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    The Best Time to Walk the Cotswold Way

    The Best Time to Walk the Cotswold Way

    By AlexToddDestinations

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    The best times of year to walk the world famous Cotswold Way are during the months of May and September, both of which enjoy pleasant temperatures and lie just outside of the peak walking season in the UK. Although these times are ideal, the Cotswold Way National Trail can be walked year-round.

    The fresh smell of the countryside, rolling green hills as far as the eye can see, and the quaint stone cottages dotting the landscape truly set the scene for an amazing adventure along the Cotswold Way, so it’s best to make sure that you plan your trip for the proper season to ensure that all of that natural, cultural, and historical beauty doesn’t go to waste – no one wants to spend their walking holiday hiding from the weather in a pub after all!

    The journey along the renowned Cotswold Way National Trail takes travellers from the market town of Chipping Campden to the historic city of Bath and includes some of the most picturesque landscapes to be found anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you are planning to meander along this impressive long-distance walking trail, be sure to read the article below to discover the best time to walk the Cotswold Way.

    So When is the Best Time to Walk the Cotswold Way?

    As with anything in life, the best time to do something is entirely subjective, and walking the Cotswold Way is no different. The beauty of the Cotswold Way National Trail (and the UK in general) is that it generally experiences relatively mild weather year-round, meaning that there aren’t (many) seasonal obstacles to overcome.

    When looking at the best time to walk the Cotswold Way, we believe that several factors come into play: weather, scenery, and tourist volume. The former two will be discussed in more detail in the section below, but tourist volume is an easy point to discuss in brief.

    When it comes to peak season, the Cotswold Way doesn’t necessarily see a drastic influx of walkers. Rather, the entire Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK) becomes flooded with visitors. This means that during the peak season of June through August, walkers looking to experience the Cotswold Way will have a harder time finding accommodations. Similarly, tourists will also make it harder to casually pop into a restaurant, cafe, or pub, which can be frustrating if you’ve just finished a long day of walking and need a bite to eat.

    When it comes down to it, if you want to have an easier time booking accommodations, finding places to eat along the trail, and avoiding tourists in general, then the best time to walk the Cotswold Way is outside of the peak tourist season.

    Seasonal Breakdown Along the Cotswold Way

    As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, the Cotswold Way National Trail can be explored year-round – but some seasons have got to be better that others, right? Check out the season-by-season breakdown below to discover the perfect time for you to explore the Cotswold Way:

    Spring on the Cotswold Way

    Spring on the Cotswold Way can often be fairly wet and rainy, which adds to the difficulty of walking the trail during this time of year. Mud and trail washouts can slow your progress, which is something to consider if you are on a tight timeline, but overall the spring season has fairly pleasant temperatures (averages of 11-15℃) that make it a great option if you are looking to avoid the crowds. One other bonus of walking the Cotswold Way in spring is that you will have the chance to see the beautiful flora of the English countryside in all of its glory!

    Spring Cotswolds

    Summer on the Cotswold Way

    As mentioned above, summer on the Cotswold Way is smack in the middle of the peak tourist season, largely due to the incredible weather that you will experience at this time. You will certainly need to book accommodations well in advance, but the upside is warm temperatures (averages of 18-20℃) and relatively dry weather. The downside of walking at this time, in addition to the extra tourists, is that lack of shade along the trail can keep you exposed to the sun for long stretches of time – plan accordingly!

    Summer Cotswolds

    Autumn on the Cotswold Way

    If you enjoy soaking up incredible views of flame-hued foliage, then autumn on the Cotswold Way will be the perfect time for you to explore. Temperatures during this time will be similar to those seen in the spring season (averages of 11-15℃), although it will be a fair bit wetter.

    Autumn Cotswolds

    Winter on the Cotswold Way

    For those who really do not enjoy the company of other travellers, winter on the Cotswold Way will be the perfect time of year due to the fact that it falls squarely outside of the peak tourist season and is much cheaper. Average temperatures during the winter months will rarely break 7℃ and it will be considerably more rainy, meaning you should plan ahead and bring the proper outdoor gear if you want to hit the trail at this time. Also, scenery during winter will be a bit on the drab and gloomy side, so if you are looking to experience the vibrant rolling green hills of the English countryside, it might be wise to choose another season for your Cotswold Way adventure.

    Winter Cotswolds

    So When Should I Walk the Cotswold Way?

    The answer of when you should walk the Cotswold Way ultimately comes down to your own personal preference! Looking to avoid the crowds? Try hitting the trail in the shoulder seasons of late-spring/early-autumn. Want to have the best weather possible and meet plenty of other travellers along the way? Then summer is your best bet! That is the beauty of the Cotswold Way – it can truly be walked year-round!

    Booking A Tour

    Booking a Cotswold Way Tour

    There are so many different factors to consider when planning an adventure along the Cotswold Way that it can be challenging to wrap your head around all of the details. If you need some help planning your next walking adventure on the Cotswold Way there are plenty of options to choose from including the Cotswold Way North Section, the Cotswold Way South Section, and even an expedited version of the Complete Cotswold Way for those on a tight schedule. Book yours today!

    Other Informative Cotswold Way Articles

    Now that you know when you want to undertake your adventure along the Cotswold Way, you will likely need some more detailed information to plan every aspect of your trip! Then check out the links below to discover useful tips, tricks, and information about the Cotswold Way National Trail:

    Exploring the Cotswold Way
    The Cotswold Way: Self-Guided
    Frequently Asked Questions About the Cotswold Way




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