The Cotswold Way is a recent addition to the Long Distance Footpaths when formally launched in May 2007 covering a distance of 102 miles starting at the north end in Chipping Campden and finishing in the south at the historic city of Bath.
Your journey along the path changes at every corner as you traverse along the high route sections taking in the excellent views on offer before returning down to the valley to visit the many farming communities and picturesque Cotswold stone built villages such as Winchcombe, Painswick and Wotton-Under-Edge and many others.
Be sure to take time out to visit the many historic points the trail has to offer in the way of churches, roman villas abbeys and battle sites. Wealthy manor houses are another feature of the trail mostly paid for with the wealth achieved from the Cotswold sheep market.
Each night on the trail you stay in a different location in prebooked selected accommodation, with breakfast provided. Your luggage is transferred daily between your overnight accommodation.
Book with Northwestwalks and you can be confident of a personal, professional and well organised service. You can be assured we select quality walker friendly accommodation and provide a reliable daily luggage transfer service, plus a holiday pack which includes route information, accommodation details, route map, guidebook and the reassurance we can always be contacted should you need assistance.
This tour is available from April to October.
Start of route
Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
End of route
Direction of walk
North to South
Grade of walk
Generally this is a moderate route, though some strenuous walking is encountered on the hill sections e.g. Broad Tower 313 metres, Cleeve Hill 317 metres, Wistley Hill 296 metres and Leckhampton Hill 293 metres.
The terrain varies from country lanes, farmland, stoney paths and grassy rolling hills.
The route is sensibly waymarked and generally easy to follow with the aid of a map and guidebook.
Carefully selected walker friendly accommodation.
Breakfast each day.
Luggage transfer between overnight accommodation.
Route information and itinerary.
Detailed instructions to find your accommodation.
Guidebook and route map.
Not included in the price of your holiday
Evening meals, packed lunches, drinks and snacks, travel insurance, travel to Chipping Campden and from Bath, souvenirs, laundry services, etc.
Accommodation is provided in carefully selected walker friendly B&Bs, Guest Houses, small Hotels and Inns. All rooms are ensuite or have private facilities.
We provide detailed instructions to find you accommodation.
Breakfast is included.
Packed lunches can be readily purchased from your overnight accommodation or local shop.
Evening meals can be purchased in local village pubs or overnight accommodation when a pub is not available.
For the duration of the holiday your luggage is transferred from accommodation to accommodation by a luggage transfer agent. Luggage allowance is 1 bag/person weighing not more than 25kg (55lbs).
Guidebooks and Maps
A guidebook and route map are included.
We can be contacted 24 hours a day if required.
The weather in England is varied. You should be prepared for all possibilities as weather, particularly in the mountains, can change quickly. Weather statistics are available from the Met Office at www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate
Good outdoor clothing and waterproofs are essential, please see equipmement list for further details.
Comfortable walking boots which provide good grip on multiple terrain and ankle support are recommended.
Please see equipmement list for further details
Some accommodation owners provide a laundry service for a small fee.
The Cotswold Way is a recent addition to the Long Distance Footpaths when formally launched in May 2007 covering a distance of 102 miles starting at the north end in Chipping Campden and finishing in the south at the historic city of Bath. The following is intended to provide further information about the route. Please note that all distances and heights are approximate and along with all the other information are provided as an aid to describe the route.
Chipping Campden (height above sea level 150m) to Winchcombe (90m).
The Cotswold Way starts in the beautiful, historic market town of Chipping Campden. After leaving the town, the route takes you out on to the Cotswold’s escarpment with stunning views from Dover’s Hill (230m) across the Vale of Evesham. You continue across the fields to Broadway Tower (313m) and then down into the busy quintessential Cotswold village of Broadway (100m) with its historic connections with the Arts & Crafts movement.
The route climbs to an Iron Age hill fort on Shenberrow Hill (303m) and descends into Stanton (110m). The walking becomes easy across the level parkland of the Stanway Estate, with its Jacobean manor and the highest gravity fed fountain in Europe.
