The Cotswolds is traditional English countryside and one of the best ways to discover the realm is on foot. Listed here are our 6 favorite round walks together with maps and directions.
The English countryside conjures up pictures of rolling inexperienced hills and chocolate field cottages. And nowhere brings this extra to life than the Cotswolds. Right here, within the coronary heart of England, babbling brooks wind by means of golden-hued villages, wooded glens and meadows speckled with sheep.
There’s no higher option to discover than by strapping in your mountaineering boots and wandering this idyllic countryside on foot. Absorb expansive views; stroll from one picture-perfect village to the following; have a pint in a rustic pub and revel in a good looking a part of England.
There are a whole bunch of public footpaths within the space, so we’ve chosen our favorite round Cotswolds walks that showcase the wide selection of countryside. We have now some straightforward strolls for the entire household, by means of to difficult hikes with spectacular views. Three of those round walks discover a part of the Cotswolds Approach, the opposite three go to stunning villages.
Every round stroll has our tailor-made maps which you’ll be able to obtain to your machine and take with you.
For extra mountaineering inspiration, learn our information to the perfect walks from central London.
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1 – BROADWAY TOWER CIRCULAR WALK
Begin – Broadway Village Leamington Automobile Park | Distance – 6.6-kilometre circuit | Time – 2 hours quarter-hour | Elevation – 220 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Simple to Medium | Instructions – Observe our Broadway Tower stroll map
On the western facet of the Cotswolds, the escarpment (a steep hill about 200 metres excessive) marks the boundary between the Cotswold Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence and the Severn Valley. Whereas it might not have the drama of the Seven Sisters cliffs, the escarpment is great hill-walking nation and the views from the highest are excellent. Three of our greatest walks within the Cotswolds make use of the Cotswold Approach – that is considered one of them.
However there are two different drawcards to this stroll. Firstly, it begins and ends within the village of Broadway – one of many posher villages within the Cotswolds. It has artwork galleries, wine bars, and nice fish and chips.
The opposite function is Broadway Tower, the second-highest spot within the Cotswolds. Perched on prime of the escarpment, it’s the right spot for a picnic with majestic views over the limitless array of ridges that glimmer on the horizon. There’s additionally a café on the prime.
The stroll itself is just below 7 kilometres lengthy and has two brief steep sections ascending and descending the escarpment. The trail is simple to comply with and takes about 2 hours and half-hour. Ensure you go away time to discover Broadway together with tea at Tissanes Tea Room, an actual ale on the Crown & Trumpet Inn or a glass of wine at Lygon Wine Bar.
With a lot occurring within the space, this can be a nice base for spending a weekend within the Cotswolds.
That is the perfect Cotswolds stroll for magical views from the highest of a hill with good amenities for a household picnic close to the picturesque Broadway tower.
BROADWAY TOWER CIRCULAR WALK MAP
2 – CASTLE COMBE & AROUND
Begin – Fortress Combe Automobile Park | Distance – 9-kilometre circuit | Time – 2 hours 45 minutes | Elevation – 150 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Simple to Medium | Instructions – Observe our Fortress Combe stroll map
There are many fairly villages within the Cotswolds, however Fortress Combe is probably our favorite. Nestled in inexperienced valley partitions it has all the things that makes a Cotswold village particular: an previous pub, a grand manor home, a stunning church and a babbling brook.
Most significantly, the locals have stored it largely car-free so you possibly can seize the village in a lot of its pre-industrial age glory. It’s a superbly set location and the encircling countryside is ideal for a stroll.
This stroll begins and ends in Fortress Combe however in between it passes by means of rolling English countryside. The trail follows a meandering river, slowly rising right into a forest earlier than arriving within the hamlet of Lengthy Dean. Bending proper it ascends up a banked leafy path, then crosses fields earlier than returning through a wooded glen. Simply earlier than arriving again in Fortress Combe, the manicured golf course supplies glorious views of the manor home, church and village.
It’s a good looking stroll that’s completely capped off by a drink on the Fortress Inn or White Hart pub within the village market sq..
That is the perfect stroll within the Cotswolds for exploring one of many prettiest villages surrounded by lush inexperienced countryside. Don’t miss the views over Fortress Combe from the golf course, however maintain a watch out for flying balls.
CASTLE COMBE CIRCULAR WALK MAP
3 – CLEEVE HILL VIA BELAS KNAP
Begin – Stockwell Lane Automobile Park in Cleeve Hill | Distance – 14.2 km circuit | Time – 4 hours 20 minutes | Elevation – 300 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Strenuous | Instructions – Observe our Cleeve Hill hike map
Whereas a lot of the Cotswolds is rolling inexperienced countryside and fairly little villages, this stroll is extra rugged and various. Its point of interest is Cleeve Hill – the best level within the Cotswolds at 330 metres. However what makes it particular is the massive widespread that covers the highest. Not like anyplace else within the space, it’s exceptional for its desolate look and wild-looking sheep and cattle.
