The Cotswolds

Key information: The Cotswolds

  • Savour the mellow charm of one of the world’s most beautiful manmade landscapes.
  • A Walkopedia favourite, but we admit bias here.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty30
  • Natural interest14
  • Human interest14
  • Charisma31
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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WALK SUMMARY

Savour the mellow charm of one of the world’s most beautiful manmade landscapes. A Walkopedia favourite, although we have to disclose bias on this one -other than our ratings, which are of course flintily objective!

En route you will wallow in everything that the Cotswolds are famous for: atop, green rolling hills, dry stone walls, fine stands of trees and wide views; deep, steep valleys containing ludicrously perfect villages nestled around an ancient church; grassland and the sheep that were the root of the hill-land’s prosperity for much of the way; sleepy golden farmsteads; marvellous market towns, castles, great houses and monastic and even Roman ruins; prehistoric hill forts and burial mounds; and, much of the way, the beauty of the curling escarpment, with its views across the Severn valley to the Malvern Hills and, afar, the Black Mountains.

Stay in market town hotels, village pubs or farmhouse B&Bs along the way.          

      

Multi-day walks:

The Cotswold Way winds for 102 miles along the western escarpment of Britain’s Cotswold hills, from the perfect market town of Chipping Campden to fabulous Roman and Georgian Bath in the south. While a walk along the whole route would be hugely rewarding, any section would make a wondrous day walk – and you can usually create a circular walk to get you back to your start point.

The Diamond Way: a delightful, roughly diamond-shaped, 60 mile, 5 day circuit which meanders through some of the northern Cotswolds’ finest landscapes. The Way is officially structured in 60 stages from Moreton-in-Marsh, which has good rail and bus connections

 

Great day walks:

The Cotswolds have a huge variety of great walks. You almost can’t go wrong choosing a footpath at random and heading off.

You can’t go wrong if you take some stages of one of the great long-distance walks, and devise a circuit from it.

Walkopedia favourites include:

-        the Chastleton Circuit, and

-        Blenheim Park (not strictly Cotswolds)

– pages to follow!

 

Various websites have a wide selection of Cotswold walks. Have a look at:
-        Walking Britain
-        Ramblers Association

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

See also expedition planning, including our universal expedition checklist. Walkopedia encourages responsible travel.

Books and Maps

Suggest books and maps

Books on this walk          

Cotswolds: Walks – B. Conduit (Pathfinder Guides)

More Cotswolds: Walks – B. Conduit & N. Channer (Pathfinder Guides)

The Cotswold Way – Cicerone: excellent information as usual, including other books on the Cotswold Way.

The Cotswold Way 2010 – A. Burton (National Trail Guides)

Batsford’s Walking Guides: Cotswolds – Jilly MacLeod

The Cotswold Way Handbook – Rambler’s Association

Other books

Visitor’s Guide: Cotswolds – R. Sale

The Gloucestershire Landscape – H. Finbury

Life and Tradition in the Cotswolds – E. Brill

There are few recent relevant books. See some other ideas in the Cicerone guide, including Pevsner.

Maps

Good maps can be bought locally, easily.

Stanfords: www.stanfords.co.uk.  A good online specialist source of worldwide.

 

Best times to walk/weather

Best times to walk

All times of year have attractions.  Summer for best weather (but more walkers), spring and autumn for flowers and colour. Winter days can be wonderful.

Weather

English.

Rain is possible at any time of year, always be prepared as it can change quickly.

For detailed weather information, have a look at: www.worldweather.org or www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country-guides

 

Getting there/transport/permits/fees

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See the Cicerone for information.

 

Route(s)

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See Walk Summary above. The route is well mapped and marked throughout.

 

Possible problems, health, other warnings

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See the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and problems can arise on any walk. Many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks and possible problems. This website cannot, does not purport to, +or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to a walk or a country. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Make sure you have appropriate insurance.

 

Guided or independent?

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Independent

You can do this walk independently.

Guided/supported

You can join organised/supported expeditions. Traveling here with a knowledgeable guide has real advantages. Expedition organisers include:

•          www.contours.co.uk

•          www.macsadventure.com/cotswolds

•          www.thecotswoldwalkingcompany.com

 

Accommodation

There is a huge amount of varied accommodation along the way, from market town hotels to farmhouse B&Bs. Plan your route and book ahead for certainty.

The The Cotswold Way Handbook and Accommodation Guide published by the Gloucestershire Ramblers Association has a good selection.

There are various Cotswold accommodation websites. Search Cotswold Accommodation; also try www.cotswold-way-accommodation-directory.co.uk/

Hostelbookers usually has a good selection of cheaper-end accommodation.

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Other information and tips

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Useful websites and information

There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.

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Other things to do in the area

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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