Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Cotswolds Walk Map
|Badminton House and Estate||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a walk through the Duke of Beaufort's estate on this easy circular walk in the Cotswolds. The walk starts in Great Badminton and heads to Little Badminton through Badminton Park. In the park there are two large ponds, several deer, attractive parkland and the 17th century Badminton House. At Little Badminton you will pass the pretty Dovecote before heading into the surrounding countryside. You'll pass along the woodland of the Seven Mile Plantation before returning to Great Badminton via a countryside bridleway and a short woodland section. The area is best known for the annual Badminton Horse Trials held here since 1949. The game of Badminton was also invented in the house in 1863.|
|Barrington Park||4 miles (7 km)||This circular walk takes you around the delightful Barrington deer park in the Great Barrington area of the Cotswolds. The walk starts in the village of Great Barrington and follows footpaths around the deer park before a waterside section along the River Windrush returns you to the village. There are splendid views of the Cotswolds hills to enjoy also.|
|Bath Canal Walk||5 miles (8 km)||This is a popular walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bath to Bradford Upon Avon. It's about a 10 mile walk along the towpath taking you from Somerset into Wiltshire on the southern fringes of the Cotswolds AONB. On the way you'll pass pretty locks, lots of barges, delightful little cottages, interesting villages, and attractive parks and gardens.|
The walk starts at Bath locks situated at the start of the Kennet and Avon Canal. You then head north towards Bathwick passing through tunnels as you go. At Bathwick you pass the lovely Sydney Gardens which are worth a slight deviation from the canal to explore. The gardens are the only remaining eighteenth-century pleasure gardens in England.
The path continues to the village of Bathampton where you can take a small detour to visit the Toll Bridge over the River Avon. The bridge and toll house are both Grade II listed. There's splendid views from the bridge down to the beautiful weir below.
At Bathampton you turn south to Claverton. The little village has a Grade II listed pumping house and a church which dates from the 13th century.
You continue south towards Monkton Combe, passing the Dundas Aqueduct which carries the Kennet and Avon Canal over the River Avon on the Somerset Wiltshire border. It's a real highlight of the walk with great views over the river and the surrounding countryside from the elevated position of the aqueduct. You can virtually explore this section of the canal using the google street view link below.
The route then heads to Limpley Stoke and Freshford, passing Conkwell Wood on the way. The final section takes you into Wiltshire where you will pass the impressive Avoncliff Viaduct and Barton Farm Country Park before finishing in Bradford Upon Avon. Barton Farm is worth exploring if you have time. It includes historic buildings, craft shops and tea rooms while the farmhouse, granary and tithe barn of the original Barton Farm date back to the 14th century.
There's lots of good options for extending your walking around the canal. At Bathampton you can pick up the tremendous Bath Skyline Walk where you can enjoy fabulous views over the city.
|Bath Skyline Walk||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy wonderful views of the city of Bath on this popular circular walk. The walk has been devised by the National Trust so takes place on waymarked, well maintained footpaths. |
The walk begins on Bathwick Hill and then heads south to Widcombe passing Smallcombe Wood. The wood is an excellent place for birdwatching with nuthatch, wrens and blackcap to look out for. The route continues past the stunning Prior Park with its beautiful lakes and Palladian Bridge. You then cross Claverton Down before turning north towards Claverton where you will find the excellent American musuem. The path continues north towards Bathampton where there is a nice woodland section through Bathampton Woods. You then turn south through more woodland to Sham Castle, an 18th-century folly which makes a good spot to rest and enjoy the wonderful views. The final section takes you from the castle to Bathwick Hill and the finish point. It's a splendid walk with varied scenery and consistently wonderful views over Bath towards the Mendip Hills.
At Bathampton you can pick up the Kennet and Avon Canal and try the Bath to Bradford Upon Avon Canal Walk. The route will take you from Somerset into Wiltshire along the towpath of the canal.
|Batsford Arboretum||1 miles (2 km)||This beautiful arboretum and botanical garden near Moreton-in-Marsh is perfect for a peaceful afternoon stroll. There are 56 acres to explore on a series of good footpaths with woodland consisting of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. It's a special collection with many rare trees and plants, particularly from the Far East. There are over 2,850 specimens including Bamboo, Acer and Pinus, all with helpful labels. There is also a lovely wildflower meadow which attracts a variety of insects, butterflies and birds. Other highlights include the Japanese bridge, streams, a number of statues and a lake.|
Batsford Arboretum is located just over a mile from Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds. You could walk to Batsford from Moreton-in-Marsh by following the Monarch's Way long distance trail. You could also head south along the Heart of England Way to the nearby Sezincote House where you'll find beautiful gardens surrounding an unusual Neo-Mughal house.
|Bibury-River Coln-Arlington Row||6 miles (10 km)||This walk takes you around the delightful village of Bibury and the surrounding countryside. Bibury is a typically lovely Cotswolds village with pretty stone cottages and a wonderful Saxon church. This walk takes you through the village and then along a riverside footpath to the nearby village of Coln St. Aldwyns. You'll follow the River Colne into the village before returning to Bibury through the countryside on footpaths and bridleways. You'll also pass the famous Arlington Row cottages, built in the 14th century. The picturesque dwellings are one of the most photographed Cotswold scenes.|
|Bourton on the Water||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy a walk through this lovely village known as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. The High Street is particularly picturesque with the River Windrush running through it with several pretty little stone bridges crossing. This walk makes use of the North Cotswold Diamond Way and the Oxfordshire Way to take you through the countryside to the nearby fishing lakes. You could also extend your walk by following the Windrush Way west along the river. |
The walk also passes Birdland which has a variety of exotic birds and a collection of penguins. There is a large pond full of salmon which can be fed by the public. The 1930s Model village and Model Railway Exhibition are also well worth seeing.
|Bredon Hill||5 miles (7.5 km)||Climb to the 299 m (981 ft) summit of this hill in the Cotswolds and enjoy fine views over the surrounding countryside. The walk starts from the Worcestershire village of Overbury and climbs to Bredon Hill on good footpaths, passing woodland and streams on the way. At the summit you will find the Iron Age Hill Fort of Kemerton Camp and a small stone tower known as Parsons Folly or Banbury Stone Tower. There's also Roman earthworks and several ancient standing stones.|
The hill is also a nature reserve so there is a wide variety of flora and fauna to look out for. This includes wild thyme, common rock rose, pyramidal orchid and dwarf thistle. These attract butterflies such as marbled white, brown argus and dingy skipper.
Bredon hill is mentioned in a poem of A. E. Housman's anthology A Shropshire Lad: 'In summertime on Bredon, The bells they sound so clear, Round both the shires they ring them, In steeples far and near, A happy noise to hear.'
The whole of this circular walk is more suited for walkers as it uses some public footpaths but much of it uses bridleways which cyclists can also use.
