Cotswold Way (The South)
- Walk the southern section of the Cotswold Way to Bath
- Views of England’s most beautiful landscapes
- Wander through the quiet lanes of picturesque Cotswold villages
- Enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere of a Cotswold country pub
- End in the UNESCO city of Bath - home to amazing Georgian architecture
ItineraryDay 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. A historic wool town, it’s a delight to saunter through, with its 14th and 17th-century buildings, tea shops, restaurants and local pubs.
Troy House is situated in the queen of the Cotswolds - the village of Painswick. It is set in a grade 2 listed building with original features. Off set in a private courtyard allowing ultimate relaxation and tranquillity. Each room has been decorated in natural colours and have all the amenities you require for your overnight stay.
St Anne’s B&B is a traditional English country home furnished with antiques, a log fire and relaxed family atmosphere. They have three guest rooms which are all comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require. The dining room has a large sofa and you are welcome to relax in front of the fire or read the newspapers.
Dating back to 1554 the Falcon is a small hotel and restaurant overlooking the historic village church and it's famous 99 clipped yew trees. All 11 rooms are en-suite, tastefully decorated and have comfortable beds with crisp, white linen. Facilities include toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, free wi-fi, freeview TV, radio alarm clock and hair dryer. An iron, ironing board and fans are available on request. Their restaurant offers the best of fresh, seasonal British food with an interesting twist in the belief that a dish should be savoured to the very last mouthful.
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.
Ascent: 255m / Descent: 355m
Orchardene is a B&B that was built in the early 1820's, in rural King Stanley. Each room has facilities for making a hot drink, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit teas, and fresh milk.
They also provide each room with toiletries, a hair dryer and digital clock radio. Wi-fi access is available free of charge.
The Grey Cottage is built of local Cotswold stone in 1838 and is located between the villages of Leonard Stanley & Kings Stanley. The property is situated in a quarter acre of flower garden. On the ground floor are comfortably furnished sitting and dining rooms with views over the garden. These have genuine log fires lit for when it gets chilly. Flat screen TV. Free WiFi. Rooms are comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
A 36-bedroom, 17th century Manor House Hotel set in six acres of stunning grounds overlooking the Stroud Water Canal and rolling hills of the Stroud Valley.
Please note when staying for the weekend, sometimes there are functions which involve loud music until 00:30.
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.
Ascent: 640m / Descent: 590m
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. They pride themselves on serving high quality food and where the ingredients are sourced locally for their seasonal menus.
Woodland House has six bedrooms.They have a games room with full size table tennis and comfortable leather sofas for relaxing. They also haveo a guest lounge where guests can relax, watch television and have unlimited teas and coffee. A fridge and microwave are also available.
All rooms have Netflix and ‘freesat’ on 32 inch smart televisions, along with high speed broadband and free Wi-Fi.
They offer in-house sports massage and physiotherapy treatments (prior booking needed).
With its beamed ceilings, flagstones floors, and open fires, this 16th-century coaching inn is brimming with original character and charm. Nestled in the lovely Gloucestershire countryside, you’ll find a warm welcome, relaxed atmosphere and cosy rooms. Hunters Hall is a wonderful base for exploring the stunning Cotswolds.
From Wotton, the route leads along a lovely stream to Coombe, then steeply up Blackquarries hill for commanding views across the surrounding area. Around Worley Hill and through the woods the way descends via a sunken lane to the edge of Wortley. From here the path meanders through quiet countryside, past the imposing Somerset Monument, to Horton and the impressive Iron Age hill fort at Little Sodbury. Finally, you descend through the old churchyard to finish in Old Sodbury.
Ascent: 405m / Descent: 410m
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 comfortable facilities and offer tea and coffee, TV, radio and hair dryer.
Richard and Jennifer Woolley have been running this B&B since 1987, the house is very tranquil and provides a peaceful and relaxing end you walking day. They have 2 guest rooms which are comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
The Dog Inn is 500 years old, Grade II Listed, and offers comfortable accommodations retaining all the charm and character of its age. All rooms are fitted with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is accessible to all guests. The pub sells a great variety of food and drinks.
Today is another mostly rural day, crossing fields and farmland to the pretty Dyrham Park, a beautiful old mansion nestling in an ancient deer park. Climb through Dyrham Woods, and continue onward to the village of Cold Ashton. The hamlet is built around a quaint 16th-century church and is a delightfully quiet place to spend the night before your final stretch into Bath.
Ascent: 185m / Descent: 100m
Hill Farm used to be a working farm and the barns were converted in 2012 to provide B&B 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.
Angela will welcome you to this 17th-century country house. You will have free Wi-Fi, drying room and laundry service available.
