Step back in time in scenic southern England on an idyllic walk through the Cotswolds to the Roman city of Bath
Welcome to the Cotswold Way’s home page where you’ll find an introduction to the trail. You can access the trail’s main pages using the links above. Here you’ll find links to the Information & Map page, Trail Holidays page and the Add your information page.
If you’re thinking about planning a visit to the trail, please view the Interactive Map on the Trail Information & Map page. The map allows you to view the line of the trail alongside accommodation, things to do, services such as food and drink, transport, water points and more.
You can also find additional Cotswold Way pages by going to ‘The Trails’ dropdown menu at the top of the page, clicking on the trail name and browsing the pages in the Further Information column. Here you can access pages such as the trail’s Route Description page, Leaflets page, Circular and Linear Walks page and Events.
Find useful facts and learn more about the Cotswold Way below. Select the blue tabs below for more details.
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.
The Cotswold Way is managed and mantained by Cotswolds National Landscape and our amazing team of Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.
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!
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.
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.
Cotswold Voluntary Wardens provide monthly walks enabling people to come together in groups to complete some of the longer trails across the Cotswolds National Landscape, including the Cotswold Way. Each walk is led by two Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who are familiar with the route and provide information on aspects of interest. As with all Cotswold Warden Walks, no dogs are allowed. A charge is made to cover the cost of transport. In addition, walkers are invited to make a voluntary donation to the Countryside Fund which helps us to continue to provide our guided and self guided walks, as well as helping maintain the trails around the Cotswolds.
The walks must be pre-booked and paid for in advance. The walks are very popular – anyone who is interested is advised to get their name on the waiting list for future walks as early as possible.
More information can be found here Multistage Monthly Guided Walks.
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.
Check out our Young Cotswold Way Explorers pack and educational video. This resource has been designed for Lower KS2 Science – Plants, living things and their habitats. It is also a great resource for home educators and other groups who work with children aged 7-9 years.
We also have Going Wild activity sheets for families will help transform every trip to the Cotswold Way into a fun-filled adventure.
To find out more information please see Young Cotswold Way Explorers
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.
The Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project in the Cotswolds National Landscape aims to reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s overhead line running over the Cotswold Plateau and along Cotswold Way.
Designed for Lower KS2 Science – ‘Plants, living things and their habitats’ and also our Going Wild activity sheets for families which will help transform every trip to the Cotswold Way into a fun-filled adventure. View here: Young Cotswold Way Explorers.
As part of these works the existing A417 between the Air Balloon roundabout and the Cowley roundabout would be repurposed. National Highways will convert some lengths of this existing road that the Cotswold Way passes across into a route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, while retaining other sections to maintain local access for residents.
Visit our News Page for more information on the above other exciting news on the Cotswold Way National Trail
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)
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.
You can find guidance on organising events here National Trails Guidance.
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: DEFRA Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000: general restrictions.
Explore the honey-coloured Cotswolds and find picturesque places to visit, Neolithic sites and fascinating attractions, ending in historic Bath..
View short walks on the trail's interactive map or browse the list by clicking the button below.