10 Day Self-guided Cotswold Way Walking Tour

At a Glance

This self-guided tour strikes the right balance between challenge and enjoyment, walking the gorgeous Cotswold Way over 10 days.

Walk the Cotswold Way and enjoy picturesque views of charming English villages, market towns and rolling hills. Take your time on the quiet hiking trails and appreciate the beauty of the English countryside, regardless of the time of year.

The tour takes you through old English woodlands and open grassland pastures dotted with sheep, as well as classic Cotswold villages like Winchcombe, Broadway, and Painswick. As you walk, you’ll come across several historic attractions such as Hailes Abbey, Sudeley Castle, and Dyrham Park. Our tour offers a unique experience in the Cotswolds, with stays in some of our favourite inns, pubs, and hotels.

With a daily coverage of 7-15 miles, our tour is perfect for guests who enjoy a challenging walk. However, this 10-day option does gift you ample time to absorb the beauty of the Cotswolds and enjoy the rewarding walking and spectacular views.

The tour ends in the historic city of Bath, where you can explore the striking Royal Crescent and world-famous Roman baths. This 10-day self-guided Cotswold Way walking tour is a rewarding way to experience the Cotswolds on foot.

This Cotswold Way walk covers 7-15 miles each day. We also offer self-guided walking tours of the Cotswold Way over 8-days and 12-days.

  • Explore the breathtaking beauty of the Cotswolds with the ultimate walking tour that offers rewarding experiences and spectacular views. 
  • Traverse through old English woodlands and open grassland pastures, where you can spot fluffy sheep grazing around. 
  • Take a stroll through the classic villages of Winchcombe, Broadway, and Painswick, soaking in the picturesque charm of the Cotswolds. 
  • The walk culminates at the historic city of Bath, where you can marvel at the striking Royal Crescent and world-famous Roman baths.

Your Itinerary

Upon your arrival at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station, you will be greeted by our friendly local guide who will guide you to the starting point of the Cotswold Way in Chipping Campden. Our guide will provide you with all the necessary information to make your hike a truly memorable experience. The waymarked way takes you out of Chipping Campden to Dover’s Hill, the venue for the annual Cotswold Olimpik Games, a tradition that dates back almost 400 years. From there, you will continue your journey to Broadway Tower with breathtaking views across much of South-West England and Wales. Your hike continues with a descent into the charming village of Broadway, where you can explore the wide main street lined with independent shops and cafes. A short hike to Wood Stanway will mark the end of day memorable day one on the Cotswold Way.

12.5 miles

On your second day on the Cotswold Way, the route takes you through  stunning North Cotswold scenery. Take some time to visit the 13th-century Hailes Abbey before having lunch at the nearby Hayles Fruit Farm. Then, head towards Winchcombe, where you can explore the historic Sudeley Castle and the ancient Belas Knap burial site. After that, continue your walk south along the Cotswold Way to Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds. Here, you’ll witness the most dramatic view of the Cotswold escarpment, which overlooks Cheltenham and the River Severn Estuary.

11.5 miles

Leaving Cleeve Hill behind you, day 3 on The Cotswold Way takes you past you’ll pass a prominent Tor known locally as the ‘Devil’s Chimney’, before heading downhill through Dowdeswell reservoir. The well-marked path passes through the National Trust woodland at Crickley Hill, where you’ll find a fantastic café. From there, it’s a short walk to your lodgings in the verdant village of Birdlip.

15.5 miles

After long back-to-back days, today’s walk is a gentile 7 miles from Birdlip to Painswick. Pass the Painswick Beacon, where you can explore an Iron Age fort and relish another stunning view, before a leisurely downhill walk leads you to the small village of Painswick, famous for its stunning Rococo Gardens.

7 miles

From your accommodation, follow the signs of the Cotswold Way and head west, making your way through the sloping woodland at Standish. Admire the majestic beech trees and keep your eyes peeled for buzzards soaring high above you or delicate wildflowers and butterflies at your feet. As you make your way through open grassland and one past Stroud you’ll reach the pleasing hill at Coaley Peak. We’ll return you to Painswick in the evening.

11 miles

After a transfer from Painswick back to Coaley Peak, the aim of Day 6 on the Cotswold Way is to reach Wotton-under-Edge. We’re over halfway now, but the walking continues to delight. First up is the wonderfully named Hetty Pegler’s Tump, a partially reconstructed Neolithic chambered mound overlooking the Severn Valley. Then, Leaving Dursley you’ll also come across the striking Tyndale Monument, standing 111 feet tall atop a hill called ‘Nibley Knoll’. 

