Overview for Cotswold Way
The Cotswold Way is a long-distance walk that runs for 163 km from the medieval market town of Chipping Campden to the historic city of Bath. Following the western edge of the Cotswold Hills, the Cotswold Way route winds through gently rolling pastures, quiet beech woodland, and fairytale, honey-coloured medieval villages steeped in history. On this itinerary, we arrange comfortable accommodation in en-suite rooms at charming hotels and accredited guesthouses and we transfer your luggage between each of the accommodations.
Itinerary for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden is one of the loveliest Cotswold towns. A two-hour train journey from London to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and a 10-km taxi or bus ride bring you easily to the start of your holiday. Take time to explore this charming historic market town with its shops, silversmiths and ‘wool church’.
- Accommodation: Volunteer Inn or similar
Day 2: Chipping Campden to Broadway
The Cotswold Way starts at the Town Hall in the centre of Chipping Campden. From Chipping Campden the Trail takes you out on to the Cotswolds escarpment with stunning views from Dover’s Hill (230m), where the annual ‘Olimpick’ games are held. The walk continues across the fields to Broadway Tower, one of the highest points in the Cotswolds and from where on a clear day there are superb views, and then down into the village of Broadway with its historic connections with the Arts & Crafts movement.
- Walking for the day: 6 miles / 10 km, 3-4 hours
- Accommodation: Hadley House or similar
Day 3: Broadway to Winchcombe
From Broadway, the Cotswold Way climbs up onto the escarpment, following broad tracks to the Iron Age hill fort of Shenberrow Camp. The Trail then descends into the unspoilt village of Stanton. From here onto Wood Stanway where the route continues with a steep climb up from Wood Stanway onto the escarpment where you will be rewarded by magnificent views across the Vale of Evesham towards the Malverns. Passing the Iron Age hill fort of Beckbury Camp, you then descent to Hailes with its ruined abbey and little church. The Trail then continues through farmland into the town of Winchcombe, known as an ancient Saxon capital. Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe is the resting place of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.
- Walking for the day: 11.5 miles / 19 km, 6 hours
- Accommodation: White Heart Inn or similar
Day 4: Winchcombe to Leckhampton/Cheltenham
The National Trail leaves Winchcombe through the Sudeley Estate, climbing steadily along field paths up to the ancient Neolithic long barrow of Belas Knap. Heading south from Cleeve Hill, you are now on the highest part of the entire Trail. The route continues across Cleeve Hill with extensive views to the West. Descend down to Dowdeswell passing through Lineover Wood – a semi-natural broadleaved woodland, notable for its large-leaved lime trees and magnificent ‘heritage’ beech. The path then climbs and follows the escarpment onto Leckhampton Hill – look out for the distinctive rock pillar known as the Devil’s Chimney. Overnight in Cheltenham.
- Walking for the day: 16 miles / 25 km, 6-7 hours
- Accommodation: Beaumont House or similar
Day 5: Leckhampton Hill to Painswick
Leaving Leckhampton Hill, the National Trail follows quiet tracks, lanes and paths into Crickley Hill Country Park. The Trail then crosses the undulating grassland of Barrow Wake before heading into woodland to emerge at Birdlip. From Birdlip, the Trail passes through magnificent semi-natural beech woodlands and on to Coopers Hill, the site of the annual cheese-rolling event. The route then emerges onto the common land and golf course of Painswick Beacon, where the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort can be clearly seen. The route finishes for the day in Painswick.
- Walking for the day: 14 miles / 23 km, 6-7 hours
- Accommodation: St Anne’s B&B or similar
Day 6: Painswick to Dursley
The Cotswold Way descends from Painswick to cross the Wash Brook before climbing again onto Edge Common – an open area of grassland with views back over Painswick. The route takes you through woodland to emerge into the Stroud Valleys through grass pastures. At the Stroudwater Navigation, there is a choice of routes. One option is to take the route alongside the canal and up over Selsley Common, and the other is to head through Kings Stanley. After the two paths reconvene, the Cotswold Way then takes you through woods before heading down into the valley at Farfield passing through farmland into the market town of Dursley.
