OVERVIEW

Walk the Cotswold Way, from the northern medieval market town of Chipping Campden to the world heritage city of Bath in the south. Follow a rolling trail through picture-perfect English countryside. Hike across wild meadows and grazing pastures, as you climb to hilltop Neolithic burial sites and ancient battlefields of the English Civil War.

Descend over a patchwork of farmland to explore the charming streets, thatched cottages and trading houses of Stanton and Broadway, where it's worth making time for a traditional afternoon tea. Venture deep into ancient woodlands before visiting the 17th century baroque mansion house and deer park of Dyrham. Concluding at the magnificent Bath Abbey, pass through the lavish Georgian streets of The Royal Crescent, Lansdowne Circus and one of the world's greatest spas of the ancient world, The Roman Baths.

Highlights

  • Walk the Cotswold Way from Chipping Campden to beautiful Bath, England's picture-postcard national trail
  • Discover the thatched cottages and honey-coloured houses of Stanton and Broadway
  • Hike through the rolling English countryside, across grazing pastures and into ancient woodlands
  • Soak up the atmosphere of historic Cotswolds pubs, sampling the local beer
  • Enjoy a traditional cream tea in the historic wool town of Painswick
  • Explore the Neolithic burial sites, medieval abbeys and elegant manor houses of the Cotswolds
  • Visit the UNESCO listed city of Bath with its Roman Baths and exquisitely preserved Georgian architecture

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
9 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20 plus km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2095

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 1035

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Arrive Chipping Camden

Start your exploration of the Cotswolds in the enchanting market town of Chipping Campden. Within easy reach of Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Chipping Campden boasts an elegant high street with many of its buildings dating back to the medieval period. Its centrepiece is the 17th-century limestone market hall which was built to provide shelter for traders of cheese, butter and poultry over the past centuries. For many walkers, an extra night is often added to explore the beauty of Chipping Campden (or nearby Stratford-upon-Avon) before beginning the walk.

Accommodation: Bantam Tea Rooms
Located in the heart of Chipping Campden, Bantam Tea Rooms overlooks the 17th-century market hall. The building itself is over 300 years old and has featured as a dairy, butchers and antiques hall. More recently, in the 1950’s ‘Mrs Betty Brock and her Babes’ ran the property as a tea room, which eventually became this welcoming accommodation for walkers!

DAY 2
Walk to Stanton (or Stanway)

Leaving the historic streets of Chipping Campden head out onto the Cotswold Way hiking through crop fields and grazing pastures as you gently ascend to Dovers Hill and the ancient remains of a Roman vineyard. The route continues through wild meadows and woodland to the panoramic viewpoint and folly tower of Broadway, where below, the pristine tree-lined streets of Broadway town make for a great lunch spot. From Broadway, a steady climb continues through a succession of forests and rolling meadows before your final descent of the day to the thatched cottages and limestone houses of Stanton village.

Walk: 16.5km
Ascent: 400m
Descent: 400m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: The Post House
Dating back to the 17th century, this family run guest house offers comfortable en-suite accommodation. Complete with friendly dogs, Ivy and Radish, your host Jo, provides a hearty breakfast with homemade preserves, fresh breads, croissants and of course, a traditional English breakfast.

DAY 3
Walk to Cleeve Hill

Begin the day with an easy stroll across wild meadows and farmland to the hamlet of Stanway, where you will pass by the 16th century Jacobean Manor, Stanway House. Climbing out of Stanway, ascend to high grazing pastures before descending to Hailes, where you can visit the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey, built in 1246. Only a few KM’s further sees you arrive into the lively town of Winchcombe, home to Sudeley Castle and burial place of Queen Katherine-Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII. Onwards from Winchcombe, the trail rolls to Cleeve Hill, the highest peak of the Cotswolds. Here, soak up far-reaching views of Cheltenham Spa and across to the Malvern Hills before arriving at your accommodation for the night.

Walk: 20.5km
Ascent: 570m
Descent: 370m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Cleeve Hill Hotel
At the foot of Cleeve Hill and only a few minutes stroll from the nearby pub, this hotel has been welcoming walkers for many years (guests always enjoy the honesty bar, stocked with local gin!). En-suite rooms are comfortable with complimentary tea and coffee in good supply. Serving organic, locally sourced produce is the perfect set-up to tackle Cleeve Hill!

