Great Cotswold Walks For The Unpredictable British Summer

You’ve got to love the British summer, it might bring with it four seasons in one day and keep us guessing whether to wear flip-flops or wellies, but as soon as that sun shines us Brits are in a great mood and hit the great outdoors. 

2018 brought some fine and relatively predictable weather during the summer months but so far 2019 has been a hugely mixed bag! We’ve had record breaking highs, incredible thunder storms that you’d only expect in the tropics and most recently so much rain that villages and towns have flooded. 

If you are a keen walker though these crazy weather systems won’t stop you getting out and about and enjoying the countryside on a good old hike, so which Cotswold walks would be good in this unpredictable weather? Let's take a look. 

Crickley Hill

Crickely Hill is one of our favourite Cotswold walks, the panoramic views from the top are just gorgeous and you can choose to wander around the edge of the hill to soak up the views or go down into the forested areas too. The walks are suitable for all ages and you’ll often find big, friendly cows grazing close-by as you walk. 

Although the hill is extremely open to the elements should the rain come down there is a lovely little cafe that you can hide away in and enjoy some coffee and cake. If the sun is shining then definitely bring a picnic up, there is a huge flat spot at the top of the hill just perfect for picnicking and with views that will take your breath away. 

Forest Of Dean

A smart walking choice would be a forest walk - keep yourself shaded from either the blazing sunshine or the rain. 

The Forest of Dean has many, many beautiful forest walks, just drive into the forest and take your pick. 

If you like the idea of there being a cafe to hide out in and more going on for children if you are walking as a family then there are options for you too. 

Head for the Dean Heritage Centre for a lovely Gruffalo Trail and lots of other nice things to see (you will pay to get in here though) or Beechenhurst where you’ll find a whole host of activities including a sculpture train, children’s trails, a big park, a great cafe and loads of green space to kick a ball around and have a picnic. It can get busy here when the weathers good but there is plenty of space so this isn’t usually a problem.

Broadway Tower

A trip to the Cotswolds wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Broadway and it's beautiful tower. You can do the walk in whatever way you wish - start from the town and walk up the hill to meet the tower then head back down, or drive up for a less strenuous walk around the tower and surrounding grounds. 

The views from the top of the hill where the tower is situated are second-to-none and on a clear day you can see out for an incredible distance. 

There is a lovely cafe and gift shop should the weather take a turn for the worse, plus if you’ve walked from the town you can always head for one of the lovely pubs, restaurants or tea-rooms in Broadway village itself. 

Broadway has some gorgeous shops and places to visit so make sure you have a wonder around here too, 

Batsford Arboretum

There are a few gorgeous Arboretums in the area and we really love Batsford for all ages. It has stunning walks with incredible views, a park for the children, a lovely big cafe, shop and garden centre. Take a walk whilst the weather is good then retreat to the cafe for some well-earned lunch and drinks. Browse the garden centre or take the kids for a play in the lovely park. 

You’ll find Batsford a really great place for a walk whatever the British summer throws at us weather-wise. 

Great Tew Park

With an absolute abundance of beautiful country pubs in the Cotswolds it would be a great idea to base your walk around one, this way you’ve got somewhere to retreat to if the heavens open up or somewhere for refreshments if the sun becomes too hot.

The Falkland Arms in Trew is nearly half a millennium old and is a beautiful example of a Cotswold pub. 

The medieval village of Great Tew and its neighbours Little Tew and Ledwell are just beautiful with their thatched houses, Cotswold stone buildings and rolling limestone pastures. 

If you follow the lane that runs down the right side of the pub as you look at it along the border of Great Tew Park then turn directly south after about a mile you’ll come tp a road, turn right along the south side of the park and follow it to a footpath on your left opposite a T-junction. This path will head south then west to Little Tew and loop back around to your starting position - then its time for a pub lunch!

Katharine Mabbett