5 days, 8 days
Duration
Easy to Moderate
Difficulty
England
Location
March-October
Availability

  Discover the beautiful and quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds.

 Visit William Shakespeare’s birthplace and childhood home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

  Explore the local markets as you pass through picturesque Cotswold villages.

  Admire the stunning views over the countryside from the top of Broadway Tower.

  Experience real English hospitality in the warm, family-run B&B’s and guesthouses.


Self-guided walking holiday in the Cotswolds

The Cotswold Trail is a stunning walk through idyllic English countryside and picturesque golden villages.

The landscape here is an entrancing mixture of parkland, cultivated fields with dry-stone walls and patches of unspoilt woodland. With almost all the cottages, farmhouses and villages made of stone, the scenery blends with the structures to create a delightful fusion of natural and man-made beauty. You will stay in a selection of handpicked B&B’s and guesthouses whose hosts welcome you each evening. This is a perfect introduction to walking in the English countryside.

We offer two versions of this walking holiday in the Cotswolds. The week-long walking trip begins in William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, while the 5-day trip begins in the bustling market town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Both trips finish in the ancient Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €999 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS From €660 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION

We use a variety of accommodation along the route ranging from bed and breakfasts to lodges, pubs and small hotels. They are run by walker friendly hosts offering en-suite or private facility rooms with a tasty breakfast to get you ready for the walk ahead. Further facilities such as washing and drying facilities, packed lunches and packed lunches are available in some accommodations.

For details of accommodation for each night please see the itinerary section.

MEALS The overnight accommodations are on a bed & breakfast basis. You will have a selection of cold and hot options to choose from each morning.

Packed lunches can be booked and paid for on arrival at your accommodation. They offer a good selection of sandwiches, snacks and drinks for you to take with you for that day’s walk. On a few sections you will also pass a café and/or shop but on many days you will not pass anything between the start and finish.

For evening meals you will have a variety of pubs and restaurants to choose from, or your accommodation will provide a tasty meal.

AVAILABILITY You can start any day, subject to availability, between late March and mid-October.
INCLUDED
7/4 x nights in selected accommodation
7/4 x breakfasts
Luggage transportation
Detailed info pack with maps and route notes (1 per room)
GPS tracks
Service hotline
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Transport to starting point or from end point of the trip
Lunches & dinners
Any other items not mentioned in the program
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights
Single room supplement: €45 per night
DIFFICULTY / TERRAIN We grade this walk as ‘Easy – Moderate’ in relation to our other UK tours, the route is hilly, but not mountainous, the weather is rarely too bad for walking, and there are lots of villages en route. The walks follow mostly unsurfaced tracks and footpaths across fields. Days of up to 20 km are not too long for most reasonably fit people.
1

Day 1: Arrival in Stratford-upon-Avon

Make your own way by train of car to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The town is on a local railway line, and you can get connections to Birmingham and London. The day is free to explore the town. You can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in the centre of town, the Holy Trinity Church where he is buried, and the thatched cottage where his wife Anne Hathaway once lived.

Overnight: Stratford.
Moonraker House is a traditional English 4-star licensed bed & breakfast with en-suite rooms, delicious home cooking, friendly service and a cosy atmosphere.

2

Day 2: Stratford-upon-Avon to Mickleton

Distance: 17 km | Walking time: 4½ hrs approx.

Today’s walk will bring you to the Cotswold village of Mickleton. We suggest that you stop off at the National Trust Gardens at Hidcote Manor, near Mickleton. Enjoy the wide views over the vales of Severn and Avon toward the Malvern Hills and Wales.

Overnight: Mickleton.
The Three Ways Hotel is home to the famous Pudding Club and its award winning restaurant.

3

Day 3: Mickleton to Broadway

Distance: 14.5 km | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

A Lovely walk to Broadway via Chipping Campden, Fish Hill and the unique Broadway Tower, which offers remarkable views of the Cotswolds. Broadway is a beautiful and picturesque town, and the main street is lined with magnificent stone-built houses as well as some great antique shops.

Overnight: Broadway.
You will receive a warm welcome at the 4-star Windrush Guesthouse.

4

Day 4: Broadway to Blockley

Distance: 19 km | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.

On today’s walk to Blockley you will pass the village and manor of Buckland, where you can take a little time to explore. The church is interesting and has medieval painted roof timbers. You then continue through the charming villages of Laverton, Stanton and Snowshill. A visit to the Tudor Snowshill Manor, with its collection of art and artefacts from all over the world, may be of interest.

Blockley bears some resemblance to the villages of the Stroud Valley, but the stone is much more golden in colour. It is quite different in character to other north Cotswolds villages. During the 18th century, when the wool industry was in decline, Blockley turned to silk production. The village is a unique collection of buildings, reflecting its rich heritage of mills and silk production. The silk mills made use of the waters of the brook which runs through the centre of the village.

Overnight: Blockley.
The Crown Inn Hotel is an enchanting historic building.

5

Day 5: Blockley to Bourton-on-the-Water

Distance: 21.5 km | Walking time: 7 hrs approx.

A beautiful walk, on which you will be able to explore some of the prettiest villages of the Cotswolds. En route to the medieval wool town of Bourton-on-the-Water, today’s walk will take you via Batsford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Lower Slaughter. Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds, and its vast market square is a testament to the town’s historic importance. Nowadays, you will find numerous art galleries, gift shops and inns in this delightful town.

The river Windrush flows down the main street of Bourton-on-the-Water. Bourton is well known for its attractive little footbridges over the river and for its scale model of the village.

Overnight: Bourton-on-the-Water.
The Lansdowne is a family run 4 star guesthouse where you can expect a warm welcome on arrival.

