Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

For a day out that combines history and mystery, visit the Ancient Ram Inn, reputedly one of Britain’s most haunted places

26th July 2011
image
Difficulty
Moderate
Distance
5 miles
Duration
3 hours

The market town of Wotton-under-Edge dates back to 940 AD, when it was known as Wudetun, Saxon for ‘the wooded town’. The strange ditches found near the woods are remains of the Iron Age fort and can’t fail to stir the senses. This, combined with the hauntingly atmospheric Ancient Ram Inn, make this market town on the Cotswolds escarpment a fine setting for a Halloween Hike.

Park in the free car park on Potters Pond next door to the Ancient Ram Inn. From the outside looking in there are several handwritten notes, newspaper cuttings and bizarre scribbles stuck to the windowpanes. The wooden door below street level is obstructed by weeds and creepers, while the white painted stonewalls are smudged and flaky with age and neglect. There are no peepholes to the inside so you’ll have to take the tour if you dare explore this, one of Britain’s most haunted buildings.

From the inn turn left, following the road to a blue Cotswold Way sign. Take a left on to Church Street, then right down Long Street past shops. Pass the Cotswold Bakery, then cross the road to Bradley Street, walking past houses until you reach the B4060.

The next sign to look out for is the steep Old London Road on the right. When you reach of the brow of the hill, look out for the first Public Bridleway sign leading to Wotton Hill.

Within minutes of walking by fields you’ll come to a kissing gate; go through it and walk towards an opening in the woodland. Ahead are several ditches, known as the Brackenbury Ditches, which are scars of the Iron Age hill fort. Beyond the hill, a panorama opens up to a typical Cotswold scene: miles of farmland scattered with hamlets, winding roads flanked by hedgerows and patches of woodland; a far cry from the chills of the Ancient Ram and a perfect place to park up on a bench for lunch.

Follow a waymarked path that runs near the edge of the woodland. The path loops right after a mile; when you reach a crossroads continue straight on, emerging from the trees and walking alongside a field to Old London Road. Turn left then immediately right down Adey’s Lane and follow this to Coombe Road, where a right, then left at Potter’s Pond, brings you back to the Ancient Ram Inn.


Useful Information


Terrain

Pavements, one steep hill and muddy pathways.

How to get there

BY CAR: From the M5, come off at J14 for Dursley and head to the B4509 then B4508. Park for free in the car park just off the Potters Pond road.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Wessex Connect run frequent buses between Bristol and Wotton-under-Edge.
www.wessexconnect.net

Refreshments

The Ark Coffee Shop
Long Street, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7BX
01453 521838

The Royal Oak
Haw St, Wotton-Under-Edge
GL12 7AG
% 01453 842316

Map

Ordnance Survey Explorer 167. Grid ref: ST 765 925

Nearby excursions

The Heritage Centre
The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 7AD

01453 521541
www.wottonheritage.com
Open from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm Tues-Fri; 10am-1pm on Saturday

More info

The Ancient Ram Inn
Potters Pond
Wotton-under-edge
GL12 7HF
01453 842598
Call in advance to enquire about a tour.
www.theancientraminn.com

Cotswolds Conservation Board
01451 862000
www.cotswoldsaonb.com

Gloucester Tourist Information Centre
28 Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2DP
01452 396572
www.visitgloucester.info

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