Gustav Holst Way
The Gustav Holst Way is a long distance walking route from Cranham to Wyck Rissington, via Cheltenham and Bourton-on-the-Water. Each place has close associations with the composer and the broad stretch of Cotswold country that connects these important milestones in Holst’s life and musical career was well known to him. He recorded many a pleasant day spent walking in the hills.
The walk is 35 miles in all, with the four optional detours adding a further eight miles or so and is waymarked at key points. The guide book describes the route divided into five sections ranging in length from about 6 to 8 miles. These sections are as follows:
Cranham Church to Crickley Hill 5.7 miles (9.2 km)
From lofty Cranham village through extensive beech woods to pass along the Cotswold Edge, emerging on open, high ground with magnificent views, ending at Crickley Hill Country Park.
Crickley Hill to Holst Birthplace Museum 7.3 miles (11.5 km)
From Crickley Hill Country Park along the Cotswold Edge to Leckhampton Hill, passing Devil’s Chimney, before descending on an old quarry incline to Cheltenham and finishing at Holst’s Birthplace Museum at Pittville.
Holst Birthplace Museum to Corndean Lane 7 miles (11.3 km)
From Cheltenham to the north Cotswolds via the racecourse and Prestbury village; climb to the open common of Cleeve Hill; pass Belas Knap long barrow before descending through woods to rural Corndean Lane.
Corndean Lane to Guiting Power 6.9 miles (11.1 km)
The scenic highlight of the route, descending into the valley behind Sudeley Castle, climbing to the ancient ridgeway route of the Salt Way, passing commercial forestry and sweeping parkland to finish at the picture-postcard village of Guiting Power.
Guiting Power to Wyck Rissington 8.2 miles (13.1 km)
From Guiting Power across open fields to the pretty village of Naunton, along the Windrush valley floor to Bourton-on-the-Water; through nature reserves and meadowland to Wyck Rissington.
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