A steep climb up from Wood Stanway onto the escarpment reveals magnificent views across the Vale of Evesham towards the Malverns. Passing the Iron Age hill fort of Beckbury Camp (270m), you then descend to Hailes with its ruined abbey and little church. The trail continues through rolling farmland into the Cotswold town of Winchcombe (90m).
Winchcombe (90m) to Birdlip (285m).
The Cotswold Way leaves Winchcombe through the Sudeley Estate, climbing steadily along field paths up to the ancient Neolithic burial chambers of Belas Knap (300M). You then follow a path steeply down through Breakheart Plantation past Postlip Hall (170m) before climbing again to Cleeve Hill Golf Club (275m) which overlooks the village.
The route climbs to cross Cleeve Hill (317m); you are now on the highest part of the entire Trail. You continue along the western edge of the Cotswold escarpment with extensive views over Cheltenham and far beyond. The trail descends through Dowdeswell Wood to the reservoir (120m) and crosses the main road.
From Dowdeswell, the route climbs through woodland up to Wistley Plantation (290m) and on over farmland before descending to pass close to Seven Springs (215m). You climb again onto Charlton Kings Common (285m) with its breathtaking views across Cheltenham and the Severn Vale and follow the escarpment round onto Leckhampton Hill, passing the distinctive rock pillar known as the Devil’s Chimney.
After leaving Leckhampton Hill, the trail follows quiet tracks, lanes and paths into Crickley Hill Country Park 270m), with its excellent viewpoints and its fascinating archaeological site. The Trail then crosses the undulating grassland of Barrow Wake before heading into woodland to emerge at Birdlip (285m).
Birdlip (285m) to Middleyard (75m).
The route follows a woodland trail, for a couple of miles, round the escarpment to Coopers Hill, the site of the annual cheese-rolling event. The trail rounds the hill and climbs to 240m then continues its way through woodlands before leaving the trees. You cross the common land and golf course of Painswick Beacon (250m), where the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort can be clearly seen, and then descends to the picturesque old market town of Painswick (150m), the mid-point of the Cotswold Way.
The Cotswold Way descends from Painswick to cross the Wash Brook before climbing again to cross undulating farmland on its way over Scottsquar Hill (250m). The trail leads back into woodland emerging at Haresfield Beacon (217m) and Iron Age hill fort with views of the escarpment and River Severn. The route leads round to another vista point before descending gently through Standish Woods to emerge into the Stroud Valley through grass pastures. The route crosses the Stroudwater Canal (25m), and then skirts past Kings Stanley to the next door village of Middleyard.
Middleyard (75m) to Wotton-Under-Edge (70m).
From Middleyard the Cotswold Way climbs up into Penn Wood and then takes you through the woods on the edge of the escarpment to emerge at Frocester Hill (235m), an area with marvelous views. Just over a mile away are Cam Long Down (220m) and Peaked Down, two isolated hills standing in the Vale of Berkley. The route follows another woodland path then descends into the valley and follows a steep uphill footpath onto Cam Long Down. The 360° views are spectacular. The Trail descends and crosses farmland to the market town of Dursley (75m).
Leaving Dursley, you climb steeply up onto Stinchcombe Hill (219m). The Trail rounds the golf course on the hill and then descends to cross farmland o the village of North Nibley (110m). The trail climbs to Tyndale Monument on Nibley Knoll (203m) then follows a level route to Wotton Hill (198m) with its walled enclosure surrounding the Jubilee Plantation, the trail then descends into the town of Wotton-Under-Edge.
Wotton-Under-Edge (70m) to Tormarton (160m).
The route follows a stream out of Wotton-Under-Edge before climbing back up onto the escarpment, passing close to the National Trust property of Newark Park (220m). It crosses Wortley Hill then descends into the valley to the village of Alderley. From Alderley, the route passes through a peaceful valley where you can see remainders of medieval ridge-and-furrow either side. At Lower Kilcott (85m), the trail rises gently up to the Somerset Monument (197m) before heading south and skirting the village of Hawkesbury Upton.
