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Walking the Cotswold Way
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Highlights

  • Walking the Cotswold Way, one of England's finest long distance trails.
  • Explore Broadway, Stanton and other pretty villages of the Cotswolds.
  • Enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of a Cotswold country pub.
  • Fine walking through quintessential English countryside.
  • Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage city, at the end of the Cotswold Way.

The Cotswold Way, one of England's finest National Trails takes you from Chipping Campden, all the way to Bath, through quintessential English countryside. Almost the entire trail runs through the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and passes through a succession of enchanting English villages, featuring traditional Cotswold cottages and welcoming country pubs.

Cross fields still bounded by hedges and stone walls as the trail twists and turns through undulating and stunning landscapes. You will enjoy expansive views, stumble across Neolithic sites and be surprised by elegant village churches. End your tour in the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and brimming with fine architecture.

As a Cotswold Way specialist we offer a wide range of itineraries on the Cotswold Way, each of which is detailed on the right. Each itinerary is made up of the following sections.


Arrive Chipping Campden

The town of Chipping Campden is arguably the loveliest of the Cotswold towns and many people choose to stay an extra night in Chipping Campden before starting the walk. A two hour train journey from London to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and 6 mile taxi or bus bring you easily to the start of your holiday.


Chipping Campden to Stanton - 10 miles

Leaving the honey coloured architectural beauty of Chipping Campden behind you climb immediately onto the escarpment where Dover’s Hill and then Broadway Tower reward with fine views. The tearooms of Broadway are a welcome diversion before heading back into the hills. The idyllic village of Stanton welcomes you at the end of the section.


Stanton to Winchcombe - 7 miles

Tearing yourself away from the beauty of Stanton you soon reach the hamlet of Church Stanway. The ornate gatehouse of Stanway House distracts from the steep climb to Stumps Cross which follows. The Iron Age hill fort Beckbury Camp and medieval Hailes Abbey are both of interest before you reach the hustle and bustle of Winchcombe. Winchecombe was once an important Saxon settlement and it’s folk museum and the gargoyles of the Church of St Peter are of interest.


Winchcombe to Dowdeswell - 11 miles

The scenic and historically interesting six mile stretch to Cleve Hill. The magnificent Sudeley Castle is soon followed by a Roman Villa and Belas Knap, a huge Neolithic burial chamber. Cleeve Hill offers comfortable accommodation and refreshment but those continuing to Dowdeswell will enjoy a series of outstanding views from the Cotswold escarpment.


Dowdeswell to Birdlip - 10 miles

A short sharp climb from Dowdeswell takes you back up onto the Wolds were the vistas continue to impress. The distinctive Devil’s Chimney and ancient site of Crickley Hill are both fascinating. Birdlip village has a traditional country inn.


Birdlip to Painswick - 9 miles

A predominantly woodland walk which delights at any time of year, but especially the spring when wild flowers abound. You pass Coopers Hill, the site of the famous annual cheese rolling festival, before arriving in the delightful Painswick. An elegant town which grew prosperous from the cloth trade.


Painswick to King’s Stanley - 9 miles

A sublime section of the Cotswold Way. Ancient woodlands, rural tranquillity and vast panoramas combine to deliver walking heaven. Stanley Mill on the edge of King’s Stanley once employed 1000 people and is an early example of fireproof construction.


King’s Stanley to Wotton-Under-Edge - 14.5 miles

A series of short sharp ascents and descents, Neolithic burial chambers and Iron Age hill forts quickly eat up the six and a half miles to Dursley. Climbing steeply back to the scarp edge Tyndale Monument is the main point of interest before reaching Wotton-Under-Edge. A lovely stop which blends old and new.


Wotton-Under-Edge to Tormarton - 15 miles

The first eight miles through valleys to Hawkesbury Upton is filled with mills and streams which serve as reminders of the woollen trade which was once so important. Leaving the escarpment behind at Hawkesbury Upton the rural isolation, small villages and tranquillity of the walk to Tormarton are to be recommended.


