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Rolling hills and open spaces above the Stroud Valleys and Severn estuary

Minchinhampton Common is a large swathe of open grassland on the hill top and slopes of the Cotswold escarpment. It is a really important archaeological landscape, with prehistoric field systems, burial mounds and the remains of a defensive earthwork, known as The Bulwarks. In the summer the common is grazed by local commoners' cattle.

Rodborough Common lies just to the north of Minchinhampton Common and offers a dramatic panorama overlooking Stroud and the Severn Vale. It is renowned for its colourful array of wild flowers and butterflies, starting with the pasque flower in spring and a superb display of early purple orchids in May.

Don't miss

Help us care for the cattle

Cows grazing the grassy plain

Cows grazing the grassy plain

As the evenings start to get darker, please remember to keep an eye out for the cattle grazing on the Commons and drive carefully - they often wander across the roads.

The cows are let out on Marking Day every year on 13 May and are vital to the management of these wonderful flower-rich, limestone grasslands.

The Commons provide a rare island of tradition and peacefulness in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here you can stretch your legs, take in the magnificent views, enjoy the wildlife and breathe the fresh air.