Cotswold Way

Cotswold Way

A magnificent trail showcasing the world-famous Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

4 to 16 nights
26-102 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £500 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

The Cotswold Way walk runs along the western edge of the Cotswold Hills from the old wool town of Chipping Campden to the historic city of Bath, showcasing varied terrain and unforgettable views. Along the way, the walking holiday encounters tranquil woodlands and sheltered valleys dotted with welcoming towns, villages and hamlets.

Each settlement boasts intriguing insights into the region’s fascinating past, while the surrounding landscapes also feature a wealth of historical landmarks such as hill forts, castles and ancient battle sites. The Cotswold Way is an iconic trail filled with everything a walker could wish for from this magical realm.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Cotswold Way
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Cotswold Way - South Section
  • This route includes dog friendly tour options Cotswold Way - North Section
  • Cotswold Way Short Break

Dog friendly tours available

Dogs are welcome on select routes along this trail. Look for the pawprint icon when choosing your holiday.

About this route

4 to 7 nights
47 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £515 per person

Cotswold Way - North Section

The North section of the Cotswold Way runs from the ancient market town of Chipping Campden to the quintessentially English village of Painswick.

The trail passes through wonderful green countryside and visits a series of towns and villages, including Stanton, built entirely of Cotswold Stone, and Dowdeswell, boasting fascinating earthworks. This walk also features stunning views from the top of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in all of Gloucestershire, as well as unique glimpses into the region’s turbulent past.

This route can be walked in the opposite direction upon request. Please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
COTWN1 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 4 nights, 3 days walking Demanding £515
COTWN2 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate / Demanding £630
COTWN3 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate £740
COTWN4 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 7 nights, 6 days walking Easy / Moderate £865

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
COTWSB From Dowdeswell(T) to King's Stanley(L) 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate £500

Cotswold Way - North Section - North to South 4 nights, 3 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

This tour is available to book all year, however out of season from November to March, there may be a small supplement for luggage moves, which will be moved by taxi rather than the usual luggage courier.

Start

Travel to Chipping Campden where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Chipping Campden to Winchcombe. 18 miles (29km) / 2139 ft (652 m) ascent

Day 2

Winchcombe to Dowdeswell(T). 12 miles (19km) / 1555 ft (474 m) ascent

Day 3

Dowdeswell(T) to Painswick. 16.5 miles (26.5km) / 2402 ft (732 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Painswick after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£65.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Dowdeswell(T))
£75.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Cotswold Way - North Section map
Chipping Campden to Painswick
47 miles (75 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Admiring the variety of scenery, from rolling green fields and dry-stone walls to historic battlefields and burial mounds.

Exploring the picturesque towns and villages on route to Painswick, including Chipping Campden, Stanton and Dowdeswell.

Enjoying far-reaching views from the summit of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds.

What's included?

  • 4 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Many people chose to have an extra night in Chipping Campden before starting the trail because there is so much to see. Chipping Campden is the loveliest of all the Cotswold Market towns, it is also the best preserved and most historically important. Buildings of interest include the open-sided Jacobean Market Hall, built to shelter stallholders from all weathers; the Town Hall; the 14th century Woolstaplers Hall, where the fleeces were sold and which now houses the town's museum. Opposite this is the magnificent Grevel House built in 1380. St James' Church is one of the best examples of a Cotswold 'wool' church and contains the largest memorial brass in the county, to William Grevel, 'the flower of the wool merchants of all England'. Next to the church are the gateway and onion-topped lodges of the old manor of Campden. The manor itself was destroyed during the Civil War. Nearby on a raised pavement stands a superb row of Almshouses built during the reign of James I in stunning symmetry.

Winchcombe is an attractive small town with two or three inns, Tudor houses, cottages with roses clambering over their porches and a fine church containing an altar cloth worked by Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. 45 grotesque gargoyles, each representing a local character from the 1460s, adorn its outer walls. Winchcombe is also a good base for exploring Sudeley Castle and its romantic gardens. The delightful village of Stanton is another possibility for a rest day.

The old wool town of Painswick with its ancient stone buildings dating from the 13th century is another good choice for a rest day.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Dowdeswell(T))
£75.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 46.5 miles (74.5 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 12 miles (19 km)
Maximum daily distance: 18 miles (29 km)
Code: COTWN1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Chipping Campden
End of holiday: Painswick

Route Profile

Cotswold Way - North Section - North to South Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air

The most convenient major city and international airports are Bristol and Birmingham.

By Rail

The nearest rail stations to Chipping Campden are either Honeybourne (about 5.5 miles away) or Moreton-in-Marsh (about 6.5 miles away). The nearest rail station to Painswick is at Stroud (about 4 miles away).

By Bus

There is no bus service from Honeybourne to Chipping Campden, but there is one from Moreton-in-Marsh Monday to Saturday only. Otherwise, a taxi will be required. There is a bus service from Painswick to Stroud.

From London

Trains run from London Paddington station to Moreton-in-Marsh and Honeybourne. A bus/taxi will then be required to Chipping Campden.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take a taxi from Painswick to Chipping Campden.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Customer reviews from the Cotswold Way - North Section

“It exceeded our expectations in every way. Trekking through England for a week at the peak of spring wildflower bloom was pure joy. And staying at such beautiful and comfortable inns each night was a wonderful reward after a long day's journey. Everything from the customer service to the payment transactions to the trek itself was excellent. I must tell you that some of the B&B's also gave Contours kudos for your great customer service and organization.”
Ms Reynolds, USA
“We have just completed our five day walk, and we would like to express how much we enjoyed it and the service provided by Contours.”
Mr Ellis, UK
“Everything was well organised and the route enjoyable. We would recommend you on the fact that the accommodation is good and organisation very sound - unlike some of your rivals who we have heard are not very good at all either to the guests or hosts.”
Mr Lee, UK
“Thanks a lot for another wonderful vacation. I enjoyed the Cotswolds Way very much.”
Ms Berentsen, Germany
“The trail and the hotels were good.”
Mss Aardoom, Netherlands
“This was the first time that I have been on holiday with my dog. The experience has been wonderful. All arrangements were very efficient. Our three overnight stays were very friendly and very welcoming to our dog. The luggage transfers went without a hitch. The two days walking were just right for us in level and distance. The route was very well marked and the book giving us. Very detailed description of the walk was invaluable. We were very lucky with the weather. I liked the variety of terrain covered. I liked it all.”
Ms Evans, UK
“We greatly enjoyed our recent holiday and were impressed by your organisation. We appreciated the timely provision of comprehensive and details information. We particularly commend the speedy and reliable luggage transfer service by Volunteer Inn.”
Mrs Allison, UK
“We loved it. We're going to come back and walk the other half.”
Mr Doolittle, USA
“Excellent holiday, beautiful scenery, spectacular views. The accommodation was varied but always good quality with a good breakfast.”
Ms Way, UK
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