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The Cotswold Way

An idyllic long distance walk in southern England through the Cotswolds to the Roman city of Bath.

  • Cotswolds

  • 10 nights
  • Half Board
  • Long Distance Paths

    Landscape

  • Sep

  • Average group size: 10-12

Challenging

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Walking grade

Grade 6

This is a Grade 6 challenging holiday which includes full day walks covering between 10.5 and 14.5 miles each day (average 11.7 miles per day), with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent (no more than 695m). Whilst you will mainly be on paths, these may be rough, steep and loose at times. Expect to be out for around 6 hours most days, though that will include your breaks. 

This is a long distance path with many ups and downs and you will need to be able to sustain this over several days, with no rest day. For most of its length it follows the Cotswold escarpment giving wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. The route offers a quintessentially English experience through flower-filled meadows, wonderful beech woodland, charming towns and villages and past historic sites. 

See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk the well known National Trail following the Cotswold escarpment rewarding you with wonderful views.
  • Discover charming villages and view historic sites along the way.
  • Various places of interest - no two days are the same.
  • Stay near elegant Cheltenham for the duration of your holiday.
  • The ease of walking a Long Distance Footpath with private coach transport taken care of each day.

The Cotswold Way is not about windswept peaks and bleak moorland. It is about beautiful rolling countryside with beech woods giving way to open grassy fields with views sweeping down from the high escarpment to the Severn valley. Villages are as picturesque as they come, with warm honey coloured stone terraces and some of the finest church architecture to be found. The fields of sheep give an idea of where the prosperity came from, to build the many manor houses, churches and villages.

Each day offers lovely walking but also has cultural highlights such as a Neolithic burial chamber, an iron age fort, the last home of Henry VIII 6th wife and the site of a famous cheese rolling competition. It would be hard to imagine a better walk to capture the spirit and self-image of a nation, than the Cotswold Way, as it reveals to us, unique perspectives of the English culture, landscape and history. 

We walk from north to south starting from the quintessentially English market town of Chipping Campden and finishing in the Roman city of Bath. The 102 mile long distance footpath had it's 50th anniversary in 2020. 

From your hotel in Brockworth, just a short drive to Cheltenham or Gloucester, you have private transport to the trailhead each morning and return to the hotel each night. This has the advantage that there is no packing or unpacking each day; just return to your room for a shower and then perhaps a drink before dinner. As such, some days travel may be long in duration however by being settled in one hotel is a greater benefit. 

  • En suite four-star hotel accommodation on a half board basis
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Lunches
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

70610

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent travel to the Delta by Marriott Cheltenham Chase. Check in is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the hotel for a briefing before dinner. 

Dinner each evening is in the hotel restaurant.

Day 2

Chipping Campden to Stanway

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.25 hours

  • Distance

    11.3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    445/495m

From Chipping Campden, with its picturesque medieval Cotswold stone High Street, you climb to Dover Hill and its spectacular views over the Vale of Evesham. From Broadway Tower we descend into Broadway, known as ‘The Jewel of the Cotswolds’. You climb up again to the top of the scarp, to drop down to Stanton and Stanway. Today is a long but very scenic walk.

Day 3

Stanway to Cleeve Hill

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

View from Cleeve Hill

At 330m above sea level, Cleeve Hill is the highest point in Gloucestershire and is also the highest peak of the Cotswold Hills. It is a part of Cleeve, which is the highest point in the Cotswolds. Countless foot paths criss-cross its 1,000 acres, including The Cotswold Way National Trail, and while its breath-taking views extend to the Malvern Hills and, on a clear day, to the Black Mountains of Wales.

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    11.8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    565/420m

Today your walk starts at Stanley Church, with a gentle walk to Wood Stanley. Following this there is the first of many uphill walks, each rewarded with a wonderful view. Then descend from Beckbury Camp to Hailes Abbey. From there we follow the valley to Winchcombe, a lovely historic Cotswold town. Walking from here, past Sudeley Castle to ascend towards Bellas Knap. Beautiful views follow as the walk descends again, to commence the last climb of the day to reach Cleeve Hill.

Day 4

Cleeve Hill to Crickley Hill

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    14.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    570/575m

You will walk across Cleeve Hill, the highest point of the Cotswolds and then descend to Dowdeswell, before climbing again to walk along the escarpment looking down onto Cheltenham, with views across the Vale of Evesham, where we will pass the Devils Chimney. You continue through a mixture of meadows and woodland to end the day at Crickley Hill Country Park, a fascinating archaeological site, with a panoramic view towards Gloucester and the Severn valley.

Day 5

Crickley Hill to Painswick

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    10.4 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    460/585m

You will enjoy a series of stunning vistas from different viewpoints along the Cotswold escarpment today. There will be a visit to Witcombe Roman Villa and later pass the cheese-rolling slopes of Cooper’s Hill. Then onto Painswick Beacon - another panoramic viewpoint, before descending into Painswick itself, with its narrow streets of yellow-stoned cottages leading to the Church with unusual topiary surrounding it, at the centre of Painswick, another Cotswold gem.