However this stroll does greater than discover the widespread, it additionally visits the Neolithic burial mound of Belas Knap, drops into woods, runs alongside a river and collects the charming city of Winchcombe. At occasions the path meanders by means of the rolling countryside acquainted to the Cotswolds; at others, it’s extra harking back to the Lake District. Attention-grabbing range makes this the most effective round walks within the Cotswolds and considered one of our favorite issues to do within the space.
At 15 kilometres with 300 metres of ascent, it’s essentially the most difficult of our Cotswolds walks. Permit 5 hours to finish the stroll, have a picnic and savour the wide-ranging views. From the highest of the widespread, the Malvern Hills, Black Hills, Cheltenham and even the Severn Bridge are seen. As you descend, Sudeley Fortress glimmers subsequent to the engaging city of Winchcombe.
For a barely more durable stroll with extra rugged rural surroundings, then this Cotswold Approach round stroll is for you.
That is the perfect Cotswolds stroll for the wildest and most rugged mountaineering potential within the space. Take a break on the Neolithic (New Stone Age) burial mound of Belas Knap.
CLEEVE HILL CIRCULAR WALK MAP
4 – BOURTON, SLAUGHTERS & NAUNTON
Begin – Bourton-on-the-Water automotive park | Distance – 17-kilometre circuit | Time – 5 hours | Elevation – 150 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Medium to Strenuous | Instructions – Observe our Bourton to Slaughters hike map
This is without doubt one of the traditional round walks within the Cotswolds. It traverses inexperienced rolling hills, two charming river-cut valleys and 4 of essentially the most stunning villages you’re prone to discover anyplace within the nation. There may be merely no different round stroll that higher captures the distinctive aesthetic of the Cotswolds.
It begins in Bourton-on the-Water, the place the River Windrush rolls previous a mixture of previous tea homes and stylish bakeries, making it a really perfect base for a weekend within the Cotswolds. Leaving the city, it follows the Warden’s Strategy to Decrease Slaughter and Higher Slaughter.
The Slaughters have had no constructing since 1906 and are immaculate. Untouched for over a century, the River Eye (a tributary of the River Windrush) winds its manner by means of stunning honey-coloured cottages and cute church buildings with little bridges dotted alongside the brook. A rotating mill wheel, spectacular nation lodge and grand manor home, prime off the charms of this Cotswolds stroll.
After the Slaughters, the path rises over fields and drops into Naunton, one other charming village. Take a break on the Black Horse Inn and snoop across the beautiful homes and gardens that encompass the village church. Leaving Warden’s Approach, the path now joins the Windrush Approach because it slowly follows the River Windrush whereas it meanders again into Bourton-on-the-Water.
In our opinion, that is the perfect stroll within the Cotswolds to gather attractive villages set on tiny rivers in rolling countryside. Precisely what the Cotswolds are all about.
The is the perfect stroll within the Cotswolds for a village to village hike accumulating the perfect of essentially the most charming locations within the space. Don’t miss the riverside setting under the church in Higher Slaughter.
BOURTON TO SLAUGHTERS CIRCULAR WALK MAP
5 – MINSTER LOVELL RUINS WALK
Begin – Previous Swan Pub | Distance – 5.9-kilometre circuit | Time – 1 hour 45 minutes | Elevation – 40 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Simple | Instructions – Observe our Minster Lovell hike map
Whereas the escarpment on the western fringe of the Cotswolds affords the perfect rustic walks, the jap facet has idyllic riverside appeal. It’s an altogether gentler and slower tempo of life making it good for easy household strolls, lazy lunchtime picnics and wild swimming.
The Previous Swan pub stands on the entrance to Minster Lovell overlooking the River Windrush which arcs across the native cricket pitch. On the different finish, a picture-perfect church stands beside the ruins of an previous manor home. From right here the path heads down one facet of the Windrush valley, earlier than crossing a bridge and returning at a barely greater elevation.
There are two nice spots for a picnic by the river: one underneath the ruins and one other somewhat additional downstream in a meadow. It additionally has two nice wild swimming spots. The primary one by the ruined manor home is shallower and slower making it glorious for youthful youngsters. The second is within the reed-fringed pool simply downstream of the weir. Right here the present is robust sufficient and water deep sufficient to present you a correct exercise. (Picnic and swimming spots are marked on the map).
All in all, it’s a good way to whereas away a couple of hours on a scorching summer time’s day. A pint on the Previous Swan is a good way to complete a superb day trip.
