Guided Cotswolds Walking Tour
At a Glance
Cotswolds Walking Tour visiting quintessential English villages, castles and gardens
Our 6-day, 5-night guided Cotswolds walking tour will lead you through honey-coloured villages and busy little market towns, over rolling hills and down quaint country lanes. Leaving the crowds behind, let us transport you back to England as it was before mechanisation, when sheep and dry-stone walling dictated the way of life for hundreds of years.
Our routes are designed for all walking abilities, with shorter options available every day. With breathtaking scenery, welcoming accommodation and plenty of opportunity to visit our favourite local pubs, Active England promises a guided Cotswold experience you’ll never forget.
We collect you from Moreton-in-Marsh for an introductory walk into the Cotswolds. Setting out on a looped walk from the small market town of Chipping Campden, we stop at the world-famous Hidcote Gardens for lunch in a majestic, American-inspired garden. We then return to Moreton-in-Marsh for our first dinner together as a group.
We head out again from Chipping Campden on the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile route tracing all the way to Bath. Passing Dover’s Hill, home to the quirky Cotswold Olympiks, our tour takes us toward Broadway Tower, where guests can enjoy views of over 16 counties in England and Wales. After lunch, we walk down to Broadway itself, widely known as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’, to explore the stunning high street. We then return to Moreton-in-Marsh for the evening.
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 returning to Moreton-in-Marsh.
We travel from Moreton-in-Marsh to Stow on the Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. The site of a famous battle in the English Civil War, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the magnificent market square. We then walk down toward the Slaughters, some of the most photogenic villages in the entire region, before lunching in the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, Bourton-on-the-Water. Our itinerary allows a little more time here before continuing to Burford, to our next hotel. One of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds, this captivating village is renowned for its bustling high street and vibrant atmosphere.
Setting out from Burford, we walk from the village of Barnsley down the Coln Valley to Bibury, a place so pretty that Henry Ford wanted to transfer it in its entirety back to the USA! Our itinerary sees us lunch at a trout farm before continuing to Bampton. A real treat for Downton Abbey fans, this village is where all of the show’s outdoor filming takes place. We then return to Burford for our final dinner together.
Our tour ends after breakfast, when we help with your onward travel arrangements. Most of our guests travel by train from Charlbury, 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...
The Cotswolds is a great place to explore with an abundance of history – and some interesting facts that you’ll only discover if you join me on a trip!
- All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- All breakfasts and x2 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
Choose between 3* options or upgrade to 4* options for an additional cost
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.
For pre and post tour options, please see our London packages.
Pick-up location: Moreton-in-Marsh railway station. Our walking 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 Moreton-in-Marsh, a direct 1.5-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Charlbury 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?
Fancy spending a few extra days exploring London before your tour of the Cotswolds? Or how about venturing to the South West and discovering the magic of Devon and Cornwall. Chat to the team to find out more.
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.