Cotswold Way - South Section

Cotswold Way - South Section

A wonderful walking holiday from Painswick to Bath along the world-famous Cotswold Way.

4 to 8 nights
55 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding / Strenuous

From £440 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

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 also be travelled in the opposite direction if preferred. Select the ‘Reverse tours’ option when choosing your itinerary.
© Contours Walking Holidays Cotswold Way - South Section map
Painswick to Bath
55 miles (88 km)
19th March to 30th October

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.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
COTWS1 From Painswick to Bath 4 nights, 3 days walking Demanding / Strenuous£440
COTWS2 From Painswick to Bath 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding£550
COTWS3 From Painswick to Bath 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate£660
COTWS4 From Painswick to Bath 8 nights, 7 days walking Easy / Moderate£880

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

Travel to Painswick where your first night's accommodation has been 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; 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 (Bath)
£75.00 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

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: 19th March - 30th October
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 The 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.

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 - North Section
4 to 7 nights
47 miles
Easy / Moderate+
Dog friendly
From £435 per person
A pleasant walk from Chipping Campden to Painswick along the 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 - South Section

“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
“Couldn't wish for a better service from Contours and the area is beautiful.”
Mrs Collins, UK
“Contours booked an extra leg for us and coordinated extra rooms when family rooms weren’t available. Very helpful!”
Mrs Bolman, USA
“We had a wonderful time!”
Mrs Dodridge, Canada
“Route was very good. Luggage always in the room when we arrived.”
Mr Usher, UK
“Everything was well organized and accommodations were all good. The people we met on the trail were friendly and helpful. We had such a positive experience… The views were breath-taking.”
Mr Hayes, USA
“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
“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
“Thanks for devising a very enjoyable short walking holiday.”
Mr Cartwright, UK