Self-guided Cotswolds Walking Tour
At a Glance
Journey through the Cotswolds on foot and at your own speed with this self-guided adventure
See England at its rural best, as you hike through honey-coloured villages, through sheep-filled fields and down quaint country lanes with our self-guided Cotswolds walking tour.
The Cotswolds is perfect walking country, with an abundance of history, heritage and stunning scenery to enjoy. Covering over 10 miles a day, this particular itinerary is best suited to seasoned walkers. We can, of course, offer shorter routes, although these may require additional transfers and therefore come at an increased cost. Please get in touch and our friendly local guides will be more than happy to assist with your requirements.
Whichever route you choose, with excellent accommodation, cosy local pubs and outstanding cuisine, Active England promises a Cotswold adventure you’ll never forget.
Arriving into Moreton-in-Marsh for 10.00am, our friendly local guide will be on hand to meet you and provide a thorough introductory briefing before you set off into the countryside. This first route takes you via the magical Batsford Arboretum, where we recommend stopping for lunch, and the charming village of Blockley. With its thatched cottages and traditional Cotswold stonework, Broad Campden is also well worth visiting before continuing into Chipping Campden. One of the Cotswolds’ signature market towns, and your home for this evening, take plenty of time to enjoy this attractive location before settling in for the evening at your hotel.
Setting out on the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile trail stretching all the way from Chipping Campden to Bath, this morning’s walk takes you toward Broadway Tower. With spectacular views over 16 counties in England and Wales, this is a perfect spot to enjoy lunch before continuing into Broadway itself. Along the way, you’ll have the option to explore the stunning Hidcote Gardens, internationally renowned for its collection of outdoor “rooms.” From here, finish today’s walk in Broadway, commonly known as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds.” Be sure to browse the many intriguing shops on the bustling high street, and for some truly luxurious relaxation, indulge in afternoon tea at the wonderful Broadway Deli.
Picking up the Cotswold Way once again, today you’ll walk from Broadway to the centuries-old market town of Winchcombe. On route, you’ll pass through the sleepy villages of Stanton and Stanway, as well as the spectacular 13th century ruins of Hailes Abbey. Upon arriving in Winchcombe, spend a little time exploring this charming Cotswold town, before settling down for the night in a cosy local inn.
With an initial walk uphill, today’s itinerary takes you onto the Cotswold escarpment, one of the most dramatic sections of the Cotswold Way. Passing through lush woodland, you’ll soon arrive in the charming English village of Guiting Power. Home to the fantastic Farmers Arms pub and a local café serving what is locally hailed as the world’s best Victoria sponge cake, pause here for lunch before continuing to Bourton-on-the-Water. Famous as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds,’ this beautiful spot will be your home for the evening.
Today’s itinerary takes you on a stunning walk from Bourton-on-the-Water to the picturesque market town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Along the way, you’ll pass through Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds, with an impressive market square and a wide range of cosy cafés and curious antique shops. We also suggest taking the opportunity to visit the Slaughters, famously one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds, with its calm river and beautiful mill. With the day drawing to a close, you’ll arrive in Moreton-in-Marsh for your final evening of the tour.
After a relaxed breakfast, we say farewell, with our Active England guides transferring you to Moreton-in-Marsh railway station for your onward travel.
Lygon Arms Hotel
Originally a 16th Century Cotswold coaching inn, the Lygon Arms is situated in the beautiful high street of Chipping Campden. This small, family run hotel is well known for its friendly atmosphere and traditional English food.
Nestled in the heart of Chipping Campden, this charming, Grade II listed Regency town house is an award winning hotel complete with a tranquil spa, relaxed bistro and the beautiful Fig Restaurant. The central location offers up picturesque Cotswold scenery from every window; be that rolling hills and nearby fields, or the honey-coloured architecture of the town centre.
The Broadway Hotel
Located on the village green in Broadway, the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. This cosy sixteenth-century inn brings together roaring fires, good food and friendly staff - the perfect countryside getaway.
The White Hart Inn
A traditional country inn and charming hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds. A quiet and relaxing escape with a restaurant and bar - a fabulous base for walkers.
The Lion Inn
The Lion is a beautifully restored 15th-century coaching inn featuring nine gorgeous ensuite bedrooms, each with its own quirky charm and character. Serving traditional pub food created with the finest seasonal and local produce, a cracking range of cask ale and craft beer, plus local cider. Outside the beer garden is ideal for al fresco drinking and dining.
Chestnuts Bed and Breakfast
This B&B is a 300-year-old listed building overlooking the village green and the River Windrush, which flows through the Cotswold countryside on its journey to the Thames.
The Slaughters Country Inn
A quintessential country inn offering the authentic charm of a traditional village inn with contemporary design. Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, a comforting and relaxed dining environment awaits. This is the perfect place to enjoy a pie and a pint by the fireside, or a salad on the terrace in summer.
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.
What our guides say...
We give you the routes, you set the pace and explore at your leisure.
- 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
Choose between 3* options or upgrade to 4* options for an additional cost
This tour is rated moderate, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good walk and can handle an incline or two. You cover varied terrain, enjoying some rolling hills and a few steeper walks which are slightly more demanding. Daily distances range from 4-10 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!
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. Easy transfers from Charlbury.
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.
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 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.
Want to extend your trip?
Fancy a few extra days exploring London before your trip? Or maybe you’d like to venture to the South West and discover the magic of Devon and Cornwall? Chat to our team to find out more about extending your trip.
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.