The hillfort at Painswick Beacon

Our traditional post-Christmas flight took us down the Cotswolds edge, round Gloucester, back up to Worcester and home, and we made an intriguing discovery along the way. I photographed this hillfort and then used the location information on the photo to ascertain that it is near a village called Painswick Beacon, in Gloucestershire. From the air, I spotted a car park (visible to the right of this photo), so the next day we returned by road to explore it.


The fort is known by various names, including Castle Godwin, Kimsbury Camp and Kimsbury Hill Fort. I can find very little information online about it, but an information board on the way up told us that it was an Iron Age hill fort occupied from around 400BC to the tantalisingly precise date of AD 43. There was no further information on its history, but I’m guessing the date of AD 43 can’t be a coincidence; that was the year the Romans invaded.


There is a golf course occupying much of the hill fort; it felt a bit incongruous with the Iron Age vibe, but apparently golf has been played here since 1891. It seemed that one was in danger of being hit by a stray golf ball, but although there were a few people playing, we escaped unscathed!


The walk is pretty straightforward, with paths all the way around the fort offering commanding views for many miles around. It was a little muddy and slippery, so wellies are recommended for winter walks.


The ramparts were most impressive, sloping sharply away from the path.


The views over the rolling hills of the Cotswolds were particularly inviting. The fort is right in Laurie Lee country, overlooking the Slad valley.


The sun was shining, but it was perishingly cold up there thanks to the wind chill. Lots of people were out for a bracing walk, many with dogs in tow. At one point an enthusiastic miniature dachshund came running up to us, much to my delight!


It would be a great place to play golf, if you’re into that kind of thing.


With views like these, it’s a great place for a weekend walk – and even better, it’s really close to Slad, home to Laurie Lee and the subject of a future post.


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