That is the perfect Cotswolds stroll for a household stroll in a good looking setting with a superb possibility for protected wild swimming. A picnic on the grassy banks after a stroll and a swim is a good way to look at the solar go down.
MINSTER LOVELL CIRCULAR WALK MAP
6 – STANTON-SNOWSHILL PUB TO PUB
Begin – Stanton Automobile Park | Distance – 11-kilometre circuit | Time – 3 hours half-hour | Elevation – 210 metres ascent and descent | Problem – Medium | Instructions – Observe our Stanton-Snowshill hike map
This Cotswold Approach round stroll visits the highest and the underside of the escarpment and makes for a superb day trip within the Cotswolds. Just like the others, it has sweeping views of the encircling countryside. Nevertheless it additionally passes by means of two stunning villages, each of which have nice pubs which might be completely positioned for a halfway refreshment and an finish of stroll reward.
It begins within the village of Stanton, which has a number of the cutest cottages within the space. It then rises up the Cotswold’s Strategy to the highest of the escarpment. It’s 200 metres of ascent, however all of the arduous work is out of the best way rapidly. From right here, the remainder of the stroll is a breeze.
As soon as excessive, the village of Snowshill shimmers on the hill reverse you. Set round a church in the course of a triangular inexperienced, it’s not far more than a small assortment of cottages. However tucked inside this tiny village is the Snowshill Arms and the Snowshill Manor & Gardens. The pub serves ale produced on the native Donnington Brewery and the manor home is a traditional Cotswold home and backyard run by the Nationwide Belief. Each are value a go to.
From Snowshill, the path winds its manner across the escarpment accumulating advantageous views earlier than dropping again into Stanton. There’s no higher option to finish a Cotswold stroll than on the native Mount Inn, the place you’ll discover different hikers exhaustedly nursing a pint whereas enjoyable aching limbs.
That is the perfect Cotswolds stroll for an lively hike with a pint in a wonderfully positioned pub on the finish. The Snowshill Manor & Gardens are an attention-grabbing place to go to with oddities collected by its eccentric proprietor.
STANTON TO SNOWSHILL CIRCULAR MAP
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HOW TO USE OUR MAPS
We have now created maps for every of the hikes on this article which embrace step-by-step mountaineering directions. Right here’s find out how to take the maps with you so you will have all the knowledge you want at your fingertips. Click on on the numbered marker on the map to learn our mountaineering directions. Both faucet on the quantity twice or faucet as soon as and scroll the marker tab upwards to show the directions.
The maps are saved all through this put up on the finish of every stroll, however right here they’re once more.
01 – BROADWAY TOWER CIRCULAR WALK
02 – CASTLE COMBE & AROUND
03 – CLEEVE HILL VIA BELAS KNAP
04 – BOURTON, THE SLAUGHTERS & NAUNTON
05 – MINSTER LOVELL RUINS
06 – STANTON-SNOWSHILL PUB TO PUB
WHERE TO STAY IN THE COTSWOLDS
There are a variety of various areas within the Cotswolds, all of which make an amazing base for a number of the greatest weekend breaks within the UK. The perfect space for mountaineering and the outside is round Broadway which is close to the place the Cotswold Approach round walks begin and end.
Alternatively, for mountaineering from one stunning village to the following, the realm across the Slaughters is an effective possibility.
For all our lodging ideas, learn our article on the greatest locations to remain within the Cotswolds.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
The Cotswolds is a big space and plenty of of our favorite walks are unfold out. The easiest way to go to the realm is by automotive. We suggest reserving your automotive rent with rentalcars.com who evaluate costs throughout all the key rent automotive corporations.
Get an electronic mail round as soon as a month with an replace from our travels and our newest content material throughout the weblog and social media.
MORE READING FOR YOUR COTSWOLDS TRIP
The Cotswolds is the one space of England we’ve visited essentially the most. There are few mountaineering trails we haven’t walked or villages we haven’t explored. We’ve spent lengthy afternoons inside cosy pubs, labored our manner by means of native ales, in contrast the perfect Sunday roasts and sampled native bakeries. Right here’s some extra Cotswolds studying.
COTSWOLDS TOWNS & CITIES
Probably the most stunning Cotswolds villages to go to
The perfect issues to do in Tub in sooner or later
Our favorite issues to do in and round Oxford
SEE MORE OF THE COTSWOLDS
Finest issues to do within the Cotswolds
The perfect places for wild swimming within the Thames
COTSWOLDS TRIP PLANNING
5 itinerary concepts for the perfect weekend breaks within the Cotswolds
10 nice concepts for days out within the Cotswolds
The place to remain within the Cotswolds – Finest areas & motels
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