The 102 mile (164km) Cotswold Way is a National Trail that runs from the market town of Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath. It follows the western edge of the Cotswold Hills and leads you through England's largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its rolling pastures with dry stone walls, beech woods, and picturesque villages with honey-coloured cottages built from Cotswold stone.
From Chipping Campden, known for its covered marketplace and beautiful 'wool' church you'll follow the trail along the Cotswold escarpment with ever-changing views to the west towards the River Severn and the Malvern Hills. Along the way you'll discover a wealth of pretty Cotswolds villages, stately homes, Iron Age hill forts and historic battle sites. Climb Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds where you will be rewarded with spectacular views over Cheltenham, the River Severn, the Malvern Hills, and, on a clear day, the Black Mountains of Wales. The end of the Cotswold Way is marked at Bath Abbey with a carved stone disc. Spend time discovering the delights of Bath from the Roman baths to the honey-coloured Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent.
Accommodation is in a range of Bed & Breakfasts with character, and hotels housed in historic buildings. Offering a warm and friendly Cotswold welcome, as well as hearty breakfasts, they offer comfortable stops along the walk and a charming insight into Cotswold life.
The Cotswold Way is a National Trail trail on a mixture of well-maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields, with some short sections on some minor roads. There are a number of ascents and descents each day from the escarpment.
Arrive in the historic market town of Chipping Campden.
Stay overnight at Cotswold House Hotel or similar
Head up on to the Cotswolds escarpment from where you will enjoy stunning views from Dover's Hill, home to the annual 'Cotswold Olimpick Games'. Walk through fields to the 18th century folly, Broadway Tower. Descend to the coaching village of Broadway, where you will find fine houses and inns flanking the 'broad way', before climbing back up onto the escarpment, to Shenberrow Hill, the 3rd highest point in Gloucestershire from where you will descend into the idyllic village of Stanton.
Stay overnight at Shenberrow Hill B&B or similar
Today starts with a pleasant walk through the parkland of the Stanway Estate, with its Jacobean manor, magnificent gatehouse and medieval tithe barn. Climb up onto the escarpment to the Iron Age hill fort of Beckbury Camp, then follow the trail as it passes near highlights such as Hailes Abbey and Sudeley Castle. Visit the ancient Neolithic long barrow of Belas Knap on the panoramic ascent up to Cleeve Hill, the highest point of the Cotswolds.
Stay overnight at Upper Hill Farm or similar
Walk through the ancient Lineover Wood and walk on the escarpment onto Leckhampton Hill and look out for the peculiar limestone rock formation known as the Devil's Chimney. Enjoy breathtaking views from Crickley Hill before descending through woodlands to Birdlip.
Stay overnight at Royal George Hotel or similar
Head on to Painswick Beacon, the site of an Iron Age hill fort, then descend into Painswick, one of the architectural highlights of the trail, and the mid-point of the Cotswold Way. Follow the trail on to Haresfield Beacon, where you'll enjoy spectacular views across the Severn estuary, then pass through Standish Woods, where in springtime bluebells carpet the woodland floor.
Stay overnight at The White Hart or similar
Follow the trail through woodland and climb to Cam Long Down from where the trail descends into the market town of Dursley. Tackle some slightly steeper slopes up onto Stinchcombe Hill and to the Tyndale Monument before the trail descends again to the town of Wotton-Under-Edge.
Stay overnight at Swan Hotel or similar
Today the trail passes close to the National Trust property of Newark Park. Continue the walk through woodland towards the village of Alderley, and ascend to the Somerset Monument and Horton Fort to reach Old Sodbury.
Stay overnight at Rock Cottage or similar
From Old Sodbury, the Cotswold Way crosses fields into the village of Tormarton, then continues on to the village of Dyrham, passing near Dyrham Park, a 17th-century mansion, garden and deer park. Continue through farmland to reach Cold Ashton.
Stay overnight at Whittington Farm or similar
From Cold Ashton climb up to the site of the civil war battle of Lansdown, At Prospect Stile you will catch your first glimpse of Bath in the valley below. Cross farmland to reach the edge of Bath where the trail becoms more urban and passes through parks and near magnificent regency architecture to reach Bath Abbey where a carved stone disc marks the end of the Cotswold Way.
Stay overnight at Hill House or similar
Depart after breakfast.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
NEARBY:The Noel Arms is one of the oldest inns in the Cotswolds, dating from the 16th Century and is steeped in history. Rooms are individually styled with elegant furniture. There is a on-site restaurant and coffee shop. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
Situated in the picturesque hidden treasure village of Stanton, Shenberrow B&B is an attractive country house set in 8 acres. The comfortable rooms are beautifully decorated and ensuite. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
Set high in the Cotswolds on the edge of Cleeve Common, Upper Hill Farm offers tranquil, quality bed & breakfast accommodation. The Cotswold Way National Trail passes through Upper Hill Farm land and across the Butterfly Conservation Society Prestbury Hill Reserve. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
With spectacular views of the glorious Gloucestershire countryside, The Royal George Hotel, Birdlip, offers 34 characterful bedrooms, friendly, helpful staff, in a delightful 18th-century property. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
The White Hart is an iconic rural pub established in 1740, with a restaurant and bed & breakfast. There are five spacious, newly refurbished rooms, all with a private bathroom. Rooms have exposed beams and little nuances that occasionally act as reminders to the heritage of the historic building.
Situated under the leafy edge of the Cotswold Way, The Swan Hotel is a 17th century coaching inn that seamlessly blends modern comforts with traditional touches to create a unique hotel experience. Situated in the heart of Wotton-under-Edge, The Swan offers thirteen beautiful recently refurbished en-suite guest rooms, a light and airy restaurant offering freshly cooked food, and cosy bar and snug that retain a local feel. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
Rock Cottage is a traditional bed and breakfast in the Cotswold village of Old Sodbury. The rooms are comfortable and homely. Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used
Situated right on the Cotswold Way, this friendly B&B offers newly refurbished, comfortable rooms with countryside views. As well as a full English breakfast they can also offer packed lunches and evening meals if booked in advance.
Apple Tree Guesthouse is a Victorian property in the centre of Bath. All rooms are individually themed with an elegant blend of English and Asian artwork where East meets West, fresh cotton bedlinen and modern facilities.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
NEARBY:The Kennard is located on a quiet residential street in easy walking distance from some of the best restaurants and shopping areas of Bath, as well as close to Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge, Holburne Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery. This boutique Guest House offers 12 refurbished and individually decorated bedrooms over five floors, with views either over the garden and city, or out over the street below. There is free Wi-Fi, a small sitting area and an honesty bar at the property and full English breakfast (or continental buffet) is included.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
I had a real adventure walking the Cotswold Way. Having my luggage sent ahead was best. The accommodation was mostly delightful and provided many pleasant surprises and some real characters to talk to.
A wonderful walk through woodland, countryside and villages. We recommend doing this walk in the late spring, when the bluebells, cow parsley, and cowslips clothe the countryside. We passed so many interesting historical sites, from Neolithic tombs, Iron Age forts, ancient battlefields, and finishing in Bath was a pleasure. Don’t forget to photograph your feet at the start plaque in Chipping Camden, and again at the finish outside Bath cathedral.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 9 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , and hotels
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
Route directions and maps
Luggage transfers between hotels
Guide book with route information
How to book:
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Route notes are provided in the form of a guide book which is supplied on arrival.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.