Walk Along The River Frome & Stroudwater Navigation, I enjoyed a rainy walk from A38 near Whitminster along the River Frome, eventually following the Stroudwater Navigation into Stonehouse.
The off-road section for this walk starts on the A38 in Whitminster, near to the turn for Frampton on Severn. This is close to the bus stop for the route that runs from Gloucester to Dursley. Other local starting points could be Whitminster village, Highfields Garden Centre. There are a few places for a pre-walk pint or meal here, this including The Frombridge Mill, a carvery restaurant and pub.
After leaving the road on a marked path, you enter some fields used for grazing cattle, particularly the dairy herd. The route follows the River Frome through some flat countryside; the river is a great habitat and great for bird spotting, including birds of prey.
The walking route takes you to the M5 motorway, where there is a tunnel used by the farmer to move cows right under the motorway. This is quite surreal and spooky. In wintertime or after rain, good boots are the best footwear to walk with.
Once out of the tunnel, the fields open up, and the path continues alongside the little river. This area is a floodplain as I found out and gets sodden or even flooded after persistent rain. Then you cross the road marked Spring Hill on the map, then back into the fields.
Near to here is a bridge into St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, a photogenic church and churchyard just off the river in Eastington. The church is pretty and a nice place to stop and reflect or just rest your legs.
The path then follows the river. This eventually leads you onto the path on the Stroudwater Navigation canal. This section of the canal has lots of reeds and waterfowl call this home. I have spotted some common breeds here, including moorhen, swans and mallards swimming in the water.
Further along, you pass the Stonehouse Court Hotel and restaurant, a very nice wedding venue and hotel. Next, a path leads you to near the town centre of Stonehouse. Following the High Street into the town, you reach The Woolpack Inn, a friendly pub with a choice of ciders and free Wi-Fi.
After a beer or two, there is a bus stop very near which travels onwards to Gloucester or into Stroud.