Cotswold Way
Cotswold way

Cotswold Villages Walking Tour

6 nights

Arriving in beautiful bathBath SpaBeautiful bathBeauty in the CotswoldsBroadway towerBroadway towerFinding a meal in bathChipping Campden FlowersHaresfield BeaconMake a call on the Cotswold wayRoyal baths in BathCotswold Way SignWalkers at viewpoint on Cotswold WayWalkingWalking near CheltenhamWalking the Cotswold way near HaresfieldWalking up to Broadway towerWinchcombe

Experience beautiful English countryside and villages on the Cotswold Villages walking tour.

Explore classic country village life in England as the Cotswold Villages walking tour takes you through some of the best-known villages in the Cotswolds, plus a few that are off the beaten path.

Travel by foot from Cheltenham to Bourton-on-the-Water, to Stow-on-the-Wold, to Moreton-in Marsh and explore the surrounding areas. You’ll encounter historic sites dating back to the Iron Age, climb hills to reach spectacular overlooks, meander through incredible gardens and parks, and sip tea in some of the most charming villages of the Cotswolds.

Because the tour is self-guided, you can always linger longer in the places that capture your attention and stroll right by things the sights that don’t. You’ll find yourself spoiled by the personal hospitality at family-run guesthouses in the Cotswolds. This peaceful escape to the English countryside is the perfect way to escape the stress and pressures of daily life. You’ll wish that your Cotswold Villages walking tour would never end!

Highlights of the Cotswold Villages Walking Tour

Stroll down country lanes and follow national scenic trails through the beautiful English countryside of the Cotswolds.
Explore one lovely village after another, each with its own unique character and history.
Witness the many rivers of the Cotswolds, including the River Coln, the River Windrush, the River Dickler and the River Evenlode.
Experience local hospitality as you stay in comfortable guesthouses with personal service from your hosts.

Prices

From $875USD
7 days
Difficulty
Self-Guided
Hotels / B&B
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Cotswold Way

Cotswold Villages Walking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Cheltenham

Arrive in Cheltenham and take some time to explore the most complete Regency town in England. There is plenty of period architecture, a variety of boutique shops, and a number of great restaurants to choose from when you get hungry. Get a good night’s rest in preparation for the start of your walking tour.
Overnight Location: Cheltenham Townhouse
Distance: N/A
Meals: None

Day 2 Cheltenham – Bourton-on-the-Water

Your group will be gathered today to take a short transfer. Depending on your preference, transfer either to Northleach or Chedworth Roman Villa, then walk to Bourton-on-the-Water. At Chedworth, you’ll see the best-exposed Roman villa in England, set against a backdrop of lovely woods and pastures beside a small river, River Coln. Northleach is a market town where you can get a wonderful introduction to the area. There is a large church from the 15th Century built in typical Cotswold style.

Visit the Heritage Centre for an insightful look at traditional Cotswolds farming life.
Walk along the Monarch’s Way, through seemingly untouched hamlets, over the rolling hills. In the valley of the River Windrush, you’ll arrive in Bourton, which is the best-known village in this area. A variety of attractions are available here, including a maze, museums, and a perfumery. Your luggage will be transferred to Bourton-on-the-Water, where you will spend the night.
Overnight Location: Lansdowne Guest House, Bourton-on-the-Water
Distance: Full Route: 11 miles / 17 km; Short Route: 6.5 miles / 10 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Bourton-on-the-Water – Cold Ashton – Naunton – Bourton-on-the-Water

Walk to Cold Ashton today, over the rolling hills and through the mixed farmland along the way. Stop at a traditional pub for rest and refreshment, then continue your walk to Naunton. In Naunton you’ll find pleasant countryside where a cluster of stone cottages are nestled in the valley among the sheep and horses. The path from here follows the River Windrush back to Bourton by way of forests and lush meadows. You’ll also pass a lost medieval village. Spend another night in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Overnight Location: Lansdowne Guest House, Bourton-on-the-Water
Distance: Full Route: 11 miles / 17 km; Short Route: 8 miles / 12 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Bourton-on-the-Water – Upper and Lower Slaughter – Stowe-on-the-Wold

Today’s walk features two of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds. You’ll understand why when you visit Upper and Lower Slaughter, two lovely riverside villages situated on the River Eye. Local artists find inspiration in the manor houses and charming cottages, and their work is frequently exhibited in the village hall. The old water mill in Lower Slaughter is currently a museum, and the mill itself is slowly being restored to working order. Next, explore the similarly pleasant riverside towns of Upper and Lower Swell. Sitting on the banks of the River Dickler, you’ll find quaint towns with cozy country inns. You can also visit the Georgian therapeutic well. Continue from there to Stow-on-the-Wold. This town features a central market square surrounded by lovely old stone buildings. It was once used to host sheep fairs. Your luggage has been transferred for you to Stow-on-the-Wold, as you will spend the night here.
Overnight Location: The Limes Guesthouse, Stow-on-the-Wold
Distance: Full Route: 8 miles / 12 km; Short Route: 6.5 miles / 10 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Stow-on-the-Wold – Icomb – Bledington – Oddington – Stow-on-the-Wold

