Walking Holidays in the Cotswolds

Castle and river in the Cotswolds

Walking holidays can be grand – sunshine, exercise, landmarks, and nature are wondrous, especially in combination with each other. While driving makes arriving to the destination quick, walking makes an adventure out of it. The Cotswolds are the perfect region to visit for walking holidays. There are more trails to complete than time allows, leaving the desire for more.

Castle and river in the Cotswolds

Bibury and the River Coln

This is just one of Cotswolds walks that pay homage to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (2012). This short stroll averages a completion time of 2 hours and covers 6.5 km. If embarking upon this trail in the summertime, butterflies and wildflowers will be plentiful upon entering the Ash Copse. Arlington Row is visible towards the end of the trail. The tiny Cotswold cottages of Arlington Row have an ancient history dating back to the 14th century. The trail ends next to the Bibury Trout Farm and Two Inns.

Kingham to Chipping Norton

The Cotswolds Conservation Board put forth a series of walks to enable the public to take day strolls with the convenience of public transportation at the end of the trail. The route from Kingham to Chipping Norton is accessible by two paths. Allot 3 hours for the 9.7 km path and 5 hours for the 15 km path. If taking the long path, venture a short way south of Adlestrop to Lower Oddingtion to visit the Fox pub, which also serves as a bed and breakfast. Upon resumption of the trail, stop at The Chastleton House. Entry to this rare Jacobean home is first-come first-served and access cannot be certain. The end of the path lies in the town centre of Chipping Norton.

The W.A.S. Way

As the newest way-marked trail in Gloucestershire, The W.A.S. (Walk around Stroud) Way encircles the parish of Stroud. This 16 km path requires only 5 hours, making the perfect day stroll. Markings are located at 16 different checkpoints to ensure no confusion. Sturdy shoes are essential, as there is variable terrain. Spectacular scenic views show off the regions that lie beyond Stroud and Deverow Hill. Stroud’s Old Cemetery and surrounding land provides refuge to wildlife as the Local Nature Reserve.

Cotswold Way

Feeling adventurous? Traversing most of the length of the Cotswold escarpment is the Cotswold Way. This path stretches over 164 km with the origin city of Bath and the concluding city of Chipping Campden. Much of the way is comprised of countryside and picturesque towns; however, many landmarks reside along the pathway. The Sudeley Castle is one of few castles left in England that still maintains a residence. If wishing to view the castle by tour, make sure to plan beforehand. To reach the highest point in the Cotswolds, follow the path to Cleeve Hill. Complete the holiday with a well-deserved tipple and Toad in a Hole from the Eight Bells pub in Chipping Campden and then retire for the day in a luxury Cotswold Cottage.

Perhaps a self-planned walk is not ideal. Several businesses throughout the region specialise in planning walks for folks of all needs. When driving an automobile, the world seems so small and little, seemingly insignificant things remain unseen. When walking, the beauty of those “insignificant” things truly shines through – making the world, which was once small, now large again. When visiting the Cotswolds, take the time to take a walk!


What say you?