For this walk we used: Walking the South Gloucestershire Cotswolds, by Barry Hill (Published: 1992) Walk 17: Edgeworth and Sudgrove. Distance: 5.25 miles.
Edgeworth and Sudgrove are small, little known Cotswold settlements, Their isolation and peaceful setting in areas of unspoilt beauty give them a unique charm and character. Much of this walk in inaccessible to all but those on foot. Pathways lead through the remote wooded upper valley of the river Frome, and over the hill to Sudgrove looking down over the hidden valley of Holy Brook.
We set out past the picturesque old church which has late Saxon origins, in the church yard stands a 15th century carved stone cross. The footpath turns right just before Edgeworth manor house, crossing the private gardens carpeted with daffodils. The track wound its way down to an old stone bridge. Here the guide book mentions the recess where the gatekeeper would have stood aside to let the carriage through. I could imagine the old horse drawn carriages arriving at the gate which was once the main driveway for the house.
Continuing on through woodland we climbed up the narrow rutted track before reaching a lane. The book says to turn left and go downhill, so I have no idea why we turned right and went uphill. Eventually we realised our mistake and had to turn back. A cycle event was on, and every now and then lycra clad cyclists whizzed past. The lane crossed the river before rising steeply uphill, giving the racers no choice but to dismount and push their bikes. We turned off along a tarmacked farm drive where the hillside was dotted with little black sheep. We stopped to take a photo which caused quite a commotion. One sheep spotted us and raised the alarm which in turn set the whole flock off. They were running around like crazy to re-group, and the decibels were rising, so we quickly made our getaway to restore peace to the countryside.
Soon the arrows directed us off the main driveway through a gate on the right, where we continued along the grassy slope until we found a suitable spot for a picnic. It was Suzy’s birthday, and there is nothing that she loves more than picnics in riverside meadows. We laid our jackets out on the grass, and got out our sandwiches and crisps, and a homemade (vegan) chocolate cake for dessert. It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky, so we were in no hurry. We watched a couple of Herons fishing in the river. They were startled as some walkers entered the meadow and flew overhead, their giant wings like pterodactyl dinosaurs from a Jurassic world. Our peaceful picnic came to an abrupt end as dogs ran by, and we said our hellos to an endless stream of rosy faces. One lady commented on how busy it was, she said they had been walking there for years and have never seen another soul.
As the crowds disappeared once again, everything fell silent except for the twitter of birds, and we pressed on deeper into the higher reaches of the Frome. We scrambled up narrow woodland paths thickly populated with rabbits and badgers, and out across open farm fields glancing back at a magnificent view. The wind picked up a little so we hurried on towards Sudgrove.
The footpath continued through the grounds of Sudgrove house. At first it was fairly easy to find the way, but after a while we went through a couple of wrong gates into the woodland which led to a little pond and a dead end. Retracing our steps we found the correct gateway, which looked unused as it was quite overgrown. We found the way on to a broad forest track through Fox Wood and then returned to Edgeworth across fields.
This was a lovely walk, and if you can get hold of a copy of Barry Hill’s book (try Amazon marketplace), we highly recommended it.
Our Rating: 5/5