Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire

Cleeve Hill (also known as Cleeve Cloud) is the highest point both of the Cotswolds hill range and of the county of Gloucestershire, at 330 m (1,080 ft).[1][2] It is located on Cleeve Common which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) looked after by a small charity called Cleeve Common Trust (formally Cleeve Common Board of Conservators). It commands a clear view to the west, over Cheltenham and the racecourse, over the River Severn and into Wales; and to the north over Winchcombe. It is a conspicuous outcrop on the edge of the limestone escarpment, (sometimes called the "Cotswold Edge"). It is crossed by the Cotswold Way footpath.

Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill.jpg
The trig point on the northern part of Cleeve Hill at SO985263. There is also a toposcope at this location
Highest point
Elevation330 m (1,080 ft)[1]
Prominence242 m (794 ft)
Parent peakThe Wrekin
ListingMarilyn, County Top
Coordinates51°55′12″N 2°00′25″W / 51.920°N 2.007°W / 51.920; -2.007Coordinates: 51°55′12″N 2°00′25″W / 51.920°N 2.007°W / 51.920; -2.007
Cleeve Hill is located in Gloucestershire
Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill in Gloucestershire
LocationGloucestershire, England
Parent rangeCotswolds
OS gridSO996246
Topo mapOS Landranger 163 OS Explorer 179
Age of rockJurassic
Mountain typeSedimentary
Easiest routeHike

With the hill's south slopes draining to the River Coln, Cleeve Hill is the highest point in the drainage basin of the River Thames.

Summit and viewsEdit

The summit, at 330 m (1,080 ft), is a nondescript point marked by a trig point on the relatively flat common south of the Hill.[1] Because of this, it does not offer particularly wide-ranging views. To the north by north-west, another summit at 1,033 ft (315 m) high boasts a toposcope and a trig point, offering far wider views. On an exceptionally clear day (for example a sunny day following a day of rain in spring or early summer), the view extends an impressive 90 miles (140 km) to Winsford Hill on Exmoor, Somerset.

Hill fort and rock facesEdit

Close to the summit is the Neolithic long barrow, Belas Knap. On its western scarp is an Iron Age hill fort.

The Hill bears one of the few rock faces in the area, Castle Rock, which is sound enough for rock-climbing. The routes are short, difficult for their grade and highly polished.

Golf course and Cleeve CommonEdit

The Hill has been home to a golf course since 1891. The course was the location of the 2010 Wells Cup that took place in June of that year.[3]

Cleeve Common, which is sited on Cleeve Hill, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England[4] and is recorded in the List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire.

Routes to the highest pointEdit

From the south, a road for car access ends very close to the summit trig point, which is a short walk from the parking area. This can be reached from Cheltenham via Ham Hill and Aggs Hill, or from the village of Whittington, Gloucestershire.

To the north and to reach the more favourable view point, a minor road leads off the B4632 to the golf course where there is free parking in a disused quarry. From this point, the viewpoint is roughly a half-mile ascent on foot.

There are numerous other ways to reach the hill, and there is a well-maintained network of paths and tracks crossing it in many directions. Ordnance Survey maps show all routes, paths and rights of way as well as the best viewpoints.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Bathurst, David (2012). Walking the county high points of England. Chichester: Summersdale. pp. 155–160. ISBN 978-1-84-953239-6.
  2. ^ Beautiful Britain: Heart of England. AA Publishing. 1988. p. 24. ISBN 0861457234. Cleeve Cloud (1083ft) the highest point in the Cotswolds
  3. ^ "Cleeve Hill Golf Club". Cleeve Hill Golf Club. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  4. ^ "SSSI citation for Cleeve Common" (PDF). Natural England. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2020.

External linksEdit