Cotswold Way - 9 Days & 8 Nights9 Days & 8 Nights 4.6 Read 201 reviews
- Walking the Cotswold Way, one of England's finest National Trails.
- Explore Broadway, Stanton and other pretty villages of the Cotswolds.
- Enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of a Cotswold country pub.
- Fine walking through quintessential English countryside.
- Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage city, at the end of the Cotswold Way.
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.
This trip is suitable for:
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Long-Distance Trails
Activity Level & Terrain
This tour is rated easy to moderate overall. However, if you choose an itinerary which is 9 days or less, then the rating becomes moderate to strenuous, as you will be walking more miles per day. 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.
The Cotswold Way is a National Trail and is fully way marked. A comprehensive guidebook and map are supplied.
Experience & FitnessThe Escape to the Cotswold is a classic inn-to-inn walking tour at heart, most of the walks on the tour are graded easy to moderate (therefore the tour collectively is graded as easy to moderate), however, there is a single walk that is graded moderate. For those that would rather spend some more time in the pubs or cafes or those simply looking for an easier day, there are options to either shorten the walks or take public transport on most days.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected B&B’s, 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 their is a solo walker supplement payable.
- Hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels.
- Door to door baggage transfers.
- Fully digital routes on the Macs App, detailed information pack, maps and a guidebook.
- Emergency telephone support
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Extra nights
When To Go
You can start The Cotswold Way on any day of the week between the start of April and mid-October, subject to availability. It is great at any time throughout the season as all the flowers will be in bloom throughout this time. The Cotswolds are very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.
** Please be aware that at the beginning of May the Badminton Horse Trials are held and it is a challenge to find accommodation in Kings Stanley, Old Sodbury and Cold Ashton during this time.
It should also be noted that we will not book accommodation in Stanton on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night due to the fact there is no-where to eat in the village on those evenings. If your booking does land in Stanton on those days then we will amend your itinerary to include an overnight stop in Broadway and adjust the mileages. If Broadway is not available, we may also occasionally book 2 nights in Winchcombe and include return transfers at no extra cost.
Getting to the Start
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 to Chipping Camden. It is the Line 22 bus, it takes approximately 25 minutes and the buses leave hourly (approx £3 cost). Please note buses do not run on Sundays.
Getting from the End
Fast and frequent train services connect Bath to London (1h30). If you have left a car in Chipping Campden getting back from Bath on public transport rail/bus takes about 3.5 hours. We don’t recommend you leave a car in Bath as long term parking is expensive.
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 the 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. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.
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/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.
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/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.
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.
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 six months before your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
Depends on which guidebooks/maps/route notes you use for your particular trip, it can be possible to combine them. Check with your destination specialist, and they will be more than happy to let you know if your itinerary is possible.
We would recommend Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, and Hidcote, famous for its rare trees and shrubs. Click here for a full list of Gardens and Arboreta in the Cotswolds.
There are many houses and historical monuments throughout the Cotswolds, and what you can see depends on the itinerary you are doing. There are historic houses, rustic ruins and many museums for you to explore. Click here for a full list of Historic Houses and Museums.
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 the path is arguably at its most beautiful in the Spring.
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.
ItineraryDay 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 here before starting the walk. A two-hour train journey from London to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and 6-mile taxi or bus bring you easily to the start of your holiday.
A warm welcome awaits you at Park Road B&B, they are family run and have 2 lovely en-suite guest rooms. Their rooms are centrally heated with tea & coffee making facilities and all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
The Volunteer Inn is a 17th century pub with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. They have cobbled courtyard and well maintained gardens which can be enjoyed during the summer months and a warm cosy log fire in the winter. Rooms are comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require. Please note that the pub is popular on the weekends and therefore you will hear some noise but we will try and accommodate you in a room as far away from the bar as possible.
This tea room has en-suite accommodation upstairs. All rooms are tastefully decorated with a comfortable and cosy feel. The Bantam Tea Rooms was built in 1693 and directly overlooks the 17th Century Market Hall. There is also a peaceful, private guest lounge and on those cold mornings you can enjoy your delicious breakfast by the roaring log fire.
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 tea rooms of Broadway are a welcome diversion before heading back into the hills. The idyllic village of Stanton welcomes you at the end of the section.
Ascent: 380m / Descent: 425m
Shenberrow is a country house in 8 acres of North Cotswolds’s little village of Stanton. All rooms for comfortably furnished with en-suite bathrooms and all the usual comforts in the way of TV & tea & coffee making facilities.
