Gloucestershire Recreational Routes

A recreational route is a longer walk (or cycle) using a series of rights-of-way, sometimes necessarily also going along roads or by-ways. These tend to be longer walks, often requiring a number of days to complete. The Ordnance Survey has this to say about them:

These are routes created by local authorities, Government agencies or volunteer organisations. They mainly follow existing rights of way and are signposted typically by whichever organisation created the route. If the route is also an existing right of way, it will be maintained by a local authority. Any sections that are not part of existing rights of way may be maintained by the corresponding organisation. Local authorities give us permission to show these routes, but they may not actively promote the routes or give them priority over other rights of way.

Recreational routes are shown on both OS map series with diamonds (green on 1:25000, pink on 1:50000). Note 1:50000 only shows those that are over 40km in length.

National Trails are different from recreational routes, and receive greater funding from various public bodies, such as Natural England. Each route has a dedicated National Trail officer, who supports the continued maintenance of the route. They are also marked with diamonds on OS maps, but with the additional acorn symbol. Those passing through Gloucestershire are:

There are a greater number of recreational routes passing through the county, some like the Macmillan Way and the Monarch’s Way being of considerable extent. But some stay closer to home, and this site is promoting three in particular:

  • The Gloucestershire Way, which runs from Chepstow to Tewkesbury, having visited Stow-on-the-Wold en route.
  • The Wysis Way, which links Offa’s Dyke at Monmouth with the Thames Path near Cirencester.
  • The Three Choirs Way, which is a circular walk running between Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester cathedrals, celebrating the annual Three Choirs Festival.

A consortium of interested individuals, walking organisations and government agencies has formed to promote these routes. The objectives include:

  • Maintaining and improving signage;
  • Clearance of vegetation and blockages from paths;
  • Where possible and appropriate, improving the quality of paths and replacing stiles with gates (or nothing at all);
  • Increasing awareness and usage of the paths through promotional activities, improved on-line resources and updated guide-books.

Meetings of the steering group: Agenda and Minutes

Meetings of this group are open to all. Minutes and agenda are available for download below.

Date of next meeting: Monday 15 January 2024 at 2pm in Maisemore Village Hall, GL2 8JE. This will be the AGM followed by an ordinary meeting. You are welcome to attend, but please let us know beforehand that you are planning to do so.


The meeting on 02 October 2023 unanimously adopted the proposed constitution. It was noted that the next meeting scheduled will be the AGM in January, when there will be an opportunity to revisit this, should that be needed. In addition, two officers (Daniel Hughes, chair; and, Richard Holmes, secretary) were agreed along with additional committee members (Gerry Stewart and Charlie Morriss)