The Wychavon Way long distance footpath passes close to the hill so you could pick this up to extend your walking. An alternative route to the hill would be to follow the Wychavon Way from the nearby village of Ashton under Hill. You could also climb to the hill from the village of Elmley Castle. Country lanes and footpaths will take you past Comberton Wood and Castle Hill to Bredon Hill.
|Broadway Tower Country Park||5 miles (7.5 km)||Enjoy fabulous views of the Cotswolds AONB in this beautiful park in Broadway, Worcestershire. The focal point of the park is the 65ft high Broadway Tower. The tower was the brainchild of Capability Brown and designed by James Wyatt in 1794 in the form of a Saxon castle. It is the second highest point in the Cotswolds so there are wonderful views as far as the Welsh Mountains in one direction and Buckinghamshire in the other. The park is also home to a herd of Red Deer and includes several peaceful woodland trails.|
The Cotswold Way walking route runs through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk. The nearby Chipping Campden is a good option or you could visit the delightful Snowshill village and manor house.
|Burford Circular Walk||6 miles (9 km)||This circular walk explores the countryside and woodland surrounding the Oxfordshire town of Burford. The interesting medieval town is situated in the Cotswold Hills near to the Gloucestershire border. There are nice footpaths to follow along the River Windrush and then into the farmland and woodland above the town.|
There is a good sized parking area just of the High Street in the town from which you can start your walk. Nearby is the Grade II Listed Burford Methodist Church, built in the early 18th century. If you head east out of the town you can pick up a public footpath along the River Windrush to Widford. Here you turn north and cross the river and head to the pretty village of Swinbrook. The village includes the church of Saint Mary the Virgin which dates from about 1200.
After visiting Swinbrook the walk passes the site of the medieval village of Widford. St Oswald's church in Widford is Early English Gothic and dates from the 13th century. Widford was a substantial village in the Middle Ages but only the 16th-century manor house and a few other houses remain today.
The route heads north from Widford, visiting some small woodland areas before arriving at the village of Fulbrook with it's Norman church. The final section returns you to the finish point at Burford.
You can extend your walk by continuing east from Swinbrook to Minster Lovell. It's a nice stroll along the river with the option of exploring the atmospheric ruins of the 15th century Minster Lovell hall.
Just to the west of Burford you can pick up the Donnington Way long distance footpath in Great Barrington.
|Castle Combe||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around this delightful Cotswolds village. It's like stepping back in time with its pretty little thatched cottages, beautiful church with medieval clock and traditional country pubs. The lovely Bybrook River also runs through the village with little footbridges to cross. All in all Castle Combe generally ranks very high in any 'prettiest English village' polls!|
This short circular walk starts in the centre of the village, near the Castle Inn and church. You then pass through the village and along the river before returning to the car park through woodland. The Macmillan Way long distance walk runs through the village so you can easily pick this up to extend your walk into the surrounding Cotswolds countryside. You could follow it further south along the Bybrook to Slaughterford or west along the Broadmead Brook.
|Chedworth Roman Villa||4 miles (7 km)||This circular walk around the village of Chedworth visits the fascinating Chedworth Roman Villa and Chedworth Woods.|
The walk starts in Chedworth and follows the Macmillan Way long distance trail to the National Trust owned villa. Here you will find the ruins of a large, 4th century Romano-British villa complete with wonderful mosaics, bathhouses and latrines. You can also see costumed guides bring Roman history to life and join a free tour of the site. The walk then continues through the lovely Chedworth woods, returning to Chedworth on public footpaths. For much of the walk you are also surrounded by some beautiful Cotswolds countryside.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Macmillan Way or the Monarch's Way which both run through the area.
|Cheltenham Circular Footpath||25 miles (40 km)||Devised by Cheltenham Borough Council this marked circular walk around Cheltenham gives wonderful views of the Cotswolds escarpment. The walk starts and ends near Pitville Park and passes Cheltenham racecourse and Dowdeswell Reservoir.|
|Chipping Campden to Dover's Hill||3 miles (5 km)||This walk climbs to Dover's Hill from the lovely market town of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds. You start off in the centre of Chipping Campden with its wonderful limestone terraced main street which dates from the 14th century to the 17th century. The 17th century market hall arches are a particularly iconic Cotswolds piece of architecture. |
From Chipping Campden you pick up the Cotswold Way and follow it out of the town to Dover's Hill. The hill stands at a height of 754 feet (230 metres) with splendid views over the surrounding Cotswolds countryside. On a clear day you can also see the Black Mountains of South Wales and the Long Mynd in Shropshire.
If you would like to continue your walking from Chipping Campden then you could follow the Monarch's Way to the nearby Hidcote Manor Garden.
You can also follow the path to the village of Ebrington where you can pick up the Ebrington and the Foxcote Estate circular walk.
|Cirencester Park||9 miles (14 km)||Explore 3000 acres of parkland and woodland on this walk in Cirencester. This extensive park has miles of woodland trails, a large lake and a deer park. You can walk along the wonderful tree lined Broad Ride and visit the 19th century Polo-ground - the oldest in Great Britain. There are also great views into the surrounding Cotswolds countryside. The park entrance is located on the western side of the town centre so is easy to reach. |
The Monarch's Way and the Macmillan Way both run past the park so you could pick up these trails to continue your walking in the area.
|Claude Duval Bridleroute||63 miles (102 km)||This shared walking and cycle path runs from Quainton, near Aylesbury in Oxfordshire to Great Barrington in the Cotswolds.|
This route is named after the well-known local highwayman, Claude Duval. It starts at Quainton and passes Stratton Audley, Bicester and Bucknell before crossing the Oxford Canal near Woodstock. The route then heads towards Chipping Norton and then Spelsbury where you join the River Evenlode for a short waterside stretch to Ascott d'Oyley. You then head onto Great Barrington via Fifield.
For cyclists a hybrid or mountain bike is required for this route. This is a fairly challenging route but with some fabulous Cotswolds scenery to enjoy.
|Cleeve Hill Circular||5 miles (8 km)||Climb the highest point in the Cotswolds on this splendid circular walk. The walk makes use of the Cotswold Way so is well defined and way-marked. It begins at the car park at the southern end of Cleeve Common before crossing the common and climbing up to the peak of Cleeve Hill which stands at 1,083 ft (330 m). From here there are marvellous views: to the west, over Cheltenham and the racecourse, over the River Severn and into Wales, and to the north over Winchcombe.|
|Coaley Peak||2 miles (4 km)||This walk takes you to the Coaley Peak viewpoint from the village of Uley in the Cotswolds. The walk uses part of the Cotswold Way National Trail to take you through Coaley Wood to the viewpoint. At the peak there is a display showing all the landmarks you can see in the area. |
The walk starts from the car park on Crawley Hill road next to Uley Bury. It's worth exploring the Iron Age hill fort on Uley Hill before starting your climb to the peak. From here you head north through the woods for about 1.5 miles before reaching the viewpoint. Here you will find farmland and a wildflower meadow. There are also splendid views over the Severn Vale and the Forest of Dean.
There is a good sized car park at the site if you prefer to visit directly. See the google street view link below for the view from there.
