Overview for North Cotswold Circuit in 6 Days
This superb inn-to-inn Cotswold Round self-guided walking holiday will take you through the heart of the Cotswolds and will let you enjoy some of the best walking the North Cotswolds have to offer. The circuit starts and finishes in Moreton-on-Marsh and takes in the most picturesque towns and villages of the Cotswolds at a brisk pace, enabling you to explore this fascinating (and England’s largest) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in just six days. On this itinerary, we arrange comfortable accommodation in en-suite rooms at hotels and accredited guesthouses and we transfer your luggage between each of the accommodations.
This walk is rather demanding; if you prefer to walk the North Costwold Round at a more leisurely pace, you can do it in 9 days instead.
Itinerary for North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive Moreton-in-Marsh
Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the most important market towns in the Cotswolds, which still holds a weekly market on the wide main street.
- Accommodation: Redesdale Arms Hotel or similar
Day 2: Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water
Leaving Moreton behind, you will soon find yourself through fields and heading into the Wolds, towards the impressive Sezincote House, a Mogul style manor house dating from 1805. You pass through several charming small villages before gaining a little height. Then the walk is largely flat or downhill and works its way down to the green meadows of the area around The Slaughters. You’ll continue on to Lower Slaughter, a very pretty place which still has a working mill and river flowing through the centre. It is a short step from here to Bourton-on-the-Water where you will overnight.
- Walking for the day: 12 miles / 19 km, 6-7 hours
- Accommodation: Chester House Hotel or similar
Day 3: Bourton-on-the-Water to Winchcombe
Today you will follow the line of the River Windrush out of Bourton, leaving the bustle behind as you head through pleasant farmland and meadows towards the village of Naunton. From Naunton, you’ll head on to Guiting Power which has a pretty church complete with an arch dating from the Norman period. Then the trail heads slowly uphill through fields and woodland until the last section, a descent with superb scenery to the village of Winchcombe. Known as an ancient Saxon capital, you’ll pass by Sudeley Castle as you walk into the village. Sudeley Castle is the resting place of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.
- Walking for the day: 13 miles / 21 km, 7 hours
- Accommodation: White Heart Inn or similar
Day 4: Winchcombe to Broadway
Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims from Winchcombe to Hailes Abbey; from here starting to head into the hills towards the impressive Stanway House. Admire the intricate gatehouse and ancient tithe barn before arriving at the picture-perfect village of Stanton. From here you gain height across the hills, skirting Laverton before descending into Broadway.
- Walking for the day: 8.5 miles / 14 km, 5-6 hours
- Accommodation: Hadley House or similar
Day 5: Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh
Today you start with a climb up to the 18th Century Broadway Tower, one of the highest points in the Cotswolds and from where on a clear day there are superb views. From here it is a leisurely walk across pleasantly flat fields until a descent into Chipping Campden. Considered one of the finest Cotswold villages, the main street has a traditional covered marketplace and there is an impressive church. Then pass through the charming villages of Broad Campden and Blockley and descend to Batsford, where you may visit the arboretum and falconry centre. Finally, you complete your Cotswolds circuit with a pleasant stroll across meadows to Moreton-in-Marsh.
- Walking for the day: 12 miles / 20 km, 7 hours
- Accommodation: Redesdale Arms Hotel or similar
Day 6: Departure
Departure or extra nights upon request.
Hotels for North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo 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 North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo to top of page
The nearest International Airport to Moreton-in-Marsh 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. As this is a circular route you will be walking back to your starting location so you can depart by the same means you arrived.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers when changing hotels 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 North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
This itinerary allows you to walk at a swift pace, enabling you to explore this fascinating area of outstanding natural beauty in just six days. Most days offer 6-7 hours of walking. 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 in the east (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 Round route is not specially designated and waymarked. At times, you will follow the yellow arrow ‘Public Footpath’ signs. Be mindful however that not all arrows are relevant to your walk, so check carefully against your guidebook. Generally, the route is easy to navigate and we will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can 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 North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo to top of page
- 5 nights in twin or double rooms with an en-suite or private bathroom (3-star hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses)
- 5 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
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Reviews for North Cotswold Circuit in 6 DaysGo to top of page
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