Short Guided Winter Walking Tour in the Cotswolds

At a Glance

A winter walking tour visiting key locations in the Cotswolds at this unique time of the year

On our 5-day, 4-night, short guided winter walking tour, we’ll lead you to some of the best sights and scenes in the Cotswolds at this time of the year. Enjoy the crisp winter air, the views of rolling hills and the crunch under your walking boots. 

Leave the busier summer crowds as we walk through classic English Cotswold countryside, spotting sights unique to this time of year. Marvel at the small honey-stoned villages before enjoying the welcoming ambience of larger market towns. Travel in the run-up to Christmas, you might even catch a seasonal local market.

Walking up to 8 miles per day – with shorter options available daily – this Costwold winter walking tour promises stunning scenery and comfortable accommodation with plenty of opportunity to relax in front of a fire at a classic British pubs come the day’s end.

  • Enjoy the unique sights, smells and sounds of the Cotswolds in winter
  • Gaze at the never-ending views from Broadway Tower
  • Take in the sprawling parkland and grand staterooms of Blenheim Palace
  • Visit classic Cotswold locations such as Chipping Campden, Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury

Your Itinerary

After meeting your guide at Moreton-in-Marsh at 10:00am, your time in the Cotswolds begins with a short walk from Chipping Campden along the Cotswold Way to Broadway Tower and Broadway. Enjoy excellent coffee and cake at Broadway Tower – along with the excellent views of course – before descending into the idyllic village of Broadway itself – known by some as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’.

Up to 8 miles – 340ft elevation

After a relaxing, comfortable night in your accommodation, today’s itinerary begins with a transfer to the world heritage site at Blenheim Castle, the birthplace of Churchill. Today’s 7-mile walk takes in the best of the palace grounds and surrounding villages. There’s an opportunity to visit the Palace itself before we return to Moreton-in-Marsh come the evening.

Up to 7 miles – 240ft elevation

The highest town in the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold is our first stop on today’s plan. Meander along streets lined with local, independent shops before enjoying the town’s excellent market square. From here our walk heads downhill to the Slaughters, arguably the prettiest places in the Cotswolds. Without the summer crowds you can experience Cotswold country life as the locals do. From the Slaughters, we carry on to Bourton-on-the-Water and its many bridges and waterways. Our itinerary allows you plenty of time to explore everything Bourton has to offer, before we transfer to Burford and our accommodation for nights three and four.

Up to 7 miles – 294ft elevation

Although your time in the Cotswolds is coming to a close, today’s walk has promises aplenty. From the tiny village of Barnsley we amble down the Coln Valley to the equally delightful hamlet at Bibury. The Cotswolds is arguably at its prettiest here, no matter the season. Industrialist Henry Ford agreed with us – he loved Arlington Row in Bibury so much he tried to buy it! After lunch at Bibury Trout Farm, we roll onto Bampton – a village fans of the English Period drama Downton Abbey might recognise from its use as a set for the series. This evening, we return to Burford for our final dinner together.

Up to 7 miles – 160ft elevation

Our tour ends following one last hearty breakfast. Our guides will be on hand to help with your onward travel arrangements, though most guests choose to leave by train from Charlbury station where you can find direct trains to London Paddington.

Gallery

Handpicked Accommodation

3* Option - Moreton-in-Marsh
Resedale Arms

3* Option - Moreton-in-Marsh

Resedale Arms
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.

4* Option - Moreton-in-Marsh
The Manor House Hotel, Burford

4* Option - Moreton-in-Marsh

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.

3* Option - Burford
Prince of Burford

3* Option - Burford

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.

4* Option - Burford
The Lamb Inn, Burford

4* Option - Burford

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...

Visting the Cotswolds in shoulder season is a great way to see Active England’s home at a quieter, but no less beautiful time of the year.

Gaby
  • 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!

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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