Near the hill you will find Woodchester Park which is a great place to extend your walk. The extensive park includes a series of lakes and woodland trails.
|Cotswold Canals||41 miles (66 km)||Follow a series of delightful waterways from Framilode to Lechlade on this waterside walk through Gloucestershire.|
The walk starts at Framilode, next to the River Severn and follows the Stroudwater Canal and the River Frome to the market town of Stroud. You continue to Sapperton, following the River Frome and the Thames and Severn Canal. A wooded section through Hayley Wood follows before coming to Kemble where you will pass the source of the River Thames.
From Kemble you head to the village of Siddington and then on to South Cerney where you will pass the fabulous Cotswold Water Park which boasts 150 lakes, Nature Reserves and plenty of options for refreshment.
The final section takes you through the countryside towards Kempsford, passing the River Colne and the Fairford/Lechlade section of the Cotswold Water Park before arriving at the finish point at Lechlade.
There's much to enjoy on this walk with several waterside sections along various canals, rivers and lakes. There are also a series of quaint Cotswold villages with ancient churches, historic watermills and pretty waterside pubs for refreshment.
|Cotswold Country Park||6 miles (9 km)||This country park is located in the Cotswolds Water Park at Ashton Keynes on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border. The Park includes the largest inland beach in the UK, boat hire, crazy golf, a cafe and two lakes.|
|Cotswold Round||217 miles (349 km)||Travel through some of the most beautiful countryside and prettiest villages in England on this circular walk. You will visit a series of classic Cotswolds towns and villages including Cheltenham Spa, Winchcombe, Stanton, Broadway, Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water (video below). There is much to enjoy with lush green countryside, historic houses, beautiful parks, woodland sections and homely country pubs for refreshments.|
|Cotswold Way||102 miles (164 km)||This trail takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.|
It runs for just over 100 miles from Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire to the historic city of Bath in Somerset.
As well as proffering wonderful views of the Cotswold Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, you can also see the River Severn, the Black Mountains of Wales and the Forest of Dean from the route.
You will pass through or near a series of attractive market towns such as Chipping Sodbury, Wooton-under-Edge, Stroud and Cheltenham before arriving at the splendid Roman city of Bath at the end of the trail.
Highlights on the route include the lovely National Trust owned Woodchester Park and the magnificent Sudeley Castle.
|Cotswold Way Circular Walk - Chipping Campden||10 miles (16.5 km)||This splendid circular walk uses the Cotswold Way and the Donnington Way to explore the countryside and landmarks surrounding the Cotswold villages of Chipping Campden and Broadway. It's a great one to try if you are staying in either of these villages as it uses well maintained waymarked footpaths to take you to such highlights as Broadway Tower Country Park and Dover's Hill. The route runs for just over 10 miles taking you through some beautiful Gloucestershire and Worcestershire countryside.|
The walk starts in Chipping Campden and climbs to Dover's Hill on the Cotswold Way. It's a lovely start to the walk with tremendous views from the 754 feet (230 metres) hill summit. On a clear day you can see as far as the Black Mountains of South Wales and the Long Mynd in Shropshire.
The route then heads south west along the Mile Drive to Broadway Tower. The splendid tower is the second highest point in the Cotswolds with views as far as the Welsh Mountains and the Buckinghamshire countryside. You can further explore the country park which includes red deer and woodland trails.
After leaving the park you head to the village of Broadway. The picturesque village is known as the 'Jewel of the Cotswolds' with its pretty Green, lined with red chestnut trees and Cotswold limestone buildings, dating from the 16th century. It is roughly the half way point on the walk so it's a nice place to stop for refreshments.
From Broadway you head north to Willersey. This is another attractive village with a nice duck pond and a 17th century inn. It is not a tourist hub so remains largely unspoilt.
The final section heads east through Saintbury back to Dover's Hill before descending into Chipping Campden.
|Cranham Woods||3 miles (5.5 km)||This circular woodland walk in the Cotswolds visits Cranham Woods, Buckholt Wood and Cooper's Hill. These large peaceful woods have miles of walking trails through attractive Beech woodland. Cyclists can try a series of downhill mountain bike trails. |
The walk starts from the parking area at the southern end of the woods near Cranham. You then head through Buckholt Wood towards Cooper's Hill, site of the Cheese Rolling event held on the Spring Bank Holiday which involves locals chasing a large round cheese down a near-vertical grass slope. The route then heads through Cooper's Hill Woods before returning to the car park.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could visit the nearby Prinknash Abbey Park or climb Painswick Beacon for wonderful views over the Cotswolds. Much of this walk makes use of the Cotswold Way National Trail so you could also continue east along the trail through Witcombe Wood to Birdlip Hill and the lovely Crickley Hill Country Park.
|Crickley Hill Country Park||3 miles (5.3 km)|| A short circular walk around Crickley Hill country park near Birdlip in Gloucestershire. The park is set in 143 acres of countryside within the Cotswolds AONB and includes Limestone Grassland, Beech Woodlands and panoramic views of this beautiful area. The park also overlooks the Severn Vale, with fabulous views of the Cotswolds Hills, the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains beyond. |
The walk begins at the Crickley Hill car park and follows footpaths to Shurdington Hill, passing the site of an ancient Roman Villa, before returning to the car park via Dryhill farm.
|Donnington Way||62 miles (99 km)||Visit the 15 pubs of the Donnington Brewery on this super walk through the Cotswolds. The walk starts in Stow-on-the-Wold and heads to a series of delightful Cotswold villages including Bourton-on-the-Water, Naunton, Guiting Power, Broadway, Chipping Campden and Moreton-in-Marsh.|
|Dowdeswell Reservoir||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a stroll through Dowdeswell Wood to Dowdeswell Reservoir on this walk near Cheltenham. It's a pleasant area for a walk with footpaths leading through the woods and along the water. The area is also a nature reserve with lots of wildlife to look out for in the woods and on the reservoir. Keep your eyes peeled for wildfowl such as Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe. There's lots of interesting plants to see in the woods including Bluebell, Ramsoms (wild garlic),Common Spotted Orchid, Pyramidal Orchid and Cowslip. Roe and Muntjac deer are also visitors to the wood.|
The Cotswold Way passes along the western edge of the wood so you can pick this up to extend your walk. If you head south you can visit Lineover Wood. Here you will find ancient woodland and limestone grassland with splendid views of Cheltenham and the Malvern Hills. Heading north will take you to Cleeve Common and Cleeve Hill.
|Ebrington and the Foxcote Estate||4 miles (6.5 km)||This circular walk takes you around some beautiful countryside on the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire border in the Cotswolds AONB. It's a fairly easy walk, running for about 4 miles on good footpaths marked with yellow and blue arrows.|
The village of Ebrington is close to Chipping Camden and has pretty thatched Cotswolds cottages and a popular pub dating from the 17th century. There is also Ebrington Manor which dates from the 14th century.
