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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 here 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 tea rooms 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. Winchcombe was once an important Saxon settlement and its folk museum and the gargoyles of the Church of St Peter are well worth visiting.


Winchcombe to Dowdeswell - 11 miles

You begin with a 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 the 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 in the spring when wildflowers 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 in this area. 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

Carole and Les welcome you to Cornerways. They have lived in the Cotswolds all their lives and have run their family home as a bed and breakfast for the last 14 years. Each room has full en-suite shower facilities, tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TVs, clock radio, and hair dryers.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Shenberrow Hill - Stanton

Shenberrow is an attractive country house which offers lovely accommodation in the little village of Stanton. All rooms for comfortably furnished with en-suite private bathrooms and all the usual comforts in the way of TV & tea & coffee making facilities.


 

 

 


 

 

 




White Hart Inn - Winchcombe

The White Hart Inn is a 16th Century coaching inn in the centre of Winchcombe. They have eight en-suite guest rooms; all rooms have tea & coffee facilities, complementary bottled water, flat screen TV and free WI-FI. At the Wine and Sausage they believe that local produce, cooked creatively is the heart of a good restaurant.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Malvern View - Cleevehill



Malvern View - Cleeve Hill

Marco and Cathy Giorgi draw on their many years of experience and professionalism, to make sure that every little detail is taken care of – all you have to do is relax and enjoy the beautiful Cotswolds surroundings. Their rooms are comfortable and beautifully designed, offering sumptuous Egyptian cotton bedlinen, 32 inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, free WiFi and a well stocked hospitality tray.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Detmore House - Leckhampton Hill

Detmore House is a beautifully refurbished boutique guest accommodation it has a blend of traditional elegance and contemporary decor. They have luxurious spacious en-suite rooms with super king bed, luxury toiletries, fluffy white towels & robes for your comfort.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Tibbiwell Lodge - Painswick

Tibbiwell Lodge offers comfortable accommodation with fantastic views and a superb location in the centre of Painswick. The three rooms are all individually designed, the Terrace Room has its own decked terrace at first floor level overlooking the beautiful Painswick Valley and the Balcony Room has its own sheltered balcony.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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, stone floors and exposed walls plus 3 open fires and traditional furniture. The restaurant offers a modern and contemporary feel while still retaining the character and features of a period building.


 

 

 


 

 

 



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 and its rustic charm is complemented by modern restoration. All rooms have been thoughtfully refurbished to a high standard to provide excellent facilities and offer tea and coffee, colour television, radio, hair dryer.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Compass Inn - Tormarton

The Compass Inn is a medium sized, family run, hotel set in the beautiful South Cotswolds. An 18th century coaching inn with modern accommodation set in 6 acres of beautifully kept grounds and gardens. The Orangery Restaurant, under Head chef Hugo de Bonneval, has a reputation for using the very best of local produce and seasonal game, as well as a fine wine list.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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, the heating and hot water is provided through eco-friendly means, and a warm drying space is provided for clothes and boots. The facilities in the kitchen-diner provide you with fresh eggs, bacon and all the trimmings for you to cook your own breakfast.


 

 

 


 

 

 



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 which are now expected: en-suites with showers, telephones with data port, wireless internet connection in all rooms, flat-screen TVs and beverage trays. Every room in the house was for a different use and so all 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.


** Please be aware that at the beginning of May the Badminton Horse Trials are held and it is a challenge to find accommodation in Kings Stanley, Old Sodbury and Cold Ashton during this time.


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 strenuous, 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). Please note buses do not run on Sundays.


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 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.

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 the path is arguably at its most beautiful in 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 103 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (62)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (36)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (97)
  • Fun (77)
  • Great accommodations (76)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (38)

Cons

  • Exhausting (10)

Best Uses

  • Holiday (81)
  • Trying something new (47)
  • Relaxation (44)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (49), World traveller (30), Avid adventurer (18)

Reviewed by 103 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

An enjoyable country interlude

By Susan C.

from Minneapolis

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

    Hiking in the Cotswolds broke up our longer stay in London. We enjoyed each day on the Cotswold Way and appreciated the friendliness of everyone we encountered. Our B&B's were just right and our luggage was always waiting when we arrived. Thanks to MacsAdventure for doing exactly what you said you would do.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Seven days of fun exploration

    By Green Mountain Hiker

    from Vermont, USA

    About Me Frequent traveller to rural and natural areas

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Trail condition was poor in several locations

    Best Uses

    • Fun way to catch up with old friends
    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

    We are an avid walking couple in our mid-sixties. This trip gave us a wonderful way to explore a new area and to catch up with old friends who met up with us at various points. We liked all the accommodations except one and were impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of hosts along the way. The baggage transport was flawless. If doing the entire Cotswold Way I would recommend including two rest days to break things up and have a chance to linger and poke around the beautiful and interesting villages.

