Cotswold Way - 12 Days & 11 Nights12 Days & 11 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 graded 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.
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.
- A detailed information pack, maps and a guide book.
- 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 arrive at the hamlet of Church Stanway and the ornate gatehouse and tithe barn of Stanway House. From here there is a steep climb up to Stumps Cross and onto the Iron Age Hill Fort of Beckbury Camp for commanding views over the surrounding area. A short descent takes you down to the remains of the medieval Hailes Abbey then continuing over the fields and into Winchcombe.
Ascent: 210m / Descent: 235m
The Lion Inn is formerly a coaching inn dating back to the 1500s, following a major renovation the Inn has been given a new lease of life; the rooms now have their own individual style and character, rooms are clutter free which means they do not have TV’s. You can enjoy delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food and a great selection of beer, wine and spirits in a beautiful, relaxing environment in the restaurant and bar.
Blair House is an attractive late Georgian residence in the ancient Saxon town of Winchcombe. It has three guest bedrooms, all charmingly decorated. Each room has a TV, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. In addition there is a sitting room for guests on the ground floor, with magazines and TV. Located within walking distance of local pubs, restaurants and shops. And also a Tourist Information Centre during the summer months.
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. They also have a range of wines from around the world, the wine shop is next to the bar, showing off this year’s top 100 from over 2,500 wines tasted.
A scenic and historically interesting walk from Winchcombe, passing Sudeley Castle in the distance, and the Neolithic long barrow of Belas Knap. From here you ascend onto Cleeve Common with panoramic views over the Cheltenham countryside. Finally, the route takes you to the summit of Cleeve Hill, the highest point on the Cotswold Way. 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).
As there are no accommodations in Seven Springs you will likely be overnighting in Cheltenham with an included return transfer.
Ascent: 625m / Descent: 505m
Cotswold Grange is an independent hotel situated in a quiet leafy avenue of similar grand buildings. Rooms are equipped with a TV, radio, tea/coffee-making facilities. Beds have deep mattresses and crisp white linen sheets. Ornately decorated, the high ceilinged dining room has huge windows.
The George is inspired by the origniality and diversity of the local area.The George is approachable, warm and friendly and big on design and living like a local. The George offers 46 deisgn-led rooms which come equipped with blackout curtains, rainfall shower, Wi-Fi and a Smart TV. There is contactless check-in, a 24-hour pantry, and drop-and-go check-out. There are leisure amenities available, which can be booked through front of house team.
No.38 The Park offers a luxurious stay and a sublime selection of sustenance in the restaurant to fuel your adventures. In each one of the beautiful bespoke bedrooms, bold statement prints and mismatched textures are the order of the day. All of the bedrooms at No.38 The Park are dog friendly. No.38 The Park uniquely combines the luxury of a hotel with the independence of a bed and breakfast creating a warm and homely feel.
A transfer from your overnight accommodation will take you back to Seven Springs. Leaving the busy roads, you are soon in open countryside, ascending Hartley Hill and onto Leckhampton Hill with its panoramic views and interesting rock faces. The route then passes through the countryside and a short road section to climb Crickley Hill and finish in Birdlip.
Ascent: 190m / Descent: 135m
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.
Ascent: 240m / Descent: 355m
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.
This country inn is situated right in the centre of Painswick. Each room offers garden views and all the home comforts you require. They also have two beauty and spa treatment rooms for the extra bit of pampering. You can also enjoy the sun terrace which overlooks the garden. At the very heart of their country inn, is their food, they are all about breaking the rules plating up a sort of ‘contemporary-contradiction’ of fresh and punchy cooking.
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
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.
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 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 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.
What to Pack for Walking in the CotswoldsWalking in the Cotswolds is generally a pleasant experience. However ...
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