Leaving Cold Ashton the route crosses the A46 for the last time and heads along Greenway Lane before the ascent up onto Lansdown Hill. Crossing the Civil War battlefield to the Grenville Monument, the Cotswold Way heads out to the scarp edge at Hanging Hill and around Bath Race Course to Prospect Stile Viewpoint and fine vistas of your final destination. Now it’s downhill and through the suburbs, parks and historic streets of Bath to the finish at the Abbey.
Ascent: 260m / Descent: 430m
The Kennard offers comfortable accommodation in an elegant Georgian town house dating from 1794 and located just minutes from the Roman Baths and the new Thermae Spa Complex. You will find modern features including plasma-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi internet. The breakfast room is hung with Venetian chandeliers and is the place to enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast.
They are a small and independent townhouse hotel in the heart of Bath. They have eight bedrooms that effortlessly marry past and present. Each one has its own history and charms, yet all share the latest in up-to-the-minute creature comforts. In their restaurant they serve eight dishes that change with the seasons. All of their plates are small so you can choose two, three or four each and savour the best ingredients available right now from coast, field and forest. Pair your selections with a glass or bottle from their extensive wine list or ask for a recommendation.
You are assured a very warm welcome at Oldfields House. The comfortable rooms offer all one would require to relax after a days walking. With chic décor, complimentary toiletries, tea/coffee making facilities and a flat screen TV, you have the perfect environment in which to unwind.
Check out after breakfast and take a train to London for onward travel connections. Alternatively, ask your Macs destination specialist about arranging extra nights in Bath to explore more of this beautiful small city.
Other InformationIs it for me?
Journey through the green countryside, picturesque villages, quaint stone churches and colourful flower gardens of the Southern Section of the Cotswold Way. Finish in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, full of Roman history and Georgian architecture.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
The Cotswold Way tour is rated easy to moderate overall. The trail is on well-maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields, golf courses and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascents and descents from the escarpment.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.
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 there is a solo walker supplement payable.
If you are walking the full Cotswold Way (or even our "Escape to" and "North" itineraries) we recommend booking at least one extra night in Bath. There is plenty to do in this bustling city known as being the home of well-being. In your information pack, we provide a list of recommended restaurants, cafes and things to do while you are there.
The Cotswold Way is well waymarked and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure App on your phone which has maps, GPS tracks and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account. A comprehensive guidebook and map are also supplied.
- 6 Nights hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
- Daily door to door baggage transfer
- Fully digital routes on the Macs App, detailed information pack, maps and a guidebook.
- Emergency telephone support
- Travel to Painswick
- Travel from Bath
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Extra nights
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.
Painswick is accessible from London with a train service to Stroud. From Stroud, 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 also the National Express website for bus times and schedules.
It is possible to drive to Bath and park at one of its long-stay car parks (it costs approximately £75-£100 to park your car there for a week). From Bath, you can then catch a train to Stroud and follow the instructions above.
Fast and frequent train services connect Bath to London (1h30).
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
If you are travelling from far afield and do have more than one bag it is possible to arrange for the extra luggage to be stored whilst you are on tour for a fee of £25 per bag. These additional bags would be picked up from your accommodation at the start point of your tour and dropped off wherever you finish depending on the itinerary you are doing. This must be booked in advance if you are interested in this option. Please do not show up and ask the driver on your first day of walking.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the direct routes at the time of our pathfinder walking them (this excludes walking to/from your accommodation to the start/end point, or for example coming off the path for lunch). There may be some slight discrepancies/small diversions that make the distances slightly out compared to your own mapping software (Strava/Garmin/Apple Watch).
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), 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.
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.
Walking in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are world-famous for bustling market towns, beautiful villages, and stunning countryside. This short feature follows Mark and Sonia who spent their 30th wedding anniversary walking on a Macs Adventure walking tour in the Cotswolds.
Walking10 Frequently Asked Questions About Walking in the Cotswolds3 Min Read16 February 2018
Tips & AdviceThe Best Chocolate Box Villages in the Cotswolds2 Min Read16 February 2018
Food & DrinkWhere to Eat in the Cotswolds3 Min Read13 February 2018
WalkingWalking in the Cotswolds: Which trip is for me?3 Min Read08 February 2018
WalkingWhat to Pack for Walking in the Cotswolds3 Min Read08 February 2018
WalkingHow fit should I be for a walking trip in the Cotswolds?3 Min Read06 February 2018
WalkingCotswolds Highlight - Things to do in Bath2 Min Read16 November 2016
WalkingHow do I navigate the Cotswold Way?1 Min Read30 November 2013
WalkingWhy Book a Slow Adventure in the Cotswolds?2 Min Read01 February 2021
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