Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Cotswold Way way marking
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Highlights

  • Fine walking through typical Cotswold countryside on the Cotswold Way
  • Wandering through the quiet lanes of picturesque Cotswold villages
  • Enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of a Cotswold country pub
  • Broadway, Stanton and Chipping Campden
  • Marvelling at the stunning views from Broadway Tower

Walk the northern section of the Cotswold Way through the finest scenery of the Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Painswick. A five day and 45 mile walk on the Cotswold Way through some of the finest scenery in England.

The Northern Cotswold Way explores the quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds. A beautiful green landscape of rolling farmland, quiet woods and picturesque villages steeped in history. Choose this itinerary if you want to explore the best of the Cotswolds on foot but don't have time to walk the full Cotswold Way. Revel in the stunning views from Broadway Tower, a round stone folly inspired by Capability Brown. Enjoy afternoon tea in a cosy tearoom in one of the many quaint Cotswold villages you pass through and admire the colourful gardens of the locals.

DAY 1: 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. It’s only a  two-hour train journey from London to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and six-mile taxi or bus ride brings you easily to the start of your holiday.


DAY 2: 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 day.


DAY 3: 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 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. This small town was once an important Saxon settlement.


DAY 4: Winchcombe to Dowdeswell—11 miles

The scenic and historically interesting six-mile stretch takes you 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.


DAY 5: 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.


DAY 6: Birdlip to Painswick—7 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.


DAY 7: Onward Travel

Accommodation

Your Cotswold Way trip includes accommodation in carefully selected 3 or 4 star 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.


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 their is a solo walker supplement to cover this.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide
a packed lunch on request and there are plenty of places to stop or pick up a picnic. Dinner is available either at your
accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.


Additional Nights

If you would like to spend extra time in the Cotswolds, or perhaps build in a rest day we would recommend Chipping Campden, Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Water and Painswick. 



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.


 

 

 

Availability

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


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This walking tour is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable. If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


Navigation

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


Grade & Terrain

The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascent and descent from the escarpment but in general the walking is fairly easy.


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.


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 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

Road: National Express coaches serve Bath, Cheltenham and Broadway. Unsecure on street parking is available in Chipping Campden.


Rail: 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 o Chipping Camden. It is the Line 22 bus, it takes approximately 25 inutes and the buses leave hourly (approx £3 cost).


Getting from Painswick

Taxi or bus services are available for the 4 miles from Painswick to Stroud. From Stroud there are train services to London.


Please check the National Rail Enquiries for train times and schedules and the also the National Express website for bus times and schedules

Included

  • 6 Nights accommodation in hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Daily door to door baggage transfer
  • A detailed pre-departure information pack
  • 1:40 000 Cotswold Way map
  • A comprehensive Cotswold Way guide book
  • Emergency 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 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 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.

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. 

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 is the best way to get to/from the walk?

We recommend you travel by train. Further travel information is available on our essential information page . If you are driving we recommend leaving your car in Chipping Campden where on street parking is available.

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 104 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (63)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (36)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (98)
  • Fun (78)
  • Great accommodations (77)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (39)

Cons

  • Exhausting (10)

Best Uses

  • Holiday (82)
  • Trying something new (47)
  • Relaxation (45)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (49), World traveller (31), Avid adventurer (18)

Reviewed by 104 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

We had a fabulous walk

By sharmaine and gerrit

from Cotswolds

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • of our 12 nights only 2 were marginal
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • for 70 year olds 10 miles a day was plenty

Best Uses

  • a beautiful way to experience a culture
  • Holiday
  • Relaxation

Comments about macs adventure Cotswold Way:

An all round lovely vacation! People were welcoming and interested in our walking experience. The walk was a challenge at times but we were able to use the option of public transit on 2 occasions when it was just a "little too much" for us that day. Scenery was stunning. Weather was good. I'm a vegetarian...the food was delicious and nutritious...just what one needs for a days walk. Thanks again Macs for a great adventure.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
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.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    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.

        (3 of 3 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.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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.

          (3 of 3 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!

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