18 Day: Walk the Cotswold Way


    Days of walking will be interspersed with sightseeing, taking in some beautiful Cotswold villages Georgian city of Bath and the wondrous Stonehenge.

    • From: £7475pp for 17 nights.
    • Special Offers Available. Call for details.

    Highlights: The Cotswold Way, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, Cirencester, Stonehenge, Bath

     

    Overview

    Walk the entire length of the Cotswold Way during this 18 day tour.

    The Cotswold Way is a long distance walking Trail that runs between the market town of Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south. The Trail is 102 miles (164 km) long, and runs for most of its length on the Cotswold escarpment. It passes through many picturesque villages and close to a significant number of historic sites, for example the Roman heritage at Bath, the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, Hailes Abbey and many beautiful churches and historic houses. The Cotswold Way has existed as a promoted long distance walk for over 30 years. Following many years of lobbying by the Ramblers Association and others, its special qualities have been recognised and in 1998 the government approved its development as a National Trail. The Cotswold Way was formally launched as a National Trail in May 2007. This designation is a very special one and there are only a few other Trails in England with this special grading.



    Walk the Cotswold Way Itinerary


    Day 1: Arrive London - Chipping Campden

    Upon arrival at the airport, meet your driver who will privately transfer you to your hotel in Chipping Campden. The remainder of your day is at leisure.

    Overnight: Cotswold House Hotel



    Day 2: Chipping Campden - stratfors - Warwick - Chipping Campden

    Your driver-guide will lead you on a full day excursion (8 hours) into Warwickshire today. Begin your day with a visit to Stratford, the market town that is revered as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Tour Shakespeare’s Birthplace in the town centre, and visit Ann Hathaway’s Cottage in the nearby village of Shottery. You may also wish to visit Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried. The church lies on the banks of the Avon beyond the world-famous theater.

    Journey then to Warwick Castle, often regarded as the best-preserved medieval castle in England. Dominating the River Avon, an exhibition of Edwardian life has been recreated in the staterooms by Madame Tussauds. Return to your hotel from here.

    Overnight: Cotswold House Hotel
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 3: Chipping Campden - Broadway

    Today you begin your walk along the Cotswold Way! You can begin straight from your hotel as your driver will pick up your luggage for you and take it to the next hotel.

    The start of your walk leads you through the delightful English market town of Chipping Campden, around shaded woodlands and breath-taking views. You then pass through the picturesque town of Broadway, and follow the historical tracks up to Broadway Tower, where you have spectacular views of the Severn Vale into Wales. This is a wonderful introduction to the Cotswolds and a perfect start to this astonishing trail. Your walk today will be approximately 6 miles.

    Overnight: The Broadway Hotel
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 4: Broadway - Cotswolds - Broadway

    Today you will enjoy touring of the Cotswold villages around Broadway with your driver-guide (8 hours). You may like to go back to Chipping Camden to visit Hidcote Manor and Gardens, a National Trust property with one of the finest gardens in the country which is a true Arts and Crafts masterpiece.

    Continue exploring the area and visit the village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Known as “Venice of the Cotswolds” the meandering Windrush River runs through the heart of the village cross-crossed by a number of pedestrian bridges. Finally today see Stow-on-the-Wold a market town which stands beside the Roman Fosse Way at its junction with six other roads, and where a settlement has existed since the Iron Age. Like many of the Cotswold towns and villages, the houses were built with the very distinctive mellow Cotswold stone from the local quarries. Many of the buildings date back to the 16th century. Return to your hotel from here.

    Overnight: The Broadway Hotel
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 5: Broadway - Winchcombe - Southam

    This morning you will start your second leg of the Cotswold Way directly from your hotel, walking from Broadway to Winchcombe (approximately 12 miles). This is a popular stretch of the route and sights along the way will include Iron Age hill forts of Shenberrow & Beckbury Camp and the beautiful villages of Stanton and Stanway with its Jacobean manor house and very impressive fountain. Also pass Hayles Abbey which is the site of historic pilgrimages and finally continue on to Winchcombe - the capital of ancient Mercia. Upon arrival in Winchcombe, your driver will be waiting to take you to your new hotel in Southam.

    Overnight: Ellenborough Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 6: Southam - Winchcombe - Dowdeswell - Southam

    Today your driver takes you to Winchcombe so you can pick up the walk where you left off last night (approximately 11 miles). This scenic and interesting walk takes you from the delightfully unspoilt town of Winchcombe, through the limestone grassland over open hilltops, across streams and through woodlands.

    Discover some of the Cotswold's wildflowers and butterflies on Cleeve Common with a stunning panoramic view as your backdrop! Continue a bit further to Dowdeswell where your driver will meet you and transfer you back to your hotel.

    Overnight: Ellenborough Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 7: Southam

    Today is yours to enjoy at leisure. You may like to stay and enjoy the facilities of your beautiful hotel. Activities such as shooting, polo or golf can be arranged, subject to availability. Alternatively, you may wish to take a short taxi ride into the nearby regency town of Cheltenham where you can admire the Georgian style architecture.

    Overnight: Ellenborough Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 8: Southam - Dowdeswell - Birdlip - Painswick

    Your driver transfers you back to Dowdeswell today where you begin walking towards Birdlip (approximately 10 miles). The route passes through woodland, up and over farmland and onto Seven Springs, which could be the source of the river Thames. Follow on with more fine views over Leckhampton Hill and the “Devils Chimney” manmade rock structure and local focal point. The route takes you through Crickley Hill Park and up to the pretty hamlet of Birdlip where your driver meets you and takes you to your hotel in Painswick.

