Cotswolds Walking Tour - History & Heritage
At a Glance
Journey from Oxford to Bath on this 6 Day Cotswolds Walking Tour
Walk the breadth of the Cotswolds visiting some of England’s most iconic landmarks along the way. The Cotswolds is perfect walking country, with this tour passing through honey-coloured villages and busy little market towns, over rolling hills and down quaint country lanes. Taking the most picturesque roads, paths and bridleways, let us transport you back to England as it was before mechanisation, when sheep farming and dry-stone walling were the most prosperous industries. Explore global heritage sites and walk right into some of England’s most iconic destinations, from the university city of Oxford and Churchill’s Blenheim Palace to the Neolithic wonder of Stonehenge and the spa city of Bath. At the end of each day, relax with beautiful accommodation, local pubs and outstanding cuisine.
The routes on this tour are designed for walkers of all abilities, with longer and shorter options available each day. Whatever your requirements, with this tour Active England guarantees a guided Cotswold experience you won’t forget.
We collect you from Oxford railway station at 10.00am, where we begin with a looped walk along the River Thames and into one of the world’s most beautiful university cities. We lead you on a tour of the university, taking in the famous Oxford colleges, Bodleian library and Radcliffe square. After lunch, we head deep into the Cotswolds, to our hotel in Moreton-in-Marsh, where we check-in and get settled before coming together as a group for dinner.
Transferring to the historic market town of Chipping Campden, we walk to the stunning Hidcote Gardens, internationally renowned for its collection of outdoor “rooms.” We then have lunch at Broadway Tower, where you’ll enjoy awe-inspiring views over 16 counties in England and Wales. In the afternoon, we walk into Broadway, the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’, with its bustling high street and irresistible antique shops. Finally, we return for the evening to Moreton-in-Marsh.
We transfer from Moreton-in-Marsh to Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill’s birthplace and a World Heritage Site. Our itinerary begins with a visit to Winston Churchill’s grave in the village of Bladon, before taking us into the Palace grounds. Designed by the renowned garden landscaper, Capability Brown, there’ll be ample opportunity to explore before we tour the Palace itself and take in the formal Italian Gardens and the Rose Garden. After lunch, we walk to the Column of Victory, built to celebrate the victory over the French at the Battle of Blenheim, before arriving into Burford.
Setting out from Burford, our first stop is the charming village of Bibury. We then walk via the breath-taking Monarch’s Way toward the fascinating Chedworth Roman Villa, where we’ll find the archaeological remains of one of Britain’s grandest Roman villas. From here, we continue to the stunning National Arboretum at Westonbirth, and if time allows, visit the gardens at King Charles’ home of Highgrove. We end our day at our hotel in Tetbury, one of the most thriving towns in the Cotswolds and a site of outstanding natural beauty.
We transfer in the morning to Bath, first via a 2,000-year-old Roman road then the Kennet and Avon canal. Before lunch, our guide will show you historic sites such as Bath cathedral and the Georgian-inspired Royal Crescent overlooking the city. In the afternoon, we visit the incredible Roman Baths, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman remains, before heading back to the hotel for our final dinner together.
Our tour ends after breakfast, when we help with your onward travel arrangements. Most of our guests travel from Kemble railway station, a short transfer from the hotel. Wherever your journey takes you next, our guides will be on hand to provide all the help you need.
The award winning Redesdale Arms Hotel sits at the gateway to the Cotswolds, on the High Street of the historic town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Steeped in history and dating back to around 1650, constructed of mellow Cotswold stone with a heavily oak beamed interior.
The Manor House Hotel
The Manor House Hotel, Moreton in Marsh, is an enchanting 16th Century Cotswold retreat where you can both indulge and relax in a homely atmosphere.
Prince of Burford
The Prince Of Burford is a newly refurbished pub and hotel converted from an 18th-century coaching inn, located in beautiful Burford on the north-eastern edge of the Cotswolds.
The Lamb Inn
Located along a peaceful side street in the historic market town of Burford, seize the opportunity to sink into a relaxing ambiance of pure bliss.
What our guides say...
Step back in time and discover the history and heritage of Oxford, Bath and the Cotswolds.
- All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- All breakfasts and 2 x dinners (excluding dinner drinks)
- Walking poles
- GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
- All special events, iconic points of interests, expert guests and entrance fees
- All transportation from rendezvous to farewell locations
- All baggage transportation
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
- Services of a professional local guide
We have handpicked the best family run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses. Cosy and with informal dining, these country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales. Our handpicked accommodation is 3* with the option to upgrade to 4* for an additional cost.
Moderate. This tour is rated moderate meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good walk and can handle an incline or two. The terrain we cover is varied. We’ll enjoy some rolling hills, and a few steeper walks which are a bit more demanding. Your holiday, however, will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences and rewarding views are guaranteed! Daily distances range from 4-10 miles.
Walking Poles can be provided if required
Pick-up location: Oxford railway station. Our holidays are designed to be completely relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Oxford, a direct 1.5-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Kemble railway station.
Where are the Cotswolds?
The Cotswolds AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) stretches from Bath in the South to Stratford Upon Avon in the North, and across to Oxford in the East. An iconic pocket of England with breath-taking natural beauty, rolling hills and historic towns and villages, built from the golden Cotswold stone.
What is the best way to get out of London into the Cotswolds?
The best way into the Cotswolds from London and most major cities is by a direct train from Paddington into Oxford, Moreton-in-Marsh or Bath Spa. Our trips begin from mainline stations so you can arrive relaxed, refreshed and ready to start your tour. If you prefer to drive, please confirm with our team the best place to park for each tour.
Can I join a tour as a solo traveller?
Of course! All our trips are open for single travellers to join. You will have a great time on our walking tours whether travelling on your own, as a couple, family or group, meeting like-minded people on our guided trips, or choosing your own adventure on our self-guided tours. “As a single female, I would not hesitate to go on another Active England trip as a solo traveller”. S.G.
How hilly are the Cotswolds?
The Cotswolds are a range of hills, with its name stemming from ‘Cote’ meaning sheep enclosure and ‘wold’ meaning hills. There are therefore lots of hills and incredible views from the top! However, you will able to miss out some of the steeper inclines – or add in some hillier walk for those looking to stretch their legs. There are routes for everyone and with our routes your guide will tailor your tour to your preferences.
Why choose a guided holiday?
Our guides are the beating heart of our tours and can make all the difference to the enjoyment of your walking holiday – so we make sure to choose them VERY carefully! They are driven, knowledgeable, know how to have A LOT of fun and importantly will take you on the ‘road less travelled’ across the Cotswolds. They know the best spots for making your walking tour truly different and truly magical!
Want to extend your trip?
For pre-tour options, please see our London packages.
For post-tour options, please see our London or Devon and Cornwall packages.
What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…
What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?
- Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
- Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
- Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
- Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.
We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero
We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.