Self-Guided Hiking Tours

England | Cotswold Way

Step into an English fairy tale.

England
  • Cotwolds Trek
  • Costwold Way Trail Sign
  • Cotswolds Trek
  • Cotswold hiking trail
  • England Self Guided Tour
  • Cotswolds house
  • Cotswolds Way
  • "We absolutely loved the trail, the English Countryside, the peacefulness and lack of tourists. The trail was very well managed and easily navigable with the help of your directions."- Ken P.

Trip Highlights:

  • Villages straight out of Harry Potter, replete with limestone cottages, thatched roofs and winding cobblestone roads.
  • Famous archaeology sites including Hetty Pegler’s Tump and Belas Knap. Roman era and Iron Age Hill Forts abound on the higher promontories.
  • Easy to moderate hiking days. While some days can be long underfoot, the Cotswold Way is never strenuous. The high point on Cleeve Common is only 900 feet above sea level indicating that is impossible to have a very protracted period of ascent.

Quintessential England is, perhaps, the best way to describe the Cotswolds of west-central England. Peaceful villages welcome travelers with warm stone cottages and intimate B&Bs. Winding country lanes, cobblestoned and lined with dry-stone walls, guide explorers through a tapestry of quiet tearooms and cozy pubs. Stately hedgerows divide a fanciful realm of rolling hillsides and mysterious woods. It is not surprising that so many stories, from Harry Potter to Peter Rabbit, arise from this magical corner that many people refer to as a “Christmas card come to life”.

Fortunately, you don’t have to fight Lord Voldemort to explore this storybook heart of England. The Cotswold Way offers hikers a 102-mile walking path that snakes southward from Chipping Campden to the World Heritage City of Bath. The Cotswold Way achieved national trail status in 2007 and cleverly connects a patchwork of rolling hills, idyllic villages, and ancient settlements dating back more than 6000 years.

Trip Itinerary

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Independently transfer to Chipping Campden, and overnight in a fine four-star hotel.

Exit Chipping Campden through rolling farmland and soon follow Mile Drive to Broadway Tower, one of the famous follies of the region. Lunch in Broadway, one of the Cotswolds’ most classic towns. Continue on to Stanton, perhaps the simplest and most charming Cotswold village. Overnight in a simple B & B.

Distance: 15 miles.

This is a long day which can be broken up into two short ones. Begin with a lovely ramble through the hamlet of Stanway and continue on to Haile’s Abbey, built by the brother of Edward III. Enjoy lunch in Winchecombe before continuing on to the Cotswold Way high point on Cleeve Common. Spend the first of two nights in a very well-appointed B & B.

Distance: 12 miles.

Spend today high above Cheltenham, one of England’s prettier spa cities, known for its steeplechase grounds. Stop for lunch before climbing through atmospheric Lineover Wood and Ravensgare Hill. Finish at the Seven Springs Pub. Transfer back to your Cleeve Hill Hotel.

Distance: 9 miles.

This is a unique stage of the Cotswold Way in that it is almost entirely in woodlands. Begin in the Witcombe Wood and visit the fascinating Witcombe Roman Villa. Pass the Double Gloucester Cheese Round Rolling Competition site at Cooper’s Hill before traversing to Painswick (the “Queen” of the Cotswolds). Overnight in a fine Bed & Breakfast.

Distance: 7 miles.

Begin with a long and pleasant traverse through Stockend Wood before ascending briefly to the Haresfield Beacon, a Roman Hill fort. Continue through the atmospheric Standish Wood and begin a lengthy descent into Stonehouse. Overnight in a fine hotel.

Distance: up to 11 miles.

Today’s walk begins in the ancient mill town of Kings Stanley. Pass by the famous Long Barrow and Hetty Pegler’s Tump (a Neolithic Chambered Mound). Ascend and traverse the lovely Cam Long Down and descend to Dursley for a pub lunch. Climb to the impressive Tyndall Monument before descent into Wotton-under-Edge. Overnight in an excellent B & B.

Distance: 13.5 miles.

Walk through the charming hamlets of Alderley and Hillesley and on to Hawkesbury Upton. Enjoy a classic pub lunch in this classic Cotswold village. Continue down Bath Lane to the beautiful hamlets of Horton and Sodbury. Cross over Doddington Park to Tormarton and your comfortable hotel.

Distance: 8 miles.

Transfer to Cold Ashton (unless you are a purist) and wander through lovely farmland to the battle site of Lansdown Hill. Pass the Bath Racecourse and descend to this famous town. The routing through Bath takes you past the beautiful Royal Crescent and finishes at the Roman Baths. Overnight in an excellent hotel and celebrate your achievement in one of Bath’s best restaurants.

Distance: 10.5 miles.

Afternoon flights out of London can easily be met.

Cotswold Way | England

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.