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Introducing the Trail

Find useful facts and learn more about the Cotswold Way below. Select the blue tabs below for more details.

About the Trail

Extending from the quintessentially English market town of Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath, the 102 mile (164 km) Cotswold Way has existed as a promoted long-distance walk and had its 50th anniversary in 2020.

Following the western edge of the Cotswold Hills, the route journeys through rolling pastures, beech woodland and honey-coloured villages built from Cotswold stone.

You will explore ancient commons in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, pass Neolithic burial barrows, stately homes and historic battle sites. The stunning path along the Cotswold escarpment offers ever-changing views to the west towards the River Severn and the Malvern Hills.

Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the Cotswold Way, although many walkers are surprised at the frequency of steep climbs. The National Trail is very well way-marked so following the route is easy. But it is always a good idea to take a guidebook or map.

The Cotswold Way can be walked in all seasons. However, if you want to enjoy clear views from the Cotswold escarpment, then crisp winter days, autumn and spring may be the best time to visit. Late spring and early summer are great times to see the grasslands in all their glory and the beech woodlands are at their best in spring and autumn.

More information:

The Cotswold Way is managed and mantained by Cotswolds National Landscape and our amazing team of Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.

What is special about the Trail?

Renowned for its sheer diversity, the Cotswold Way incorporates some of England’s prettiest villages and passes historic sites such as the City of Bath World Heritage Site, the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Sudeley Castle, Hailes Abbey and many churches and historic houses.

One minute you will be in wildflower meadows, the next shaded woodlands. You could breakfast in a sleepy village, lunch in a thriving market town and eat dinner under the stars – no two days will be the same!

Cleeve Hill View
Woods with Bluebells.
Hailes Abbey

 

 

Route description

For most of its length it follows the Cotswold escarpment giving wonderful views of the surrounding landscape.

You can walk the route from Chipping Campden to Bath (which a lot of guide books are written for), or from Bath to Chipping Campden, the route is signposted well in both directions.

A description of the route broken down into 15 sections can be viewed here.

An interactive map can be found here.

Circular & Linear Walks

There are some great shorter circular and linear walks to enjoy along parts of the Cotswold Way along the Cotswolds escarpment with its stunning views and charming villages from the beautiful Cotswold market town of Chipping Campden in the north to the World Heritage City of Bath in the south.

Visit our Circular and Linear Walks page to find the perfect walk for you.

Wortley Sunken Lane
Broadway Tower
Stroud Water Canal

Holiday Inspiration

Enjoy magical walking with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment on a journey through picturesque villages, stunning woodlands, pretty pastoral scenery and past famous ancient sites, ending in the World Heritage City of Bath. Explore the Cotswold Way for three days, a week or even longer. You can find inspiration for your walking adventure using our suggested itineraries, or select one of the bookable itineraries which are provided by walking tour operatives.

Visit our Walking Holidays Page for holiday inspiration for the Cotswold Way.

Walking with Belas Knap behind
View of Sudeley Castle
View from Stinchcombe Hill

 

Accommodation

There are a good number of Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, Self-catering accommodation, Campsites and Glamping sites along or close to the Cotswold Way.  If you plan to camp please note it is not legal to wild camp on the Cotswold Way – you will need to stay on official campsites or use alternative accommodation for areas where there are not campsites available on the section of trail you are completing.

Visit our Accommodation page where you can download and print print a list of Trail accommodation for each section of the Trail.

If you are an accommodation provider you can add your accommodation offering for free to this website.
More information…

 

Latest News

Eye-popping fossil fish found in cattle field close to the Cotswold Way

A ferocious-looking fossil fish has been unearthed from a remarkable new Jurassic dig site just outside Stroud, in Gloucestershire.

The Canine Code

Cotswolds National Landscapes, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and National Trust and team up to bring you the canine code.

Our Trails Officer, Rebecca Jones, has been awarded an MBE

We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Jones, our Volunteer and Access Lead, is among those who have been awarded a Member of Order of the British Empire (MBE) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022. Rebecca (Becky) has been recognised for her services to volunteering and the environment.

Visit our News Page for more information on the above other exciting news on the Cotswold Way National Trail

Events

From fabulous walking festivals to local farmers markets and village fetes, there’s always something happening.

Annual walking, running and biking events include

Doynton Half Marathon (January or February); Heaven of the South Mountain Bike event (May);
Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge (June); The Great Hawkesbury Upton 5k Run (June); Race to the Tower (June);
Cotswold Way Relay (July); Cotswold Way Century (September); Broadway Marathon & Half Marathon (November)

Walking Festivals
Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival (May);  Wotton Walking Festival (June);
Bathscape Walking Festival (September); Stonehouse Walking Festival (September); Dursley Walking Festival (October)

Take a look at our Events calendar to find details of the many events that are taking place along or close to the trail. 

If you want, you can even add your own event.

Event Organisers

You can find guidance on organising events on the National Trails here.
These guidelines provide important information for organisers of events held on National Trails.

The Defra note regarding organised events on Open Access Land which applies to stretches of ECP that are NOT aligned along a public right of way can be found here.

Cotswold Way

Click the play button to see the highlights of the Cotswold Way

DAYS

10

DISTANCE

164km

Discover charming villages and ancient sites

Explore the honey-coloured Cotswolds and find picturesque places to visit, Neolithic sites and fascinating attractions, ending in historic Bath..

Create your own trip

Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.