Tormarton to Bath - 17 Miles

Numerous pleasures await on the final section of the Cotswold Way. The spectacular Dyrham Park, wonderful vistas and the architectural delights of Bath make for an unforgettable finale to your Cotswold Way walk.


Bath

A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of England’s most popular destinations the City of Bath will surprise and delight you. We recommend adding an extra night in Bath. A fast and frequent train service can return you to London in 1.5 hours.

Accommodation

Your Cotswold Way trip includes accommodation in carefully selected B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an en-suite or private bathroom. Below you will find examples of the establishments we use frequently.


Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.


Example Accommodation


 

 

 




Cornerways - Chipping Campden

Cornerways is a family run bed and breakfast excellently situated just 2 minutes walk away from the centre of Chipping Campden's famous High Street.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Shenberrow Hill - Stanton

Shenberrow is an attractive country house which offers luxury accommodation in the lovely little village of Stanton.


 

 

 


 

 

 




White Hart Inn - Winchcombe

The White Hart Inn is a 16th Century coaching inn offering comfortable accommodation in the heart of Winchcombe. Delicious evening meals are available at the 'Wine and Sausage' restaurant at the Inn.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Malvern View - Cleevehill



Malvern View - Cleeve Hill

This luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant is a pleasure to stay at with a warm welcome and outstanding service guaranteed.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Detmore House - Leckhampton Hill

Detmore House is a beautifully refurbished boutique guest accommodation it has a blend of traditional elegance and contemporary decor.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Tibbiwell Lodge - Painswick

Tibbiwell Lodge offers comfortable accommodation with fantastic views and a superb location in the centre of Painswick.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Valley Views - Kings Stanley

Having recently received a Silver Enjoy England award our four star guest accommodation Valley Views has recently been renovated and refurbished. You can be assured of a warm welcome from hostess Pam White.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Swan Hotel - Wotton-under-Edge

The Swan is a former coaching Inn; it has a wealth of charm and character enhanced by original features including beamed ceilings and stone floors.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Sodbury House Hotel - Old Sodbury



Sodbury House Hotel - Old Sodbury

Situated in its own spacious grounds of lawns and fruit trees, this former farmstead dates from the 1700's, its rustic charm complemented by modern restoration.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Compass Inn - Tormarton

The Compass Inn hotel is a family run hotel under the Best Western chain. It offers modern accommodation in an 18th Century coaching inn and has a wonderful setting in 6 acres of grounds and gardens.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hill Farm B&B - Cold Ashton

Hill Farm used to be a working farm and the barns were converted in 2012 to high quality accommodation. A warm drying space is provided for clothes and boots.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Kennard Guest House - Bath



The Kennard Guest House - Bath

The Kennard Hotel is a beautiful Georgian Town house. However, it also offers all the modern features and the rooms have their own individual style and character.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start The Cotswold Way on any day of the week between the start of April and mid October, subject to availability. The Cotswolds are very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.


Time of Year

The Cotswold Way is great at any time throughout the season as all the flowers will be in bloom throughout this time. 


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

Single rooms are available at a supplement. We offer the Cotswold Way to solo walkers. As we incur additional baggage transfer costs there is a solo walker supplement to cover this.  


Grade & Terrain

This tour is rated easy to moderate overall. However if you choose an itinerary which is 9 days or less, then the rating becomes moderate to challenging, as you will be walking more miles per day. The trail is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascents and descents from the escarpment.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Cotswold Way is a National Trail and is fully way marked. A comprehensive guidebook and map are supplied.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.  Please ensure that you do not bring more than one bag of 20kg, as if this occurs, the luggage transfer company will ask you to pay an additional fee (approx. £5.00 per day, per bag). This additional payment, should it be necessary, needs to be made locally to the driver and in cash.


It is also very important that your bag is clearly labelled (and any additional bags). If they are not labelled we cannot guarantee that they will reach you at the next accommodation.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Chipping Campden

Train services connect London to Moreton-in-Marsh (2h) and Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon(1h). 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 for taxi information and to pre-book. 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 (approx £3 cost).