The walk starts in the centre of the village and climbs steadily through the countryside to Foxcote House. On the way you'll pass pretty streams, woodland and a lake near to the house. Look out for wildlife including buzzards, pheasants and deer.
Ebrington is located just a few miles to the east of Chipping Camden. If you prefer you could start the walk from here and follow the Monarch's Way and the Heart of England Way to the estate.
To extend your walk just head a mile or so north of Ebrington and you could visit the splendid Hidcote Manor Garden.
|Frome Valley Walkway||18 miles (29 km)||This pleasant and fairly easy walk takes you from Eastville Park on the outskirts of Bristol to the village of Old Sodbury along the River Frome. |
The route starts passing through the parks and woodlands around Bristol before entering the open countryside of Gloucestershire.
You will pass through Frampton Cotterell, Chipping Sodbury and Yate with the Cotswold Hills providing a splendid backdrop for the route.
For an excellent full guide to this walk please click here
|Gloucester and Sharpness Canal||16 miles (26 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking along the towpath of this lovely canal in Gloucestershire. The whole of the route is suitable for walkers while cyclists can enjoy several sections as well. National Route 41 of the National Cycle Network runs along the canal from Gloucester Docks to the outskirts of the city. There's also another section from Frampton Upon Severn to Shepherd's Patch. |
The canal runs from Gloucester Docks to Sharpness with wonderful views of the Severn Estuary, the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds. Route highlights include Gloucester Docks with its variety of shops, leisure facilities, marina and fascinating Gloucester Waterways Museum. You will also pass the wonderful Slimbridge Wetland Centre where you can see thousands of migrant birds. The route finishes at the dock of Sharpness Port which was opened in 1874.
The canal links nicely with the River Severn in several places so you have the option of picking up the Severn Way and continuing your walk.
|Gloucestershire Way||94 miles (151 km)||Travel from Chepstow in Wales to Tewkesbury in Gloucestshire and visit the Forest of Dean, the Severn Plain and the Cotswolds on this beautiful and varied walk.|
The recommended stages for the walk are:
Chepstow to Parkend - 13.5 miles
Parkend to May Hill - 14 miles
May Hill to Gloucester - 13 miles
Gloucester to Crickley - 12 miles
Crickley to Salperton - 12 miles
Salperton to Stow-on-the-Wold - 11 miles
Stow to Winchcombe - 13 miles
Winchcombe to Tewkesbury - 11.5 miles
Worcestershire Way Link - 12 miles.
The walk takes place mainly on field and woodland paths and is well waymarked with a yellow disc featuring Gloucester Cathedral.
|Guiting Power and Temple Guiting||3 miles (5 km)||This easy walk visits these two idyllic Cotswolds villages. It follows the North Cotswold Diamond Way through the countrsyide from Guiting Power to the nearby Temple Guiting. There's waterside paths along the Guiting Stream and a woodland section through Castlett Wood to enjoy. Both villages are also delightful. In Guiting Power there is a pretty village green and a Norman doorway to the church. |
If you would like to continue you walking in the area then you could follow the Warden's Way to the Slaughters and Bourton on the Water which are both close by.
|Gustav Holst Way||34 miles (55 km)||Follow the Gustav Holst Way through the Cotswolds from Cranham to Wyck Rissington and enjoy the scenery and villages enjoyed by the composer.|
The walk starts in the pretty village of Cranham where Holst lived for a while in 'Midwinter Cottage'. The first section of the walk takes you from Cranham to Cheltenham, passing through Buckholt and Witcombe Wood, Birdlip and the delightful Crickley Hill Country Park. The park is set in 143 acres of countryside within the Cotswolds AONB and includes Limestone Grassland, Beech Woodlands and panoramic views of this beautiful area. This section of the walk also passes the Devil's Chimney - an unusal limestone rock formation that stands above a disused quarry in Leckhampton.
The walk then takes you through the interesting city of Cheltenham (Holst's birthplace), passing the attractive Cheltenham College Grounds and the Gustav Holst memorial statue.
After leaving Cheltenham you continue through the lovely Cotswolds countryside towards the village of Guiting Power. On this section you will pass Cleeve Hill, the highest point both of the Cotswolds hill range and in the county of Gloucestershire, at 1083 ft. Here you will also find Belas Knap neolithic chambered long barrow. A scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage, it has been described as an 'outstanding example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group'. After leaving Cleeve Hill the path passes through the peaceful Guiting Wood, before arriving at the pretty village of Guiting Power.
The final section of the walk follows the River Windrush to the popular tourist destination of Bourton-on-the-Water. The village is particularly picturesque with the River Windrush flowing through the centre where it is crossed by several low, arched stone bridges. Shortly after, the walk comes to an end at Wyck Rissington where Holst was the resident organist for the church.
|Haresfield Beacon||5 miles (7.5 km)||Enjoy woodland trails and wonderful views over the Severn Vale and the Cotswolds on this circular walk near Stroud. There are miles of walking and cycling trails on which to explore the large estate. On the way you will pass wildflower meadows, an Iron Age hill fort and the Bronze Age Long Barrow of Haresfield Beacon.|
This walk starts at the car park and follows the Cotswold Way National Trail through Standish Wood. You pass the Long Barrow and Standish Quarry before heading through the countryside to Oxlynch. The path then passes Vinegar Hill and Ring Hill before reaching the topograph where you can enjoy splendid views. From the topograph it is a short walk back to the car park and the finish point.
The area is superb for interesting flora and fauna. Look out for bluebells in Standish woods and orchids and butterflies in the limestone grasslands. You may also see buzzards and kestrels from the viewpoints.
The whole of this route is for walkers but much of it is suitable for mountain bikers too.
If you would like to continue your walking in this beautiful area then you could head south of Stroud and visit Rodborough Common and Woodchester Park for more great walking trails. You could also pick the Cotswold Canals Walk and enjoy waterside walking along the Stroudwater canal through Stroud.
|Heart of England Way||101 miles (163 km)||Follow the Heart of England Way through the Midlands of England. The walk starts from Milford Common on Cannock Chase and heads through Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire before finisihing at Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds. |
Major towns and cities on the route include
|Hidcote Manor Garden||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore these stunning National Trust owned gardens on this short walk in the Cotswolds. The gardens were created by American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston and contain a number of beautifully designed outdoor 'rooms'. Highlights include the kitchen garden, plant house, herbaceous borders and the orchard. There are also a number of peaceful footpaths to follow to the various secret gardens. |
If you would like to continue your walk you could follow the Monarch's Way to the pretty Cotswold hamlet of Hidcote Bartrim.
Just a mile or so to the south you will find the pretty village of Ebrington with a wonderful 17th century pub and the 14th century Ebrington Manor. You can explore the area on our Ebrington and the Foxcote Estate Walk which takes you through some lovely countryside with streams, woodland and ponds.