DAY 4
Walk to Birdlip

After a morning climb to the summit of Cleeve Hill follow an undulating route along the western Cotswold escarpment, high above the town of Cheltenham. A short climb leads to Devil’s Chimney, a twisted funnel limestone rock formation on the rugged trails of Leckhampton Hill where views expand over the Vale of Gloucester. The trail continues into the ancient forests of Crickley Hill as you make your way to the village of Birdlip, located on the old Roman Road between Gloucester and Cirencester.

Walk: 25.5km
Ascent: 600m
Descent: 620m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Royal George Inn
A 3* hotel in Birdlip that offers an extensive bar and restaurant serving all the British pub classics, such as bangers (sausages) and mash, fish and chips and slow cooked beef pie. On tap are a number of local beers, along with an extensive selection of gins from across the UK.

DAY 5
Walk to Kings Stanley

A predominantly wooded walk this morning that follows the forested tracks of Buckle, Coopershill, Upton and Popes Wood as you make your way to Painswick. This honeypot village is about half-way along the trail so if you’re considering adding a rest day, Painswick is the perfect place to do so (we’d definitely suggest a visit to the UK’s last remaining Rococo Gardens if you do). Climbing out of Painswick, the trail traverses woodlands to Haresfield Beacon where you can see across to the River Severn and Forest of Dean on the Welsh border. Descending between the towns of Stonehouse and Stroud, pass by the old woollen mill of Kings Stanley village before arriving at your accommodation.

Walk: 27km
Ascent: 1140m
Descent: 1350m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Stonehouse Court Hotel
This proud hotel sits on the Cotswolds Way trail within the village of Kings Stanley. It began as a magnificent manor house during the 17th century, that has had a rich history of beauty and intrigue. On private grounds of six acres overlooking the Stroud Valley and canal.

DAY 6
Walk to Wotton Under Edge

A challenging and enjoyable day as you climb to the Cotswolds Escarpment and up to Coaley Peak. Along the way, visit Nympsfield Long Barrow (a Neolithic burial site dating back to 2500BC). From Coaley, the route rolls on to the market town of Dursley, perfect for a spot of lunch. The steady climb out of Dursley heads up to Nibley Knoll and the Tyndale Monument, built in honour of William Tyndale (translator of the New Testament, 1530). From here the route turns south-east through Westridge Woods to Wotton Under Edge.

Walk: 24km
Ascent: 850m
Descent: 800m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: The Swan Hotel
A favourite with the locals, The Swan Hotel has been welcoming travellers since the 17th century. This old coaching inn has a bar, snug and restaurant so you don’t have to wander too far after a day walking the ‘Wolds. Rooms have been designed in keeping with the history of this historic property.

DAY 7
Walk to Tormarton

After leaving the market town of Wootton, climb to the woodland above the fields of ‘Nanny Farmer’s Bottom’. It’s then downhill to the hamlet of Wortley and southwards along the valley through the former wool-producing villages of Alderley and Hawkesbury. The route then heads through crop fields, grazing pastures and across the grandeur of Dodington House and Park, built in 1798. The route today finishes at the sleepy village of Tormarton.

Walk: 24km
Ascent: 600m
Descent: 530m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Compass Inn
Nestled in 6 acres of grounds, relax in your spacious en-suite room before dining in the organery (a vine-covered conservatory restaurant). Choose between pub classics or a la carte dining and round things off with a nightcap in the cottage bar.

DAY 8
Walk to Bath

An early start today would allow ample time to explore the lavish 17th-century baroque manor house and grounds of Dyrham Park. South of Dyrham, climb to the settlement of Cold Ashton as the route turns south-west towards Lansdowne Hill (the site of a bloody battle between Royalists and Parliamentarians during the English Civil War in 1643). With Bath now in sight, descend to the outskirts of this Roman city. Follow the final few km’s along the Georgian streets and architectural landmarks of The Royal Crescent and Lansdowne Circus, before finishing at the official ‘Cotswold Way’ limestone marker at the foot of Bath Abbey.

Walk: 27km
Ascent: 420m
Descent: 570m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Henrietta House
Steeped in history, this double fronted Georgian property dates back to the 1780’s and is located in the ‘new town’ of Bath. All rooms are en-suite with period furnishings and artwork. Breakfast is lovingly made by the resident chef, who even roasts fresh granola each morning.

DAY 9
Onward Travel

With plenty to do in Bath, you may wish to add another night or 2 to further explore the city and nearby villages. Bradford-on-Avon is well worth a visit if you have the time. If you are departing on this day, your accommodation would be happy to store your luggage after check-out if you require.

