An Introduction to The Cotswold Way
Have you ever wanted to walk the Cotswold Way? Here is a very quick introduction to this ideal first time trek.
The Cotswold Way was developed by Gloucestershire County Council as a recreational route following a suggestion made by the district committee of the Ramblers’ Association as long ago as the early 1950s.
As one of the county council’s major initiatives to mark European Conservation Year, the route was eventually launched in May 1970 during National Footpath Week. Five years later its full length was treated to a concentrated effort of waymarking, mainly by volunteers from the Ramblers and the Cotswold Voluntary Warden Service, and it subsequently became one of the most effectively waymarked long-distance walks in Britain.
In May 2007 the Cotswold Way became recognised as a National Trail, and with that recognition came financial backing which enabled the whole route to be re-signed and waymarked with the acorn symbol.
The Cotswold Way
NATIONAL TRAIL Two-way trail guide - Chipping Campden to Bath
Guidebook to walking the Cotswold Way National Trail. Between Chipping Campden and Bath, the 102 mile route explores the Cotswolds AONB. Described in both directions over 13 stages, the Cotswold Way can be walked year round and is suitable for beginner trekkers. Includes separate OS 1:25,000 map booklet of the route.More information
Cotswold Way FAQs
Where is it and how far is it?
This quintessentially English trail starts in Chipping Campden and finishes in Bath but can easily be walked in either direction. The 102 mile (163km) route is divided into 13 stages and is usually walked in a two week holiday, although it can be walked in as little as 5 days!
Why should you walk it?
The Cotswold Way is an ideal trek for first time trekkers - the lowland walking is not technically demanding and the route is well waymarked. But it's not a boring trek, taking in the beautiful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, historic battlefields and dramatic views across the Severn Vale.
When should you go?
This walk can be enjoyed all year round. However, careful planning may be required as tourists flock to the area, particularly during the Cheltenham Festival (March) and Badminton Horse Trials (late April/May).
Where should you stay?
Camping is tricky along this route so you will find it easier to stay in B&Bs, hostels or hotels. There is an accommodation listing on the National Trail website and there is an index available in the Cicerone Guide.
The Cotswold Way page on the National Trails website has lots of information
The Cotswold Way guidebook by Kev Reynolds describes the route in both directions
The Cotswold Way map booklet by Kev Reynolds
The National Trails guidebook by Paddy Dillon gives an overview of all the national trails
Stage Summary - The Cotswold Way
|Stage||Location||Distance miles (km)||Approx Time|
|1||Chipping Campden to Stanton||10 (16)||4–5hr|
|2||Stanton to Winchcombe||8 (12.5)||3½–4hr|
|3||Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill||6½ (10.5)||2½–3hr|
|4||Cleeve Hill to Dowdeswell (A40)||6 (10.5)||2½–3hr|
|5||Dowdeswell (A40) to Birdlip||9½ (15)||4–5hr|
|6||Birdlip to Painswick||7 (11)||3–3½hr|
|7||Painswick to Middleyard (King’s Stanley)||9½ (15)||4–5hr|
|8||Middleyard (King’s Stanley) to Dursley||6½ (10.5)||3–3½hr|
|9||Dursley to Wotton-under-Edge||7 (11)||3–3½hr|
|10||Wotton-under-Edge to Hawkesbury Upton||8 (12.5)||3½–4hr|
|11||Hawkesbury Upton to Tormarton||8 (12.5)||3½–4hr|
|12||Tormarton to Cold Ashton||6 (9.5)||2½–3hr|
|13||Cold Ashton to Bath||10 (16)||4–5hr|
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