The Heart of England Way also runs through the nearby village of Mickleton. This long distance path will take you to Chipping Campden.
|Jubilee Way||16 miles (26 km)||Follow the Jubilee Way from Old Sodbury to the Severn Bridge on this delightful walk.|
The path heads towards Thornbury before entering the Severn Vale and passing through Hay Wood. You then follow the Severn Estuary to the finish point at the landmark bridge.
The Cotswold Hills provide a splendid backdrop for much of the walk.
|Leckhampton Hill||4 miles (6 km)||This circular walk takes you along a particularly beautiful section of the Cotswold Way National Trail visiting Leckhampton Hill and Hartley Hill. The walk starts at a parking area next to the A435 about three miles south of the centre of Cheltenham. From here you can pick up the Cotswold Way and follow the track to Charlton Kings Common and Hartley Hill. You cross the hill to to the Devil’s Chimney, an iconic Cotswold landmark. This unusual limestone rock formation stands above a disused quarry in Leckhampton. It's a picturesque spot with fabulous countryside views providing a wonderful backdrop to the chimney. The area of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common is a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Key Wildlife Site. Look out for a variety of interesting flora and fauna such as meadow pipit and grasshopper warbler. Rare plants include fly orchid, musk orchid and purple milk-vetch. |
The walk finishes with a stroll along a country lane which leads back to the start point.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could continue along the Cotswold Way to the delightful Crickley Hill Country Park.
|Limestone Link||36 miles (58 km)||Starting at Cold Ashton in St Catherine's Valley, Gloucestershire follow the Limestone Link from the Cotswolds to the Mendip Hills in Somerset.|
The walk first heads south towards Batheaston where you join the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal for a lovely waterside stretch to Monkton Coombe. You will also pass near to Little Solsbury Hill, made famous by the Peter Gabriel song 'Solsbury Hill'.
The second section of the path then takes you through the Mendip Hills AONB with fabulous views of the Chew Valley, Burrington Combe limestone gorge, Dolebury Warren Iron Age Hill Fort, the waterfall at Hallatrow and the final stretch through Burrington common the main highlights.
|Lodge Park||1 miles (1.5 km)||Enjoy a short circular walk around this National Trust owned estate near Cheltenham. The estate has nice footpaths taking you around the farmland and woodland of the estate, with great views across the surrounding Cotswolds countryside. In the park there is the 17th century Lodge Park Grandstand built by John Crump Dutton for entertaining his friends. There is also a lovely 19th-century fountain, a deer racing course, a Stone Age long barrow and nice views of the River Leach. |
You can virtually explore part of the estate using the google street view link below.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Sherborne Park where there are more nice walking trails to try.
|Macmillan Way||290 miles (467 km)||This long distance path links Boston in Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury in Dorset. It is promoted to raise money for the charity Macmillan Cancer Relief.
The route starts from Boston and then runs across the Fens to Bourne before joining the limestone belt. You then head to Stamford and then along the shoreline of Rutland Water to Oakham. The trail then heads south and west via Warmington to Stow-on-the-Wold, then into the Cotswolds via Cirencester and Tetbury to Bradford-on-Avon. After leaving the Cotswolds you follow the path through Somerset passing Castle Cary before entering Dorset and the final section to Abbotsbury via Sherborne.
The route joins with other popular trails including the Viking Way at Oakham, the Thames Path National Trail near Thames Head and with the South West Coast Path towards the end of the route.
The Macmillan Way is well waymarked with a green and white disc.
|Minster Lovell||3 miles (5 km)||This walk explores the pretty Oxfordshire village of Minster Lovell with its old hall, thatched stone cottages and riverside footpaths. The highlight of the walk is a visit to Minster Lovell Hall built in 1440. Here you will find the ruins of the hall surrounded by an extensive estate and bordered by the River Windrush. The atmospheric ruins include an ornamented entrance porch, south west tower and dovecote. |
After exploring the hall you can continue along the river to the nearby village of Crawley. Here you will find two Bronze Age bowl barrows near Blindwell Wood and a 19th century church. There are also two pubs where you can enjoy refreshments at the half way point of the walk. From Crawley another public footpath will then bring you back to Minster Lovell through the countryside.
To extend your walking in this area simply head east and visit the pretty town of Burford where there are more nice riverside paths and historic buildings. The village is also located just west of Witney so you could start the walk from the town and follow the river to the old hall.
|Misarden Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||This delightful circular walk in the Cotswolds visits the pretty village of Miserden and explores Misarden Park with its pretty lake and woodland trails. |
The walk starts in Miserden with its lovely Cotswold stone cottages, St Andrews Church, Village Hall, Post Office, Shop and Pub. From the village it is a short stroll to Misarden Gardens where you will find a 17th century Manor House surrounded by attractive topiary, a walled garden, herbaceous borders, specimen trees and a parterre. There is a nice waymarked footpath leading through the woodland and along the pretty lake with views of the River Frome. You can extend your walk by following a bridleway east through the woods to Winstone.
|Monarch's Way||615 miles (990 km)||This incredible 615-mile walk approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. |
The Monarch's Way starts at Worcester then travels north to Boscobel and then south to Stratford upon Avon. It then continues south through the Cotswolds to Stow on the Wold before turning south west towards Bristol via Cirencester. The route then heads south through the Mendip Hills to Wells and then on through Somerset towards Yeovil and then south west to Charmouth. You then follow the Dorset coast before turning north again to Yeovil, before heading east across the Downs to Brighton and then onto the finish point at Shoreham-by-Sea.
The walk also takes you through two World Heritage Sites, one National Park and six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For those interested in the history of the walk there is ample opportunity to learn and discover more with a series of museums and historical sites dotted throughout the route.
The walk is waymarked with a picture of the ship The Surprise, the Prince of Wales crown and the Royal Oak tree at Boscobel House.
The route has been split into two separate gpx files. The first includes the section from Worcester to Bridport via the Midlands and Somerset. The second runs from Sandford Orcas to the finish point at Shoreham-By-Sea.
Monarch's Way GPS 1 (right click save as)
Monarch's Way GPS 2 (right click save as)
|Moreton-in-Marsh Circular Walk||7 miles (11 km)||This circular walk from Moreton-in-Marsh makes use of the Monarch's Way and the Heart of England Way to explore the countryside, villages and woodland surrounding the popular Cotswolds town. Moreton-in-Marsh is a good base for exploring the Cotswolds with a train station and lots of good hotels to choose from. It's also very close to two major Cotswolds attractions. This includes the magnificent Sezincote House and Batsford Arboretum which are both on this route.|
Starting in the town you follow the Monarch's Way south to the village of Longborough where you will find a 12th century church and an opera house home to the Longborough Festival Opera in June and July each year.
At Longborough you turn north along the Heart of England Way towards the exquisite Sezincote House. Here you will find a fascinating Mogul Indian palace surrounded by beautiful gardens including an orangery, spring-fed pools, canals and a large lake.
After passing Sezincote you continue north to the pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Hill where you will find the Grade I listed St. Lawrence's Church, the 17th century Slatters Cottage and the fine Horse and Groom pub.