Meals included: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 8 nights accommodation in B&B’s, pubs and 3* hotels
  • All luggage transfers
  • Pack free inn to inn walking
  • Flexibility to add nights and further explore this timeless region of England
  • 8 breakfasts
  • A day to explore the Roman and Georgian architecture and sights of Bath
  • Maps, guidebook and route notes
  • 24/7 telephone support

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

During this tour, you will spend each night in local inn’s, pubs, family-run guesthouses or small hotels. Many of these accommodations are steeped in history and date back several centuries, adding to the depth of your Cotswold experience. Accustomed to welcoming walkers, each of your hosts are knowledgeable about the region and are happy to help with any questions or assistance you might need. Of course, you can always call us too should you need anything during your walk. As many of the overnight stays are in small villages or towns, on occasion we may have to book another similar accommodation of equal standard. We will discuss these options with you during the booking process.

You will be provided with 8 breakfasts. Lunches each day can be provided by your accommodation provider or cafes or shops nearby. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

GENERAL INFO

About the walking

Typically, days are generally easy-going underfoot and you should be used to covering up to 25km per day with up to 600m of ascent and descent. Trails are usually well defined and cover a variety of terrain. You will be walking on forest tracks, woodland trails, bridleways, across rolling farmland and through wild meadows. You will also walk through villages, towns and on short sections of very quiet country lanes that often do not have footpaths so do be mindful of other road users. A moderate active lifestyle makes walking enjoyable, an exercise regime of 2 to 3 times a week is needed.

Although the route is well way marked, for each of your walks, you will be provided with routes notes, a map and the GPX tracks if you require to use them for your own device.

This walk is available from late April through to early October

Up to the end of May, you may encounter a few showers (it is England after all) and the fields are vibrant with crops of yellow rapeseed in bloom. Meadows and village gardens are blooming with life. From June through to August (summer months), the daylight is longer making it the perfect time for enjoying hillside picnics and sampling local beer in the pub gardens. Into September, the fields are busy with harvest preparations and often summer days can stretch into September. Whatever time of year you choose, you should always be prepared for a change of season during the day!

How to get there and away

Travel to Chipping Campden, England. When do I need arrive on day 1?

This walk starts in Chipping Campden and ends in Bath Spa. You can arrive at your accommodation at any time on day 1. Should you arrive before the check-in time of 3pm your luggage can be stored at the accommodation. If you cannot arrive at your accommodation until after 9pm, please let us know so we can ensure there is somebody available to check you in. Please refer to your accommodation list for directions and information about your first night’s stay in Chipping Campden.

How to get to Chipping Campden, England, the start of your walk

By Air Travel: Chipping Campden does not have an airport or train station but it’s not far from the nearby train station at Moreton in Marsh (which has excellent train links to London Paddington). At London Paddington you can easily connect with central London or the airports of London Heathrow and Gatwick.

From London Heathrow to London Paddington: The Heathrow Express service is by far the easiest. Trains run every 15mins and with a journey time of 15mins from London Heathrow to Paddington, this is the quickest transfer time. It is a good idea to pre-book tickets (purchases on the day are more expensive). Tickets can be booked at https://www.heathrowexpress.com/news#/ and are from £15 one way. From Heathrow arrivals, follow the signs for ‘Heathrow Express’. As there are 4 services an hour, you do not have to rush.

Alternatively, a cheaper but longer journey would be to use the London Underground to Paddington. From the arrival’s hall, follow signs for the London Underground and take the Piccadilly Line, changing at Earls Court for Paddington (around 1-hour journey time and around £8). Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train.

From London Gatwick to London Paddington: At London Gatwick train station, take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station (30mins travel time) and change for a tube on the District Line to London Paddington (20mins). Ticket prices will vary and again, do book in advance for the cheapest tickets.

London Paddington to Chipping Campden via Moreton in Marsh: A straightforward, direct train departs London Paddington and arrives in Moreton Marsh 1hr 30mins later. Tickets are best purchased in advance from The Trainline website.

On arrival into Moreton in Marsh, if you wish to book a transfer from Moreton in Marsh to Chipping Campden, we can add this to your booking (20mins journey time and approximately £35 per car). Or you can take the bus from Moreton in Marsh station which is around a 30min journey time and around £5. Bus timetables can be accessed here.

