Five of the best walks in The Cotswolds
Walking in The Cotswolds offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in an area of sublime beauty. Rolling green hills, valleys snaking through gorges of yellow stone, villages full of character – think thatched cottages and roses around the door – and some superb English pubs. Walking routes in The Cotswolds are accessible and cater for all abilities and provide the chance to step away from tourist hotspots and wander instead at your own pace in your own space as you soak up all this beauty.
Pack your walking shoes, check into one of our beautiful places to stay in The Cotswolds and get out there and try one (or all) of our suggested routes.
Cleeve Hill to Winchcombe
Head out on to Cleeve Hill and take in the vast, sweeping views across The Cotswolds stretching down to Cheltenham race course and across to Gloucestershire. This route skirts Sudeley Castle with its amazing gardens and then passes on to Winchcombe, with its timbered buildings, independent shops and eateries.
Distance: 5.5 miles one way – there are buses back or walk back.
Where to stay nearby: Malvern View
Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-water
Much of this route, part of which is on the Oxfordshire Way walking route, passes along the banks of the Windrush river. It’s a longer day’s walk, but these two villages are enough to get you going but then add in the stunning countryside on route, plus villages like Lower Slaughter (above), and you have a day which encapsulates The Cotswolds.
Distance 11 miles
The Rollright Stones, near Chipping Norton
Head to the beautiful town of Chipping Norton and take the hour’s walk through rolling countryside to the ancient, legend soaked Rollright Stones. It’s great to arrive by foot as there’s limited car access to the site and you get to take in all that scenery on the way.
Distance 6 miles circular
The Windrush way
So, this one takes in part of the walks above but is a longer, circular, route which travels long the river and through beautiful towns and villages. The village of Winchcombe is a good starting point and you can read more here.
Distance 14 miles
Where to stay nearby: The Feathered Nest
Just outside of Stroud is Painswick, a picturesque and traditional Cotswolds village which overlooks the “Five Valleys” which stretch from Stroud to Gloucester. This route literally takes you to paradise – the tiny hamlet of that name – along the Wysis Way to Slad where you an find Laurie Lee’s local The Woolpack.
Distance 10 miles circular route
Where to stay nearby: Hammonds Farm