The Ultimate Guide To the Cotswold Way

by | Oct 3, 2023 | Blog, National Trail

Officially inaugurated on 24th May 2007, The Cotswold Way is one of the most famous long-distance footpaths in the British Isles. The 102-mile route runs through the Cotswolds, from Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath Spa in the south. If you’re considering embarking on a walk along The Cotswold Way, you can use this handy guide full of useful information as you plan and organise your trip.

Pathway and Trees at Sunset

How Long Do You Need to Walk The Cotswold Way?

Most walkers have aspirations to complete The Cotswold Way in its entirety in a week. Some instead choose the tackle the route in 5 days, but the reality of this is walking approximately 20 miles a day, and this mileage isn’t for the faint-hearted. The truth is, it’s best to take on the route at your own pace. If you want to spend time exploring the villages, resting at your hotel, or taking in the historical sites of the Cotswolds, you may need longer than 7 days to complete the route. The Georgian city of Bath Spa is certainly an incredible destination in its own right and one you should take your time to explore. In a perfect world The Cotswold Way should not be rushed, but savored, but the pace is entirely up to you.

Public Transport

Trains: The Great Western main line runs from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh, Evesham, Bath, and Stroud. The Birmingham to Bristol train line runs parallel to The Cotswold Way with stations at Ashchurch, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cam and Dursley.

Coaches: There is a National Express coach service from London Victoria to Cheltenham Spa (444), and coaches also serve Bath Spa and Broadway. From here you can take local buses to your starting point at Chipping Campden.

Local buses: The Cotswold Way is well served by numerous local bus routes. Although few of these services run on a Sunday.

Sign Pointing Towards The Cotswold Way Footpath

The History of The Cotswold Way

Today The Cotswold Way runs for 102 miles (163 kilometres) through the Cotswold Hills from Chipping Campden in the north to the historical city of Bath. But interestingly, the route was originally devised as a long-distance footpath by members of the Ramblers’ Association. They first established the route in conjunction with the Cotswolds AONB in 1970. 28 years later, in 1998, its status as a national trail began. But it wasn’t until May of 2007 that the trail received its formal launch. 

Useful Information and Access

Along the route, there are several places suitable for those with restricted mobility. And there is an off road mobility scooter for hire to explore the Cotswold Way around Crickley Hill Country Park.  If you’re reasonably fit, you can walk The Cotswold Way in its entirety. Although all walkers should be aware that steep climbs are quite frequent occurrences on the route.  The Cotswold Way is very well marked and maintained, however walkers should always be equipped with detailed maps and guidebooks to help them on their journey.