If you are travelling from Birmingham Airport or from one of the main Birmingham train stations, you will need to a catch a train service from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford upon Avon. On arrival at Stratford upon Avon, change for a bus service direct to Chipping Campden (total journey time around 3hrs, £15, departs outside the train station).

ONWARD TRAVEL FROM BATH SPA, ENGLAND

Bath Spa has a mainline station which has regularly hourly services to London Paddington (1hr 30mins), or Bristol Temple Meads (15mins). From Bristol you can change for services to the north of England or further south west into Devon and Cornwall. If you are heading north it might be cheaper (and quicker) to return to London Paddington first. It is worth doing your homework to avoid high train fares.

For all train travel in the UK, prices, timetables and ticket reservations can be made through The Trainline.

If you are going to be in London for a few days before or after your walk it might be more cost effective to purchase an Oyster Card which is a prepaid travel card for the London transport network. You can purchase one at stations and many small stores. For travel on the London Transport network, please access https://tfl.gov.uk

A useful planning tool for travel is Rome2Rio should you be travelling from, or to other destinations in the UK or Europe.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never board a train in the UK without a ticket. Although some rural train services permit onboard ticket purchases the majority of train services do not allow this and will either fine you (up to £200) and/or ask you leave at the next stop.

Train travel in the UK can be very expensive. Booking trains in advanced is always the most cost effective. Often travelling off peak (after 9:30am and not between the hours of 3:30pm -6:30pm) can significantly reduce ticket prices.

Onward Travel From Bath

Bath Spa train station has excellent and frequent services to Cardiff (1hr 15mins), London Paddington (1hr 30mins), Bristol (15mins) along with many other destinations into the South West of England. If you wish to travel north from Bath Spa, you would usually have to change trains in Bristol.

For all train travel in the UK, please check The Trainline or National Rail for timetables, prices and ticket purchases. For bus travel within and across the Cotswolds, including Stratford-Upon-Avon and Cheltenham, please check Stagecoach Travel.

Another useful planning tool for travel is Rome2Rio should you be travelling from, or to, other destinations.

Insurance

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 17 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2095

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1035
  • 1 Apr 2025 - 17 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2180

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1075

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Overview

OVERVIEW

Walk the Cotswold Way, from the northern medieval market town of Chipping Campden to the world heritage city of Bath in the south. Follow a rolling trail through picture-perfect English countryside. Hike across wild meadows and grazing pastures, as you climb to hilltop Neolithic burial sites and ancient battlefields of the English Civil War.

Descend over a patchwork of farmland to explore the charming streets, thatched cottages and trading houses of Stanton and Broadway, where it's worth making time for a traditional afternoon tea. Venture deep into ancient woodlands before visiting the 17th century baroque mansion house and deer park of Dyrham. Concluding at the magnificent Bath Abbey, pass through the lavish Georgian streets of The Royal Crescent, Lansdowne Circus and one of the world's greatest spas of the ancient world, The Roman Baths.

Highlights

  • Walk the Cotswold Way from Chipping Campden to beautiful Bath, England's picture-postcard national trail
  • Discover the thatched cottages and honey-coloured houses of Stanton and Broadway
  • Hike through the rolling English countryside, across grazing pastures and into ancient woodlands
  • Soak up the atmosphere of historic Cotswolds pubs, sampling the local beer
  • Enjoy a traditional cream tea in the historic wool town of Painswick
  • Explore the Neolithic burial sites, medieval abbeys and elegant manor houses of the Cotswolds
  • Visit the UNESCO listed city of Bath with its Roman Baths and exquisitely preserved Georgian architecture

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
9 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20 plus km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2095

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 1035

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Arrive Chipping Camden

Start your exploration of the Cotswolds in the enchanting market town of Chipping Campden. Within easy reach of Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Chipping Campden boasts an elegant high street with many of its buildings dating back to the medieval period. Its centrepiece is the 17th-century limestone market hall which was built to provide shelter for traders of cheese, butter and poultry over the past centuries. For many walkers, an extra night is often added to explore the beauty of Chipping Campden (or nearby Stratford-upon-Avon) before beginning the walk.

Accommodation: Bantam Tea Rooms
Located in the heart of Chipping Campden, Bantam Tea Rooms overlooks the 17th-century market hall. The building itself is over 300 years old and has featured as a dairy, butchers and antiques hall. More recently, in the 1950’s ‘Mrs Betty Brock and her Babes’ ran the property as a tea room, which eventually became this welcoming accommodation for walkers!

