More about Lineover Wood
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This Site of Special Scientific Interest has plenty to enthral the nature enthusiast. Stroll among the mix of oak, ash, sycamore and silver birch and you’ll come across some magnificent ancient beech trees. One of them is over 600 years old and is thought to be the third largest beech in England.
In spring and summer, when the varied ground flora comes to life, Lineover is a botanist’s paradise. But you don’t need to be a wildflower expert to appreciate the swathes of bluebell, speckled with primrose and fragrant lily of the valley, and the shocking pink pyramidal orchids that pop up among the grasses in later months. The abundant wildflowers are a magnet for a host of colourful butterflies too, including our tiniest species, the small blue.
Equally colourful and significant is Lineover’s array of weird and wonderful fungi – more than 500 species have been recorded on the site. Look out for the bright yellow lemon disco, the luminous white angel’s bonnet and the aptly-named jelly ear.
Wildlife is plentiful too. Fallow, roe and muntjac deer wander among the trees, and the woodland is alive with birds. You’ll come across noisy flocks of long-tailed tits, and may spot a woodcock or catch the mewing call of a buzzard as it circles high over the meadow.
With its network of permissive paths and two waymarked trails, Lineover Wood is a delightful place to while away a few hours and a perfect pit stop if you’re walking the Cotswold Way, which passes through the site.
There are several paths running through the wood with information boards dotted along the routes, and two waymarked trails. The Cotswold Way national trail crosses the site. Download the Lineover Wood leaflet (PDF, 0.8MB) for details.
The 50ha (123-acre) wood is near Dowdeswell, around five miles south-east of Cheltenham. It lies on the escarpment formed by Wistley Hill and is within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
OS Explorer 179; Landranger 163 Grid reference: SO987188
Access and walks
There are several entrances off the A436 and one to the north of the wood, via the Cotswold Way public footpath, which passes through the site.
The wood has several paths, including public rights of way totalling 2.4km (1.5 miles) and permissive paths totalling 4.5km (2.8 miles). There are two hour-long suggested circular routes: the North Walk with its medium terrain and the South Walk with some more strenuous sections. The long distance Cotswold Way national trail crosses the site.
The number 801 bus runs from Cheltenham along the A40 towards Moreton-in Marsh. The nearest bus stop is opposite the Reservoir Inn (now the Koloshi restaurant), about a five minute walk from the northern site entrance.
The nearest train station is Cheltenham Spa.
For up-to-date information on public transport, visit traveline, or telephone 0871 200 22 33.
From Cheltenham, head south on the A435 (Cirencester Road), turn left onto the A436 and continue for around four kilometres (2.5 miles). Lineover Wood is on the left. Parking is in two lay-bys close to the entrance.
The wood’s northern entrance is off the A40 Cheltenham to Oxford road, where there is parking for up to four cars on a lane that runs between the road and the entrance to the site.
The nearest public toilets are in Cheltenham. For further details visit Cheltenham Gov.
There is a pub in Kilkenny and several eating places in Charlton Kings. Cheltenham has a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops.
Accommodation and tourist information
Visit TripAdvisor for ideas on where to stay in Cheltenham.
The Tourist Information Centre is on the ground floor of The Wilson gallery and museum in Clarence Street; telephone 01242 522878. Alternatively see Visit Cheltenham.