Tracing its way through the heart of England from the pretty market town of Chipping Campden to the splendours of Regency Bath, the 102 mile Cotswold Way is a stunning opportunity to explore the beauties of the English countryside. Walk up steep escarpments and valleys, over copse topped hills, open meadows, sharp coombes and hollows, to drystone walls and hamlets that decorate the land, the Norman and medieval churches and the English Civil War battlefields, a testament to the history and the quiet English husbandry over the last thousand years.
This is a land of tithe barns and Jacobean gatehouses, of ancient woodland and Abbeys in skeletal ruin, of homes erupting in a profusion of roses, of castles, Roman Villas, Long Barrows and Iron Age Forts and grand Parks, of old houses in market towns and monuments to William Tyndale, translator of the Bible, and General Lord Somerset who served under Wellington at Waterloo.
To blossom that sense of England we have added beautiful stays in boutique hotels, full of character, charm and elegance, with private transfers from and to specific locations along the route at the end and start of each day.
from £3,920 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts daily except Sunday and Monday from Chipping Campden and finishes Bath
Two 5 star, two 4 star and 2 boutique hotels
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle walking (5) More info...
10 days of walking 7 - 11 miles (11-18 km) per day
Hilly with flat days
- Spend an additional night at any of the stops to relax or explore in more detail
- Have a guide for a day to learn first hand about the history and inside story of the Cotswolds
- Take an extra day at The Manor House and have a round on their stunning golf course
1. Day one
Arrive at your hotel Dormy House at your leisure. Your host will meet you and run through your itinerary, answering any questions that you may have. Enjoy the Cotswold views and relax. Spend the evening as you wish.
2. Day two
Chipping Campden to Stanton
The official start of the walk is in adjacent Chipping Campden, a beautiful Cotswold market town built in golden honey-coloured stone, its wealth sourced from the wool trade. Visit the Market Hall, the Woolstaplers’ Hall built in 1340, Grevel House and the Court Barn Museum displaying the history of the Arts and Crafts Movement. From here you walk to Dover’s Hill, site of the original English Olympic Games of 1612, with its view across the Vale of Evesham. Then its on to Broadway, a handsome Cotswold village with almshouses and a twelfth century church admired for centuries by those travelling the Cotswold escarpment. Head for Stanton the beautiful Cotswold village nestled on the slopes of Shenbarrow Hill and we will transfer you to Dormy House for the second of your three nights.
3. Day three
Stanton to Winchcombe
Today you pass the elaborate Jacobean gatehouse, gardens and fountains of Stanway House, once owned by Tewkesbury Abbey today by the Earls of Wemyss and March, before climbing to Stumps Cross to walk along ancient Campden Lane to Beckbury Camp and Cromwell’s Clump. Visit the remains of Hailes Abbey built in 1251 for Cistercian monks and a place of pilgrimage for three hundred years. The day ends in Winchcombe, a town with a noble history stretching back to Offa, King of Mercia, who dedicated a nunnery here in AD 790. Spend a last night at Dormy House.
4. Day four
Winchcombe to Dowdeswell Reservoir
From across the fields see the fifteenth century Sudeley Castle and Gardens, where four of England's queens, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I, have trod the Tudor parterre. Skirt Wadfield Roman Villa with its mosaic pavements and Belas Knap Long Barrow, a five thousand year old Neolithic burial chamber, 180 foot long and 18 feet high. Walk across the thousand foot ‘high’ lands of Cleeve Common, admire the rare orchids (Bee, Frog and Musk) and a range of butterflies and enjoy the fantastic views on a clear day to the Malvern Hills and Brecon Beacons. Pass on through a beautiful butterfly reserve and woodland to Dowdeswell Reservoir built in the nineteenth century to supply water to the town of Cheltenham. Spend the first of two nights at elegant Cowley Manor.
5. Day five
Dowdeswell Reservoir to Birdlip
Walk through Lineover Wood, mentioned in documents as far back as the ninth century, to Seven Springs, one of the claimed sources of the River Thames, and up onto the scarp edge with its magnificent views over the Severn Vale. Meander through Charlton Kings Common and the Devil’s Chimney, a quarried pinnacle of rock, to Crickley Hill and admire its views to the Black Mountains of Wales. A major battle is thought to have taken place here six thousand years ago. The path runs on through woodland to the small Cotswold Village of Birdlip where we will transfer you for a second night at Cowley Manor.
6. Day six
Birdlip to Painswick
Another beautiful day of walking, past Great Witcombe Roman Villa built of local limestone in the third century AD and Prinknash Abbey. Panoramic views are yours from Cooper’s Hill, the centre of an annual cheese-rolling competition using a 9lb round Double Gloucester, and Painswick Beacon. The path runs through the hamlet of Paradise, frequented by King Charles I during the Civil War, to the beautiful village of Painswick, the ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’, an elegant market town built in mellow light-grey stone. It's church is famed for its tabletop tombs and ninety-nine yew trees – they say the hundredth won’t grow. Spend the night in the village, at The Painswick.
7. Day seven
Painswick to Middleyard
A wonderful day of walking full of variety, woodlands, hilltops and open meadowland, heading west to Scottsquar Hill and Haresfield Beacon with stunning views of the River Severn. Through grasslands skirt round Washbrook Farm, once a cloth mill, before walking on to the stone commemorating Charles I's failed siege of Gloucester in 1643. Glorious views of the Vale of Gloucester with the Forest of Dean in the far distance. Spend the first of two nights at The Calcot, a fourteenth century country house set in 220 acres of Cotswold meadowlands.
8. Day eight
Middleyard to Wotton-Under-Edge
There are beech woods and panoramas to enjoy today as well as the intriguing Hetty Pegler’s Tump, a Neolithic long barrow, 140 foot long and 90 foot wide, with passageways and chambers. Spot the Iron Age Fort, Uley Bury as you approach Dursley, an important Cotswold wool and cloth town with an impressive eighteenth century Market House. Walking up and down beautiful hills and villages, enjoy the vistas of the River Severn and the Forest of Dean before descending into the wool town of Wotton-Under-Edge. Spend a second night at The Calcot.
9. Day nine
Wotton-Under-Edge to Little Sodbury
Ramble along the rivers and streams that once powered the mills, deep through woods near Alderley. Admire the grand memorial to Lord Somerset, one of Wellington’s Generals at Waterloo; he lost his hat during the first cavalry charge and had his horse shot from under him when he went back to look for it! Walk on through remote countryside to the splendours of Horton Court, one of the oldest inhabited houses in England. End the day at Little Sodbury where William Tyndale, translator of the Bible into English, worked as chaplain and tutor for two years. From here we transfer you to Manor House, Castle Combe for the first of two nights.
10. Day ten
Little Sodbury to Cold Ashton
Walk to Sodbury Hill Fort one of the most impressive Iron Age forts on the walk, before heading for Dodington House and Park, full of pheasant and guinea fowl, its gardens laid out by Capability Brown, to the village of Tormarton. Pass Dyrham Park, an ancient deer park, and the seventeenth century Dyrham House, before you transfer to The Manor House for a second night.
11. Day eleven
Cold Ashton to Bath
Variety, panoramas and history on your final walk into Bath with tranquil and pastoral countryside that gives you time to reflect on your past week before admiring the splendours of Bath, its grand abbey and ancient Roman baths. Leaving Cold Ashton pass through Battlefields which commemorates the death in 1643 of Sir Bevil Grenville here in the English Civil War. Visit Little Down Hill Fort, the last of the many Iron Age Forts on The Cotswold Way before celebrating your hundred and two miles in the splendour of Bath’s The Royal Crescent.