DAY 2
Walk to Stanton (or Stanway)

Leaving the historic streets of Chipping Campden head out onto the Cotswold Way hiking through crop fields and grazing pastures as you gently ascend to Dovers Hill and the ancient remains of a Roman vineyard. The route continues through wild meadows and woodland to the panoramic viewpoint and folly tower of Broadway, where below, the pristine tree-lined streets of Broadway town make for a great lunch spot. From Broadway, a steady climb continues through a succession of forests and rolling meadows before your final descent of the day to the thatched cottages and limestone houses of Stanton village.

Walk: 16.5km
Ascent: 400m
Descent: 400m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: The Post House
Dating back to the 17th century, this family run guest house offers comfortable en-suite accommodation. Complete with friendly dogs, Ivy and Radish, your host Jo, provides a hearty breakfast with homemade preserves, fresh breads, croissants and of course, a traditional English breakfast.

DAY 3
Walk to Cleeve Hill

Begin the day with an easy stroll across wild meadows and farmland to the hamlet of Stanway, where you will pass by the 16th century Jacobean Manor, Stanway House. Climbing out of Stanway, ascend to high grazing pastures before descending to Hailes, where you can visit the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey, built in 1246. Only a few KM’s further sees you arrive into the lively town of Winchcombe, home to Sudeley Castle and burial place of Queen Katherine-Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII. Onwards from Winchcombe, the trail rolls to Cleeve Hill, the highest peak of the Cotswolds. Here, soak up far-reaching views of Cheltenham Spa and across to the Malvern Hills before arriving at your accommodation for the night.

Walk: 20.5km
Ascent: 570m
Descent: 370m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Cleeve Hill Hotel
At the foot of Cleeve Hill and only a few minutes stroll from the nearby pub, this hotel has been welcoming walkers for many years (guests always enjoy the honesty bar, stocked with local gin!). En-suite rooms are comfortable with complimentary tea and coffee in good supply. Serving organic, locally sourced produce is the perfect set-up to tackle Cleeve Hill!

DAY 4
Walk to Birdlip

After a morning climb to the summit of Cleeve Hill follow an undulating route along the western Cotswold escarpment, high above the town of Cheltenham. A short climb leads to Devil’s Chimney, a twisted funnel limestone rock formation on the rugged trails of Leckhampton Hill where views expand over the Vale of Gloucester. The trail continues into the ancient forests of Crickley Hill as you make your way to the village of Birdlip, located on the old Roman Road between Gloucester and Cirencester.

Walk: 25.5km
Ascent: 600m
Descent: 620m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Royal George Inn
A 3* hotel in Birdlip that offers an extensive bar and restaurant serving all the British pub classics, such as bangers (sausages) and mash, fish and chips and slow cooked beef pie. On tap are a number of local beers, along with an extensive selection of gins from across the UK.

DAY 5
Walk to Kings Stanley

A predominantly wooded walk this morning that follows the forested tracks of Buckle, Coopershill, Upton and Popes Wood as you make your way to Painswick. This honeypot village is about half-way along the trail so if you’re considering adding a rest day, Painswick is the perfect place to do so (we’d definitely suggest a visit to the UK’s last remaining Rococo Gardens if you do). Climbing out of Painswick, the trail traverses woodlands to Haresfield Beacon where you can see across to the River Severn and Forest of Dean on the Welsh border. Descending between the towns of Stonehouse and Stroud, pass by the old woollen mill of Kings Stanley village before arriving at your accommodation.

Walk: 27km
Ascent: 1140m
Descent: 1350m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Stonehouse Court Hotel
This proud hotel sits on the Cotswolds Way trail within the village of Kings Stanley. It began as a magnificent manor house during the 17th century, that has had a rich history of beauty and intrigue. On private grounds of six acres overlooking the Stroud Valley and canal.

DAY 6
Walk to Wotton Under Edge

A challenging and enjoyable day as you climb to the Cotswolds Escarpment and up to Coaley Peak. Along the way, visit Nympsfield Long Barrow (a Neolithic burial site dating back to 2500BC). From Coaley, the route rolls on to the market town of Dursley, perfect for a spot of lunch. The steady climb out of Dursley heads up to Nibley Knoll and the Tyndale Monument, built in honour of William Tyndale (translator of the New Testament, 1530). From here the route turns south-east through Westridge Woods to Wotton Under Edge.

