The Slad Valley has become immortalised by the words of the famous author Laurie Lee, whose classic novel ‘Cider with Rosie’ is known and loved all over the world. This green and tranquil, hidden valley can be found near the towns of Stroud and Painswick.
Many of the locations in the book are still recognisable today. The tiny village of Slad centres around the Woolpack Inn – where you can see the seat where Lee used to sit - and the church where Laurie Lee is now buried. A stained glass window commemorates this most famous author.
Across the road from the Woolpack is the school house where Laurie Lee was once a schoolboy. The Museum in the Park in nearby Stroud is worth a visit to find out more about the life of Laurie Lee. It even contains his school report.
The cottage where Lee and his family lived when they first came to Slad, sits by the lake. It is a listed building and a private house, not open to the public.
The most recent BBC TV adaptation of ‘Cider with Rosie’ was filmed in the Slad Valley, as well as the nearby village of Miserden.
There are plenty of options for walking in Slad. The Laurie Lee Wood, recently opened by his widow and daughter, is an ancient woodland of over three hectares. It looks particularly beautiful in bluebell season and is next door to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trusts' Swift’s Hill nature reserve.
The Laurie Lee Wildlife Way is a beautiful 5-mile walking route, punctuated with ten poetry posts featuring the works of Lee, whose poems bring the surrounding landscape to life. This trail is steep in places, but well worth the effort. The leaflet accompanying the walk is available to buy in the Woolpack Inn or from Stroud TIC.
If you prefer to explore by bike, the Cotswolds & Severn Vale 7-day cycle tour routes close to the village of Slad, making a pretty diversion.