    Overnight: Cotswolds 88
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 9: Painswick - Bridlip - Kings Stanley - Rodborough

    Transfer to Birdlip and continue along the Cotswold Way towards Kings Stanley. This will be the longest leg of your trek (approximately 16.5 miles). At the Roman Villa at Witcombe, a bath house and fine mosaics have been unearthed. Cooper’s Hill offers fine views and is today famous for its annual “Cheese Roll”. The walk is completed at the picturesque Cotswold stone village of Painswick with streets dating back to the 13th Century. The second section of the trail offers some fantastic sightseeing with the views from Haresfield Beacon over the Severn valley below, being quite wonderful. The route descends gently through Standish Woods and into the Stroud Valleys.

    Overnight: The Bear of Rodborough
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 10: Rodborough - Burford - Bibury - Rodborough

    Today you will further explore the South-Eastern corner of the region with your driver-guide. Visit quaint villages such as Great Barrington and Burford. Burford, like Stow-on-the-Wold is a village that grew wealthy by the wool trade and this is reflected in the very grand village church, one of the most interesting of its kind in the country. Burford is also an ideal place to peruse through the antique shops. See other quintessentially English villages such as Bibury and one the way back to Broadway stop at Chedworth Roman Villa, one of the best preserved Roman sites in England.

    Overnight: The Bear of Rodborough
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 11: Rodbourugh - Kings Stanley - Dursley - Rodbourough

    Your driver transfers you to King Stanley to begin the next leg of your walk as far as Dursley (approximately 7 miles). Today's walk is quite hilly but rewards you with superb views at Coaley Peak and historic sites, such as a Neolithic long barrow and an Iron Age fort. The walking trail passes down into a valley and onto your destination of Dursley, a town once famous for its wool and cloth. From here you are met and transferred back to your hotel.

    Overnight: The Bear of Rodborough
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 12: Rodorugh - Dursley - Wotton - Tetbury

    Drive back to Dursley this morning as you walk a shorter route along the way to Wotton-under-Edge (approximately 7 miles). A steep climb up Stinchcombe Hill rewards you with more lovely views then onto North Nibley and you will see The Tynedale Monument, a prominent landmark. Grass and woodland take you onto Wotton-under-Edge dating back to Saxon times. There is today a fine mixture of old buildings plus a selection of pubs, shops and places to eat so you may want to grab a bite to eat here.

    Transfer to your next hotel in Tetbury at the end of your day.

    Overnight: Calcot Manor
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 13: Tetbury - Cirencester - Tetbury
    Meet your driver-guide for a full day sightseeing around Cirencester and the surrounding areas today (8 hours). Cirencester is the main centre of the Cotswolds, and one of the many picturesque towns of the area, all of which possess a fine collection of traditional buildings. Visit the little town of Tetbury where your hotel is based and which is home to many small art galleries. Later drive past Highgrove, the private residence of the Prince of Wales, before returning your hotel.

    Overnight: Calcot Manor Meal Plan: B



    Day 14: Tetbury - Wotton - Tormarton - Chippenham

    You driver takes you to the starting point for the day in Wotton-under-Edge where you begin walking towards Tormarton (approximately 15 miles). Pass close to The National Trust property of Newark Park then take a very pretty woodland track to the village of Alderley. Continue onwards through the valley then climb to The Somerset Monument before heading towards the village of Hawkesbury. This is the midway point on your walk today and you may like to stop here for lunch.

    The next section is very rural with views towards Bristol and the Severn Bridge crossings. The walk through Dodington Park, landscaped by Capability Brown, is a highlight before crossing fields onto the village of Tormarton where you meet your driver.

    Overnight: Lucknam Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 15: Chippenham - Tormarton - Cold Ashton - Chippenham

    Meet your driver and begin the penultimate part of the trail today which passes Dyrham Park (National Trust). Keep your eyes peeled as you are likely to see some deer! You will also see a fine Tudor mansion which is worth visiting if you have time. Continue onwards into Dyrham Woods before making your way through farmland into Cold Ashton with its magnificent Rectory and manor house (approximately 7 miles). Transfer to your hotel at the end of your day.

    Overnight: Lucknam Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 16: Chippenham - Bath - Stonehenge - Chippenham

    Your driver-guide leads you today on a full day excursion (10 hours) through the English countryside. First head to Salisbury Plain, where you visit Stonehenge which is arguably the most famous prehistoric site in Europe. It inspires wonder at the effort it must have taken to drag the enormous stones over the land and erect them in circles. This afternoon explore the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Tour the Roman Baths that were discovered in an excellent state of preservation near to Bath Abbey church and also see the magnificent Palladian architecture for which the city is renowned (seen at its best in the Circus and the Royal Crescent). Return to your hotel from here.

    Overnight: Lucknam Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Chippenham - Cold Ashton - Bath - Chippenham
    The last day’s walking is through a very varied landscape of hills offering more great views. You will climb to the Civil War battle site of Lansdown then onto another hill fort and Bath Race Course where the trail later descends into the outskirts of Bath. You are transferred back to your hotel where you can enjoy a well-deserved drink after completely the entire Cotswold Way!

    Overnight: Lucknam Park
    Meal Plan: B



    Day 18: Depart London

    Your driver meets you for the last time this morning and transfers you to the airport for your departure flight.

    Meal Plan: B


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