Enjoy a peaceful day of walking through the countryside today. You’ll wander through secluded villages and join up for a time with the Oxfordshire Way trail as it traverses the wide valley carved by the River Evenlode. Take in the view across to the Wychwood, and visit the villages such as Icomb, Oddington, and Bledington, which many tourists often miss. Return to Stow-on-the-Wold through a countryside full of delightful manor houses, charming cottage gardens and village greens. Don’t miss the medieval wall paintings that can be seen in churches along the way. After a calm and peaceful day, spend another night in Stow-on-the-Wold.
Overnight Location: The Limes Guesthouse, Stow-on-the-Wold
Distance: Full Route: 10.5 miles / 16 km; Short Route: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Stow-on-the-Wold – Moreton-in-Marsh

Explore the Evenlode Valley further today and witness architecture that is a mix of the typical and the surprising. First, Donnington offers a glimpse of the typical English manor house. Then come to the Oriental House at Sezincote. This manor from the 18th Century is built after the Indian style and features water gardens. Continue walking to reach Moreton-in-Marsh, with its broad main street at its center. The main street is lined with shops, inns, and fine houses. You will spend the night in this charming town, and your luggage has already been transferred for you.
Overnight Location: The Redesdale Arms, Moreton-in-Marsh
Distance: Full Route: 8 miles / 12 km; Short Route: 6.5 miles / 10 km
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Departure Day

Sadly, your Cotswold Villages walking tour has come to an end. We hope you have enjoyed your time exploring the Cotswolds. Buses and trains are available in Moreton-in-Marsh to take you back to Cheltenham or to Oxford, Reading, London, and beyond. Safe travels!
Overnight Location: N/A
Distance: N/A
Meals: Breakfast

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Cotswold Villages Walking Tour Price and Dates

Pricing for this self-guided walking tour in the Cotswolds is based on the number of guests on your trip. The best time to travel to the Cotswolds for this tour is during the warmer months from May to September, but the trip is available year-round.

Prices of self-guided Cotswold Villages Walking Tour

Prices below are per person:

  • Self-Guided Group of 1: $1,350 USD per person
  • Self-Guided Groups of 2-8: $925 USD per person in a double room
  • Self-Guided Groups of 9+: $875 USD per person in a double room
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Accommodation on the Cotswold Villages Walking Tour

This tour is based in 3-4-star hotels and bed and breakfasts. In some cases, accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $4,005 USD to have a private room in a hotel.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Cheltenham Townhouse, Cheltenham ★★★★

Quiet and cozy, with clean, spacious rooms, the Cheltenham Townhouse is an elegant home base for exploring Cheltenham and the surrounding area.

Night 2 and 3

Lansdowne Guest House, Bourton-on-the-Water ★★★★

This lovely family-owned-and-operated guesthouse is conveniently located near the center of Bourton-on-the-Water. You’ll be well taken care of so you can focus on enjoying this beautiful area.

Night 4 and 5

The Limes Guest House, Stow-on-the-Wold ★★★

Enjoy this clean and comfortable guesthouse, with a highlight being the peaceful gardens. Sip a cup of tea by the koi pond and listen to the birds.

The Redesdale Arms, Moreton-in-Marsh ★★★

All the character and charm of an old coaching inn, but renovated to include modern amenities for your comfort. Enjoy the courtyard when the weather is good, and the roaring log fire when it isn’t.

What’s included in the Cotswold Villages Walking Tour?

Meals

6 breakfasts are included with accommodations. Lunches, dinners and drinks are not included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 6 nights along the tour. Extra nights may be added for an additional fee.

Also Included

  • Accommodation as described above
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Full Tour Pack with color-coded routes on local maps
  • Smartphone App with GPS routes
  • 24-hr emergency helpline

Not included

  • Lunch, Dinner & Drinks
  • Entrance to attractions
  • Buses and/or Ferries unless otherwise stated
  • Tourist Taxes where applicable

Optional Extras

  • This tour can be extended to up to 11days, 10 nights. Several beautiful circular walking routes can be added during your stay in Cheltenham. Options include tours to Leckhampton Hill, the village of Winchcombe, or the town of Cranham. You can add additional nights in Cheltenham

Frequently Asked Questions about Cotswold Villages Walking Tour

Compass Holidays has been helping walkers explore the best walks in the UK since 1990. Their expert team organize great walking holidays so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your time away.

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Cotswold Villages Walking Tour Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The difficulty level is moderate, but you should be ready to walk between 6-11 miles (10-17 km) per day or customize your tour for shorter routes.

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