Luxury Cotswolds Walking Tour

At a Glance

Explore England’s beautiful countryside in style, with a luxury walking tour of the Cotswolds

Passing over rolling hills and through tranquil meadows, visit chocolate box villages, discover the Roman city of Bath and tread the hallways of historic Oxford Colleges.

Our luxury tours are tailor-made to provide the best possible experience, fully immersing you in our amazing destinations while completely eliminating any-and-all stress. With glamorous hotels, handpicked local guides and the very best local cuisine, Active England promises a luxury Cotswold experience you’ll never forget.

  • Off the beaten track Cotswold villages and Castle Combe
  • Michelin star dining experience at Hywel Jones
  • Explore the ancient city of Bath including the Royal Crescent and the Roman Baths 
  • Beautiful hideaway in Slad Valley
  • Luxury hotel stay in Painswick
  • Hike Cleeve Hill to Belas Knapp before visiting Sudley Castle
  • Hidden Oxford gems and champagne punting along the River Thames

Your Itinerary

Arriving into Chippenham railway station, our friendly local guides will transfer you straight into the Cotswolds to begin the tour. Travelling via the picturesque Castle Combe, we enjoy lunch at The Castle Inn and hike between some of the region’s best unknown villages. Leaving the tourist trail well and truly behind, we meet a local dry stone walling expert, before ending our day with dinner at the glamorous Brasserie at our first hotel, Lucknam Park.

Today we walk from Ashwicke to the Roman city of Bath, meandering along the canal before spending the afternoon exploring this ancient city with a local expert. From the Roman Baths, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman remains, to the Royal Crescent overlooking the city, we’ll ensure you see all this historic location has to offer. With the day drawing to an end, we journey back to Lucknam Park for a spot of wine tasting and a Michelin star dining experience at Hywel Jones.

Travelling north through the Cotswolds, today’s itinerary takes us to the Slad Valley, where we follow in Laurie Lee’s footsteps as we traverse this beautiful hideaway. After lunching at an award-winning local pub, we spend the afternoon tracing our way to Painswick, ‘The Queen of the Cotswolds’, where we’ll find our next luxurious hotel.

This morning we transfer to Cheltenham for a hike around Cleeve Hill to Belas Knapp, before lunching at The Lion Inn in Winchcombe. From here, we visit Sudley Castle, where we learn about its 1,000 years of fascinating heritage and the pivotal role it has played in English history. We then enjoy dinner at The Falcon Inn before spending another night at the Painswick Hotel.

Heading across the country, we spend our final day exploring Oxford. Beginning with a local walking tour of the city’s most unusual hidden gems, we then tread the historic hallways of Oxford University’s famous collages, before enjoying a champagne punting race along the Thames. In the evening, we enjoy one last dinner together and relax in the sumptuous Old Parsonage Hotel.

With a heavy heart, this morning we bid farewell. Our Active England guides will escort you to Oxford railway station, where you’ll be able to easily catch a direct train to London. Wherever your journey takes you next, though, we’ll provide any assistance you might need with your onward travel.

Gallery

Handpicked Accommodation

Hook - Heckfield Place

Hook

Heckfield Place
A Georgian family home lovingly restored from its classical origins and rewoven into a luxury hotel standing on 400 acres of secluded Hampshire landscape: ancient heather, woodland, gardens and meadows. The Home Farm, Kitchen and Gardens feed the Marle Restaurant.

Chippenham - Lucknam Park

Chippenham

Lucknam Park
This gracious restored Palladian mansion is set within 500 acres of glorious parkland. The hotel and spa has the relaxed elegance of the quintessential English mansion perfect for unwinding and escaping - a country house hotel that will be your home away from home.

The Painswick - Cotswolds

Cotswolds

The Painswick
A luxury boutique hotel nestled very nicely in the 'Queen of the Cotswolds' village of Painswick. This picture-perfect Palladian house boasts roaring fires, sink-into-me sofas and boutique bedrooms. Kick back on the terrace or in one of the cosy lounges and treat yourself to the decadence of afternoon tea, or indulge in the latest seasonal a la carte and tasting menus at The Restaurant.

Old Parsonage Hotel - Oxford

Oxford

Old Parsonage Hotel
Located in the heart of historic Oxford, this hotel is nestled amongst the city's most famous landmarks. The 17th century country house combines original charm and character with all the luxury, amenities and technology of a 5-star hotel.

What our guides say...

We have created an ultra-luxury Active England branch with specialist, unique suppliers and hotels who promise to exceed expectations.

Gaby
  • All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • All breakfasts
  • 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

Luxury 5* hotels in beautiful locations such as:

  • Hook – Heckfield Place
  • Chippenham – Lucknam Park
  • Painswick – The Painswick
  • Oxford – The Old Parsonage

This tour is rated moderate, meaning it’s best-suited to guests who enjoy a good walk and can handle an incline or two. We cover varied terrain, with rolling hills, wonderful downhills and a few climbs which will be slightly more demanding. Rewarding views are guaranteed. Daily distances range from 4-10 miles, with options for shorter or longer walks available on all days. Your tour will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences.

We’ll provide walking poles if required.

Many guests choose to arrive the day before the start of the tour, to settle in and explore the local area. Staying at Heckfield Place, a hidden wellness estate just outside London, enjoy stunning grounds, comfortable rooms and excellent restaurants. With all the grandeur and tranquillity you could wish for, enjoy a little indulgence as you take the evening to settle in at your leisure. If you travel in June, consider also joining us at Royal Ascot. Steeped in elegance, it’s a truly ‘British’ event that’s not to be missed.

After your tour, perhaps visit London or venture South West and explore Devon and Cornwall.

Where are the Cotswolds?
The Cotswolds National Landscape (previously referred to as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – AONB) 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 go on 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!

Make this trip private

Our private tours offer complete freedom to customize your trip. Base your tour on one of our scheduled departures, or tailor a bespoke experience to match your every expectation. We love combining our knowledge of England with our expertise in planning and delivering the best adventure trips.

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Carbon Footprint

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.

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