A Grand Tour Of The Cotswolds On Foot

THE WALK, At a glance:

PRICE: £650 per person based on 2 people sharing in B & B accommodation with private bathrooms

DURATION: 9 nights

DISTANCE: 7 - 14 miles per day

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

WHEN TO GO: March - September

HIGHLIGHTS: Walk up Cleeve Hill to pass the Neolithic tomb at Belas Knap and down into Winchcombe, home to Sudeley Castle.


The Walk

This route includes the best parts of the Cotswold Way (between Chipping Campden and Painswick), as well as some exceptional villages and landscapes that are not on the official route, including Northleach and Cirencester. However, from Painswick you may choose, instead of returning to Cheltenham, to head south towards Bath along the usual route. Or, from Painswick you may prefer to travel by train to Bath from nearby Stroud. We will meet you to go over the route. This beautiful route can include Burford and so turn it into a 10 night holiday.

Pricing Information

£650 per person based on 2 people sharing in B & B accommodation with private bathrooms. For upgraded accommodation and any other variations, please ask.

What's Included

  • 9 nights B&B accommodation, or upgrades to hotels.

  • Luggage transportation each walking day.

  • Route notes & maps.

  • Local back-up.

  • Pre-tour meeting if you arrive before 6pm.

The Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight in Cheltenham, a beautiful town celebrated for its Regency architecture and fine shops and restaurants.

Day 2: Cheltenham to Winchcombe – (7 miles/11 km). Over Cleeve Hill to pass the Neolithic tomb at Belas Knap and so down to Winchcombe, home to Sudeley Castle. Overnight Winchcombe.

Day 3: Winchcombe to Broadway – (10.5 miles/17 km). This is a fabulous day’s walk. Follow the pilgrims’ route to Hailes Abbey (open to the public), then over the hills to Jacobean Stanway House, with its wonderful gatehouse, medieval tithe barn and extraordinary fountain. Pass through Stanton, so unspoilt that it has featured in many films, and arrive in the village of Broadway, one of the inspirations for the arts and Crafts Movement.

Day 4: Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh – (12 miles/20 km) NB Overnight in Chipping Campden can be included – please ask. Walk up to Broadway Tower, the 18th century folly, where the view is stunning and then it is but a short step to Chipping Campden, the loveliest of all Cotswold villages, and once the wool centre of Europe. Pass the old butter market, visit the fine ‘wool’ church, and perhaps the world renowned silversmith. Continue through Broad Campden and Blockley and descend to Batsford, with its arboretum and falconry centre. Finally, a stroll across meadows to Moreton, for overnight.

Day 5: Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water – (12 miles/ 20 km). You are soon among typical Cotswold villages with a detour to see gorgeous Sezincote if you like. Then it is Stow-on-the-Wold, complete with village stocks and picturesque square, down to Lower Slaughter and finally to Bourton-on-the-Water for overnight.

Day 6: Bourton-on-the-Water to Northleach – (11 miles/17 km). The route weaves around Bourton lakes, then crosses the hills to Sherborne. Stroll through landscaped Sherborne Park and continue to the tranquil and historic village of Northleach, with its glorious wool church, mechanical music museum and air of timelessness. Overnight Northleach.

Day 7: Northleach to Cirencester – (14 miles/22 km). Head for Chedworth with its welcoming pub (and nearby Roman villa, one of the best preserved in the country), before continuing to Cirencester, after London the second town of Roman Britain, with its excellent Corinium Museum and its majestic market square overlooked by the huge and recently restored parish church.

Day 8: Cirencester to Painswick – (13.5 miles/21 km). A stroll through the 18th century landscape of Cirencester Park brings you to Sapperton, once a centre for William Morris’s Arts & Crafts Movement. Follow the old Thames & Severn Canal, and then walk through perfect rural England to Painswick, ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’, noted for its fascinating churchyard and the Rococo Garden.

Day 9: Painswick to Cheltenham – (13 miles/20 km). Walk through the countryside immortalised in Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’ to Sheepscombe (which features in the book), which straddles an enchanting valley. The Cotswold Way takes you along the Cotswold Edge, with panoramic views towards Gloucester, the Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains in Wales. Overnight Cheltenham.

Day 10: Departure.

How Much Walking?

Distance: 93 miles (150 kms). Average daily distance: 10.3 miles (16.5km).

This tour is of moderate difficulty. Average daily walking distance is just over 10 miles.

  • Longest day 14 miles (22.5km).