- Walking for the day: 15 miles / 24 km, 6-7 hours
- Accommodation: Woodland House B&B or similar
Day 7: Dursley to Hawkesbury Upton
Leaving Dursley, the Cotswold Way climbs steeply up onto Stinchcombe Hill. The Trail then descends through woodland into farmland and follows a track into the village of North Nibley. From here there is another steep ascent to the Tyndale Monument before the route levels out across grassland and through woodland leading onto Wotton Hill. Descend and pass through the town of Wotton-Under-Edge. From Wotton-under-Edge you climb back up onto the escarpment, passing close to the National Trust property of Newark Park. The Trail then makes for the village of Alderley down a delightful sunken woodland track. From Alderley, the route passes through a peaceful valley where you can see remainders of Medieval ridge-and-furrow either side. The Trail then climbs gently up to the Somerset Monument before heading towards the village of Hawkesbury Upton.
- Walking for the day: 15 miles / 24 km, 6-7 hours (with optional shortcut: 12 miles / 19 km, 4-5 hours)
- Accommodation: The Fox Inn or similar
Day 8: Hawkesbury Upton to Cold Ashton
Passing an ancient drover’s pond, the path heads south towards Horton. Before reaching the National Trust property of Horton Court (probably the oldest vicarage in England), the Trail climbs up onto Horton Fort with extensive views opening out over the Severn Vale and beyond. Cross farmland to the villages of Horton and Old Sodbury. From here the Cotswold Way passes through the wonderful Capability Brown parkland of Dodington Park before crossing the final few fields into the village of Tormarton. Heading across further fields and skirting the perimeter wall of Dyrham Park, the trail climbs up from Dyrham village through Dyrham Woods before continuing through farmland into the village of Cold Ashton.
- Walking for the day: 14 miles / 23 km, 6-7 hours
- Accommodation: Hill Farm B&B or similar
Day 8: Cold Ashton to Bath
The Cotswold Way leaves Cold Ashton and descends into the beautiful secluded valley at Lower Hamswell. The next climb takes you up to the site of the bloody civil war battle of Lansdown. From here the trail levels out across the plateau, passing the promontory hill fort at Little Down and the famous Bath Racecourse. After the Trail passes through farmland and emerges into Weston, it changes in character, becoming more urban as the walk draws to a close. The Trail continues to offer glimpses of fine parks and regency architecture on its way to Bath Abbey, where a carved stone disc set into the pavement outside the ornate west doors marks the end of the Cotswold Way.
- Walking for the day: 10 miles / 16 km, 4-5 hours
- Accommodation: The Rising Sun Inn or similar
Day 10: Departure
Departure or extra nights upon request.
Hotels for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of charming small hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village pubs and restaurants.
Travel for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
The nearest International Airport to Chipping Campden is Birmingham. Alternatives are London Heathrow or Gatwick.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily, so do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Moreton-in-Marsh station (MIM) is located on the Cotswold Line between London, Oxford and Hereford. There is a railway station at Birmingham Airport with frequent services to Moreton-in-Marsh (nearest railway station to Chipping Campden) via Oxford. From London Paddington station, direct trains run to Moreton-in-Marsh. If you wish to take a taxi from Moreton-in-Marsh this will need to be booked ahead of time as there is no taxi rank at the station or in the town. The cost is about £25. Please check the following website. Or you can walk from the station to the Corn Exchange (a 5-minute walk) and from here you can take a bus to Chipping Camden. It is the Line 22 bus, it takes approximately 25 minutes and the buses leave hourly (£3). Please note buses do not run on Sundays.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 15 kg per person).
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on the United Kingdom is available here.
Trip Info for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
Most days offer 6 hours of walking on average and you need to be fit to complete the Way. You will cover a variety of terrain but these are gentle wolds and not mountainous areas. The path rises and falls over the Escarpment, and is lower, but still undulating, over farmland and through woods (which can get a bit muddy in wet weather). Some days will involve a couple of steeper ascents and descents but they are relatively short. The highest point on the trail is 330m. Ascents and descents are usually 250-300m per day (read more about difficulty grades).
The trail follows well-maintained footpaths, bridleways, open fields and some minor roads. The Cotswold Way is a National Trail and is fully waymarked. A comprehensive guidebook and map are supplied. You can also call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from the mid-April until mid-October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season. If you are a seasoned and well-equipped hiker, we can eventually book you on off-season dates.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 15 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several T-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
- 9 nights in twin or double rooms with an en-suite or private bathroom (3-star hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses)
- 9 breakfasts
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information: personalised trip notes and maps (emailed before departure and a hard copy provided at first hotel; one set per room)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel – up to 15 kg per person
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative in Cheltenham
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (subject to availability)
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights and airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- All lunches and dinners
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions and Optional Extras
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
Gallery for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
Reviews for Cotswold WayGo to top of page
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