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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking: Cotswold Way

England
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Stroll through quintessential England in the Cotswolds from Chipping Camden to the Roman city of Bath on this self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: MCT8
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking: Cotswold Way

Highlights
  • Discover quintessential England on this self-guided walking holiday from Chipping Camden to Bath
  • A wonderful picture-perfect tour of the Cotswolds with all the highlights experienced the best way, on foot
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath, with its famous Roman thermal spa and beautiful 18th century architechture
  • Extensive route notes, recommendations for local meals, daily luggage transfers and B&B in local guesthouses included in the holiday price

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 7 days walking
  • Average of 24km walking per day
  • Packed lunches available on request
  • Recommendations for excellent local meals
  • Join In Chipping Campden / Ends in Bath

Accommodation & Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 8 nights Guesthouse
Overview

Savour 102 miles of gorgeous English countryside along the length of the Cotswold escarpment with stunning views over the Vale of Gloucester and the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. Designated a National Trail in 2007, following this trail means a picture-perfect walk every day.

Honey-coloured houses, quaint stone village and abundant hedgerows all falling within the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales - this is the Cotswolds. Once one of the richest areas in England due to the wool trade which supported 50% of England's economy - watch out for the Cotswold Lion, a rare shaggy sheep that was once the cornerstone of this trade with Europe. The boom in the economy also led to a boom in building houses, all seemingly exquisite and now listed, and all bundled charmingly together in the tiny hamlets so characteristic of this area. Add in rolling countryside and delicious regional cuisine and this is a hill-walker's paradise.

The trip includes all accommodation, breakfast and full luggage support meaning you can travel light and concentrate on the lovely scenery and historic sites.

This is just one of many itineraries we offer including shorter highlight sections. You can also choose to walk the entire 102 miles from between 6 days to 12 days depending on available time or how much you wish to sightsee.

Is this holiday for you?

This is another relatively easy National Trail which is clearly way-marked along the length of the path. A good route for people wanting to do their first long-distance walk. Terrain: Varied - but these are gentle wolds and not mountainous areas. The path rises up and down onto the Cotswold Escarpment in the northern section, and is lower, but still undulating over farmland and through woods …

This is another relatively easy National Trail which is clearly way-marked along the length of the path. A good route for people wanting to do their first long-distance walk. Terrain: Varied - but these are gentle wolds and not mountainous areas. The path rises up and down onto the Cotswold Escarpment in the northern section, and is lower, but still undulating over farmland and through woods towards the south. What’s it like underfoot? Pretty good. Well maintained paths throughout, although sections can get a bit muddy in wet weather. How much up & down? This trail is rolling and it does go up and down a lot, with some short steeper sections, but they don’t go on forever – the highest point is 330m (1083ft). Ascents and descents are usually 150 – 200m (495- 660ft) Signposting: Generally good. Navigation: Pretty straightforward. Well defined paths, and good signposting.

Why KE?

We operate this trip in collaboration with our sister company Mickledore Travel, which is also based in Keswick in the Lake District. Mickledore have a long tradition of operating self-guided walking holidays along some of the finest trails in England, Scotland and Wales. Route notes, maps, luggage transfers and bed & breakfast accommodation in the best B&Bs, guesthouses and inns along the way are all included. Recommendations are also made for the best places to find delicious local meals at each night stop.

Mickledore have a near perfect customer satisfaction score (99%), and we have no doubt that you will find their knowledgeable and friendly team able to answer even the most detailed of questions.

Different durations of this holiday are available on request.

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Itinerary

Travel to Chipping Campden for your first night's accommodation.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

The Cotswold Way starts at the Town Hall in the centre of Chipping Campden, one of the most charming of all the picturesque settlements along the trail. The route climbs gradually up to Dover's Hill 230m (755ft) with views over the Vale of Evesham before continuing on to Broadway Tower, the second highest point along the trail at 312m (1025ft). After dropping down into the delightful village of Broadway, the trail climbs back up to Shenberrow Hill before descending into the idyllic village of Stanton.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

441 M

Distance

16 KM

From Stanton the path leads across meadows to the hamlet of Church Stanway. The route then begins its ascent back to the top of the escarpment at Stumps Cross from where it follows an ancient drove road for a while before reaching an Iron Age Hill Fort at Beckbury Camp. The path then descends to Winchcombe where the route skirts the edge of Cleeve Common, the highest point of the trail at 330m (1083ft). In bad weather, or for people with less time, a short-cut can be taken over the Common, cutting about 4 miles off the route.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

653 M

Distance

21 KM

This section follows the western edge of the escarpment with fine views down to Cheltenham and across the Vale of Gloucester. From an Iron Age Hill Fort, the path drops down to Dowdeswell reservoir then follows the scarp to Severn Springs, Leckhampton Hill leading eventually to Crickley Hill.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

