We all think of stripey tops and garlic as being a French stereotype, when in fact, they are actually just from Brittany, a small region in the north-west of the country. Similarly, you could be mistaken to think the ‘green and pleasant land’ filled with villages with thatched cottage roof and bursting with cream teas was what all of England was like. In fact, this is only one region of concentrated loveliness. This is the Cotswolds.
The best way to immerse yourself in the Cotswolds is to take the classic walking holiday, The Cotswold Way. This trip really does provide all the highlights of quintessential England. There are the honey-coloured houses in the village where everyone knows each other names. There is the rolling emerald green countryside, teeming with birds and insects, going about their business in a relaxed and polite fashion.
Distance: 102 miles. We can split the trip up, so you walk anywhere between 8 and 12 days depending on how relaxed you want your pace to be.
Grade: Moderate, to Moderate to Strenuous. The route itself is a long one, though well signposted and it does have some ups and downs, hence the grade being slightly more strenuous. There are some long days as well, with the longest being 17 miles. However, this can be broken down, should you wish.
The Cotswold Way is located in the south west of England, just outside of Bristol and not too far from London. You start off the walk in the lovely named Chipping Camden which you can reach by bus or a train/bus combination from Bristol and London. Then, after you walk through the green expanse of the Cotswolds, you end up in the stunning UNESCO world heritage city of Bath.
It is the England of most peoples imaginings. It has all the hallmarks of rural England that are alluded to in films and tv all around the world. The buzzword (and now almost the running joke in the office) is that this is quintessential England. The views along the trail are stunning, with a thousand hues of green to accompany you on every twist and turn and you can see why William Blake coined the term ‘green and pleasant land,’ when describing England.
The Cotswold Way is available to walk from April to October. The weather tends to be at its best during this period, with April to June being lovely and springlike, then into the height of summer, which can be glorious, finally tailing off towards the end of September. May and September tend to be the most popular months, just because they are generally so clement.
This is a beautiful part of the world, and I would recommend everyone to have at least one walk in the Cotswolds. Our D&A Specialists know the area inside out and can give you all the advice you will need about the trip, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them by emailing at [email protected]