Walk: 24km
Ascent: 850m
Descent: 800m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: The Swan Hotel
A favourite with the locals, The Swan Hotel has been welcoming travellers since the 17th century. This old coaching inn has a bar, snug and restaurant so you don’t have to wander too far after a day walking the ‘Wolds. Rooms have been designed in keeping with the history of this historic property.

DAY 7
Walk to Tormarton

After leaving the market town of Wootton, climb to the woodland above the fields of ‘Nanny Farmer’s Bottom’. It’s then downhill to the hamlet of Wortley and southwards along the valley through the former wool-producing villages of Alderley and Hawkesbury. The route then heads through crop fields, grazing pastures and across the grandeur of Dodington House and Park, built in 1798. The route today finishes at the sleepy village of Tormarton.

Walk: 24km
Ascent: 600m
Descent: 530m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Compass Inn
Nestled in 6 acres of grounds, relax in your spacious en-suite room before dining in the organery (a vine-covered conservatory restaurant). Choose between pub classics or a la carte dining and round things off with a nightcap in the cottage bar.

DAY 8
Walk to Bath

An early start today would allow ample time to explore the lavish 17th-century baroque manor house and grounds of Dyrham Park. South of Dyrham, climb to the settlement of Cold Ashton as the route turns south-west towards Lansdowne Hill (the site of a bloody battle between Royalists and Parliamentarians during the English Civil War in 1643). With Bath now in sight, descend to the outskirts of this Roman city. Follow the final few km’s along the Georgian streets and architectural landmarks of The Royal Crescent and Lansdowne Circus, before finishing at the official ‘Cotswold Way’ limestone marker at the foot of Bath Abbey.

Walk: 27km
Ascent: 420m
Descent: 570m
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Henrietta House
Steeped in history, this double fronted Georgian property dates back to the 1780’s and is located in the ‘new town’ of Bath. All rooms are en-suite with period furnishings and artwork. Breakfast is lovingly made by the resident chef, who even roasts fresh granola each morning.

DAY 9
Onward Travel

With plenty to do in Bath, you may wish to add another night or 2 to further explore the city and nearby villages. Bradford-on-Avon is well worth a visit if you have the time. If you are departing on this day, your accommodation would be happy to store your luggage after check-out if you require.

Meals included: Breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 8 nights accommodation in B&B’s, pubs and 3* hotels
  • All luggage transfers
  • Pack free inn to inn walking
  • Flexibility to add nights and further explore this timeless region of England
  • 8 breakfasts
  • A day to explore the Roman and Georgian architecture and sights of Bath
  • Maps, guidebook and route notes
  • 24/7 telephone support
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

During this tour, you will spend each night in local inn’s, pubs, family-run guesthouses or small hotels. Many of these accommodations are steeped in history and date back several centuries, adding to the depth of your Cotswold experience. Accustomed to welcoming walkers, each of your hosts are knowledgeable about the region and are happy to help with any questions or assistance you might need. Of course, you can always call us too should you need anything during your walk. As many of the overnight stays are in small villages or towns, on occasion we may have to book another similar accommodation of equal standard. We will discuss these options with you during the booking process.

You will be provided with 8 breakfasts. Lunches each day can be provided by your accommodation provider or cafes or shops nearby. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know at the time of booking so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

About the walking

Typically, days are generally easy-going underfoot and you should be used to covering up to 25km per day with up to 600m of ascent and descent. Trails are usually well defined and cover a variety of terrain. You will be walking on forest tracks, woodland trails, bridleways, across rolling farmland and through wild meadows. You will also walk through villages, towns and on short sections of very quiet country lanes that often do not have footpaths so do be mindful of other road users. A moderate active lifestyle makes walking enjoyable, an exercise regime of 2 to 3 times a week is needed.

Although the route is well way marked, for each of your walks, you will be provided with routes notes, a map and the GPX tracks if you require to use them for your own device.

This walk is available from late April through to early October

Up to the end of May, you may encounter a few showers (it is England after all) and the fields are vibrant with crops of yellow rapeseed in bloom. Meadows and village gardens are blooming with life. From June through to August (summer months), the daylight is longer making it the perfect time for enjoying hillside picnics and sampling local beer in the pub gardens. Into September, the fields are busy with harvest preparations and often summer days can stretch into September. Whatever time of year you choose, you should always be prepared for a change of season during the day!

