The gently rolling hills of the Cotswold Way skirts England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This stunning region is home to chocolate-box villages surrounded by picture-perfect countryside. This is quintessential England as described in Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie.
Meander through a patchwork of sheep-dotted fields, see miles of enchanting dry stone walls and enjoy quiet country lanes and lush pastured farmland. Enjoy meandering through gorgeous south Cotswold villages including medieval Painswick and the World Heritage Listed Bath, famed for its stunning Georgian architecture and healing thermal waters.
Get Ready For
- Glorious jumble of stunning landscapes and wonderful biodiversity
- Roman baths and marvel at the fine architecture UNESCO-listed Bath
- Meander slowly amidst ancient beech trees along quiet woodland trails
- Bath’s exceptional local cuisine and posh gastro pubs and restaurants
- Grand gardens designed by famous landscape architect Capability Brown
- Painswick’s famous Rococo gardens and 99 yew trees at St Mary’s Church
Often referred to as “The Queen of the Cotswolds” this town is one of the best-preserved villages in the Cotswolds, and is famous for its Rococo Gardens and 99 yew trees surrounding St Mary’s church. According to legend, should a 100th tree grow, the devil would pull it out.
PAINSWICK TO KING’S STANLEY (14KM)
- Ascent 550m
- Decent 650m
A pleasant descent leads to woodlands, then gentle uphills and open meadowland to Edge Common with views back over Painswick. The path dips then climbs once more for spectacular views over the River Severn and the Vale of Berkeley. Standish Woods offers exquisite spring-time displays of bluebells and wood anemone. Passing between Stroud and Stonehouse on the low level route, the trail crosses the Stroudwater Canal before arriving at King’s Stanley, nestled at the foot of the Cotswold escarpment.
KING’S STANLEY TO WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE (23KM)
- Ascent 875m
- Descent 850m
In spring, the scent of wild garlic will greet you on the lovely woodland trails of Penn Wood. There are a few ups and downs today, but you’ll enjoy great views all along the ridge as you dip in and out of various valleys and hills. The trail also passes by another Neolithic burial ground called Nympsfield Long Barrow. There are some longer scenic options, so at this point, you’ll need to make a choice: if it’s a clear day, we suggest the longer route. On the way is the Tyndale Monument, dedicated to writer William Tyndale, translator of the New Testament into English in 1525. After the monument, the woodland path descends into the bustling market town of Wotton-under-Edge.
WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE TO OLD SODBURY (20.5KM)
- Ascent 550m
- Descent 525m
As you leave Wotton, take a moment to visit the 13th-century parish church of St Mary the Virgin. You’ll see stunning views from atop the craggy Cotswold hills before journeying through open fields, valleys and small sections of woodlands. Savour the charm of every little hamlet and the gloriously-named valley Nanny Farmer’s Bottom as you stride the easy paths into quaint Old Sodbury with its 900-year old Norman church. Here we recommend a refreshing ale at the 500-year-old Dog Inn.
OLD SODBURY TO COLD ASHTON (14.5KM)
- Ascent 250m
- Descent 175m
Today’s short but rewarding walk takes you past some impressive old manor houses reflecting both the past and present wealth of the Cotswold region. Amble through the grand gardens and rolling parklands of Dodington Park. This estate was designed in 1764 by famous landscape architect Capability Brown. The trail skirts the perimeter wall of the National Trust’s baroque-style Dyrham Park which featured in the movie The Remains of the Day. From the village of Dyrham, the trail climbs up through Dyrham Woods before continuing through fertile sheep-filled farmland into charming Cold Ashton with its fine views over the valley.
COLD ASHTON TO BATH (17KM)
- Ascent 285m
- Descent 475m
Your final day on the delightful Cotswold Way sees you descend into the peaceful, secluded valley of Lower Hamswell. Climb again to reach the site of the 1643 civil war battle of Lansdown before crossing a plateau to emerge at Prospect Stile. Here, across a patchwork of fields, you’ll see your first views of Bath. As the walk becomes more urban, take the time to reflect on the picturesque golden villages, wild-flower meadows, rare butterflies and welcoming locals you’ve seen on your Cotswold Way adventure. Nearer the city, catch glimpses of fine parks and wonderful Regency architecture as you make your way to beautiful Bath Abbey. A hand-carved blue limestone disc featuring place names from along the route has been set into the pavement outside the ornate west doors to mark the end of the Cotswold Way.
DAY IN BATH
Grand Bath is the original wellness destination retreat, so pamper yourself with a therapeutic spa in the natural hot springs of the Roman baths, or visit one of its many galleries, museums or chic boutiques.
Enjoy a hearty English breakfast before your departure any time prior to 10am.
***IMPORTANT – Please note accommodation along the Cotswold Way is limited, so daily distances may vary from that in your walk notes depending on where your accommodation is located and if you take any optional diversions***
What you get
- 7 nights in quintessential Cotswold accommodation including B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels
- Daily breakfast including fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals and/or a hearty, cooked English breakfast to support your day on the trail
- Pack-free walking with luggage transfers on each hiking day (1 x 20kg bag per person)
- Comprehensive information pack including detailed walk notes, map, luggage tag and laptop case
- 24/7 support from our UK-based RAW Travel staff member
- Pre-trip guidance and planning from experienced and dedicated RAW Travel Destination Experts
- Hassle-free walking with exclusive use of RAW Travel’s specifically designed navigational hiking App
- Single supplement $750
- Travel insurance
- Lunch and dinners
North Cotswolds – Cotswold Way
- Walk from Stratford-upon-Avon to delightful Painswick
- Enjoy honey-coloured villages and medieval market towns
- Indulge in exceptional local cuisine at posh gastro pubs
- See the birthplace of poet and playwright William Shakespeare
The Self-Guided Walk – Cotswold Way
- Marvel at the fine Georgian architecture in World Heritage Bath
- Wander among age-old beech trees along quiet woodland trails
- Explore some of the worlds best-preserved ancient Roman baths
- Delight at the chocolate-box villages and picture-perfect countryside
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed