I am writing this article to share my experience of exploring Cheltenham on a two-day solo hike.


Gazing at the Hills


While at work, I used to keep glancing at the Cotswold escarpment from the office window, wondering when I could visit it. After about six months, I made up my mind to finally visit the place.  I was familiar with the landscape of Cleeve Common as I often headed out for short walks on this track.

The urge for an adventure

My move from Lincolnshire to Gloucestershire earlier this year was quite exhausting and the urge to go on an adventure started building up within me. Hence, after settling down and getting a hang of things in my new situation, I took some time off from work. The idea of walking the Cotswold Way was tempting so I thought of looking it up.


Taking the walk around Cheltenham

An official Cheltenham Circular Footpath is marked on the Ordnance Survey map if you want to use it. But if you are up for adventures, I would suggest heading out in directions that attract you. I traversed a circular route that connected the Cotswold Way, Gloucestershire Way, and the Cheltenham Circular Footpath.

I started from the front door of my house and walked 35 miles or so over the next two days. I slept and rested in a basic camping situation mid-way to my destination.

The First Day

On the first day, I covered an extra semi-circle before reaching the summit of Cleeve Hill out of the excitement to explore things that I had spotted on the map. There is an old Hall and a Tithe Barn on the other side of Cleeve Common that I visited out of curiosity and it was worth it. The view from the other side of Cheltenham is glorious and a sight to behold- with countryside views, and dunes stretching miles and miles.


Hiking solo gave me the advantage to manage my time and allowed me to take in the beautiful view that lay in front of me. I traversed the Cotswold Way south from Cleeve Hill to Leckhampton Hill. The terrain was easier than I had expected and I came across a few woodlands that I plan to visit another time.  I managed to reach my hut before dark and was welcomed with freeze-dried food and a heater that helped me survive the night comfortably.

The Second Day

Day two was tougher than I had anticipated as I continued on the Cotswold Way towards Crickley Hill. Once I reached the National Trail, I started my return journey around the other side of Cheltenham. I noticed on my way back that the footpaths were ill-maintained and hence, difficult to trek.

A fulfilling adventure

My first day was more about hills, nature reserves, and woodlands, while the second day had fields, meadows, and more urbanized areas. At one point while hiking, I went off-track and landed in the middle of a field with big horses staring right at me! I think instead of me being startled, I surprised them by popping up from a bush.

I completed my journey in 36 hours. This two-day hike allowed me to explore and see the beautiful views of Cheltenham, which otherwise I used to gawk from my office’s window. Therefore, this small adventure was much needed for a break from my hectic schedule.