Now that spring is in the air – along with a string of Bank holidays – we’ve noticed a distinct upturn in the number of visitors exploring our local area here in the village of Edge, overlooking the beautiful Painswick Valley and the historic town of Painswick – “Queen of the Cotswolds”.
Of course, many of the visitors call in for a drink or a meal with us at our Inn, so we’re able to tell them about the not-so-obvious fun things to discover in our part of the Cotswolds – like the wonderful walk up one of our local landmarks, Painswick Beacon.
You don’t have to be a long-distance hiker to enjoy this short ramble of around 2.25 miles (though it does take in a short section of the legendary Cotswold Way), and its well worth the effort for the spectacular panoramic 360 degree view you get from the top. In one direction you can see the Malvern Hills, and in another the Forest of Dean and Brecon Beacons. On a clear day you can see the Welsh Mountains.
The Painswick Beacon walk is interesting too. It sits in the middle of an Iron Age fort dated to the first century, the outlines still visible, although the interior has been quarried and part of it contains – can you believe – the wonderful Painswick Golf Course.
So, if you’re a golfer you can come to this fascinating elevated spot and tee off with your iron in an iron age archaeological site. It all seems rather fitting somehow.
An Entertaining Undulating Golf Course
In fact, Painswick Golf Club on Painswick Beacon has a rather unusual undulating setting for its course that makes it entertaining and challenging, with several blind spots and some of the best par 3s in England.
The 5,000 yard 18-hole course, with a par of 67, covers a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it consists of rare limestone grassland, supporting a unique range of plants and insects.
It’s no surprise then that Painswick Golf Club itself is part of a local community conservation project, working to maintain the Beacon area’s natural beauty and wildlife.
Paradise for King Charles
But, back to our Painswick Beacon walk – which takes you alongside the golf course on a section of The Cotswold Way, until you reach the steps leading up to the top of the Beacon.
While the Beacon is included in numerous walking maps of the area as part of longer hikes, you can take just a short walk from the small Painswick Beacon car park, which is located just off of the B4073 main road. It is signposted – not very clearly it is true – for Painswick Beacon or Catbrain Quarry. The postcode for finding the carpark is GL6 6SU.
From there you can walk around the outskirts of the golf course and head upwards on a fairly steep climb to the summit. You can extend your walk by exploring the nearby Pope’s Wood – a bit further along the Cotswold Way – for a bit of contrast to the grassy open hill top.
As I write we’re stocking up with supplies for what is no doubt going to be a busy Coronation Weekend of celebration when King Charles II and his Queen, Camilla, are crowned on May 6, 2023. So it might be fitting to mention that the beautiful Painswick Valley was well appreciated by King Charles I in the 17th Century who apparently looked upon it from the Beacon when camped nearby with his Royalists and declared: “This must be Paradise”.
Come and join us in our paradise at the Edgemoor Inn – we enjoy sharing!