After leaving the village you head towards Batsford Arboretum where there are 56 acres of woodland consisting of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. The final section heads east through farmland back to Moreton-in-Marsh.
|Newark Park||3 miles (5 km)||Explore the 700 acre estate of this Grade I listed building in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire. In the park you will pass lakes, a walled garden and a woodland area. Also look out for the many resident deer and peacocks.|
The park is located on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment so there are fantastic views of the Cotswold AONB. It is extensive and there are many well signed footpaths to enjoy.
The house dates from the 16th century and includes unique stained glass windows and a beautiful dining room with William Morris wallpaper.
To extend your walking in the area you could pick up the circular walk around Wotton-under-Edge which uses part of the Cotswold Way.
|North Cotswold Diamond Way||65 miles (105 km)||This diamond shaped walk was created by the RA's North Cotswold Group to celebrate the 60th Jubilee in 1995. It takes you through a series of pretty Cotswold villages including Moreton-in-Marsh, Icombe, Turkdean, Bourton-on-the-Water, Naunton, Guiting Power and Chipping Campden.|
|Northleach||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around the market town of Northleach. The interesting town has a 14th century church and is home to the Old Prison museum and visitor centre, also called Escape to the Cotswolds. The route makes use of the North Cotswold Diamond Way and the Monarch's Way to explore the countryside around the town and visit the neighbouring village of Farmington.|
Starting in the centre of town head south along the Diamond Way to Helen's Ditch. You then head east to Upper End, before turning north to Farmington. The little village has an old church, pretty cottages and a village green. At Farmington you pick up the Monarch's Way and head west back into Northleach.
To extend your walking in the area just head a couple of miles east and visit Sherborne Park. The National Trust owned estate includes pleasure grounds, woodland trails and a 19th century ice house.
|Oxfordshire Way||67 miles (108 km)||Take a trip through Oxfordshire and enjoy rivers, canals, pretty villages and beautiful countryside on this lovely trail. The walk starts inBourton on the Water in the Cotswolds and passes Shipton-under-Wychwood, Wychwood Forest and Charlbury.|
|Painswick Beacon||3 miles (5 km)||Visit the delightful Cotswolds village of Painswick and climb the nearby Painswick Hill on this walk near Stroud. |
The walk starts from Painswick known as the 'Queen of the Cotswolds' because of its picturesque cottages, pretty churchyard with yew trees and the splendid Rococo Gardens. You can then follow the Cotswold Way National Trail north to the beacon. The trail is well signposted and takes you through the local golf course and past the aptly named Paradise valley. You soon come to the beacon where you will find an Iron Age Hill Fort and fabulous views over the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean and the Welsh Mountains.
From the top of the hill you can descend back to the village or if you'd like to extend your walk, you could continue along the Cotswold Way to the nearby Pope's Wood and Kites Hill. A little further on is Cooper's Hill where the annual Chees Rolling event is held on the Spring Bank Holiday. It involves locals chasing a large round cheese down a near-vertical grass slope.
If you enjoy this walk you could head a couple of miles south west and visit Haresfield Beacon for more great walking trails and panoramic views of the Cotswolds.
|Pittville Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a short waterside walk or cycle around this pretty park in Cheltenham. In the park you will find aviaries , small areas of woodland and three lakes with waterside paths. You will also pass the impressive Grade I listed Pittville Pump Room. Built in 1825 it is the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in Cheltenham. There are also play areas for children, a boat house and cafe. Cyclists can cycle around the two western lakes so it's a nice option for anyone looking for a safe family ride in the town.|
|Prinknash Abbey Park||1 miles (1.5 km)||This delightful bird park in the Cotswolds has nice walking trails taking you around a series of pretty ponds and woodland. There's a variety of wildllife including deer, goats, waterfowl and donkeys. The park is located near Gloucester and Stroud, just off the Cotswold Way.|
|Rococo Gardens||1 miles (1 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around these beautiful gardens in Painswick in the Cotswolds. There are woodland trails, a maze, several attractive follies and gardens with a variety of flowers. There is also a wildflower meadow with various types of orchid, a Kitchen Garden and great views of the surrounding Cotswolds countryside. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the Painswick area then you could climb to Painswick Beacon for wonderful views over the Cotswolds.
There is a car park at the gardens or you could follow the Cotswold Way from the village of Painswick to reach the entrance. The village known as the 'Queen of the Cotswolds' because of its picturesque cottages and pretty churchyard with yew trees.
|Rodborough Common||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy splendid views over the Severn Vale from this lovely open space near Stroud. The common covers nearly 300 acres and is criss crossed with miles of nice footpaths. There is a car park towards the eastern side of the common with direct access to the well surfaced paths.|
The area is a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest and also a Local Nature Reserve. Look out for various wildflowers and several species of orchid including Frog Orchid, Bee Orchid and Musk Orchid. The common consists of attractive grassland, scrub and woodland with Beech and Ash trees.
It's also great for wildlife with over 30 species of butterfly flying around the pretty wildflowers. Look out for the rare Duke of Burgundy and Adonis blue.
The common is in an elevated position above Stroud so on a clear day there are far reaching views towards the Forest of Dean and the Welsh hills.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could head to the nearby Woodchester Park. This National Trust owned park has miles of good footpaths taking you through the tranquil wooded valley to five pretty lakes.
You could also pick up the Cotswold Canals Walk and enjoy waterside walking through Sroud and the surrounding countryside.
Also nearby there is Selsley Common which has more nice footpaths, interesting vegetation and great views. Just north of Stroud is Haresfield Beacon with miles of cycling and walking trails.
|Rollright Stones||6 miles (10 km)||This walk follows the Shakespeare's Way long distance footpath from Chipping Norton to the Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border. This fascinating group of Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments consists of three groups: the King's Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights burial chamber and the single King Stone. It is said that the stones are a representation of a king and his knights who had been turned to stone by a witch. |
The walk start from the interesting market town of Chipping Norton. Highlights in the town include the pretty row of Almshouses, founded in 1640 and the church which dates from the 12th century. You then follow the Shakespeare's Way into the countryside towards Salford and Little Rollright before coming to the stones. It is about a 3 mile walk from Chipping Norton to the stones.
To extend your walking in the area you could head north and visit the pretty Whichford Wood.
|Selsley Common||2 miles (3 km)||This large open area near Stroud has miles of footpaths and wonderful panoramic views over the Cotswolds. It covers 97 acres and consists of wide open grassland with a variety of rare flora and fauna. Look out for wildflowers and orchids including the Green-winged Orchid and Fragrant Orchid. Butterflies such as Small Blue, Grayling and the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary fly around the flowers in the summer months. |
The common is in an elevated position above Stroud so there are far ranging views to enjoy. On a clear day you can see the Malverns, the Welsh Hills and the River Severn. The area is very popular with walkers, paragliders and hang gliders.