6

Day 6: Bourton on the Water to Guiting Power

Distance: 11.5 km | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

Today you will have a shorter walk to the tiny village of Guiting Power. Nestled in the hills above a small valley, Guiting Power is a perfect example of a Cotswold village. Our accommodation tonight is situated in the small and isolated village that has allowed time to pass it by.

Due to limited accommodation in Guiting you may be staying in the small village of Naunton which is located 1/2 hour walk before Guiting.

Overnight: Either at the 16th century Guiting Guesthouse in Guiting Power, or in the small village of Naunton which is located approx. 2 km before Guiting Power.

7

Day 7: Guiting Power to Winchcombe

There are a couple of different walking route options today:

  1. via Sudeley Castle (18.5 km, 5 hrs approx.)
  2. via Warden’s Way & Sudeley Castle (10.5 km, 2.5 hrs approx.)

The walk today leads you to the atmospheric ruins of Hailes Abbey, destroyed under Henry VIII, and the still inhabited Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr lived. The castle is surrounded by award winning gardens and medieval ruins.

Winchcombe is a delightful and ancient town, nestling in a deep valley near the regency town of Cheltenham.

Overnight: Winchcombe.
Wesley House is a 15th century merchants house, and its restaurant developed a reputation for excellent food, elegant surroundings and exemplary service.

8

Day 8: Departure from Winchcombe

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. You can take a bus or taxi to nearby Cheltenham for onward travel.

1

Day 1: Arrival in Moreton-in-Marsh

Arrival in Moreton-in-Marsh by train. The station is on the Cotswolds Line which runs between London and Hereford & Worcester. Connections to Birmingham and Airport also possible.

The rest of the day is free to explore the town. The high street has many elegant eighteenth-century inns and houses including the Redesdale Market Hall located in the centre of town.

Overnight: Moreton-on-the-Marsh, in the family run Swan Inn.

2

Day 2: Moreton-on-the-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water

Distance: 17 km | Walking time: 4½ hrs approx.

A beautiful walk, on which you will be able to explore some of the prettiest villages of the Cotswolds. En route to the medieval wool town of Bourton-on-the-Water, today’s walk will take you via Stow-on-the-Wold and Lower Slaughter. Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds, and its vast market square is a testament to the town’s historic importance. Nowadays, you will find numerous art galleries, gift shops and inns in this delightful town.

The river Windrush flows down the main street of Bourton-on-the-Water. Bourton is well known for its attractive little footbridges over the river and for its scale model of the village.

Overnight: Bourton-on-the-Water.
The Lansdowne is a family run 4 star guesthouse where you can expect a warm welcome on arrival.

3

Day 3: Bourton on the Water to Guiting Power

Distance: 11.5 km | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

Today you will have a shorter walk to the tiny village of Guiting Power. Nestled in the hills above a small valley, Guiting Power is a perfect example of a Cotswold village. Our accommodation tonight is situated in the small and isolated village that has allowed time to pass it by.

Due to limited accommodation in Guiting you may be staying in the small village of Naunton which is located 1/2 hour walk before Guiting.

Overnight: Either at the 16th century Guiting Guesthouse in Guiting Power, or in the small village of Naunton which is located approx. 2 km before Guiting Power.

4

Day 4: Guiting Power to Winchcombe

There are a couple of different walking route options today:

  1. via Sudeley Castle (18.5 km, 5 hrs approx.)
  2. via Warden’s Way & Sudeley Castle (10.5 km, 2.5 hrs approx.)

The walk today leads you to the atmospheric ruins of Hailes Abbey, destroyed under Henry VIII, and the still inhabited Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr lived. The castle is surrounded by award winning gardens and medieval ruins.

Winchcombe is a delightful and ancient town, nestling in a deep valley near the regency town of Cheltenham.

Overnight: Winchcombe.
Wesley House is a 15th century merchants house, and its restaurant developed a reputation for excellent food, elegant surroundings and exemplary service.

5

Day 5: Departure from Winchcombe

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. You can take a bus or taxi to nearby Cheltenham for onward travel.


Getting to Stratford-upon-Avon

  The nearest airport is Birmingham. You can also fly to Manchester, or any of the London airports.
/ National rail services run to Stratford-upon-Avon train station, which is a comfortable ten minute walk from the town centre. There is a frequent and fast train service from Birmingham to Stratford (50 mins journey, departures every hour).

Visit West Midlands Railway to book tickets.

If travelling from London, National Express runs several coach trips a day from London Victoria Coach Station to Stratford-upon-Avon Riverside Bus Station (2½ hrs approx.)


If starting in Moreton-in-Marsh (5-day trip)

  Regular train services connect London Paddington Station and Moreton-in-Marsh (1 hr 35 mins). Moreton station is on the Cotswolds Line which runs between London and Hereford & Worcester.

If coming from Birmingham, you can reach Moreton-in-Marsh by train via Oxford (2 hrs approx.)


Getting from Winchcombe

  Train services are available from Cheltenham Spa (14 km away). National Express coaches run from Cheltenham, and Stagecoach and Pulhams run frequent bus services daily between Winchcombe and Cheltenham.

See bus timetables below:

Cotswolds walking holiday Chipping Campden
Stratford-upon-Avon
William Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon
Anne Hathaway's cottage, Stratford
Hidcote Manor gardens, Mickleton
Walking in the Cotswolds
Stone barn in the Cotswolds
Tractor near Chipping Campden
Walkers on the Cotswold Trail
Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds
Broadway Deli greengrocers
The pretty village of Stanton in the Cotswolds
The Cotswold Way
Lazy afternoon in the village of Snowshill
Bourton-on-the-Water
View over Winchcombe in the Cotswolds
Enjoy tea and scones in the Cotswolds!

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review

Rating