Click on thumbnail to view full size picture of Witcombe Reservoir
COOPERS HILL to THE PEAK
This 5.7 mile walk is a little different from the Cotswold norm and can be divided into two halves. The first half follows the Cotswold Way through a beech wood. Navigation in this type of woodland can be difficult due to numerous paths but Witcombe Wood is well waymarked, if you follow the yellow arrows with white dots all will be well.
The second half passes through Great Witcombe and its reservoir, its this stretch of water that makes the route different, large lakes are rare in the Cotswolds.
Coopers Hill is famous for it's cheese rolling. Contestants gather at the top near the post with a cockerel on top. A large cheese is released and everyone runs downhill after it. Few make it without falling and many get badly injured, broken legs and arms are common. Nobody knows how old the event is but some believe it goes back to Roman times. It will come as no surprise to discover that no one knows why it takes place but the tradition is very strong and has only been cancelled twice in the last 500 years. In 2003 the event was cancelled because Rapid UK, a search and rescue organisation, were attending an earthquake in Peru and insurers deemed the cheese rolling too dangerous to hold without them! (GPS length 5.3 miles).
How to get there: Park at Coopers Hill car park. Turn off east from the A46 1.5 miles south of Green Street at SO 8870 1470 signposted Coopers Hill. Go straight over cross roads at SO 8896 1487 and continue on for 0.2 miles then look for car park on your right.