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Trail Information

With over 102 miles (164km) of magical walking, magnificent views, ancient sites and beautiful villages, the Cotswold Way offers a taste of the South you won’t forget. The route offers a quintessentially English experience through flower-filled meadows, wonderful beech woodland, charming towns and villages and past historic sites – with amazing views from the Cotswold escarpment.

Prepare for your trip

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Exploring the Trail

How long does it take to complete the Trail?

The Trail is 102 mile (164 km) long. The official guidebook suggests a seven to ten day trip. You might want to take a little longer if you want to see more of the interesting places along the way.

How hard is it?

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

If you wish to find out more take a look at the Cotswold Way Hall of Fame where others who have walked the Trail have recorded their experience.

There are several places suitable for those with restricted mobility, and even an off road mobility scooter for hire to explore the Cotswold Way around Crickley Hill Country Park, through Countryside Mobility.

Are there any major diversions on the route?

The following diversions are currently in place along the trail:

21st February 2022 – Storm Damage at Haresfield – There is some storm damage to trees in the wood between Cliffwell and Ringhill. The landowners have requested an emergency closure from the council, as some are hung up over the Cotswold Way, but in the meantime they have erected a couple of signs and some tape to prevent/discourage people from using the path there for their own safety until they are able to get the dangerous trees dealt with.

Top Tips for Enjoying the Trail

How do I get to the Cotswold Way?

The closest airports to the Cotswold Way are at Birmingham and Bristol. All airports offer excellent public transport links.

Moreton-in-Marsh is the nearest main line train station to the start of the trail at Chipping Campden. For rail information please see

There are many local bus services linking main towns close to the Cotswold Way.

You can find up-to-date public transport information including a journey planner at

The Cotswold Way has excellent road links to the M4, M5 and M40, providing easy access to and from London, Birmingham and the national motorway network.

Where can I stay on the Trail?

There is a good choice of accommodation close to the Trail and it can be viewed on the Interactive Map below or on the Create Your Own Trip page here.

Download and print a list of accommodation for each section of the Trail.

The area is popular and accommodation can book up quickly in peak season so we recommend that you book it well in advance.

Can I camp along the Trail?

There are plenty of campsites along the Trail and they can be viewed on the Interactive Map, or  you can download and print a list of accommodation for each section of the Trail.

If you plan to camp please note it is not legal to wild camp in England or Wales – you will need to stay on official campsites.

Can I get my bags carried or my accommodation booked?

There are several companies that will arrange to move your bags for you, help you plan your trip, or arrange a full package.

View a list of these companies here.

What is the best time of year to walk on the Trail?

The Cotswold Way can be walked right through the year so there is not really a best time. However, if you’re looking for clear views from the escarpment, then winter may be for you; whereas late spring / early summer are the best times to see the woodland and grasslands in all their glory.

Which direction should I walk it in?

The guide book is written from north to south but there is no right or wrong way – plenty of people enjoy walking it in the other direction.  The “Walking the Cotswold Way” guide book by Circone covers the trail in both directions.

If you are planning to use public transport to get to the start and finish of the Trail you may wish to start in Chipping Campden and end in Bath where there are more transport options.

What should I take with me?

We recommend that you take a map and/or guidebook with you, or a copy of the walk leaflet if you are doing a shorter walk. You may also find a compass useful.

If you are walking solo you may want to tell somewhere where you are going as there can be mobile black spots along the Trail. Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off.

Weather in the UK can be changeable so it’s wise to be prepared. You’ll need good footwear, waterproofs and warm layers. Take plenty of water and just in case, pack a few plasters for your feet. In the summer you may need sun cream.

Will I have mobile phone and internet access?

Phone reception can be patchy along the Trail, don’t rely on being able to use your phone to help you navigate. Wi-Fi is available at some accommodation and pubs/cafés along the route.

Is there signage on the Cotswold Way?

The UK is unique in having a network of paths that the public can use, this is the Public Rights of Way network. You can see these paths on Ordnance Survey maps.

National Trails are signed with an acorn symbol and/or the Trail name which you will see on stiles, gates and signposts. This is the symbol used by all the English and Welsh National Trails.

As you are walking along the Trail you will also see waymarkers pointing to other paths. You can use the public rights of way network to leave the Trail to explore places of interest, reach your accommodation and find places to eat and drink.

You will often find a coloured arrow on signs which indicates the status of that section of path. The most common are yellow arrows which are footpaths and blue which are bridleways.

Can I download a GPX file?

A GPX file can be downloaded here.

Holiday Inspiration

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

Circular and Linear Walks

There are some great 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.  Find the perfect walk for you in the Further Information section.

Leaflets, Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

Can I get a guidebook and map for the Trail?

The Cotswold Way Companion: an insider guide offers both eBook and paperback editions.  The book will help you to get the most out of walking the Cotswold Way. It’s special for two reasons: it focuses on the Cotswold Way’s natural environment and its archaeology and history; and it’s the work of people with great knowledge and experience of the trail: members of the Cotswold Way Association (CWA), the charity set up in 2016 to promote its conservation and protection, and Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who patrol the trail and lead walks on it.

Proceeds from the Cotswold Companion, which is available as an eBook and paperback, will go towards the trail’s upkeep and improvement. Buy both and you will get one year’s membership of the Cotswold Way Association to help keep making a difference.

Browse through this PREVIEW to find out about the book’s contents, along with the types of improvement projects the book’s proceeds will be spent on. To purchase visit


Other guidebooks and maps for the Trail are available from the The Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

Many guides describe the route from North to South, if you are looking for a guide book that covers the route South to North then the following provide coverage for both directions

Which Ordnance Survey maps cover the Trail?

You can find a list of Ordnance Survey maps for the Trail here.

Can I get a badge or patch to show I completed the Trail?

The Cotswold Way National Trail has both an enamel badge and iron on material patch available for a small donation.  These are available from the Cotswold Way Association who work in partnership with Cotswolds National Landscape to look after the trail.  All monies raised go towards the ongoing maintenance of the Trail.

You can also record your achievement for free in the Cotswold Way Hall of Fame.
Record your entry here.

Can I purchase a Cotswold Way Waymarker as a memento?

Yes you can purchase a Waymarker sign through the Cotswold Way Association online shop

Can I get a certificate if I complete the Trail?

Certificates are available from the The Trails Shop.

Are there any useful Trail Leaflets?

There are useful information leaflets to download here.

Interactive Map

Use the Map Filter to see places to visit and where to stay along the Cotswold Way. View information on the map by ticking the boxes in the Map Filter.

(c) Crown Copyright 2020. Ordnance Survey 100022021

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Create your own trip

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

Contact the Trail Officer

If you have feedback or a question about the Cotswold Way, please contact the Trail Manager.

Contact Rebecca Jones