Day 6

Painswick to Coaley Peak

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Haresfield Beacon

Haresfield Beacon is on the Cotswold Escarpment in Gloucestershire. It is a popular place for walkers to explore, with a mixed terrain of grassland, woodland, hills and outstanding views. 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/haresfield-beacon-and-standish-wood

  • Time

    5.45 hours

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    630/555m

Open meadows, woodland shade and a whole series of magnificent views make today’s stage of the walk particularly memorable. Haresfield Beacon, an ancient hill fort, is a real highlight, providing a broad panorama overlooking the Vale of Gloucester, the River Severn, and the Forest of Dean. You walk through Stroud, across the Canal, before ascending to Coaley Peak. 

Day 7

Coaley Peak to Wotton-Under-Edge

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    12.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    555/695m

Today you enjoy dramatic views from more hill top forts, and see more interesting archaeological sites. You pass through Dursley, once one of the principal Cotswold wool towns. A final ascent through Beech Woods brings us to the Tyndale Monument, with magnificent views of the Severn valley and bride. You then descend into Wotton-Under-Edge, another delightful former wool town.

Day 8

Wotton-Under-Edge to Little Sodbury

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    10.9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    400/380m

Today, you walk through peaceful, low-lying meadows and lost farmland. The valleys here with their streams and mills reflect the region’s former dependence on the wool and cloth trades. This delightful walk ends at the hamlet of Little Sodbury where William Tyndale is said to have begun his translation of the bible.

Day 9

Little Sodbury to Cold Ashton

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    11.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    380/295m

Today you start the walk by passing through Little Sodbury Fort both an iron age fort and a Roman Army camp. The walk then takes you through the glorious parkland surrounding Dodington Park, designed by Capability Brown and later, the deer park that surrounds Dyrham House. The walk finishes in Cold Ashton, perched on the southern edge of the Cotswold plateau, with superb views over land where medieval farmers used to grow vines.

Day 10

Cold Ashton to Bath

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Bath Abbey

Journey's end in Bath

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    330/510m

Today there are yet more broad panoramas, hills and low-lying valleys. We pass through the civil war battlefield of Landsdowne Hill, just before we have our first panoramic view of Bath at the beginning of the last, long descent to our final destination. The final walk through the city of Bath ensures we see some of the best examples of its elegant 18th Century and Regency architecture. The end of the walk is marked by a plaque just in front of Bath Abbey, a suitable conclusion to a memorable journey. 

Day 11

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Departure from the hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. 

We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.  

Departure dates for your selected tour

14th Sep 2024 - 24th Sep 2024 (10 Nights)

Travel Details

Private coach transport to and from the trailheads each walk day is included.

The shortest journey to/from the trailheads is 15 minutes, whilst the longest could be as long as 1 hour 15 minutes from Bath back to the hotel. 

Nearest mainland railway stations:
Cheltenham Spa station (5 miles)

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Delta by Marriott Cheltenham Chase

The  Delta Hotels by Marriott Cheltenham Chase is a comfortable, modern four-star hotel, with a superb health and fitness suite (including indoor pool) and is set in landscaped grounds on the edge of the Cotswold hills. Hardy’s restaurant and Hunter’s bar and lounge provide plenty of space to relax. The recently refurbishment and re-branded hotel provides a comfortable base to explore this magnificent corner of England. This modern and comfortable hotel is both well-appointed and set amongst the gently rolling hills and hidden valleys of one of Britain's most attractive walking areas.

Rooms offer en suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, TVs, a safe, air conditioning, a mini fridge and tea and coffee making facilities.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 6 challenging holiday which includes full day walks covering between 10.5 and 14.5 miles each day (average 11.7 miles per day), with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent (no more than 695m). Whilst you will mainly be on paths, these may be rough, steep and loose at times. Expect to be out for around 6 hours most days, though that will include your breaks. 

This is a long distance path with many ups and downs and you will need to be able to sustain this over several days, with no rest day. For most of its length it follows the Cotswold escarpment giving wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. The route offers a quintessentially English experience through flower-filled meadows, wonderful beech woodland, charming towns and villages and past historic sites. 

See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The Cotswold Way National Trail is a 102 mile walking trail which we offer walking south from Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath. It is a popular trail and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. 

Following the west edge of the Cotswold hills, the route passes Neolithic burial barrows, stately homes and historic battle sites. 

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. 

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organised they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organised group programme, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost and will be taken at the hotel. Lunches are not included.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWH17 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our intended route is covered by the following maps and guidebooks:

Ordnance Survey Explorer series (1:25,000):

Explorer OL45 The Cotswolds

Explorer OL155 Bristol & Bath

Explorer OL 167 Thornbury, Dursley & Yate

Explorer OL168 Stroud, Tetbury & Malmesbury

Explorer OL179 Gloucester, Cheltenham & Stroud


You might also like to read:

Cicerone, Walking the Cotswold Way guide book or the Trailblazer guide to walking the Cotswold Way.

More information can also be found at https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/trails/cotswold-way/

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.


Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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