North Cotswold Way: Marvellous Mini-Adventure On Foot

The Cotswold Way begins (or ends) in charming Chipping Campden. And, over three delightful days, we’ll immerse you in the best of the National Trail’s northern end. Here, over three days of walking, you’ll discover billowing green hills dotted with sheep, pretty villages of golden stone, eccentric gardens, impressive castles and cosy country pubs serving sensational meals.

We’ll pick you up from Moreton-in-Marsh (easily accessible by train) and deliver you into the heart of the north Cotswolds. This self-guided route means you can take things at your own pace, and choose to walk further or take shorter options as you see fit; perhaps you want to walk more miles, or perhaps you’d like to linger over lunch or take a ride on a heritage steam train? At the end of each day, a lovely hotel awaits, with comfy beds and a warm welcome.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Days

3

Distance

walks from 5km to 17km

Difficulty

Moderate

Landscape

Rolling Countryside / Connecting Villages & Towns

Theme

History / Food & Drink

Activities & Experiences

Walking / Heritage

North Cotswold Way: Marvellous Mini-Adventure On Foot

Here’s everything you need to help you plan your very own walking and exploring break in the north Cotswolds. Click on the blue arrow tabs below for more information. To save this itinerary to view later, use the Save to My Rucksack button at the top of the page.

Tour details

This itinerary is being operated by Active England, who specialise in active holidays across the country, including self-guided walks. Active England takes the hassle out of getting outdoors so you have more time to enjoy it.

Active England will arrange your whole tour: you just need to arrange transport to your first location.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later.

Included

  • Two nights accommodation.
  • All breakfasts.
  • Luggage transfers.
  • Route maps, GPS, route guide with detailed written instructions.
  • Emergency 24-hour assistance
  • Walking poles.
  • Lunch and dinner recommendations.

NOT INCLUDED: International flights; cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature; lunches or dinners; dinner drinks; entry to iconic points and places of interest (Hidcote, Snowshill, Broadway Tower, Hailes Abbey, Sudeley Castle); gratuity for your local guide.

Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the best of the Cotswolds, at your own pace. This trip is a magical mix of must-see highlights and hidden treasures. Our handpicked hotels are the best in the region, providing relaxing retreats in which to rest at the end of the day, with your luggage transferred for you. This itinerary is three days long but can be extended to five days.

Day 1 Moreton-in-Marsh to Chipping Campden

Arrive in the morning by train – direct services from London into Moreton-in-Marsh take 90 minutes. We will meet you at the station and deliver you straight to Chipping Campden, a handsome, honey-hued old market town and the start of the Cotswold Way.

Today’s wonderful walk will lead you through the rolling countryside to Hidcote Gardens, an inspired and eccentric series of ‘outdoor rooms’, before looping round to lunch at the Ebrington Arms, a pretty country pub with its own brewery and ‘Yubby’ ales. Weave back to Chipping Campden for an evening exploring this historic wool town, with its medieval almshouses and Arts & Crafts Movement connections.

Walk: 14.5km. Overnight in Chipping Campden.

Day 2 Chipping Campden to Broadway

Today, stride straight from your hotel into the surrounding countryside. Before long, you’ll pass Dover’s Hill, home to the Cotswold Olimpicks, an annual games dating from the 17th-century that includes the World Shinkicking Championships!

Make your way to Broadway Tower, a striking folly perched atop the Cotswold escarpment from where you can see 16 counties and all the way to Wales. After a look around, and lunch in the Morris & Brown Café, you could add on a delightful stroll to Snowshill, the prettiest of villages with a quirky manor (run by the National Trust) packed with a wonderfully eclectic collection of Cotswold treasures.

Alternatively, walk directly to your hotel in Broadway for a relaxed evening in this pretty town of golden limestone houses and cosy pubs – one of the true jewels of the Cotswolds.

Walk: options 7.25-16km. Overnight in Broadway.

Day 3 Broadway to Winchcombe

This morning’s walk takes you through the rolling hills from Broadway to Winchcombe, past an Iron Age fort and to the atmospheric ruins at Hailes Abbey, founded in 1246. Stop for a bite or coffee at Hailes Fruit Farm and continue on to Winchcombe for lunch, a Walkers are Welcome town packed with good places to eat.

Note, the walking on this day can be made shorter by catching the heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway from Broadway directly to either Hailes Abbey (a request stop) or into Winchcombe itself.

This afternoon, there’s the option of strolling a little further out of town to Sudeley Castle, an enchanting fortified manor set in exquisite gardens; Queen Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, is buried here. Have a look around, maybe take afternoon tea in the castle grounds. Then, from here, we’ll help you organise your journey home, from Winchcombe station or nearby stations, including Cheltenham Spa.

Walk: options 5-17km. Return home. Extensions possible.

Accommodation

Our handpicked four-star and three-star hotels are the best in the Cotswolds, providing wonderful cuisine and a relaxing environment to rest weary feet at the end of the day. Prestige four-star options include the Cotswold House & Spa in Chipping Campden and the Broadway Hotel in Broadway. Country three-star options are the The Noel Arms in Chipping Campden and the Crown and Trumpet, Broadway.

Food & Drink

The northern Cotswolds are dotted with delicious places to eat and drink. We will provide suggestions. Not to be missed are the Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden, the Morris & Brown Café at Broadway Tower and the welcoming inns of Broadway and Winchcombe.

Activities

The grade of this tour is moderate – the terrain is varied with some gently rolling hills and a few steeper slopes. There are options for shortening distances.

Walks

  • Chipping Campden to Broadway, 14.5km
  • Chipping Campden to Broadway, including Snowshill, 16km; shorter options possible
  • Broadway to Winchcombe and Sudeley, 17km; shorter options possible

Experiences

Mix walks with other experiences along the Cotswold Way.

Travel

Guests arrive in the morning by Great Western Railway from London Paddington into Moreton in Marsh, a direct 90-minute journey. Our guides will meet you at the station and take you to the historic market town of Chipping Campden. At the end of the tour we will help guests organise their ongoing travel from Winchcombe station or nearby stations, including Cheltenham Spa.

 

Advice

This tour is rated three out of five for difficulty meaning it’s appropriate for guests who are able to walk throughout the day and handle rolling hills. The terrain we cover is varied. You’ll enjoy some rolling terrain and a few steeper walks that will be a bit more demanding. Rewarding views are guaranteed. Daily distances range between 5km and 17km.

We advise that you check opening times and booking restrictions before travelling.

Please check out these links for latest advice when in the countryside

Countryside Code

COVID-19 Guidance

Interactive Map

Click here to access the interactive map.

Maps, Guidebooks & Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.