Walking in the Cotswolds
30 classic hill and valley routes
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Guidebook describing 30 circular walks in the Cotswolds AONB of southern England. The graded routes are 4-12 miles long, visiting hill forts, long barrows and stone circles, picturesque villages and parts of the Cotswold Way National Trail as circular walks. Includes information about history, geology and wildlife encountered along the routes.
- Fantastic walking options all year round.
- Evesham, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe, Moreton-on-the-Marsh, Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Painswick, Stroud, Cirencester, Nailsworth, Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Tetbury, Malmesbury, Chippenham, Bristol, Bath and Bradford-on-Avon
- The Cotswolds offer safe walking for less experienced hikers but there are also testing gradients for seasoned hill-walkers.
- Must See
- The wide views from the Edge - especially from the likes of the wildflower-dotted, Jurassic grasslands of Cleeve Common, Leckhampton Hill and Selsley Common, or from the dramatic hillforts of Uley Bury, Painswick Beacon and Crickley Hill.
A guidebook to 30 circular walks in the Cotswolds, the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. Ranging from 4 to 12 miles in length, the routes are graded from easy to strenuous, offering something for every walker. Fourteen of the routes described include sections of the Cotswold Way National Trail, a 102-mile walk that winds its way from Chipping Campden to Bath.
Step-by-step route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50,000 mapping. There is plenty of information on the many points of interest passed en route, including Roman ruins, ancient stone circles, Neolithic long barrows and historic villages. Also included is a useful route table summary, information on accommodation, and details on the region’s geology, landscape, plants and wildlife.
Covering 790 square miles, the Cotswolds is home to lush green hills, picturesque valleys and beautiful beech woodlands. The impressive Edge – a remarkable limestone escarpment – offers ethereal views across the Vales of the Severn, Berkeley and Gloucester to the Malverns and the distant mountains of Wales.
Geology and landscape
Plants and wildlife
The impact of man
When to visit
Where to stay
Terrain and what to take
Using this guide
Walk 1 Chipping Campden, Broadway and Broadway Tower
Walk 2 Bredon Hill
Walk 3 Stanton, Stanway and Snowshill
Walk 4 Long Compton and the Rollright Stones
Walk 5 Winchcombe, Hailes Abbey and Sudeley Castle
Walk 6 Winchcombe, Cleeve Common and Belas Knap
Walk 7 Temple Guiting, Guiting Wood and Guiting Power
Walk 8 Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters and Naunton
Walk 9 Leckhampton Hill and Crickley Hill
Walk 10 Chedworth, Withington and the Roman Villa
Walk 11 Cranham, Cooper’s Hill and Painswick Beacon
Walk 12 Brimpsfield and Caudle Green
Walk 13 Painswick, Edge and Painswick Beacon
Walk 14 Miserden and Edgeworth
Walk 15 Laurie Lee’s Slad Valley
Walk 16 Haresfield Beacon
Walk 17 Toadsmoor, Bisley and the Golden Valley
Walk 18 Leonard Stanley, Coaley Peak and Selsley Common
Walk 19 Sapperton, Pinbury Park and Edgeworth
Walk 20 Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons
Walk 21 Nailsworth and Avening
Walk 22 Uley Bury, Dursley and Stinchcombe Hill
Walk 23 Kingscote, Ozleworth and Ozleworth Bottom
Walk 24 Wotton-under-Edge, Wortley and North Nibley
Walk 25 Dyrham Park and West Littleton
Walk 26 Swainswick Valley and Little Solsbury Hill
Walk 27 Box, Slaughterford and Colerne
Walk 28 Saltford, North Stoke, Weston
Walk 29 Bath Skyline
Walk 30 Bradford-on-Avon and Farleigh Hungerford Castle
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Long- and medium-distance walks in the Cotswolds
Appendix C Bibliography and further reading
Appendix D Websites and further information
The routes described in this guide are only suggestions. Do go off piste, explore on a whim, follow a disappearing deer’s tail into woods or the vague promise of wildflowers on distant grasslands.
But if you are going freestyle take a map. The maps used here are Landranger, with a scale of 1:50,000, used because they fit the book format better. The Explorer map, with a scale of 1:25,000 shows more detail, and so is the better purchase for walkers. But if you’re sticking to this book’s suggested routes you should be fine with the maps here. You can’t go wrong for long in the Cotswolds. It’s not Alaska. You’ll meet a road soon enough, and tarmac leads to cars and houses.
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Damian Hall is a freelance outdoor journalist who grew up in Nailsworth and still lives in the Cotswolds. He has completed many of the world's famous and not-so-famous long-distance walks, including Everest Base Camp trek for his honeymoon and Australia's Six Foot Track, where a hungry possum stole his walking boot. He contributes regularly to outdoor and fitness publications, including Country Walking and Outdoor Fitness, and writes walking guidebooks, including the official Pennine Way guide, a guide to the Somerset Coast Path and Cicerone's Walking in the Cotswolds.View Articles and Books by Damian Hall
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