Today I’m sharing another local family walk which my husband and I used to do quite often, although we would usually do a longer version looping from Cleeve Hill across to Belas Knap and back again. Now with the girls, we don’t go in for walks that are quite as long as that, as B (age 3) won’t go in the carrier any more and we don’t want to carry her all the time. So here is the Belas Knap walk from the Belas Knap parking area. Including our picnic this Bela’s Knap walk takes us around 1.5 hours, with a 3 and 5 year old.
A first point to note, the ‘Belas Knap parking area’ is not a car park, it’s a lay by on the hill.
The walk isn’t too long (in theory a bit over 0.5 miles each way) but is uneven and steep/uphill in places and so perfect for our 5 year old who, as usual, probably covered double the distance we did with all her running ahead and in the wrong directions chasing butterflies!
The walk is up hill on the way (around half the walk) and then flat, so on the way back it’s flat, followed by a huge field to run across back to the forest paths, which are also down hill. Exactly the way you want it with kids!
What is Belas Knap long barrow?
Belas Knap long barrow is one of four long barrows in Gloucestershire, and is located very near Cheltenham in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.
Belas Knap is a Neolithic long barrow, probably constructed around 3000 BC, with a false entrance and side chambers. It was excavated in 1863 and 1865 and in the chambers they found the remains of 31 people. Belas Knap has an impressive entrance but it is a dummy entrance and the burial chambers on sides of the barrow, which you can crouch/crawl into. One if very low and perfect for the kids, but not really adults!
– info from English Heritage.
You may recall we visited the Selsley common dinosaurs at Selsley common and also saw the ‘Toots’ long barrow there!
–more info on the locations of the other four long barrows in Gloucestershire at the foot of this page
What is the long barrow like?
It’s an open area, with stone stiles to get to the long barrow. The long barrow is a huge hump in the ground where people were buried. There are several chambers and false chambers which the kids love to explore, one they can only crawl into. The slopes are steep, so watch little ones.
Is Bela’s Knap family friendly?
The long barrow is great fun to explore, in and out of the chambers and around long barrow.
More on the walk to Belas Knap long barrow…
It’s great for kids, but isn’t pushchair friendly. If your toddler will go in a carrier, I’d definitely recommend it!
Belas Knap is a great place for the kids to explore, running around and in and out of the chambers. The walk there includes stomping up through the forest collecting sticks, going through gates, over stiles and being a ‘train’ along the train tracks… Ok that last one might just be us, but choochooing along a path gets us all moving when little legs are tired.
As well as a lot of running up and down the hill. Basically you can turn the walk into various stages all of which are great fun to keep the kids going.
They did love going across the stile many, many times.
Take a picnic, like we did and you can stop on the way or have it when you arrive.
Everything you need to know for walking to Belas Knap long barrow…
Yes, in the Belas Knap parking layby.
In Google type ‘Belas Knap parking’ and that will take you to the layby and the start of the Winchcombe Way route up to Belas Knap.
On the non-drop side of the layby you’ll see a sign post pointing up the hill (at right angles to the road).
🌳 Pushchair friendly:
No. And, no to off-roaders, I wouldn’t take the Out n’ About! A baby carrier would be perfect.
The ground is very uneven, especially in the woodland at the start, it is steep with tree roots and further up narrow gates and a stile when you reach Belas Knap.
None. Take a picnic and everything you need.
🌳 Belas Knap location:
Bela’s Knap long barrow, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5AL.
But do use the ‘parking info’ above to find the parking area, the postcode doens’t quite take you there!
Gloucesteshire Long Barrows
There are actually four long barrows in Gloucestershire:
- Bela’s Knap Long Barrow
- Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5AL
- Nympsfield Long Barrow
- Coaley Peak, Coaley, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 5AU
- 1 mile from Uley Long Barrow
- Uley Long Barrow
- Coaley, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 5BH
- 1 mile from Nympsfield Long Barrow
- Windmill Tump Long Barrow
- Oathill Lane, Rodmarton, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 6PU