How to get there and away

Travel to Chipping Campden, England. When do I need arrive on day 1?

This walk starts in Chipping Campden and ends in Bath Spa. You can arrive at your accommodation at any time on day 1. Should you arrive before the check-in time of 3pm your luggage can be stored at the accommodation. If you cannot arrive at your accommodation until after 9pm, please let us know so we can ensure there is somebody available to check you in. Please refer to your accommodation list for directions and information about your first night’s stay in Chipping Campden.

How to get to Chipping Campden, England, the start of your walk

By Air Travel: Chipping Campden does not have an airport or train station but it’s not far from the nearby train station at Moreton in Marsh (which has excellent train links to London Paddington). At London Paddington you can easily connect with central London or the airports of London Heathrow and Gatwick.

From London Heathrow to London Paddington: The Heathrow Express service is by far the easiest. Trains run every 15mins and with a journey time of 15mins from London Heathrow to Paddington, this is the quickest transfer time. It is a good idea to pre-book tickets (purchases on the day are more expensive). Tickets can be booked at https://www.heathrowexpress.com/news#/ and are from £15 one way. From Heathrow arrivals, follow the signs for ‘Heathrow Express’. As there are 4 services an hour, you do not have to rush.

Alternatively, a cheaper but longer journey would be to use the London Underground to Paddington. From the arrival’s hall, follow signs for the London Underground and take the Piccadilly Line, changing at Earls Court for Paddington (around 1-hour journey time and around £8). Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train.

From London Gatwick to London Paddington: At London Gatwick train station, take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station (30mins travel time) and change for a tube on the District Line to London Paddington (20mins). Ticket prices will vary and again, do book in advance for the cheapest tickets.

London Paddington to Chipping Campden via Moreton in Marsh: A straightforward, direct train departs London Paddington and arrives in Moreton Marsh 1hr 30mins later. Tickets are best purchased in advance from The Trainline website.

On arrival into Moreton in Marsh, if you wish to book a transfer from Moreton in Marsh to Chipping Campden, we can add this to your booking (20mins journey time and approximately £35 per car). Or you can take the bus from Moreton in Marsh station which is around a 30min journey time and around £5. Bus timetables can be accessed here.

If you are travelling from Birmingham Airport or from one of the main Birmingham train stations, you will need to a catch a train service from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford upon Avon. On arrival at Stratford upon Avon, change for a bus service direct to Chipping Campden (total journey time around 3hrs, £15, departs outside the train station).

ONWARD TRAVEL FROM BATH SPA, ENGLAND

Bath Spa has a mainline station which has regularly hourly services to London Paddington (1hr 30mins), or Bristol Temple Meads (15mins). From Bristol you can change for services to the north of England or further south west into Devon and Cornwall. If you are heading north it might be cheaper (and quicker) to return to London Paddington first. It is worth doing your homework to avoid high train fares.

For all train travel in the UK, prices, timetables and ticket reservations can be made through The Trainline.

If you are going to be in London for a few days before or after your walk it might be more cost effective to purchase an Oyster Card which is a prepaid travel card for the London transport network. You can purchase one at stations and many small stores. For travel on the London Transport network, please access https://tfl.gov.uk

A useful planning tool for travel is Rome2Rio should you be travelling from, or to other destinations in the UK or Europe.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never board a train in the UK without a ticket. Although some rural train services permit onboard ticket purchases the majority of train services do not allow this and will either fine you (up to £200) and/or ask you leave at the next stop.

Train travel in the UK can be very expensive. Booking trains in advanced is always the most cost effective. Often travelling off peak (after 9:30am and not between the hours of 3:30pm -6:30pm) can significantly reduce ticket prices.

Onward Travel From Bath

Bath Spa train station has excellent and frequent services to Cardiff (1hr 15mins), London Paddington (1hr 30mins), Bristol (15mins) along with many other destinations into the South West of England. If you wish to travel north from Bath Spa, you would usually have to change trains in Bristol.

For all train travel in the UK, please check The Trainline or National Rail for timetables, prices and ticket purchases. For bus travel within and across the Cotswolds, including Stratford-Upon-Avon and Cheltenham, please check Stagecoach Travel.

Another useful planning tool for travel is Rome2Rio should you be travelling from, or to, other destinations.

Insurance

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 17 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2095

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1035
  • 1 Apr 2025 - 17 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2180

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1075
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