The Old Post House offers accommodation in an old converted stable block furnished with original antiques and comfortable beds. The rooms have a television, radio and the facility for making tea and coffee. Breakfast is served in the house itself, in what used to be Stanton’s original post office.
New Forge House is a comfortable B&B which has 2 double en-suite rooms. The rooms have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
Leaving Stanton, you soon discover the Iron Age hill fort Beckbury Camp dating back to 2,000 BC, before arriving at medieval Hailes Abbey. The 13th Century ruins and newly built museum (open April-August, payable locally) are wonderful to explore and discover the history of the monks who lived and worshipped at the abbey for nearly three centuries. Continue via Sudeley Castle, part of England’s history for over 1,000 years, featuring a beautiful 15th-century church and lovely gardens. Pass Belas Knap, a huge Neolithic burial chamber, and then on to Cleeve Hill, the highest point of the Cotswolds hill range.
Ascent: 590m / Descent: 385m
The hotel sits close to the top of Cleeve Hill, which is the highest point in the Cotswolds and has exceptional views across Cheltenham to the Malvern Hills. Each of their rooms is individually decorated, all are a generous size, en-suite with TVs, and Tea/Coffee making facilities. Their light, airy breakfast room commands stunning views across the local countryside, and their excellent breakfasts are renowned for being extremely generous and will provide the perfect start to your day. The Trust Bar is available to residents 24hrs a day, offering a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, either in the lounge or in your room.
Marco and Cathy Giorgi draw on their many years of experience and professionalism, to make sure that every little detail is taken care of. 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. Plus, each room has its own private ensuite facilities (except 'Hereford' which has its bathroom across a small hallway. Towelling robes are provided). You can indulge yourself with their luxury rain showers, complimentary toiletries and large fluffy white towels as standard.
Leaving Cleeve Hill, enjoy a series of outstanding panoramic views of the rolling green hills of the Cotswold countryside to Cheltenham and beyond. Pass through peaceful woodland and quiet country lanes before descending through Dowdeswell Wood to a reservoir and then on to Seven Springs (believed to be the source of the Thames). After leaving the busy Severn Springs you are soon in open countryside ascending Hartley Hill and onto Leckhampton Hill with its panoramic views and interesting rock faces. From here the route passes through countryside and a short road section to ascend Crickley Hill and on to finish in Birdlip.
Ascent: 440m / Descent: 485m
An English Country Hotel set in 26 acres of grounds, which has views over the Gloucestershire Countryside. The hotel has 34 comfortable en-suite bedrooms of individual character. The restaurant offers a great selection of traditional British favourites, from hearty main courses to lighter snacks, complemented by a selection of carefully selected wines, cask ales and speciality teas and coffees.
A gentle woodland walk leads out of Birdlip following the foot of the escarpment towards Cooper’s Hill. The woods are a carpet of flowering plants in the spring. The path then climbs steeply up to the top of Cooper’s Hill, the scene of the famous annual Cheese Rolling festival! Continuing on through Buckholt Wood and Painswick Golf Course a short detour to Painswick Beacon is recommended. From here the path leads downhill into the delight that is Painswick itself. Ancient woodlands, rural tranquillity and vast panoramas combine to deliver a walker’s paradise on the next section of today’s walk. Stanley Mill on the edge of Kings Stanley once employed 1,000 people and is a testament to the area's rich history in the woollen trade.
Ascent: 480m / Descent: 670m
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.
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.
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.
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 Old Sodbury. Leaving Old Sodbury the Cotswold Way leads through fields to Coombs End. Here farmland gives way to the parkland of the Dodington Estate, originally designed by Capability Brown. Leaving the estate the path continues to the small village of Tormarton to finish at the Interesting church of St Mary Magdalene.
Ascent: 470m / Descent: 380m
The Compass Inn is a medium sized, family run, hotel set in the beautiful South Cotswolds. The Orangery Restaurant has a reputation for using the very best of local produce and seasonal game, as well as a fine wine list.
Noades House is a traditional Cotswold stone built house offering comfortable accommodation very close to the trail. Rooms are freshly decorated and have all the amenities for your overnight stay.
From Tormarton the route goes over the busy M4 motorway before veering off into the more peaceful countryside. The country lanes take you to the edge of Dyrham Park and past Hinton Hill with its ancient hill fort. Through the hamlet of Dryham and past the National Trust Dyrham House with its exquisite gardens, you finally arrive in the quiet village of Cold Ashton with its marvellous southerly aspect. 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: 375m / Descent: 530m
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.
What to Pack for Walking in the CotswoldsWalking in the Cotswolds is generally a pleasant experience. However ...
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