Getting from Bath

Fast and frequent train services connect Bath to London (1h30).


If you have left a car in Chipping Campden getting back from Bath on public transport rail/bus takes about 3.5 hours. We don’t recommend you leave a car in Bath as long term parking is expensive.


Please visit the Traveline Website or National Rail Enquiries for further information on public transport and timetables.

Included

  • Hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • Door to door baggage transfer
  • A detailed information pack, maps and a guide book
  • Emergency telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Solo walker supplement
  • Extra nights

We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Cotswold Way and I hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Cotswolds are extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

The Cotswold Way is sublime at any time between the end of March and beginning of October although my personal favourite time of year is the spring.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureCotswold Way
 
4.6

(based on 96 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (59)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (33)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (92)
  • Great accommodations (74)
  • Fun (72)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (34)

Cons

  • Exhausting (9)

Best Uses

  • Holiday (76)
  • Trying something new (45)
  • Relaxation (41)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (45), World traveller (29), Avid adventurer (18)

Reviewed by 96 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Challenging Walk

By Wet walker

from Melbourne, Australia

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Wet weather

Best Uses

  • Holiday

Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

Even though we had read about how hilly the Cotswolds are we weren't expecting it to be so wet and muddy which made it even more challenging. Even so the area is beautiful and we enjoyed every day. The accommodation was also very good and varied, we were well looked after.

 
5.0

Two grumpys on the Cotswold Way for seven days

By Two grumpys

from Northampton

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Strenuous
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

    Firstly, sincere thanks to Macs Adventures for helping us to organise this walk. The organisation was first class and the accommodation (B&Bs, inns and small hotels) was ideal.
    Last year we walked the Cumbria Way and thought, as we're no spring chickens, that we would do the Cotswold Way because it would be easier. How wrong we were! The Cotswold Way is 102 miles long, which, over 7 walking days is not a problem. But when you add on a total of 10,000 feet of climbs onto the hills (in small chunks of 200 or 300 feet) it makes an easy walk quite strenuous.
    Nevertheless, what a week!
    The walk is well sign-posted, and the maps are easy to follow. Two minor mistakes meant that we walked 400 yards further than we should have done; not bad for 102 miles.
    The countryside is some of the best that England has to offer and the views from the top of the wolds are spectacular. And the icing on the cake is that, apart from the final day, there's a pub on the route every lunch time to enable you to quench your thirst. Take a week off from tasteless lagers and try some real cider - brilliant!
    In summary, it really was a beautiful walk and memorable week. Yes, you need to be fit, but, as two old grumpys can testify, you don't need to be Charles Atlas. So go for it!

     
    5.0

    Wonderful time and stress free

    By Pat from Canada

    from Canada

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Relaxation
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

      We did only 4 days of the Cotswold Way (north end) due to time issues and uncertainty about our endurance level. It was no problem and very enjoyable. The towns and panoramas were fantastic. Everything ran smoothly so we had no stress and were able to completely disconnect. Fantastic holiday and one we will always remember.

       
      5.0

      Fantastic First Walking Tour!

      By Sarah who loves walking

      from Boulder, CO, USA

      About Me Love Walking

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

        The Cotswold Way through Macs Adventure was both our first walking tour ever and our first trip booked through Macs. We did the option that took 8 days for the actual walking. Overall it was a really great experience. Macs did a great job with the organizing and provided us all the information we needed to complete the walk successfully. The accommodations were a little mixed but all provided a decent level of comfort, and in general seemed to be the best available in each town. Some were not as quiet as would be ideal, but the B&B owners were all friendly and helpful (and used to walkers!) and made delicious breakfasts. We found that there was a slight unevenness in the amount of walking each day (one 8-mile day, which felt quite short, and one 17-mile day, which was definitely a bit long) but understand that there are limitations due to the locations of the towns and accommodations.

