The Gustav Holst Way is a medium distance rambler’s route from Cranham to Wyck Rissington, via Cheltenham and Bourton. Each of these places has some association with the composer, and the broad stretch of Cotswold country between them was also well known to Holst, who records several pleasant days spent walking in the uplands and dales.
The route and all the accompanying documentation has been created by a group of volunteers of the Holst Birthplace Museum. The idea of its creators is to encourage walkers to become familiar with Holst’s love of the Cotswolds and his many associations in this part of England.
We know that Holst walked in Cranham Woods and that his mother’s family had property there. We know of Holst’s association with Cheltenham and we know of his posts in Bourton and Wyck Rissington. The countryside between all these places would also have been known to Holst when he from time to time returned to the Cotswolds and took walks.
The walk is 35 miles in all and could be undertaken in either direction; however, it makes a lot of sense if you start at Cranham, which represents part of his childhood, and end in Wyck Rissington where he later worked. It is in that direction that the description of the Gustav Holst Way is written.
For convenience of walkers the description of the walk is arranged in sections, each of between 6 to 8 miles. Suitable access points and watering holes are given in an appendix.
The route of the Gustav Holst Way was originally devised by Brian Carvell when he was a Trustee of the Holst Birthplace Museum. Later a small committee was set up under the chairmanship of Roger Graham in order to develop the idea. We intend to launch the Gustav Holst Way formally later in the year. In the meantime the description of the walk is available here for anyone to try out the route. The committee would welcome comments. Please do let us know