Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Bath, at the end of the Cotswold Way
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Highlights

  • Walking the southern section of the Cotswold Way to Bath
  • Views of England’s most beautiful landscapes
  • Wandering through the quiet lanes of picturesque Cotswold villages
  • Enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of a Cotswold country pub
  • Bath, home to some of England’s most amazing Georgian architecture

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.

DAY 1: Arrive Painswick

Take a train service from London to Stroud and from here a 4 mile bus or taxi ride,

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.


DAY 2: Walk 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.



DAY 3: Walk to Wotton-under-Edge—15 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.


DAY 4: Walk to Old Sodbury—13 miles

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.


DAY 5: Walk to Cold Ashton—9 miles

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.


DAY 6: Walk to Bath—10 miles

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.


DAY 7: Onward Travel


Accommodation

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.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


Solo Walkers

This walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs their is a solo walker supplement payable.


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. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.



 

 

 




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 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.


 

 

 

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.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

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.


Navigation

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


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.


Accommodation Location

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.


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 Painswick

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.


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


Getting from Bath

Fast and frequent train services connect Bath to London (1h30). Please check the National Rail or the Traveline website for train times and schedules

Included

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

Excluded

  • Travel to Painswick
  • Travel from Bath
  • 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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