows as far as South Wales in the distance. A climb up the tower, a folly built in 1798 for Lady Coventry, is well worth the extra 55 feet – on a clear day, you can see 13 counties from the top! To continue the walk, pass through a second high kissing gate beyond the tower onto the Cotswold Way and turn left down towards a gate. Follow the Cotswold Way signs down the hill for a mile (including one flight of steps) with a wonderful dry-stone wall on your right which is part of a long term volunteer restoration project. Towards the bottom, the path levels out; continue to follow the signs through two metal kissing gates and over a stream, heading for the houses at the far side of the last field. Pass through two more gates and follow the alley towards the road.
7. Turn left and continue down the High Street, back towards the memorial at the start. Broadway, the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’, is the perfect place to seek out a pub or café to rest tired feet and to plan your next walk on the Cotswold Way.
This route was reproduced with kind permission from National Trails and Walk Unilimited, visit their website for more information. Plus, if you feel like incorporating the mighty Cotswold Way into a walking holiday, check out the packages on offer at mickledore.co.uk for loads of fantastic options.