Key information: Cotswold Way
- Savour the mellow charm of one of the worlds most beautiful manmade landscapes.
- This trail winds along the western escarpment, with magnificent views out over the Severn Valley. Superb scenery, ludicrously perfect monuments, villages and farms.
- A Walkopedia favourite for pure delight, without having to climb thousands of feet to find it.
- Walkopedia rating87
- Natural interest14
- Human interest14
- Negative points3
- Total rating87
- Note: Neg: popular in places, occasional interruptions of modernity
- Length: 102 miles
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
This trail 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.
En route you will wallow in everything that the Cotswolds are famous for: atop, green rolling hills, drystone 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; marvelous 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.
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 Cotswold Trail was promoted to one of Britain's National Trails in 2007.
See our Cotswolds page for further ideas, information and photos.
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.
Books and Maps
Books on this walk
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
Visitor’s Guide: Cotswolds – R. Sale
Cotswolds: Walks – B. Conduit (Pathfinder Guides)
More Cotswolds: Walks – B. Conduit & N. Channer (Pathfinder Guides)
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.
Good maps can be bought locally, easily.
Stanfords: http://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.
Rain is possible at any time of year, always be prepared as it can change quickly.
See the Cicerone for information.
See Walk Summary above. The route is well mapped and marked throughout.
By Neil Hoggarth. License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
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?
You can do this walk independently.
You can join organised/supported expeditions. Traveling here with a knowledgeable guide has real advantages. Expedition organisers include:
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.
Hostelbookersusually has a good selection of cheaper-end accommodation.
Other information and tips
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.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotswold_Way As usual, a good starting place.
- Try http://www.flickr.com/ for pictures of this walk.
Other things to do in the area
The Cotswolds have a huge variety of great walks. You almost can’t go wrong choosing a footpath at random and heading off.
Walkopedia favourites include the Chastleton Circuit and Blenheim Park (not strictly Cotswolds) – pages to follow!
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.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS
Name: Susie WJ
Posted on: 20/10/2019
We loved this walk in the beautiful Cotswolds. We had good weather hiking in May. We enjoyed the variety of the walk: forests, fields, lanes, and through one quaint village after another. The hike is not difficult, but there are a lot of up and down hills. We had a company ferry our luggage each day from inn to inn so we only needed to carry a day pack. Most days we were able to have lunch in towns along the way. Having the trail finish in Bath is a bonus, and we spent a couple of extra days there seeing the sights. This path is well marked and well groomed.
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.
Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more