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Shakespeare's Way - Cotswold Section

Shakespeare's Way - Cotswold Section

A self-guided walking holiday from Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford through the beautiful Cotswolds.

5 to 8 nights
58 miles
Moderate to Demanding

From £550 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The Cotswolds section of Shakespeare’s Way commences from Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon and continues through the Cotswold Hills to the city of Oxford. The walk follows tranquil riverbanks and quiet valleys, showcasing fine Cotswold scenery along the way.

As well as an abundance of charming villages and market towns, the trail encounters such impressive attractions as Shakespeare’s tomb at Holy Trinity Church, the magnificent Blenheim Palace and the Glyme Valley Nature Reserve, before arriving in the world-famous city of Oxford.

Shakespeare's Way was developed to raise funds for the Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford-upon-Avon. For every person booking this tour, Contours Walking Holidays will make a £5.00 donation to the Shakespeare Hospice.

© Contours Walking Holidays Shakespeare's Way - Cotswold Section map
Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford
58 miles (93 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Walking through the stunning countryside of the Cotswold Hills from Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford.

Exploring Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, including Shakespeare’s birthplace, his tomb and the five houses associated with the Bard.

Arriving in the magnificent city of Oxford, with its world famous University and many other fantastic sites.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
SHWCO1 From Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding£550
SHWCO2 From Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate / Demanding£660
SHWCO3 From Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate£880

Shakespeare's Way - Cotswolds Section 5 nights, 4 days walking

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

Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Stratford-upon-Avon to Shipston-on-Stour. 17 miles (27km)

Day 2

Shipston-on-Stour to Chipping Norton. 14 miles (22km)

Day 3

Chipping Norton to Woodstock. 16 miles (26km)

Day 4

Woodstock to Oxford. 11 miles (18km)


Depart from Oxford 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
£60.00 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)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Oxford)
£70.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Woodstock)
£70.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 5 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

Taking an extra night is a wonderful way to extend your holiday and ensure that you don't miss some of the wonderful sights and sounds along Shakespeare's Way.

Consider taking an extra night at the start of the trail if you would like to learn more about Shakespeare before embarking on the walk. Stratford Upon Avon is a delightful town that rests on the banks of the river Avon, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has a wealth of shops, cafes and restaurants. Besides this, you may wish to visit the five houses that are connected to Shakespeare and his family that are located in and around the town, or watch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

If you would like to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, consider spending an extra night in Woodstock. As well as being home to one of the most spectacular buildings in the country, Woodstock is fascinating in its own right, with numerous period buildings and the home of famous poet, Geoffrey Chaucer.

The city of Oxford is an excellent choice for an extra day. There is so much to see and do that you will be left craving more from this remarkable place. Some of the highlights include the stunning Bodleian Library, Oxford's 38 ancient colleges, the oldest building in Oxford at Oxford Castle and countless other museums, galleries and breathtaking architecture. You may even wish to take a tour on an open top bus, take a punt along the River Cherwell or explore some of the locations made famous by film, including Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.

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

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Oxford)
£70.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Woodstock)
£70.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 58 miles (93 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 11 miles (18 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17 miles (27 km)
Code: SHWCO1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Stratford-upon-Avon
End of holiday: Oxford

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, East Midlands and London Heathrow.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Stratford-upon-Avon) and also at the end of the trail (Oxford).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Stratford-upon-Avon and from Oxford.

From London - Trains run from London Marylebone station to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take the train from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon.

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

Shakespeare's Way
11 to 16 nights
146 miles
From £1,415 per person
A walk from Stratford-upon-Avon to London through the Cotswolds, the Chilterns and the city of London.Find Out More
Shakespeare's Way - London Section
4 to 5 nights
50 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £530 per person
An exciting walking holiday from Marlow to London, exploring England's iconic capital city.Find Out More
Shakespeare's Way - Chilterns Section
4 to 5 nights
38 miles
From £490 per person
A self-guided walk from Oxford to Marlow, taking in the Chilterns section of Shakespeare's Way.Find Out More

Customer reviews from the Shakespeare's Way - Cotswold Section

“Wonderful choices for accommodations. Just wish we could have had more days for our holiday.”
Dr Wigner, USA
“Had brilliant weather. All accommodation excellent/good. The Shakespeare's Way Guide is very clear except at a couple of points.”
Ms Bower, UK
“We liked it all. Fields, woodlands, etc. In a way the first day of 7 miles was a bit too short, but on the other hand combining first & second day (17 miles) might have been too long!! Good to have time to wander in Stratford on the first day.”
Mrs Sweeney, UK
“Very nice way to see England! Just got home yesterday and already telling people about you.”
Mr Schenck, USA
“One of my best holidays ever.”
Mrs Lildholdt, Denmark
“Everything was well organized, the accommodations were good and we loved it. We have only good experiences with Contours Walking Holidays. No complaints.”
Mrs Nesjan, Norway

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