Starting from the historical and culturally acclaimed city of Oxford, home to the oldest university in England wind your way through the southern Cotswolds to Bath, with its Roman baths and stunning Georgian architecture.
Visit some of Oxfords treasures from the Ashmolean to Bodleian Library before setting off along the Shakespeare Way to your first stop at Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace. Follow the River Windrush into the heart of the Cotswolds to explore 'wool' towns before arriving in Cirencester (Corinium), the second largest town in Britain during Roman times. Enjoy a visit to the Bathurst Estate, created in the 1700s as a deer park by the first Earl Bathurst before following the disused Thames and Severn Canal through a landscape of gently rolling hills to arrive in Tetbury, and a chance to visit Highgrove Royal Gardens. Continue through the bucolic landscape to Castle Combe to admire the picturesque high street lined with former weavers' cottages that was used as the film set location for War Horse. The final stretch of your walk continues through countryside and along the canal to your final destination, Bath.
A range of accommodation is used on this tour including B&Bs and Inns, many of which are in historic buildings. All offer a friendly Cotswolds welcome.
Arrive in Oxford. Spend time visiting one of the many historic buildings, colleges or museums.
Staying overnight at Oxford Coach & Horses or similar
Today's walk follows the River Thames before joining the Oxford Canal and the Shakespeare Way to Woodstock. You'll have sweeping views back to Oxford across the flood plain meadows. You'll pass a derelict nunnery and the church at Bladon where Sir Winston Churchill is laid to rest, before ending up in the picturesque town of Woodstock where you can visit Blenheim Palace.
Stay overnight at The Blenheim Buttery or similar
A chance for another visit to Blenheim Palace before setting off through Capability Brown's wonderful landscaped grounds towards the village of Combe, set on a hill above the Evenlode Valley. Continue on through the lush green Oxfordshire countryside to the busy town of Witney, the largest market town in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, once famous for its blankets.
Stay overnight at Corncroft B&B or similar
Today follow the River Windrush into the heart of the Cotswolds. The route passes Minster Lovell and your walk ends in the bustling medieval town of Burford, where the High Street sweeps downhill towards the River Windrush, its three arched medieval bridge and its impressive 'wool' church.
Stay overnight at The Angel Inn or similar
Your route today passes through the quiet hamlet of Holwell, through part of the River Leach valley and follows the Roman road into Gloucestershire to Hatherop. Follow a trail along the River Coln to Bibury, described by designer William Morris as 'the most beautiful village in England'.
Stay overnight at Cotteswold House B&B or similar
Head through the village of Barnsley, past Barnsley House where the garden was designed by its former resident, Rosemary Verey. Cross pasture and arable land to Ampney Crucis before heading to the Roman town of Cirencester. Visit the Abbey or stroll in the grounds of the nearby Bathurst Estate.
Stay overnight at The Old Brewhouse or similar
From Cirencester head through the grounds of the Royal Agriculture College to follow the disused Thames and Severn Canal. After walking through a landscape of gently rolling hills you'll reach the small town of Tetbury, with its independent specialist shops and the Prince of Wales's original 'Highgrove Shop'. Possibility of visiting Highgrove Royal Gardens - pre-booking is essential.
Stay overnight at The Royal Oak or similar
Skirt the edge of the Highgrove Estate and follow the Monarch's Way through a typical Cotswold landscape and through the National Arboretum at Westonbirt. Walk through charming Cotswold villages and into Wiltshire to drop down into Castle Combe, with its pretty high street used as the film set location for War Horse and Stardust.
Stay overnight at Castle Inn or similar
Walk through wooded valleys to the old market town of Marshfield. From Batheaston follow the canal to Bath for a triumphant entrance to the city, finishing up at the steps of Bath Abbey.
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:Just a 10-minute walk from Oxford City centre, the Oxford Coach & Horses is built on the site of an old coaching inn dating from the 18th Century, said to be the last in Oxford before the road to London. Rooms are modern and comfortable.
NEARBY:Based in the centre of Woodstock, the 17th Century building houses 6 ensuite rooms and the breakfast room overlooks the market square.
Corncroft stands on the corner of the Crofts and Corn Street and was once known as ‘Parliament House’. A possible source for this evocative name comes from J.A. Giles’ History of Witney’. It is suggested that Witney is derived from the Anglo-Saxon names of, Witan-ige or Witan-eye, which meant “Island of the Parliament’. Rooms are spacious and furnished with Queen Anne and Jacobean Style furniture.
The Angel at Burford has been run by The King family since 2011 and is loved by both visitors and locals for it’s blend of Cotswold charm, delicious food and drink and a warm, friendly welcome. The rooms are modern, comfortable and furnished in a relaxed and cosy Cotswold style.
Cotteswold House offers well appointed bed & breakfast and self-catering accommodation. Furnished to a high standard of quality and comfort, you can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome. Set in Bibury, described as the most beautiful village in England, Cotteswold House is an ideal location for touring the Cotswolds.
The Old Brewhouse in Cirencester is a delightful 17th Century town house bed and breakfast full of charm and character, sympathetically restored and refurbished offering high quality bed and breakfast accommodation.
The Royal Oak Tetbury is a charming and friendly public house dating from the late 18th century and restored back to the community in 2013 following extensive restoration. Rooms are modern, comfortable and well equipped.
The Castle Inn is a 12th century inn located in the heart of Castle Combe which has been lovingly restored to offer you a classic Cotswolds pub and B&B. It has had an extensive and considerate restoration to preserve, yet enhance, the charm of this beautiful historic building.
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.
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.
lovely scenery but not enough time to do the walks and visit the gardens or explore the towns as well
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
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.
This holiday does not include any flights or rail.