Cotswolds

Rodborough Common, Stroud

Rodborough Common has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the special nature of its flora, fauna and geology. More than 100 grasses and wildflowers and over 30 species of butterfly have been noted, including the rare pasque flower, orchids and the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. During spring, you will see a dazzling display of wildflowers. You may even be lucky enough to hear or see a skylark.

As far back as the Middle Ages, the land was owned by the Lord of the Manor. He gave local people the rights to use the less fertile areas, thus called ‘common land.’ The ‘rights of common’ today include the grazing of cattle, which you will notice roaming freely at certain times of the year. Up to 500 cattle are let onto the Common on Marking Day each May. They benefit the area by keeping the grass low and preventing the spread of scrubland, which in turn encourages wildlife and wildflowers to make it their home.

It’s easy enough to have a wander around Rodborough Common and perhaps take a picnic. But if you’d rather follow a route, visit the National Trust website for an easy one-mile circular walk, which takes in the beautiful views over the Severn Vale, and a 2.5 mile circular walk through woodland, Cotswold-stone villages and rare junipers.

On sunny days, don’t miss a visit to the Winstones Ice Cream Parlour, where you can try up to 17 different flavours, including two dairy-free options, such as rhubarb crumble or salted caramel. Albert Winstone started producing ice cream in 1925 and, four generations later, his Victorian recipe is still being used. Their recently built parlour, which replaced the original small shack, is a popular spot for locals to visit at anytime of year. 

The Bear of Rodborough perches on Rodborough Common, offering a lovely spot for a drink or bite to eat. On chilly days, take a seat in front of the fire in the Bear Bar for a pint of local ale or pot of tea and homemade cake. During summer, head outside to the relaxed Pavilion Garden Bar, featuring a menu of handmade scotch eggs, pizzas, salads and a retro popcorn machine. For something a little more substantial, The Library restaurant opens for lunch, afternoon tea and supper, as well as serving a delicious roast each Sunday. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Images – copyright Nick Turner Photography
Winstones Ice Cream images – copyright Jess Cantoni

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