Cotswold Way - North Section

Cotswold Way - North Section

A pleasant walk from Chipping Campden to Painswick along the Cotswold Way.

4 to 7 nights
47 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding

From £435 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

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 with its 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 also be travelled in the opposite direction if preferred. Select the ‘Reverse tours’ option when choosing your itinerary.
© Contours Walking Holidays Cotswold Way - North Section map
Chipping Campden to Painswick
47 miles (75 km)
19th March to 30th October

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.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
COTWN1 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 4 nights, 3 days walking Demanding£435
COTWN2 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate / Demanding£540
COTWN3 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate£650
COTWN4 From Chipping Campden to Painswick 7 nights, 6 days walking Easy / Moderate£760

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

Travel to Chipping Campden where your first night's accommodation has been 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


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; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

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
£50.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£40.00 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))
£70.00 per person / per night

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))
£70.00 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: 19th March - 30th October
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 from London Paddington station to Moreton-in-Marsh and Honeybourne. A bus/taxi will then be required to Chipping Campden.

Return To The 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.

Routes on this trail

Cotswold Way
7 to 14 nights
102 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £720 per person
A self-guided walking holiday from Chipping Campden to Bath through the beautiful Cotswolds.Find Out More
Cotswold Way - South Section
4 to 8 nights
55 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £440 per person
A wonderful walking holiday from Painswick to Bath along the world-famous Cotswold Way.Find Out More
Cotswold Way Short Break
4 nights
26 miles
From £445 per person
A short walking holiday from Dowdeswell to Kings Stanley, providing a taste of the Cotswold Way.Find Out More

Walking the Cotswold Way with Contours Walking Holidays

Outdoor Journalist Damian Hall takes a walk from Chipping Campden to the Heritage Listed City of Bath, along one of the most quintessentially English trails in the country.
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Customer reviews from the Cotswold Way - North Section

“The holiday went very well. All the arrangements worked like clockwork and the weather was kind. The route suited the group's expertise/fitness and everyone enjoyed the experience. We were delighted with the way everything came together. Well done!”
Mr McCloskey, UK
“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
“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
“Thanks a lot for another wonderful vacation. I enjoyed the Cotswolds Way very much.”
Ms Berentsen, Germany
“Excellent holiday, beautiful scenery, spectacular views. The accommodation was varied but always good quality with a good breakfast.”
Ms Way, UK
“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
“We loved it. We're going to come back and walk the other half.”
Mr Doolittle, USA
“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