This circular walk starts from the car park at the southern end of the common but you could also follow the the Cotswold Way from Stroud. You can follow the trail from the town centre along the Stroudwater Canal before turning south near Ebley, towards the common. The Cotswold Way runs across the common so if you would like to extend your walk you could follow this trail west into Pen Hill Wood and Stanley Wood.
Also nearby is the delightful Rodborough Common and Woodchester Park which has similar trails and viewpoints.
The common is located just to the west of Woodchester so you could also start your walk from here.
|Sezincote House||3 miles (5 km)||This walk takes you to the extraordinary Mogul Indian palace of Sezincote House near Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds. The walk starts in the pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Hill and follows the Heart of England Way through the countryside to the nearby Sezincote Estate. The gardens are stunning with a curving orangery, spring-fed pools, canals and a large lake. There are also fascinating ornaments and statues including an Indian style pavilion, a temple to Surya the sun god and a snake coiled around a column in the Snake Pond. The house was built in 1805 by the grandsons of the diarist Samuel Pepys. The Prince Regent visited in 1807 and change his plans for the Royal Pavilion in Brighton after seeing Sezincote. The architect John Nash then designed the Royal Pavilion in a similar Indian style. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then the delightful Batsford Arboretum is only about a mile to the north.
|Shakespeare's Way||146 miles (235 km)||This walk follows a route that Shakespeare may have taken when travelling between Stratford-upon-Avon and London. The path passes through the Chilterns, Oxford, Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds, the valley of the River Stour and the Thames Valley making for a beautiful and varied walk. There are lovely waterside stretches along the Oxford Canal and the River Thames into London.|
The walk is waymarked with a logo of Shakespeare's head.
|Sherborne Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy a short circular walk around this National Trust owned estate near Cheltenham. The walk takes you through attractive woodland, farmland, and the delightful little village of Sherborne. |
There is a car park at Ewe Pen about a mile west of the village. You start the walk from here and then head through woodland and the Pleasure Grounds to the village. Look out for wildlife sculptures and the 19th century ice house on this section. At the village you can enjoy refreshments at the tea shop.
The route continues passing the St. Mary Magdalene church and the pretty Sherborne Brook, before another woodland section takes you back to the car park.
The estate is great for wildlife spotting. Look out for skylark, yellowhammer, linnet and hare.
The Cotswold Way and the Monarch's Way long distance walking trails run through the nearby villages of Northleach and Farmington. You could pick up one of these trails to extend your walking in the area. You could also head a couple of miles south west to Lodge Park and enjoy more good National Trust footpaths.
|Snowshill||4 miles (6 km)||This circular walk around the village of Snowshill makes use of the Cotswold Way long distance footpath to explore the surrounding countryside. The village is delightful with typical Cotswold cottages surrounded by lovely rolling hills. It also contains the wonderful Snowshill Manor, owned by the National Trust. This 16th century manor house contains an extensive collection of various objects collated by the architect and poet Charles Paget Wade. These include 26 suits of Japanese samurai armour, bicycles, toys and musical instruments. You can also stroll around the delightful gardens with pretty terraces and ponds. |
This walk takes you into the wider countryside around the village, visiting Littleworth Wood and Buckland Wood on the way. If you would like to extend your walk you could continue along the Cotswold Wayto the nearby village of Broadway and visit the splendid Broadway Tower Country Park.
|Somerset Coal Canal||2 miles (4 km)||Follow the Somerset Coal Canal from Tucking Mill to Combe Hay on this easy walk in the Cotswolds. Tucking Mill is just west of the village of Monkton Combe so you could just as easily start off from there. You then follow the Limestone Link for about 2.5 miles to the village of Combe Hay in the Cotswolds AONB.|
The canal links with the Kennet and Avon Canal around Monkton Combe so you can easily extend your walk by following the towpath into Bath.
|Standish Wood||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy peaceful woodland trails in this large area of woodland near Whiteshill, Stroud. In the springtime there are carpets of bluebells to enjoy.|
The walk can be extended by climbing Haresfield Beacon for wonderful views over the Severn Vale and the Cotswolds.
|Stinchcombe Hill||1 miles (2 km)||This walk climbs to the lovely viewpoint at Stinchcombe Hill in the Cotswolds. The hill is located just to the west of Dursley so you could start your walk from there and follow the Cotswold Way to the hill. This circular walk, however, starts from the car park about half a mile east of the hill. You follow the Cotswold Way to the hill summit where you will find a topograph displaying all the landmarks you can see from the peak. It's a lovely view with the Tyndale Monument and the village of North Nibley visible across the attractive countryside and woodland below. You can also see the Vale of the River Severn and Forest of Dean from the 219 metres (719 ft) Drakestone Point. |
The public footpaths pass Stinchcombe golf course so please keep to the signposted paths only.
After descending back to the car park you have the option of extending your walk along the Cotswold Way. You can follow it through the series of woods on the outskirts of Dursley. This includes Sheep Path Woods, Cockshott Woods and Hermitage Woods. If you continue south along the path you can visit the Tynedale Monument view point and the town of Wotton-under-Edge.
|Stow on the Wold||5 miles (8 km)||The picturesque Cotswolds town of Stow-on-the-Wold has a number of popular long distance trails running through it. You can use these to make a nice circular walk visiting the surrounding countryside and villages.|
The walk starts in the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold and follows the Gloucestershire Way to Upper Swell where there is a reservoir and a small Norman church dating from the 12th century. You then head south to Lower Swell along the Heart of England Way. It's a very pretty little village with the River Dikler, a nice village green and several mellow stone cottages.
The route continues south to Hyde Mill before turning east along the Macmillan Way to Maugersbury. Country lanes then return you to Stow-on-the-Wold.
If you would like to extend the walk then you can head south west along the Gloucestershire Way at Hyde Mill to The Slaughters. Here you can enjoy a lovely walk between Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter along the River Eye.
|Stroud Valleys Trail||6 miles (9 km)||This route runs from Stonehouse to Nailsworth following a disused railway line. The route is traffic free with splendid views of the Cotswolds and makes for a pleasant afternoon's cycling or walking particularly for families. Click here for more information on this route.|
|Sudeley Castle||3 miles (5 km)||Explore the award-winning gardens and beautiful 1,200 acre estate surrounding this 15th century castle in the Cotswolds. There are nine magnificent gardens including the Queens Garden with hundreds of varieties of roses and the Tithe Barn Garden with a tranquil carp pond surrounded by wisteria, primroses, hollyhocks and cardoons. St Mary’s Church is surrounded by the White Garden, with peonies, clematis, roses and tulips. It is also contains the grave of Katherine Parr.|
Several walking routes run past the castle so there is plenty of scope for continuing your walk. The castle is located in the village of Winchcombe, 8 miles from Broadway in the Cotswolds AONB.
|The Ridgeway||86 miles (139 km)||Step back in time on this wonderful 85 mile route which follows an ancient chalk ridge route used by prehistoric man
The trail starts at Overton Hill in Wiltshire on the edge of the Marlborough Downs and heads east through the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.|
Highlights on this fascinating route include a series of iron age forts, the beautiful Chiltern Hills and a lovely stretch along the River Thames at Goring-on-Thames.
|The Slaughters||2 miles (3 km)||This short walk between these two delightful Cotswolds villages is a favourite for visitors to the region. It follows the pretty River Eye from Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter. It's a special place with pretty little riverside cottages, stone footbridges, old watermills and picturesque village greens. Don't miss the wonderful 19th-century water mill in Lower Slaughter. It has an excellent museum, craft shop and riverside tea room.
