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 nights
26 miles
2nd January to 24th December

From £500 per person

Cotswold Way Short Break

This short break covers the central section of the Cotswold Way from Dowdeswell to King’s Stanley in three walking days. The walk meanders through quiet woodland, open meadows and along the edge of the escarpment, offering fabulous, far-reaching views.

Along with the wonderful scenery, places of note include Crickley Hill Country Park, with its fascinating archaeological site; Painswick and its historic church; and the old town of King’s Stanley, where this walk comes to its conclusion.

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
COTWSB From Dowdeswell(T) to King's Stanley(L) 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate £500

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 Short Break 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

Kindly note that this trail is very popular, if you have flexibility with your start date, please advise this when booking.  Please do not make any travel plans until we have double checked and confirmed availability for your booking.


Travel to Dowdeswell(T) where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Dowdeswell(T) to Birdlip(L). 9.5 miles (15km) / 1621 ft (494 m) ascent

Day 2

Birdlip(L) to Painswick. 7 miles (11.5km) / 781 ft (238 m) ascent

Day 3

Painswick to King's Stanley(L). 9.5 miles (15.5km) / 1027 ft (313 m) ascent


Depart from King's Stanley(L) 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
© Contours Walking Holidays Cotswold Way Short Break map
Dowdeswell/King's Stanley
26 miles (42 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Wandering through the landscapes of the Cotswolds and enjoying the tranquillity of the English countryside.

Visiting Cooper’s Hill; world-renowned as the site of the annual Cheese Rolling event.

Admiring the white stone buildings and insightful history of the market town of Painswick.

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

The old wool town of Painswick with its ancient stone buildings dating from the 13th century is a good choice for an extra 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

Tour Facts

Total distance: 26 miles (42 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 7 miles (11.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 9.5 miles (15.5 km)
Code: COTWSB Grade: Moderate
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Dowdeswell(T)
End of holiday: King's Stanley(L)

Route Profile

Cotswold Way Short Break 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 London Heathrow, Bristol and Birmingham.

By Rail

The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Dowdeswell) is at Cheltenham Spa (about 5 miles away). The nearest rail stations to the end of the trail (Kings Stanley) are either Stonehouse (about 2 miles away) or Stroud (about 4 miles away).

By Bus

There is a bus service from Cheltenham Spa to Dowdeswell (sometimes 2 buses), but a taxi would be much quicker. There are bus services from King's Stanley to Stonehouse or Stroud, but again, a taxi would be much quicker.

From London

Trains run from London Paddington station to Cheltenham Spa. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Dowdeswell.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a taxi from King's Stanley to Dowdeswell.

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.