  • Shortest day 7 miles (11km).

  • Average daily mileage 10.3 miles.

Route Summary

This route includes the best parts of the Cotswold Way (between Chipping Campden and Painswick), as well as some exceptional villages and landscapes that are not on the official route, including Northleach and Cirencester.

Tour Highlights

  • Rambling through some of the most picturesque countryside & villages in England.

  • Carefully selected accommodation at which to stay.

  • Average daily walking distance is 10 miles.

  • Soaking up the history of the area.

  • Walk up to Broadway Tower.

Travel Information

Arriving By Train:

The Cotswolds are at the heart of the British rail network. Direct trains travel from London Paddington to Cheltenham frequently.

Arriving By Plane:

Nearest airport: Bristol Airport (53.3 miles).

Other nearby airports: Birmingham Airport (56.9 miles / 91km), London Heathrow: (94 miles). From London Heathrow, you can take the Heathrow Express train directly to London Paddington from where you can then take a direct train to Cheltenham Spa.

We are happy to arrange private transfers to you starting accommodation, please contact us for futher details.

Accommodation

There are different categories of accommodation available from B&B accommodation to Village Inns to small & luxury hotels. Ensuite rooms are booked where possible, in some B&B's a private bathroom may be necessary.

B&B accommodation is generally in guesthouses, often private residences where some of the rooms are used for guests. They are also often smaller in size than Inns or hotels. All of our selected B&Bs will give you a warm welcome with a hearty breakfast for you in the morning. Because these are often private residences, there may not be the facilities you would expect to find in dedicated accommodation establishments. And they do not generally have options for dining in the evening.

Village Inns are generally larger, they may cater for only guests or they may also be a pub which also has guest rooms. They generally tend to have more in the way of facilities and have some kind of bar or dining options and are generally larger establishments than B&B’s

Hotels are usually the biggest of the establishments that we use and are more dedicated just to accommodation than B&B’s or Inns. There is a wide variety of hotels in The Cotswolds ranging from small hotels, to hotels with restaurants, to award winning luxury hotels.


Here’s what some of our previous clients have said about “a grand tour of the cotswolds on foot”…

Hello Christopher,

We all want to thank you for the wonderful experience of our Cotswold walks!! The arrangements for our overnight stays were all super. We held an informal “vote” on the favorite one and found all were favorites but in various categories. No one can top Karen in Cheltenham for warmth, helpfulness and comfort. She was the perfect first hostess. Historically, staying in Wesley House was a treat. It also got top honors for serving oatmeal with Drambuie for breakfast! Hadley House offered excellent accommodations and an elegant breakfast. We were in two different B&B’s in Moreton-on-Marsh, so we couldn’t vote there but both places were very nice. But the best all-around winner has to go to Cherry Trees in Chipping Campden; outstanding comfort, great breakfast, and warm and friendly hosts. The top winner for restaurants was a Greek restaurant in Chipping Campden.

There were lively conversations on which way was the ‘right’ way on some of the walking directions, but that created a lot of fun and joking among us. The only thing we wished for was some indication of when we were at half-way or 3/4 of the distance while on each segment. Because we stopped to take pictures, admire the views or have a snack, the amount of time from when we departed from the B&B each day was of no help. So…that’s our only suggestion….just a general or approximate indication between walking segments would have been good. The maps helped, but topography sometimes affected travel times.

We have already started recommending your services to anyone who seems interested in our trip. You may have already received an inquiry. Even though we didn’t need to call you, it was a great comfort to know that you had given us your cell and we could trust you to come to our aid. You were very patient with all my questions in working out the details before the trip. I, especially, am grateful to you.

A word about the people we met, both locals and fellow travellers……Everyone was wonderful, helpful, cheerful….not a single grumpy or disinterested person. What a wonderful place the Cotswolds are!!

Our best to Ann….Our cheers and gratitude to you. We had a wonderful, wonderful time...
— Mrs C.S, USA

We're Ready To Help You Book Your Dream Cotswold Hills Walking Holiday...

Are you looking for some help to plan a visit the Cotswolds? Give us a call on +44 1242 254353 and we can answer any question you might have about booking your custom Cotswolds walking tour. If you already have a good idea about what you'd like to do during your walking holiday – whether it be visiting gardens, learning about the local history, drystone walling, cider making, perhaps a cycling tour or indeed anything else – we will put together a custom itinerary to suit your budget and the time you have available. Our luxury walking holidays in the Cotswolds can be tailor made just for you!