Exploring the Cotswolds

enquire now 8 Days From NZD $1,890 pp twinshare
Independent traveller
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This holiday is intended to appeal to those who want a gentle introduction to walking in the English countryside; the Cotswold’s are hilly rather than mountainous – the highest point being little more than 1000 feet above sea level. Officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswold landscape is an entrancing mixture of parkland, cultivated fields with dry-stone walls of Jurassic limestone, and patches of unspoilt woodland. Stone-built, also, are almost all the cottages, farmhouses, villages, and small towns that our route passes. About half of our itinerary, around 50 miles (from Stratford-upon-Avon to Winchcombe), coincides with the Cotswold Way, a 102 mile Long Distance Path that is claimed to be the best waymarked in England.

Trip highlights

  • Discovering the typically English countryside
  • Walking parts of the Cotswold Way
  • Enjoying the flexibility of walking with a daypack from village to village
  • Experiencing the hospitality in the warm family run B&B’s and guesthouses


Day 1: Arrive Stratford-upon-Avon

Make your own way to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The day is free to explore the town. You can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in the centre of town, the Holy Trinity Church where he is buried, and the thatched cottage where Anne Hathaway once lived. Accommodation: Moonraker House is a traditional English 4 star licensed bed & breakfast with en-suite rooms, delicious home cooking, friendly service and a cosy atmosphere.

Day 2: Walk to Mickleton via Hidcote Gardens – 17 km/10.5 miles, 5.5 h

Today’s walk will bring you to Mickleton. We suggest that you stop off at the National Trust Gardens at Hidcote Manor, near Mickleton. Enjoy the wide views over the vales of Severn and Avon toward the Malvern Hills and Wales. Accommodation: The Three Ways Hotel is home to the famous Pudding Club and its award winning restaurant.

Day 3: Walk to Broadway via Chipping Campden Fish Hill – 14.5 km/9 miles, 4 h

Today you will walk to Broadway via Chipping Campden Fish Hill and the unique Broadway Tower, which offer remarkable views of the Cotswolds. Broadway is a beautiful and picturesque town, and the main street is lined with magnificent stone-built houses as well as some great antique shops. Accommodation: You will receive a warm welcome at the 4 star Windrush Guesthouse.

Day 4: Walk to Blockley – 19.3 km/12 miles, 6 h

On today’s walk to Blockley you will pass Buckland where you can take a little time to explore, the church is interesting and has medieval painted roof timbers. Laverton, Stanton and Snowshill. A visit to the Tudor Snowshill Manor, with its collection of art and artefacts from all over the world, may be of interest. Blockley bears some resemblance to the villages of the Stroud Valley but the stone is much more golden in colour. During the 18th century when the wool industry was in decline Blockley turned to silk production. The village is a unique collection of buildings reflecting its past glory of mills and silk production and is quite different in, character to other north Cotswolds villages. Accommodation: The Crown Inn Hotel is an enchanting historic building. You have to pay for your breakfast directly to the hotel.

Day 5: Via Batsford and Lower Slaughter to Bourton on the Water – 21.5 km/13 miles, 7 h

Today is a beautiful walk, and you will be able to explore some of the prettiest villages of the Cotswolds. To the medieval wool town of Bourton on the Water, the walk will take you via Batsford, Stow on the Wold and Lower Slaughter. The river Windrush flows down the main street of Bourton on the Water. Bourton is well known for its footbridges over the river Evenlode and for its scale model of the village. Accommodation: The Lansdowne is a family run 4 star guesthouse where you can expect a warm welcome on arrival.

Day 6: Walk to Guiting Power – 11.6 km/7 miles, 4 h. Taxi to Winchcombe

An easy schedule today, which allows ample time to explore Bourton on the Water with its many attractions before setting out on your walk. Guiting Power, nestled in the hills above a small valley, is a perfect example of a Cotswold village. Due to limited accommodation in Guiting you will spend 2 nights in Winchcombe. You will meet with a taxi in Guiting and be transferred to your accommodation in Winchcombe (included in the cost of your trip). Accommodation: You will then 2 nights at Wesley House in Winchcombe is a 15th century merchants house.

Day 7: Taxi to Guiting and then walk to Winchcombe 18.5 km/11.5 miles, 6 h

Your taxi (included in the cost of your trip) will drop you back at Guiting Power and you will walk to Winchcombe. via Sudeley Castle, 18.5 km/11.5 miles, 5 h via Warden’s Way & Sudeley Castle, 10.46 km/6.5 miles / 10.46 km, 2.5 h The walk today leads you to the atmospheric ruins of Hailes Abbey, destroyed under Henry VIII, and the still inhabited Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr lived.

Day 8: Arrangements end after breakfast

Your trip concludes after breakfast.


What’s included

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 7 nights B&B accommodation on a twin share basis usually with ensuite facilities
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 20kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • return taxi Guiting Power to Winchcombe




Images courtesy of Utracks