Lovely countryside, well marked path. Lots of ups and downs. I can't think of a better way to see the countryside.
Rick & Ann
Walk the southern section of the Cotswold Way from Painswick, through the beauty of the Cotswolds, to Bath.
The southern section of the Cotswold Way explores the quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds. A beautiful green landscape of rolling farmland, quiet woodland and picturesque villages. Your walk ends is the city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surely one of England's most beautiful cities.
The trail runs through the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and passes through a succession of enchanting English villages, featuring brimming with fine architecture.
Painswick is nestled quietly amongst the Cotswold Hills. An historic wool town, it’s a delight to saunter through, with its 14th and 17th century buildings, tea shops, restaurants and local pubs.
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.
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.
Follow a stream out of Wotton-under-Edge before climbing back up onto the escarpment and passing close to the National Trust property of Newark Park. Then head to the village of Alderley and from here pass through a peaceful valley and other small villages, past an ancient drover's pond and farmland before arriving at todays destination, the village of Old Sodbury.
This morning you will see the wonderful Capability Brown parkland of Dodington Park before crossing the final few fields into the village of Tormarton. Leave Tormarton to the south and cross arable land to a small path that passes round the perimeter wall of Dyrham Park - a William and Mary mansion nestling in an ancient deer park. From the village of Dyrham, climb up through Dyrham Woods before continuing through farmland and into the village of Cold Ashton.
Descend into the beautiful secluded valley at Lower Hamswel, then climb up to the site of the bloody civil war battle of Lansdown. Pass the promontory hill fort at Little Down and the famous Bath Racecourse before emerging at Prospect Stile (now a kissing gate), where the first views of Bath can be glimpsed in the valley below.
The trail continues to offer glimpses of fine parks and regency architecture on its way to Bath Abbey, where a stone disc set into the pavement marks the end of the Cotswold Way.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
This walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable.
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. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable. The holiday is also available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable.
The Cotswold Way is a National Trail and is fully way marked and easy to follow. A comprehensive guidebook and map are also supplied.
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 moderate.
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.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the tour itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability we may have to accommodate you 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.
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.
Painswick is accessible from London with a train service to Stroud. From Stroud there are taxi or bus services are available for the 4 miles from Stroud to Painswick.
Fast and frequent train services connect Bath to London (1h30). Please check the National Rail or the Traveline website for train times and schedules
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.
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.
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.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof),
comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack
and hats/gloves etc.
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.
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.
We recommend you travel by train. If you are driving we recommend leaving your car in Chipping Campden where on-street parking is available.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
Lovely countryside, well marked path. Lots of ups and downs. I can't think of a better way to see the countryside.
Rick & Ann
We thoroughly enjoyed our walks. The scenery was everything we expected and the weather was even perfect. We were prepared for rain but lucked out and didn't have any. The accommodations were excellent at every location, and the people we met were all friendly, regardless of where they were from.
The walk was fairly hilly so quite tiring at times but quite manageable. The accommodation was of varying standards varying from a noisy pub on the first Saturday in Chipping Camden and finishing with an up market boutique hotel in Bath. All were quite comfortable though. A great holiday overall and perfect for exploring the Cotswolds.
The Cotswold Way was our second walking holiday organized by MacsAdventure. All our expectations were met, as well as by the organization as on the trail trough an outstanding landscape. We absolutely recommend the walking time of 9 days to have some time to enjoy the surroundings.
Had a nice time on our third Macs Adventure holiday, this time to the Cotswolds. The views were stunning and accommodations were nice; everything MA had control of was perfect. The way was not very well marked at all points, and many turns could easily be missed, or often there 3 paths mown into a field and we (and others we met along the way) had to guess and hope for the best (we managed to always guess right - pick the middle path!). We were lucky to have all sun and no rain, which made for some really steep, hot hiking with not a lot of shade in some spots, so wear sunscreen! I think we were ruined by having done the Great Glen Way the last year, which is beautiful, but the Cotswolds Way was nice enough.
South Carolina, USA
This trip was presented by Kellen as an option, when I decided that my previous choice was not reasonable given my preparation time. I chose the normal rate, seven full days walking, or 16 miles per day. The interaction with Kellen was excellent all through the planning process, and the execution of the trip was flawless. All lodging was comfortable, with typically very good dinner on site or near by. My bag was transferred daily without issues. I have already booked another walking trip with MacsAdventure.
If you need wonderfully beautiful, long vistas, green fields, rolling hills, mountains, lakes and solitude, this trail is not for you. You should do the Coast to Coast instead. The Cotswolds is a loose collection of towns roughly 8-15 miles apart whose only reason for existing as a destination seems to be that most - if not all - of the buildings are constructed of Cotswold stone. Very few thatched roofs remain. If you're not a fan of this architecture or are of the mind that "if you've seen one you've seen them all", this hike is not for you. If you prefer to wander the open spaces far from the traffic and sounds of the city, this hike is not for you. If you must have civilization nearby for most of the day to feel safe/secure walking the "wilds" of England, this is your hike.
Eaton Center, NH, USA
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.
sharmaine and gerrit
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.
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.
Green Mountain Hiker