        The itinerary we chose was a pretty good level of physical challenge for us -- we are used to walking 4-5 miles daily on flat, at 5300 feet altitude, with regular 8-mile walks once or twice a week, and occasional 6-8 mile hikes with 2000-3000 feet elevation gain. The Cotswold Way had some steeper sections than I expected (I knew it wouldn't be flat, but I didn't know it would go straight up the hillside), but overall it was sustainable for our level of physical fitness at an average of 12-13 miles a day. If we had planned to walk any longer we would have needed a rest day. Be forewarned that there are some long stretches in the woods that can be quite muddy! In general, be prepared for rain, wind, heat, mud, and steep ups and downs. Also expect to walk through many fields of sheep, go through many gates and stiles, and see beautiful views!

        Overall I highly recommend this tour and Macs!

         
        4.0

        Ridgeway

        By Bob

        from Boston Metropolitan Area, USA

        About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

          Macs Adventures did a great job insuring an enjoyable trip. Only one accommodation was somewhat disappointing.

           
          5.0

          Well organized adventure

          By Arcangela

          from USA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Relaxation
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

            The itinerary provided by MacsAdventure ensures a simple and carefree way to travel abroad.
            Every detail was perfect; the best accommodations located conveniently off the trail, detailed literature to supplement when necessary and efficient bag transfers. You just have to plug in the fun. High quality rain gear is a must. The daily walks were not difficult, were scenic and easy to follow. Stopping for a midday meal was a highlight on the trail. I would recommend this tour.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Cotswolds Way

            By The air plant

            from Southern California

            About Me Hiker

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • A healthy challenge
            • Fun
            • Gorgeous landscape
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Perfect weather
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday

              Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

              A beautiful reunion and adventure for four women in our mid-sixties from California, New Mexico and Virginia who love the outdoors.

               
              5.0

              challenging but definitely worth it!

              By Shelley Ann

              from Ripon

              About Me Occasional Traveller

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday
                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

                We walked the Cotswold Way over 8 days in Spring this year. The route was extremely easy to follow thanks to a great guidebook/excellent signage.We enjoyed a variety of scenery on the way, from beautiful villages to masses of bluebell woods (one of our highlights). All our accommodation was good, some were excellent.There are a lot of steep descents/ascents so go prepared. The last three days for us were the longest in distance and took a lot of determination to complete following a few minor walking injuries. All in all, very enjoyable. Macs Adventures were very well organised indeed.

                 
                4.0

                It is an adventure!

                By The four-some

                from Los Angeles, CA

                About Me Occasional Traveller

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                Cons

                • Some were good accomodations and some were not
                • the signs are not well marked in some areas

                Best Uses

                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

                It was an adventure! There was 4 of us and some areas of the walk are very exhausting for some people. The signs coming out of the town are not well explained so the majority gets lost.

                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Cotswold Way in late Sept.

                By Lee

                from Ottawa

                About Me Occasional Traveller

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday
                  • Trying Something New

                  Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

                  We did 5 days-6 nights starting in Painswick, ending in Bath. The walk was exciting. After day one I wondered if I had made a mistake. I am 68 year old woman and am quite healthy and fit but do have occasional knee and back problems. Thank goodness for the walking sticks. Some trails were quite steep in the first 2 days...harder going down than up as they were also slippery from rain overnight, especially since we got off track once onto a cow path! The maps/guide are good but you have to look out for signs (we did miss a couple which cost us a mile or two).
                  We took a steady and moderate rate approach and managed to finish most days in mid afternoon. The pub breaks at mid day and accommodation at night made all good. We were welcomed at all accommodations. Breakfasts were excellent...quite huge if you chose. Having good hiking boots is important. The sole on my one boot started to come off after one day; we had to tie it on and it worked fine for the entire walk., as did the other sole after the third day. No shops around so having string with us to do repairs saved the day!
                  Great feeling to have done the 50+ miles at the end. It is not so much the distance than the topography that you need to be prepared for: lots of ups and downs while admiring the beautiful scenery- sheep, cows, meadows, woods, deer, pheasants galore.
                  It is not for everyone. I think the three days closer to Bath might be enough challenge for many as the last part is easier.

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