If you’re keen to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds on the famous Cotswold Way, but not so keen to walk the entire 102 miles, you can get a taste of it by embarking upon one of its 12 shorter circular walks.
The best way to take in the green countryside and stunning views of this spectacular region is definitely by foot, so lace up those walking boots and take your pick with our round-up of each of the routes, or work your way through each one, one at a time.
A wonderful introduction to the Cotswold Way, this shorter walk which is approximately 4.5 miles long takes you through stunning woodland, green countryside, and through the quaint, traditional market town of Chipping Campden with its trademark Cotswold stone buildings.
Allow yourself between 2.5 – 3.5 hours to walk the route and expect the odd steeper area but mainly an easy to moderate walk, appealing to most.
Through one of the most picturesque and historical Cotswolds towns of Broadway, this relatively short route incorporates a hike up to the Broadway Tower, where you can take in the spectacular views across the Severn Vale into Wales and explore its intriguing history. Covering a few steep sections and stiles, it offers a bit of varied terrain.
If you are looking for a slightly more challenging walk, this 6-mile route through the villages of Stanton and Snowshill may appeal to you. A range of terrain, including some steeper sections, stiles to cross, and often muddy sections, in the wetter months, this isn’t as gentle as some of the other routes but is well worth it for the magnificent views, shady woodlands, lush green countryside, rolling hills, and picture-perfect villages. Reward your efforts with a drink or a bite to eat in one of the cozy and welcoming pubs.
Winchcombe, Belas Knap
This delightful walk encompasses old and new routes along the Cotswold Way. Starting at the beautiful town of Winchcombe, with its busy streets, cafes, pubs, and shops, and up through unspoiled countryside to the historic site of Belas Knap. A most intriguing and fascinating ancient monument, perfect to explore. Again, this route includes some steeper areas and stiles along the way covering approximately 5 ¼ miles.
The perfect route to experience the outstanding natural beauty of the Cotswold Way, taking in the breathtaking sights of vast green countryside and hills, walking alongside meandering streams, woodlands, and wildflowers. This walk is six miles long and includes a variety of flat and steeper sections and some climbs. Well worth it to enjoy the mesmerizing views from Cleeve Common and explore some of the most fascinating nature-rich habitats that the area has to offer.
Providing a selection of landscapes from lush green grassland to quiet shaded woodland, and interesting spots ranging from Iron Age remains to Victorian quarries, there will be something to interest every walker. A four-and-a-half-mile route with some steep parts this path boasts one of the most stunning and varied parts of the Cotswold Way.
This enchanting little four-mile route leads you through the beautiful Buckholt Wood where you will walk through beech trees and rich habitats. If you visit in May you will be greeted by the wonderful sight of the richly coloured bluebells covering the forest floor. Visit the steep, iconic Cooper’s Hill, home to one of the most captivating Cotswold traditions of cheese-rolling, where many adventurous or reckless local has risked their neck to chase after the cheese hurtling down the hill! Despite a few moderately steep sections this walk is relatively easy and suitable for most.
Following the National Trail for most of its route, this walk is very easy to follow and proves to be very popular. Taking in areas of woodland and open grasslands – walk alongside Victorian mills and the waterway to discover a different side to the Cotswold Way. Expect the odd challenge with some steep parts and stiles to cross along the 5-mile route.
Cam Longdown and Uley
This four-mile route is a little trickier in sections with some stiles, steps and steeper sections to navigate but provides a stunning and varied walk through a range of woodland paths to hillsides, and rewards you with spectacular views along the way. Explore the historic Uley Bury stop for a picnic and take in the wonderful Cotswolds views.