Harefield Beacon is a 0.73-hectare geological Site of Special Scientific situated near Stroud. Owned by the National Trust and sitting on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment it boasts an amazing panoramic, south westerly view across Gloucestershire. On a clear day, you can see the Severn Bridges near Bristol which are over 20 miles away and also across to Wales.
The beacon can be accessed by car from Haresfield village which is close to J12 of the M5. For a short walk, drive to the top of Beacon Lane where you will find a car park and walk out to the viewpoint where you will see the topograph which highlights points in the distance.
If you prefer a longer walk or even a run pick up the well signed posted National Cotswold Way path from Ryeford, near Stonehouse (J13 of the M5) and follow the trail through Randwick and Standish Woods until you reach the Beacon car park. You can then continue on the Cotswold Way until you come to the hill fort.
As you stand out on the fort keep your eyes peeled for the buzzards mewing, gliding and diving and the kestrels hovering and hunting. You’ll also find a wealth of archaeological features including long and round barrows, a hill fort and cross dyke; historical monuments over 3,000 years old. You really feel like you are on the edge of the world or even looking down at the view from a plane. It’s one of our favourite special places to go to at all times of the year. We find the views are just breath taking.
In the Springtime Randwick and Standish Woods have a beautiful carpet of bluebells and in the Autumn we enjoy putting our boots or trail shoes on and walking or running through the colourful array of gold and crimson leaves.