The Cotswold Way is one of the UKs managed National Trail footpaths, running 103 miles from the market town of Chipping Campden in the north of The Cotswolds, to the spa town of Bath in the South. The route crosses typical Cotswold countryside with a patchwork of fields partioned by traditional honey coloured dry stone walls across rolling hillside. The route stops at a plethora of traditional villages and small towns.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to the start at Painswick is Stroud or alternatively it is easily accessible from Cheltenham as well. We are happy to arrange a taxi transfer from either station, on the guests’ behalf.
By Car: The village of Painswick is the mid-point of The Cotswold Way but is relatively small with limited parking. We instead recommend arrival to Cheltenham where we are able to provide parking and a transfer to Painswick. Cheltenham is easily accessible via the M4/M5 route or by the A40 from London via Oxford.
B&Bs, Hotels and Inns (3*) or Luxury Hotels (5*). Please note the Luxury version includes some taxi transfers at the beginning or end of some days.
The tour includes transfer of luggage as stated. The tour information pack provided to the clients contains luggage tags from Compass Holidays. The clients name and the hotels used throughout the stay will be on these tags. They should be fixed to the luggage. In the morning the luggage should be left at the reception for collection. Luggage is collected after 9.30am and delivered to the next hotel before 4.30pm.
This grade of this tour is moderate.
Daily Distance Range
- Minimum: 9.5 miles / 15km per day
- Maximum:13.5 miles / 21.5 km per day
This tour runs for 7 days, 6 nights and 5 days walking but can be extended or decreased by changing the daily distance.
This tour is available from January until December.
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation at the stated category with breakfast
- Luggage Transfers
- Full Tour Pack
- Smartphone App with GPS routes
- 24-hr emergency helpline
What is NOT included in the tour
- Lunch, Dinner & Drinks
- Entrance to attractions
- Buses and/or Ferries unless otherwise stated
- Tourist Taxes where applicable
Arrive Painswick and stay overnight.The picturesque town of Painswick is the mid-point of the Cotswold Way and is a delightful village with independent eateries and boutique shops. Look out for the 99 yew trees in the churchyard which date from the 1800’s -legend has it that the Devil would destroy the 100thtree if it was planted, however there is an additional yew (number 100) planted at the rear of the church to celebrate the millennium. It’s still thriving contrary to the legend without a Devil in sight. Painswick recently featured in J.K.Rowling’s novel “A Casual Vacancy” and is also home to the Rococco Gardens which are worth a visit.
A: Painswick to Stonehouse (9.5 miles / 15 km)
Descend from Painswick to cross the Wash Brook before climbing again onto Edge Common. The trail plunges back into woodland before emerging at Haresfield Beacon and the iron-age Bulwarks hillfort, with views of the escarpment and River Severn. The route descends gently through Standish Woods, with beautiful displays of bluebell and wood anemone in the spring and ferns through outt he summer, to emerge into the Stroud Valley through grass pastures. The village of Stonehouse actually appears in the Domesday Book of 1086.
Stay overnight in Stonehouse. Luggage will be transferred.
B: Stonehouse to Wotton Under Edge (13.5 miles / 21.5 km)
Continue through Dursley then climb steeply up onto Stinchcombe Hill followed by another steep ascent to the Tyndale Monument and Brackenbury Camp Hillfort, with views over Wotton-on-Edge. The trail then makes for the village of Alderley down a delightful sunken woodland track before climbing again. Climb gently to the Somerset Monument before heading towards the village of Hawkesbury Upton and on to Wotton Under Edge. Wotton Under Edge boasts a large number of listed buildings, as well as independent shops and eateries.
Stay overnight in Wotton Under Edge. Luggage will be transferred.
C: Wotton Under Edge to Old Sodbury (12.5 miles / 20 km)
Passing an ancient drover’s pond, the Cotswold Way follows Bath Lane south towards Horton, reaching the National Trust property of Horton Court, which is believed to be the oldest vicarage in England. From there the trail climbs up onto Horton Fort with extensive views opening out over the Severn Vale and beyond, before crossing farmland to the village of Horton and on to Old Sodbury where you will stay for the night.
Stay overnight in Old Sodbury. Luggage will be transferred.
D: Old Sodbury to Cold Ashton (10 miles / 16 km)
From Old Sodbury, the trail passes through the wonderful Capability Brown parkland of Dodington Park before crossing the final few fields into Tormarton. Leave Tormarton to the south along the Marshfield Road, following the trail as it crosses arable land and eventually leads to a path skirting the perimeter wall of Dyrham Park –an ancient deer park. From Dyrham, the trail climbs through woodland to Cold Ashton.
Stay overnight in Cold Ashton. Luggage will be transferred.
E: Cold Ashton to Bath (10 miles / 16 km)
What a finale! The trail descends into the beautiful secluded valley at LowerHamswell, passing the promontory hill fort at Little Down and the famous Bath Racecourse. The city can be glimpsed in the valley below and the trail gradually becomes more urban over the final miles, passing parks and regency architecture on its way to Bath Abbey. Here you’ll find a carved stone disc set into the pavement outside the ornate west doors to mark the end of the Cotswold Way. Bath is a fabulous place to stay and many choose to extend their trip to give time to explore the attractions including the famous Roman Baths.
Stay overnight in Bath or depart. Luggage will be transferred.
The routing is subject to accommodation availability and will run from A-E as above. Extra nights can be added in Cheltenham, Painswick and Bath if desired.
The correct clothes are important to ensure comfort during each walk. We suggest avoid anything with seams and buttons in sensitive areas. Clothing should take moisture from the body to the outside. Sweatshirts, thin pullovers and breathable jackets are ideal companions during the cooler days. Take light, waterproof jackets and trousers in case there is rain. On hot days we suggest a cap or hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun.