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“Intriguing site” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belas Knap

Belas Knap
Winchcombe, England
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Ranked #2 of 7 Attractions in Winchcombe
Type: Historic Sites
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Even though it is a bit of hike to get to, this ancient burial mound is worth the effort, especially towards dusk when the site becomes magical in appearance.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Intriguing site”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We took a circular walk up the hill from Winchcombe, making our way to Belas Knap. What an intriguing place.

The climb up the hill and through the woods was well-worth it, as we explored the different entrances to what is an ancient burial ground. To know that 38 bodies were buried there approximately 6000 years ago was quite breathtaking, especially considering the well-preserved mound and immaculate dry stone walls at the entrances which make it appear pristine.

If you have any interest in history - or just want a truly lovely hill walk, with magnificent views - head up to Belas Knap!

Visited October 2013
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11 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Freeport, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
244 reviews 244 reviews
110 attraction reviews
Reviews in 125 cities Reviews in 125 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
“Lovely Site, peaceful and quiet. Nice place to escape the tourists.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Given this is about a mile walk, and most of it is uphill, this site is not frequently visited by tourists. However, if you don't mind the walk, it's easily accessible, and leads to a terrific view in several directions. It's also very suitable for children of all ages as long as you can convince them to climb the hill.

I was on a business trip but had visited before and wanted to take my co-worker to enjoy the view. It was spring lambing season and the field was filled with cautious and wary sheep and young frolicking lambs.

The parking area is just a lay by on a single track road, but it's clearly marked and easy to get to from Winchcombe. After going over the stile, the first 100 meters is the worst, up a steep hill and into the first of several fields.

As we crested this first hill we were greeted by gentle Cotswold mist which others might describe as a light rain. The footpath turns left and goes another 100 meters or so to a stone wall, then turns again and begins to climb. As we climbed, we encountered dozens of young lambs who were gathered near the stone wall, keeping a little dry. However as we would approach each group they would nervously bleat and leap off to find their mum, no matter how slowly and cautiously we'd approach.

After nearly cresting the hill, we went through a kissing gate and then the footpath went into a wood for the final 100 meters, with only a gentle incline. This was slow going in the mud and unfortunately I managed to slip and fall and cover myself with Cotswold loam. Nonetheless, we walked on the final few feet to the long barrow.

The Long Barrow is contained in an enclosure surrounded by a low stone wall and we went over another stile to enter. There isn't really all that much to see although we did enter one of the burial chambers to get out of the rain for a few minutes. We enjoyed the view for a while and had a slightly soggy lunch. There is one interpretive sign near the stile with a map of the barrow and which explains what was found in the various excavations over the years.

The views are better on the walk back down and best of all, it's really all downhill. We also found that we could avoid the muddy wood by just walking through the adjacent field.

Highly recommended. This is not necessarily a "must see" but if you have the time and do go, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Visited April 2013
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Lichfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“A muddy yomp in the Cotswolds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

Duly armed with a Cotswold Way circular walk, we set off to the small town of Winchcombe, a delightful Cotswold town, not quite the manicured prettiness of Chipping Camden but still gorgeously picturesque.

The 5 mile yomp started near the entrance of Sudeley Castle, somewhere we should definitely come back to when the weather improves followed the Cotswold Way up, up and a bit more up to the mound of Belas Knap or Beautiful Hill, a Neolithic long barrow where hundreds of human bones have been found dating back thousands of years. This was an excellent place to pause and soak up the past before continuing on the route, downhill this time via the old Cotswold Route over slippery stiles, muddy squelchy fields back to the town.

Delightful town with a wealth of tea rooms, pubs and places of interest ready to welcome weary walkers, one of which, the White Hart specialises in local sausages and cider. What more could you ask for?

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Wonderful views peaceful site”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

This has to be one of the best views in the Cotswolds. Walk up from the road following the footpath signs. don't be disheartened when you see the large sign and seemingly an empty hill.walk into the woods and it comes out at the Barrow.

Visited August 2012
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Belas Knap, Long Barrow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

This is a long barrow Circa 3800BC. When it was excavated in the 1800's 31 skeletons were found. It has been restored and looked after very well, it's very interesting and quite a peaceful place to walk around. We visit quite often as it has a field that you can sit in and view Winchcombe, taking in Sudeley Castle and the lovely countryside! Although it is a very steep and hard climb it is really worth it, we have taken picnics......back in the day when we actually had summers! You can sit for hours just taking in the air and view and peace of it all. Children can have a good run about and be free in safety too. Do not leave any valuables on show in the car as it has in the past been a target for thieves! Winchcombe is worth a visit for a cream tea before you go :))

Visited August 2011
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