Swift's Hill

Swift's Hill is a local landmark. After a brief but steep walk you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the Slad Valley, immortalised in Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie. The limestone grassland here supports over 130 species of wildflowers including 13 species of orchid including the rare frog orchids, bee orchids and early purple orchids.


Knapp Lane, Elcombe

OS Map Reference

A static map of Swift's Hill

Know before you go

10 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals


Walking trails

This nature reserve is on the Laurie Lee Wildlife Trail, a six-mile circular walk around Laurie Lee's beloved valley.


Swift's Hill is steep, with access on grassland or on rough tracks.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Seven days a week, all year

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

Knapweed and wild thyme support species including marbled white butterflies and common blue butterflies –in all 29 species of butterfly have been noted here.

Also look and listen out for kestrels, skylarks, green woodpeckers, field voles, limestone snails, rugged oil beetles and rare rufous grasshoppers. Ancient woodland wildflowers such as violets, bluebells and sanicle line the shady track, while stunning viper’s bugloss is found near the quarry.  There are great views from the top: on a clear day you can see as far as Wales. 

Contact us

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 0145238333

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)