Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Cotswold Way way marking
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Highlights

  • Walk the northern section of the Cotswolds Way from Chipping Camden to Bath
  • 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

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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Royal George Hotel - Birdlip

A delightful English Country Hotel set in 26 acres of grounds, which has lovely views over the Gloucestershire Countryside. The hotel has 34 comfortable en-suite bedrooms of individual character and rooms have TV, telephone, hairdryer, iron/ironing board and tea/coffee making facilities.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


 

 

 

In-depth Cotswold Information

For more information on walking in the Cotswolds, you can Download our Free Guide to view offline or you can visit our Online Cotswold Information Page.


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 there 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 waymarked and easy to follow. A comprehensive guidebook and map are supplied.We also provide access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App upon which you can follow the GPS tracks on your phone if you wish.


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, OS maps & guidebook
  • 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 cardiovascular 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. 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.

Beautiful scenery

4

Had fun as usual. I have been on several inn to inn hikes. I recommend doing just the north half unless you really want to do the miles with fields and sheep. I loved the history along the trail.

Alice

Mt. Airy, MD USA

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Great adventure at a great price

5

Using a company like Macs was a new experience for our group. We loved not having to book our own accommodations from home and having our luggage transported for us each day. It meant we only needed a small day pack was we hiked (to carry a rain coat--we were in England, a first aid kit--which we never needed, and snacks. Our accommodations varied each night from old, old inns, to luxury B&Bs, to rooms over the town bar...but each was unique, comfortable, clean, and included a full breakfast in the morning. Caroline was a dream to work with as other friends decided to join us. She put them in the same accommodations as the rest of us or put them very close so that each morning it was easy to meet up. I would definitely recommend Macs to any friends looking to go on a hiking/biking adventure.

On the road

Washington

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An adventure beyond our expectations!

5

The entire trip was wonderful! The people, the place and the adventure itself. The incredible scenery, the pastoral settings and the villages were beyond magical. We met fascinating people on the trail, and others that will remain life-long friends. Thank you to your entire team for creating a company that makes these trips available, and a special thank you to Kellen, in Colorado. She was so helpful in not only booking our trip, but also answering my numerous questions, quickly and knowledgeable.

Andrea

Oregon, United States

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Quite a hike!

5

After having walked the Camino a couple of times, we thought 100 miles of Cotswolds would be a breeze. However, the ups and downs are challenging, but always rewarded with unbelievable views. Very few people, but loads of sheep/cows along the trails, so we had our own personal adventure - nice! We love the English countryside! The B & Bs we were booked into were amazing and the small hotels were OK. We walked in 7 days and probably should have added a day or so in there, but at 65 and 70, we made it and embraced the challenge of those 15-16-17 mile days enthusiastically (mostly). We had fantastic walking weather the whole way. All was very well organized and we especially liked the Macs' App that always showed us where we were - very helpful!

A Couple of Happy Wanderers

Bend, OR

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Even better with MacAdventure

5

Cotswold is an incredible journey, making it with help of Macs Adventures made it more special.

Carol

London

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Third time I have used Macs Adventures

5

Everything good.Accomadation ,transport of bags excellent.Shocking meal at Birdlip Royal George.First time in my life I have had to send a meal back and the replacement meal was no better.Highlight was the three scoops of ice cream for desert and I had to wait half a hour for that.Service was appalling as well.

BJ

Waiheke Island New Zealand

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Definitely would use this company again

5

Since organizing a multi stop trip is complex in a foreign area, having the staff at Mac was the only way I would attempt such an undertaking

Susie

Colorado Springs

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I would recommed this trip

3

Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Great accommodation which was most welcome at the end of each day and great breakfast before setting out each morning. Extremely well organised, bags delivered on time, cannot fault.

Roger

Gloucestershire

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Walking the Cotswold Way.

3

The Cotswold Way is described as a moderately strenuous walk and I suppose for some it is. We were a group of 5 intrepid walkers (above 60, some more fit than others). 3 walked every day, 2 of us missed 3 of the longer days. Our experience was that the printed guide we were following, was inaccurate in terms of distance, a number of days being more than 20 kilometers and also In Terms of difficulty. Even the intrepid walkers described it as arduous. I would recommend having 1 or 2 rest days in some of the larger towns and not walk every day. The Way is also not well marked in some places particularly on large commons. It was great having the ordinance map downloads as a back up and to have our luggage waiting for us after a weary day's walking. I would only suggest this walk to a friend who was VERY fit and a strong Walker. the accommodations organized by Macs were great. Very happy with Macs Adventures organisation.

AnnieP

Sydney, Australia

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Escape to the Cotswolds

5

Having our bags transferred and accommodation booked was great

Sue

Sydney Australia

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Cotswold Way

4.6 131

98.4

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