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The incredible variety of the Cotswold Way is once again explored by this stunning little walk. From woodland tracks to open hilltops, it leads you around the intriguing ancient history of Uley Bury to the more recent remains of a pestilent past. Even the few hillside climbs are rewarded by compass-wide views that spread out all around you back into the heart of the Cotswolds and across the Severn Estuary into Wales...
- Distance: 4 miles (shorter route: 1½ miles)
- Duration: 2½ - 3½ hours (shorter: ¾ - 1½ hours)
- Difficulty: Moderate to difficult – Some stiles, steps and steep sections.
- Public transport: Stagecoach West 65 from Stroud (differs to PDF)
- Parking: is available at The Old Crown, Uley for customers only.
- Refreshments: The Old Crown (check opening hours)
Points of interest:
- Uley Bury - A scarpe-edge Iron Age hill fort, dating from around 300 BC, extends 13 hectares above Uley, with views of the Severn Valley.
- Downham Hill - is also known locally as 'Smallpox Hill' because in 18th and 19th century it was also once the site of an isolation hospital, the remains of which can still be seen. m It is believed that the hospital played a roll in Edward Jenner’s studies of the disease, and aided his eventual discovery of the Smallpox vaccine.
- Cam Peak & Cam Long Down - Both peaks offer spectacular views.
First two weeks of May (though if the winter has been warm, try the last week in April and first week in May) Cam Peak is carpetted in blue bells."Locals were told as children that the devil decided to dam up the river Severn and drown the people of Gloucestershire in revenge for them building to many churches above Dursely. He filled his wheelbarrow with a big chunk of the Cotswold's, but while taking a rest he met a shoemaker with lots of shoes around his neck to mend. The devil asked the shoemaker direction to the river. The shoemaker told him it was a long way and that he himself had wore out so many shoes getting there. The devil lost heart and dumped the wheelbarrow full of the stone which became Cam Peak. Cam Long Down is thought to be associated with King Arthur and may be the site of the legendary battle of Camlan."