Perhaps we shouldn’t be advertising the fact, but did you know that here at the Edgemoor Inn we have a very special natural treasure on our doorstep, literally a few feet from our front door.

Cross the A4173 (the main Stroud to Gloucester Road) from our carpark and you’ll find the well-marked path leading to the Cotswolds Way, cut into the hedgerows that line the road.

Now you may know that the Cotswolds Way is an epic long distance walking trail that runs for 102 miles along the Cotswold escarpment. It just so happens to pass by our Inn, but we aren’t asking you to walk that far to find our secret nature garden. Just climb up the slope, criss-crossed with paths, which runs at a gentle gradient up Rudge Hill from the road, finishing at a viewsite at the top, where a bench has been positioned so you can take in the stunning view of the Painswick valley.

Formerly called Edge Common (and it is still is by most of the locals), Rudge Hill forms an important part of the largest nature reserve in the Cotswolds (Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods NNR) which cloaks the upper slopes of the Painswick Valley in beechwoods and limestone grasslands.

What makes Rudge Hill Special

Rudge Hill is common land, cared for by Natural England and the National Trust, which is there to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone who loves nature and wildlife.

There’s a lot more to this stretch of grassland than immediately meets the eye.

Rudge Hill itself is a wildlife meadow which is a haven for rare wild helleborine orchids which flower fragrantly in June and early July.

There are purple, pyramidal, greater butterfly, common spotted and fragrant orchids to be spotted, and other bright and beautiful flora like yellow rattle, knapweed, harebell and wild thyme.

Where the flowers are, you will find a variety of insects drawn to them, and here on Rudge Hill the most special six-legged visitors are butterflies, which include the rare Duke of Burgundy fritillary.

Download a pdf brochure about the Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods National Nature Reserve.

 Orchids and Butterflies

How privileged we are, you must agree, to have this treasure trove of orchids and butterflies just a stone’s throw away from our Inn.

Visitors who come to enjoy time out on Rudge Hill – be it for an hour or a day – also appreciate the fact that we’re so close by. Our restaurant and relaxing patio make the ideal spot for re-fuelling after you’ve traversed the hill and enjoyed spotting its wild wonders.

We’re also perfectly positioned as a way stop for wanderers who are tackling a longer stretch of the Cotswold’s Way – we always love to hear your adventures.

To find Rudge Hill just pop our postcode GL6 6ND into your GPS. This will bring you to the Edgemoor Inn from where its easy to find the hill. Map reference is OS Explorer map 179 SO097848.