Passing an ancient drover’s pond, the Cotswold way follows Bath Lane south across the hill. The trail descends to the National Trust property of Horton Court (140m) and continues the village. You cross farmland to the village of Old Sodbury (120m). From here the Cotswold Way passes through the wonderful Capability Brown parkland of Dodington Park on route to the village of Tormarton (160m).
Tormarton (160m) to Bath (20m).
The Trail leaves Tormarton and crosses arable land that eventually leads to a path passing round the perimeter wall of Dyrham Park - a William and Mary mansion nestling in an ancient deer park. From the village of Dyrham (120m), the trail continues across rolling farmland into the village of Cold Ashton (200m).
The Cotswold Way leaves Cold Ashton and continues through farmland. The next climb takes you up to the site of the bloody civil war battle and a monument to Sir Bevil Granville. The route crosses to the scrap edge on Hanging Hill (235m). You follow the scarp edge, passing Bath racecourse to Prospect Stile (225m). There are open views across the farmland below to Bath. The trail crosses the farmland ahead and descends to Bath. The route leads you through the elegant streets of this historic city to a fitting climax at Bath Abbey.
UK bus and train journeys can be planned online at www.traveline.info
Train timetables can be viewed and tickets purchased online at www.thetrainline.com
Reduced price ‘Advanced tickets’ can be purchased approx 12 weeks prior to departure. Prices can vary greatly and the cheaper tickets sometimes only become available approx 6 weeks prior to travel.
To Chipping Camden
Travel by train to Moreton-in-Marsh with services, via connecting stations, from most UK stations.
Approximate journey times – From London Paddington 1.5 hours
From Moreton-in-Marsh travel by bus to Chipping Camden
Approximate journey time – 40 minutes
There is a train station in Bath with services, via connecting stations, to most UK stations.
Approximate journey times – To London Paddington 1.5 hours.
Bus timetables are available to view online at www.traveline.info
To Chipping Camden
The bus stop in Chipping Camden is a short walk from your accommodation.
There is a central bus station in Bath
To Chipping Camden
Trains run from Heathrow to London Paddington where you change trains to Moreton-in-Marsh, then bus to Chipping Camden.
Approximate journey times 2 hours.
Trains run from Bath to London Paddington where you change trains to Heathrow.
Approximate journey times 2 hours.
To Chipping Camden
Travel by bus from the airport to Bristol Temple Meads train station then train to Reading, change train to Moreton-in-Marsh, then bus to Chipping Camden
Approximate journey times 4.5 hours
Travel by train to Bristol Temple Meads then bus to Bristol Airport
Approximate journey times 45 minutes
Please remember to
1. Keep the weight of your day pack and walking/hiking equipment to a comfortable weight for you to carry
2. Keep your suitcase/luggage under the maximum transfer weight (Maximum: 20kg (44lbs)).
The following checklist is an aid to help you with your packing
Walking/Hiking boots (worn in before your holiday)
Technical walking socks e.g. liner and thick outer socks
Trekking trousers (not jeans/denim)
Waterproof over trousers
Baselayer T-shirts and/or casual shirts
Fleece or warm jumper
Spare warm layer (to carry in your rucksack)
Rucksack (25 to 35 litres) and waterproof cover
Rucksack liner e.g. large plastic bag
Water bottles 1 litre (x2)
Basic First Aid Kit and personal medication
Torch / flashlight
Thermos flask for hot drinks
Antibacterial hand wash/wipes
Camera, film, batteries
Hi Dean, I just wanted to thank you for your management of our walking trip on the Cotswold Way. We had a great time! The hotels and B&B's were generally excellent and our hosts were all friendly and very helpful. The map and guide book were very useful, we got off track a couple of times but found our way back on track quickly after having a closer look at the map...Thank you again for your assistance with the luggage transfer and the accommodation bookings - we really enjoyed the walk. The landscapes were spectacular, the trail led us to many lookout points...
Brenda, Canada, Cotswold Way Self-Guided, 2015
Finished the Cotswold Way and many thanks as the B&B's were superb.
Paul, UK, Cotswold Way Self-Guided, 2012