13 miles

Beginning at Wotton-under-Edge and heading through more awe-inspiring countryside and charming Cotswold villages, today’s 13-mile way is a cracker.We recommend taking a break for lunch at The Fox Inn in Hawkesbury Upton, a local gem, before exploring the Tudor manor of Horton Court, which dates back to around 1185. This manor has been featured as a filming location for popular TV shows such as Poldark and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. After that, you’ll continue your walk through Dodington Park, an exquisite estate designed by the renowned English gardener Capability Brown, before reaching the village of Old Sodbury by the end of the day.

13 miles

On the penultimate full-day of your walking tour, begin with a delightful hike towards the perimeter wall of the 17th-century Dyrham House. This stunning William and Mary mansion sits in an ancient deer park that’s worth exploring. Take a moment to visit the traditional tearoom café before continuing on the trail. Rest and recharge at Cold Ashton before tomorrow’s final push to the finish line in Bath.

8.5 miles

On the final day of your Cotswold Way journey, the trail takes you through the southernmost point of the Cotswold ridgeline towards Bath, passing several historic battle sites from the English Civil War along the way. Once you reach Bath, make sure to explore some of the iconic local landmarks such as the Royal Crescent, the Roman Baths, and the Jane Austen Museum. After a long day of sightseeing, unwind and relax at your hotel in the city, the perfect place to celebrate the end of your rewarding journey.

10 miles

Following a relaxing and well-deserved breakfast, you can depart Bath at your convenience, utilizing the numerous public transport options available. Alternatively, some guests prefer to extend their stay in Bath, taking advantage of the city’s renowned restaurants, theatres, galleries, and canals. If you require assistance with booking additional nights’ accommodation or arranging onward travel, we are more than happy to assist you.

Gallery

Handpicked Accommodation

Cleeve Hill
Rising Sun Cheltenham

Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham

The Rising Sun
Perched on top of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds, The Rising Sun is a lovely Cotswold stone building in a fabulous location with spectacular views. This traditional country hotel blends contemporary decor with original features, and offers a friendly welcome and tasty food and drink.

Birdlip

Birdlip

The Royal George
Sitting in the quintessentially English village of Birdlip, the Royal George Hotel is a beautiful village inn hotel that makes an ideal base to explore the Cotswolds. This 18th century inn built from Cotswolds stone has spectacular views, beautiful gardens, tastefully decorated rooms, and a bar and restaurant.

Wotton
The Swan Hotel, Wotton

Wotton-under-Edge

Swan Hotel
This 17th century coaching inn is situated in a beautiful and historic town on the edge of the Cotswold Way, and enjoys stunning views of the Southern Cotswolds. The hotel seamlessly blends modern comforts with traditional touches, and has a light and airy restaurant offering freshly cooked food, and cosy bar with a range of real ales from local breweries.

Bath
The Francis Hotel, Bath

Bath

The Francis Hotel
A Grade I listed building with a history of hospitality, this Georgian getaway offers a quintessential retreat in a coveted position moments from the most popular sights of the great British spa city.

What our guides say...

Every day on the Cotswold Way brings something new. This is a pearler of a trip!

Rik
  • All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • All breakfasts
  • GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
  • All baggage transportation
  • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

We have handpicked the best family-run, independent and country hotels, pubs and guest houses right on the Cotswolds Way. In perfect rural settings and directly along the trail, allowing you to walk into and out of your hotels as much as possible. Cosy and with informal dining, these 3* country hotels are friendly and relaxed, with great menus with locally sourced food and ales.

This tour is rated moderate-hard, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good, all-day walk and can handle an incline or two. We cover varied terrain, but not too severe. We’ll enjoy some rolling hills and a few steeper walks which are more demanding. Daily distances range from 7-15 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!

If you’d prefer a longer (or shorter) tour we offer Self-Guided walks of the Cotswold Way over 8 or 12 days.

We’ll provide walking poles if required.

Pick-up location: Moreton-in-Marsh railway station. Our walking holidays are designed to be completely stress-free, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Moreton-in-Marsh, a direct 1.5-hour train journey out of London.

End-of-tour location: This tour ends at your hotel in Bath. Bath Railway Station has direct rail links to London Paddington. From Paddington, the Heathrow Express can be taken straight to London Heathrow airport. Alternatively, we have a number of 4* / 5* hotel partners in London, if guests would prefer to stay a little longer. Buses or direct taxi transfers to London Heathrow are also possible from Bath.

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.

How long is the Cotswold Way?

Extending from the quintessentially English market town of Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath, the 102 mile (164 km) Cotswold Way has existed as a promoted long-distance walk and had its 50th anniversary in 2020.

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.

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 self-guided holiday?
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the experienced, independent traveller or groups of travellers; those who wish to walk at their own pace and speed. With Ride With GPS and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Walk at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is always on standby. Our guide highlights the key differences between self-guided and guided travel.

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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