     
    3.0

    its a challenge!

    By THE WARRENS

    from Plymouth

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Once in a Lifetime Experience

    Cons

    • Poor Accommodations

    Best Uses

    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

    Our first experience of a walking holiday. Beautiful views ( we were lucky with the weather!) Wonderful Cotswold villages. Well signposted. Some fairly steep hills and slippery muddy paths but if you are well equipped its fine. Some of our booked accommodation left a lot to be desired. The itinerary provided by Macsadventure did not match the local experience in a number of cases, please be aware! I have given them detailed feedback, hopefully they will update their information. I couldn't recommend this holiday done in this way, when you most need good hospitality at the end of the day its often sadly lacking !

     
    4.0

    Beautiful countryside, interesting villages and so much hist

    By Shazgirl

    from North Carolina

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accommodations were good..don't book groups over
    • Fun

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Relaxation

      Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

      Initially Macs sent the materials in error to all three couples.Baggage courier service was excellent.Our first night in Chipping Campden we were booked directly over the band that was playing. We had several good b&b,two or three excellent,and two not so good.Mileage indicated was short vs our GPS. Thank you to Macs accommodating our group of six and keeping us together almost all the overnights.

       
      4.0

      I would recommend this holiday (Cotswold Way)

      By Nic & Sharon - hiking adventurists

      from Ontario

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday

        Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

        I would recommend this hike however it was more challenging than expected. All the accommodations were good however there were a couple of times when the pub was not easy walking distance to the accommodation which was an issue. Also two days were quite short when they could have been a bit longer to balance out the hike a bit more.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic Trail!

        By The Lazy Walkers

        from Olympia, WA USA

        About Me World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday

          Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

          This was my first time using Mac's Adventures and the second time I have completed a self-guided walking tour. Mac's was great- no hiccups and everything ran smoothly. They had a good reputation on the trail which means a lot. I would and will absolutely use them again for future walks.
          So we are a mildly active couple who took the longest trip possible to accommodate our lackadaisical fitness level. We loved our 7 mile days and we managed our longer days with some ibuprofen for sore feet and the promise of a pint at the end of the trail. The trail itself is truly beautiful and we were constantly impressed even though we come from an area with amazing trails. There was very little road walking and so much variation of scenery- well signed and first class trail. I was occasionally chagrined when it would send us straight up a steep hill without a switchback in sight. This trail never met a hill it didn't decide to climb and any monument you could see high up in the distance you knew for sure you would be ascending shortly to the base. I would recommend adding plenty of elevation hiking to your preparations if you are not used to it.
          As for the accommodations, I loved all of the old inns and small hotels we stayed in.
          I think one of the big differences about hiking in England versus other parts of the world are the laws about public pathways and right to roam which means that a path can go right through privately owned fields and farms without being diverted to streets and forestry roads. This creates a very special walking experience with constantly beautiful scenery, the regular accompaniment of sheep, cows, and horses, and nice soft turf to walk in rather than bruising concrete.
          Special shout-out to Chipping Camden, Broadway, Winchcombe, and Bath. Absolutely gorgeous places not to be missed.

           
          4.0

          Nature at its best!

          By Steve & Leslee

          from Tumbi Umbi NSW Australia

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Exhausting

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

          I would definately recommend to anyone to book an adventure with Macs, we took on the 5 night 4 day walk on the Cotswald Way, the scenery is stunning, accomodation was great and the towns are so quaint, the best of the best. Just make sure you do get fit before undertaking and have good hiking boots and wet weather gear. Our time in the Cotswalds had people questioning and remarking on where are you, I want to do that, it looks great! The greeness of the countryside blows your mind, give it a go!

           
          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.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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.

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