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

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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 8 nights
55 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous
2nd January to 24th December
Includes Dog-Friendly Tours

From £500 per person

Cotswold Way - South Section

The South section of the Cotswold Way begins in Painswick and travels along the Cotswold escarpment to the World Heritage-listed city of Bath. Along with stunning scenery, the trail takes in a variety of picturesque villages, including King’s Stanley and Wotton-under-Edge, where the buildings have remained virtually unchanged since the Victorian period.

The area’s rich history can also be explored at Sodbury Fort, as well as in the city of Bath. The city is famed for its historical architecture and Roman bath houses, making this the perfect finishing point for the Cotswold Way.

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
COTWS1 From Painswick to Bath 4 nights, 3 days walking Demanding / Strenuous £500
COTWS2 From Painswick to Bath 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding £620
COTWS3 From Painswick to Bath 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate £740
COTWS4 From Painswick to Bath 8 nights, 7 days walking Easy / Moderate £980

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 - South 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.


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

Day 1

Painswick to Dursley(L). 16 miles (25.5km) / 2493 ft (760 m) ascent

Day 2

Dursley(L) to Old Sodbury. 20.5 miles (33km) / 2664 ft (812 m) ascent

Day 3

Old Sodbury to Bath. 18.5 miles (29.5km) / 1857 ft (566 m) ascent


Depart from Bath 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 (Bath)
£75.00 per person / per night
© Contours Walking Holidays Cotswold Way - South Section map
Painswick to Bath
55 miles (88 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Experiencing a sense of tranquillity as you meander through the heart of the Cotswolds.

Admiring far-reaching views from the Cotswold escarpment.

Enjoying a sense of achievement upon reaching the city of Bath, a World Heritage Site.

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, as is Wotton-under-Edge - another pleasing small town with several fine buildings such as the 17th century gabled almshouses that have a lovely chapel within their courtyard.

The historic city of Bath with its glorious Georgian architecture is the most popular choice for an extra night or two. Buildings of note include the Roman Baths, the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms that now house a Museum of Costume, the Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the Royal Crescent, The Circus, Queen Square and Lansdown Crescent.

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

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Bath)
£75.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 55 miles (88 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 16 miles (25.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 20.5 miles (33 km)
Code: COTWS1 Grade: Demanding / Strenuous
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Painswick
End of holiday: Bath

Route Profile

Cotswold Way - South 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 Birmingham and Bristol.

By Rail

The nearest rail station to the start of the trail (Painswick) is at Stroud (about 4 miles away). There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Bath).

By Bus

A bus service runs between Stroud & Painswick. Various bus services run from Bath.

From London

Trains run from London Paddington station to Stroud. From there a bus/taxi will be required to Painswick.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to catch the train from Bath Spa to Stroud. From Stroud rail station a bus/taxi will be required to Painswick.

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 - South Section

“Despite the fact that I fell on day 2 and had to take taxis between towns instead of walking the path, we had a great time! We enjoyed walking in the towns and local paths as much as we could. The "emergency contact people" did a great job helping us modify our trip as needed, even over a bank holiday weekend. We were very impressed with how well organized everything was.”
Ms Kavanagh, USA
“It was wonderful.”
Mrs Searl, UK
“Thanks for devising a very enjoyable short walking holiday.”
Mr Cartwright, UK
“Really enjoyed meeting the people at the bed and breakfasts, and the pubs. All the owners of the B and B's were great, especially Painswick, Tomarton and Leonard Stanley.”
Mr Johnson, USA
“Route was very good. Luggage always in the room when we arrived.”
Mr Usher, UK
“I just wish to thank you for the splendid organisation for this long distance path. Superb instruction in your pack made finding the overnight accommodation easy. Many thanks for your support.”
Mr Wood, UK
“Brilliant walking - quite challenging with so many ups and downs but worth it for the views. Good range of accommodation - varied and interesting each day to discover our room and where to get food. We had no problems at all, only vaguely lost the route once; all the accommodation was fine; the weather was on our side.”
Ms Morgan, UK
“Very lucky with the weather on an excellent walking route.”
Mr Porteous, UK
“Just the right amount of enjoyment and challenge. All arrangements were professionally managed. Accommodation was first rate. Very well managed thank you. Yes. Everything was professionally organised.”
Mrs Youngberry, Australia
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