Spend your day birdwatching in the Cotswolds… At Manor Cottages we are very proud of the beautiful villages and...
Journey through picturesque villages, enchanting woodlands and rolling green countryside whilst walking the Cotswold Way.
This delightful National Trail covers over 100 miles of the quintessentially English countryside. A scenic, undulating route through charming Cotswolds landscapes, The Cotswold Way is a popular long-distance walk offering panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
Read on to discover how you can enjoy a hiking adventure along the Cotswold Way…
The Cotswold Way National Trail is a 102-mile long-distance walk from the market town of Chipping Campden to the steps of Bath Abbey. Thousands of walkers take on the Cotswold Way every year, taking most people between seven to ten days to complete the challenge.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of breathtaking countryside as you journey through picturesque villages and past historic sights including the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap and Hailes Abbey just north of Winchcombe.
The Cotswold Way is well marked and easy to follow, however, we recommend taking a map and being prepared for some steep climbs! Whether you complete the challenge in seven days or decide to take advantage of the sights along the way, this idyllic walk is sure to be a journey to remember.
From here, follow the route to the Iron Age hill fort of Shenberrow Camp before descending into the delightful village of Stanton. The final section takes you across the Stanway Estate, finishing in the hamlet of Wood Stanway.
This section of the Cotswold Way begins with a steep climb from Wood Stanway onto the escarpment, with magnificent views across the Vale of Evesham and the Malverns.
The trail continues passed the Iron Age hill fort of Beckbury Camp and towards the picturesque ruins of Hailes Abbey. Continue through the Cotswold town of Winchcombe and across Sudeley Estate before a steep climb to Cleeve Hill.
Starting from the highest part of the Cotswold Way, Cleeve Common, you’ll be treated to incredible views over Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The route descends through Dowdeswell Wood and Lineover Wood before climbing up to Wistley Plantation.
After a short decline, you’ll climb back up onto Charlton Kings Common and follow the escarpment onto Leckhampton Hill, with breathtaking views across the Severn Vale. This picture-perfect section of the Cotswold Way takes you into Crickley Hill Country Park and through undulating grasslands and woodlands until you finally emerge at Birdlip.
The longest section of the Cotswold Way starts with a climb up Cooper’s Hill, home to the world-famous cheese rolling festival! From here you’ll emerge onto Painswick Beacon and the attractive town of Painswick. Painswick marks the half-way point of the Cotswold Way. After a short descent, you’ll then make your way up to Edge Common, enter woodlands and emerge at Haresfield Beacon.
Take a moment to admire the incredible views of Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, before descending into the Standish Woods, home to magical displays of bluebell in the spring. At the Stroudwater Navigation continue on to Kings Stanley, the final point of this Cotswold Way section.
Day five of The Cotswold Way walk begins by hiking through Penn Wood to Nympsfield Long Barrow, one of the earliest examples of a Neolithic barrow. Continue on to Coaley Peak and climb up to Cam Long Down, where you will be rewarded with striking panoramic views, before descending into Dursley.
Take on the steep climb from the popular market town up to Stinchcombe Hill and then, after catching your breath, descend into the village of North Nibley. From here there’s one more steep ascent to the Tyndale Monument, before arriving into the town of Wotton-under-Edge.
After climbing back up onto the escarpment, you’ll walk past Newark Park, a popular National Trust property in the Cotswolds. Follow a woodland track to Alderley before ascending to the Somerset Monument and making your way to Hawkesbury Upton. From here, you’ll follow Bath Lane to another popular National Trust property, Horton Court.
Horton Court is a unique Grade I listed manor house, situated amongst the rolling Cotswolds countryside. After climbing up to Woodcock Farm Hill Fort and admiring the breathtaking views of the Frome Valley and Welsh Mountains, you’ll cross Dodington Park and arrive in the village of Tormarton.
The final section of The Cotswold Way takes you across farmland to Dyrham Park, through Dryham Woods and to the village of Cold Aston. From here, descend into the secluded valley at Lower Hamswell before climbing to Lansdown, a historic civil war battle site. The route then levels off as you make your way past Bath Racecourse. Emerge onto Prospect Stile, with views of Bath and Bristol, before ascending to Kelston Roundhill.
Be sure to spend some time admiring the panoramic views of Somerset and Wales, before descending into the iconic city of Bath. Walking the Cotswold Way will take you past many popular landmarks including the Royal Crescent and Royal Victoria Park. Upon finishing at Bath Abbey, you’ll find a carved stone disc set into the pavement, marking the end of the Cotswold Way.
With so many incredible sites to see and villages to explore, we recommend taking a little longer to complete The Cotswold Way. The route can be split into 14 easy to manage sections, giving you plenty of time to soak up your surroundings.
Day 1 – Chipping Campden to Broadway | 6 miles
Day 2 – Broadway to Wood Stanway | 6.5 miles
Day 3 – Wood Stanway to Winchcombe | 5.4 miles
Day 4 – Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill | 5.6 miles
Day 5 – Cleeve Hill to Leckhampton Hill | 10.2 miles
Day 6 – Leckhampton Hill to Birdlip | 5.6 miles
Day 7 – Birdlip to Painswick | 8.6 miles
Day 8 – Painswick to King’s Stanley | 7.8 miles
Day 9 – King’s Stanley to Dursley | 7.2 miles
Day 10 – Dursley to Wotton-Under-Edge | 7.3 miles
Day 11 – Wotton-Under-Edge to Hawkesbury Upton | 7.4 miles
Day 12 – Hawkesbury Upton to Tormarton | 7.7 miles
Day 13 – Tormarton to Cold Ashton | 6.6 miles
Day 14 – Cold Ashton to Bath | 10.2 miles
If you’re looking for a place to stay whilst walking the Cotswold Way, then be sure to check out these charming Cotswold holiday cottages. Our range of accommodation near the Cotswold Way include cottages with hot tubs and dog-friendly properties, ensuring you’ll have the perfect place to relax after a long days hike in the idyllic Cotswolds.
Looking to spend some time exploring the Cotswolds AONB after walking the Cotswold Way? Be sure to check out these 77 things to do in the Cotswolds or discover three magnificent castles in the Cotswolds, for some holiday inspiration.