This walk follows the Warden's Way between the two villages so you could continue along this path if you would like to extend your walk. The Heart of England Way and the Macmillan Way also run past Lower Slaughter so you could pick up another path and head to the nearby Bourton on the Water. You can also follow the Macmillan Way north east to the town of Stow on the Wold.
|Warden's Way||14 miles (22 km)||Follow the Warden's Way through the beautiful Cotswolds on this delightful walk.|
The walk starts in the picture postcard village of Bourton-on-the-water and passes through a series of picturesque villages including, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Naunton and Guiting Power before finishing at Winchcombe.
Highlights on the walk include a lovely wooded section through Guiting Wood near Guiting Power and the 15th century Sudeley Castle with its beautiful, award winning gardens and lovely chapel. This is located near the end of the route at Winchcombe.
|Westonbirt Arboretum||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy a woodland walk through this beautiful Arboretum near Tetbury in the Cotswolds. Here you will find 15,000 specimens from all over the world in an area covering about 600 acres. It is considered one of the most valued and significant collections of trees in the whole of the United Kingdom. In autumn it is a simply stunning spectacle providing one of the best natural fireworks displays in Britain. In spring you can see rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias in the Old Arboretum and wildflowers, bluebells and cherry trees in Silk Wood. |
The area is criss crossed with numerous well surfaced walking trails. The Macmillan Way and the Monarch's Way long distance trails also run past the site so you can easily pick up a trail to extend your walk.
|Whichford Wood||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a short, peaceful stroll through these delightful woods on the edge of the Cotswolds. The area consists of Broadleaved and conifer woodland with a number of woodland walking trails to try. There are lovely views over the surrounding Warwickshire countryside from the forest too. Look out for various wildflowers, bluebells and wildlife including fallow deer. After your walk you can enjoy refreshments at the pub in the village of Whichford.|
The Macmillan Way long distance footpath runs through the woods so you could pick this up to extend your walk through Long Compton Woods to the village of Long Compton. If you continue south you will soon come to the fascinating Rollright Stones. The group of Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments consists of three groups of stones: the King's Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights burial chamber and the single King Stone.
|Winchcombe Way||42 miles (68 km)||This super figure of eight trail takes you on a tour of the stunning northern area of the Cotswolds.|
The walk begins at the pretty village of Winchcombe and heads to Dumbleton via Gretton and Alderton. At Dumbleton you turn south over Dumbleton Hill and through Alstone toward Cleeve Hill and Common. Cleeve Hill is the highest point both of the Cotswolds hill range and in the county of Gloucestershire, at 1083 ft. Here you will also find Belas Knap neolithic chambered long barrow. A scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage, it has been described as an 'outstanding example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group'.
Shortly after Belas Knap you return to Winchcombe where the next section of the walk takes to Temple Guiting, passing through Guiting Wood on the way.
The path continues to Snowshill where you can explore the delightful Snowshill Manor. Here you can view Charles Wade's collection of 'colour, craftsmanship and design' and enjoy the beautiful hillside gardens.
From Stanshill you continue through Buckland and Stanton before coming to another major route highlight at Stanway House. This splendid Jacobean manor house is right on the trail and open to the public. There are also beautiful gardens and a 300ft high fountain which is the tallest gravity fountain in the world.
The final section of the walk takes you back to Winchcombe, passing Didbrook and the National Trust owned Hailes Abbey with its 13th century ruins and excellent museum.
|Windrush Way||14 miles (22 km)||This lovely walk through the Cotswolds runs from Bourton on the Water to Winchcombe. The path follows the River Windrush to Naunton and proceeds through Hawling and onto Winchcombe. Walk highlights are the riverside walking and the 15th century, Sudeley Castle with its beautiful, award winning gardens and lovely chapel.|
|Woodchester Park||4 miles (6 km)||This National Trust owned park in the Cotswolds is the perfect place for a peaceful afternoon stroll. There are miles of easy footpaths taking you through the tranquil wooded valley to the five pretty lakes within the park. The walk also visits the Boat House, built in the early 19th century and the fine Victorian mansion. There's plenty of wildlife in the park too - look out for kingfishers and herons on the ponds and voles and bats in the woodland.|
The Cotswold Way runs past the park so you could pick up this excellent trail to continue your walk. Also nearby is the lovely Rodborough Common. The common has miles of good walking trails. It is in an elevated position above Stroud so on a clear day there are far reaching views towards the Forest of Dean and the Welsh hills.
Just to the west of the park is the splendid Coaley Peak viewpoint and the adjacent Coaley Woods.
Just north of Stroud is Haresfield Beacon with miles of cycling and walking trails.
|Wotton-under-Edge||5 miles (8 km)||A circular walk around this pretty Cotswolds town using the Cotswold Way and other public footpaths. It's a 5 mile walk and should take about 3 hrs to complete.|
The walk starts in the centre of the town and takes you through farmland to Wortley before climbing through the woodland on Wortley Hill. The route then passes Newark Park where you have the option to explore the lovely 700 acre estate. The extensive park includes lakes, gardens and more woodland trails.
After leaving the park the route descends to Coombe and Holywell before returning to the town.
To extend your walk you can visit Westridge Woods just to the north west of the town. You can follow the Cotswold Way to the site which includes the Tyndale Monument. The 19th century tower was built in honour of William Tyndale, a translator of the New Testament who was born in the area. The tower is next to the geologically significant Nibley Knoll which shows a thick section of Lower and Middle Jurassic rocks.
|Wychavon Way||42 miles (67 km)||Follow the Wychavon Way through the Worcestershire countryside on this 40 mile walk.|
The walk begins at Holt Fleet, on the River Severn, with the opening section of the trail running to Droitwch Spa. You will enjoy a waterside stroll along the River Severn and pass through the village of Ombersley before arriving at Droitwich Spa where you cross the River Salwarpe.
From Droitwich, the walk continues through the countryside towards the village of Fladbury. This section includes a short stroll along the Worcester Birmingham Canal and woodland walks through Grafton and Old Yew Hill Woods.
The final section of the walk runs from Fladbury to Winchcombe and includes a waterside walk along the River Avon and visits to the villages of Ashton under Hill and Cropthorne whose church dates back to the 12th century. You'll also pass Bredon Hill near Ashton under Hill where you can visit the Iron Age Hill Fort of Kemerton Camp and a small stone tower known as Parsons Folly at the summit. There's splendid views of the Malvern Hills as you pass through the Cotswolds and finish at the historic town of Winchcombe.