827 M

Distance

26 KM

From Crickley Hill the path traverses the combe through woods before arriving at Cooper's Hill and more panoramic views. Further woodland walking above Prinknash Abbey brings you to Painswick Beacon. From here it's a steady descent to the lovely old market town. The next section crosses open countryside to Scottsquar Hill, before entering the woodland that leads to Haresfield Beacon. The path then skirts between the towns of Stroud and Stonehouse before crossing the Stroudwater Canal and entering King's Stanley.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

753 M

Distance

27 KM

Regaining the escarpment by a steep path up to Pen Hill, the way continues through beech woodland until you reach the Nympsfield Long Barrow. Here there are superb panoramic views from Coaley Peak on Frocester Hill. The path returns to the woods with many ups and downs before descending to the small market town of Dursley. After descending to the valley the way climbs steeply again onto Nibley Knoll and the stunning views from the Tyndale Monument. The path continues to traverse the escarpment, before descending into the old wool town of Wotton-under-Edge nestling at the foot of the hill.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

927 M

Distance

24 KM

After a steep climb out of Wotton there is easy walking across gently rolling countryside to the pretty little hamlet of Little Sodbury. After this the way then crosses the parkland of Dodington House, before entering the peaceful village of Tormarton.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

660 M

Distance

24 KM

Easy walking then leads across farmland to Dyrham Park before climbing gently up to the tiny hamlet of Pennsylvania. From here the path climbs gradually up to the top of Lansdown Hill. The trail then follows the escarpment again to Prospect Stile from where there are superb views down to Bath before descending to this magnificent city and completing the walk at the Roman Baths.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

545 M

Distance

27 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your accommodation. You may wish to take a further stroll around Bath before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided infomration pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transport

  • Travel Insurance
  • Evening meals
  • Packed lunches (can be booked at an additional cost)
  • Off road parking (available at most locations on request)
  • Transport to the start and away from the finish
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Mickledore Travel. KE is not acting as an agent, but is marketing the holiday on Mickledore’s behalf. All bookings and payments will be processed by Mickledore, and you will enter into an agreement directly with them under the terms of their booking conditions.

You will be posted your self-guided holiday pack once we have received the balance (normally around 8 weeks before the start of your holiday).  We supply one holiday pack per booking and this will be posted to the person that made the booking. Extra packs can be purchased at £30 per pack. Please contact us a minimum of 6 weeks in advance if you require an extra pack. 

Your holiday pack comprises of:

  • Your itinerary with details of each night’s accommodation; information on your evening meals, as well as luggage transport and transfers, (where applicable).
  • Directions and detailed maps to each accommodation
  • A guidebook that describes the route in detail, and covers the whole route with a series of maps, as well as providing a wealth of background information.
  • Map(s) which cover the entire route(s).
  • Luggage Tags (if luggage transport booked) which the luggage courier will use to identify your bags.
  • Information on local facilities, such as cafes and other recommended places to eat, cash points, taxi companies, etc.

As part of the standard charge we will issue the following:

  • 1 guidebook and map for up to 4 people
  • 2 guidebooks and maps for 5-7 people
  • 3 guidebooks and maps for 8 people or more

You may purchase extra copies from us at a discounted price.

This holidays starts at your accommodation in Chipping Campden. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s and returning from your last night's accommodation by car, or on foot from/to the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

This holiday is on a B&B basis. Packed lunches are available on request and we offer recommendations for each evening meal.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20 per person per night. 

Pack lunches can be provided on this holiday for an additional cost from £52 per person. We recommend this as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements.

We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.

We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

Where luggage transport is included in the price, this will be a standard of 1 piece of luggage per person, usually up to 20kg in weight. On some routes the weight limit may be less, but we will advise you if this is the case. If you leave your luggage at your accommodation in the morning, it will be waiting for you on arrival at the B&B that evening. Any extra bags can be transported (at an additional charge) as long as they are pre-booked.

On certain holidays we also offer a storage service for extra luggage not needing to be transported for the holiday. Please contact us for for information on which holidays and a quotation.

All you need to carry is a small day sack to hold your waterproofs, personal items, packed lunch, map, guidebook and camera. You should be prepared for all weathers, at all times of year.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Walking boots – need to be comfortable and well broken in
  • Several pairs of thick walking socks
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Warm hat and/or sun hat
  • Raincoat: (waterproof and windproof with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Thermal long-johns & thermal top
  • Jacket
  • Fleece tops
  • Fleece or polypropylene trousers (no denim or cotton)
  • Spare clothing for the evening
  • Shorts and t-shirt (ideally made from synthetic fibres)
  • Map case
  • Compass
  • Torch: with spare batteries
  • First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief and assorted bandages
  • Water bottle
  • Walking poles (if you already use these)
  • Small day sack (20-30L) for carrying your personal items
  • Day sack liner / black bin bag / day sack waterproof cover
  • Camera and memory card
  • Phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Whistle
  • GPS (if you already use one)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

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