Cotswold Way North Section

Panoramic view from Cotswold Way North Section

Cotswold Way North Section


From $975USD



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Discover majestic beauty and breathtaking views on this 7 day walking holiday in England

Discover all the wild beauty and dramatic nature of the northern section of the Cotswold Way.

Visit fascinating archaeological sites from the Neolithic period and the Iron Age.

Explore the history and architecture of landmarks such as the Broadway Tower and the Sudeley Castle.

Walk between quaint villages in the Cotswolds and stay in charming inns along the way.

Discover the Cotswolds on foot on this 7-day self-guided walking tour along the Cotswold Way National Trail. This tour covers the northern section of the trail from Chipping Campden to Painswick, following the Cotswold escarpment to ensure fantastic views all along the way.

You’ll encounter much of the area’s rich history and archaeological treasures, which you are free to explore the Cotswold Way at your own pace.

Walk from one charming Cotswold village to the next and stay in cozy inns and bed and breakfasts. Many got their start as old coaching inns, so you’ll enjoy old-world atmosphere that’s tastefully updated with modern amenities. This 7-day self-guided walking tour in the Cotswolds is the perfect getaway in the English countryside.

Cotswold Way North Section Walking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Chipping Campden

Arrive in the charming market town of Chipping Campden, settle in your hotel, and get a good night’s rest in preparation for your tour. This historic town has well-preserved historic features that date from as early as the 14th Century. The town received a charter in 1175 from King Henry II and is an early example of town planning. “Chipping” comes from the Old English word for market.

Overnight Location
Chipping Campden

Day 2 Chipping Campden to Stanton

Leave town and begin the Cotswold Way trail which first leads out onto the Cotswold escarpment. Along your walk today you will enjoy the incredible view from Dover’s Hill, the site of annual “Olimpick” games dating back to 1612. Continue walking across the lovely fields to the Broadway Tower and pass through Broadway village, which is well-known for its connection to the Arts and Crafts movement. The trail continues to the village of Stanton where you will spend the night.

Please note that the lovely village of Stanton, built entirely out of Cotswold stone, is very small. If no accommodations are available, you may need to extend your walk to Stanway, a nearby village along the trail.

Overnight Location
10 miles / 16 km

Day 3 Stanton to Winchcombe

Today begins with a steep but rewarding climb up to the escarpment. Enjoy the amazing view across the Vale of Evesham toward the Malverns. Continue along the trail and pass Beckbury Camp, a hill fort from the Iron Age. Walk through peaceful farmland until you reach the town of Winchcombe. This town is proud to be certified that “Walkers are Welcome” and offers plenty of history to explore from the Neolithic, Roman, and Medieval time periods. Don’t miss the Sudeley Castle and Gardens, the UK’s only private castle and burial place for the last wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr. Enjoy an overnight stay in this remarkable town.

Overnight Location
8 miles / 12.5 km

Day 4 Winchcombe to Cheltenham

Today’s incredible hike begins by leaving Winchcombe through the grounds of the Sudeley Estate. The trail climbs steadily to Belas Knap, an ancient long barrow from the Neolithic period, and continues to Cleeve Hill, which is the Cotswolds’ highest point. Your journey to Cheltenham gives you several opportunities to view the town from above, first from Cleeve Common and then from Charlton Kings Common. Both offer spectacular views of Cheltenham and the surrounding area.

Follow the trail along the escarpment to Leckhampton Hill, where you can see the Devil’s Chimney, a very distinctive pillar of rock. Leave the Cotswold Way and take the Gustav Holst Way to descend into Cheltenham. This historic town is known as the UK’s most complete Regency Town, offering many examples of period architecture. Take advantage of its well-known foodie scene, then visit one of its museums dedicated to famous sons of Cheltenham, such as composer Gustav Holst and naturalist Edward Wilson.
Be aware that today’s walk is comprised of 10 miles along the Cotswold Way, plus 2 miles to descend into Cheltenham. An optional taxi transfer into Cheltenham is also available. Spend the night in this delightful town.

Overnight Location
10 miles / 16 km + 2-3 miles into Cheltenham

Day 5 Cheltenham to Birdlip

The Cotswold Way continues along quiet paths, tracks, and lanes until it reached the Crickley Hill Country Park. Stop here to enjoy marvellous viewpoints and fascinating archaeological history, including evidence of settlements from the Neolithic Period, and a hill fort from the Iron Age. Pause for refreshments at the cafe before continuing on the trail across rolling grassland hills of Barrow Wake. Head into a woodland area and emerge at the village of Birdlip, where you will spend the night.

Overnight Location
12 miles / 19 km

Day 6 Birdlip to Painswick

Walk today from Birdlip, passing by the Great Witcombe Roman Villa remains and through a beech forest to reach Cooper’s Hill. Each May, Cooper’s Hill hosts a crazy event known as a Cheese Roll, in which a wheel of cheese is rolled down a steep hill and competitors chase it in a race to the bottom. Continue to follow the trail to see the ruins of another hill fort from the Iron Age in Painswick Beacon.

Soon you will reach Painswick. This picturesque town is the midpoint of the Cotswold Way and the ending point of this tour of the northern section of the trail. Painswick is known for its Rococo Gardens, which are worth visiting if you have the opportunity, and gained additional notoriety in J. K. Rowling’s novel A Casual Vacancy. Depending on your plans, you can travel immediately from Painswick or spend the night here before travelling on in the morning.

Overnight Location
7 miles / 11 km

Day 7 Departure Day

Sadly, your Cotswold Way North Section walking tour has come to an end. Stroud is the nearest train station to Painswick, or you can choose to take a transfer back to Cheltenham and continue your travels from the Cheltenham train station.

Overnight Location

Dates and prices of Cotswold Way North Section Walking Tour

Pricing for this self-guided walking tour on the Cotswold Way is run as private tour for your group only and the price is based on the number of guests on your trip.

Prices below are per person:

  • Price per person sharing a double/twin room: $975USD
  • Price per person staying in a single room: $1,750USD
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Accommodation on the Cotswold Way North Section 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 to have a private room in a hotel.

The Red Lion Inn, Chipping Campden

This charming inn is quiet and comfortable and is a favourite of walkers on the Cotswold Way.

The Old Post House, Stanton

Spend a cozy night in an old country house with beautifully maintained gardens. You’ll love the architecture, the grounds, and the hospitality.

The White Hart Inn, Winchcombe

Spacious, clean, and comfortable this inn and pub has the classic charm of an old coaching inn. A perfect stop along the Cotswold Way.

Glenfall Farm B&B, Cheltenham

Excellent service, modern rooms in an old country setting, and just a short distance off of the Cotswold Way – there’s a lot to love about the Glenfall Farm B&B!

The Royal George, Birdlip

Attentive, efficient staff and comfortable beds to sink into at the end of a day of walking? Or perhaps a soak in a hot bath first? You’ll find just what you need at the Royal George.

The Falcon Inn, Painswick

After offering hospitality and comfortable lodgings to travelers for about 500 years, the Falcon Inn knows how to get it right! An old coaching inn from the 16th Century, the Falcon offers authentic old-world charm with modern amenities.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s included in the Cotswold Way North Section Walking Tour?


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


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

Also Included

  • Accommodation at the stated category with breakfast
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Full Tour Pack
  • 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

  • Add an extra night in Chipping Campden, Cheltenham or Painswick

Frequenty Asked Questions about Cotswold Way North Section

How hard is this tour?

We rate the North Section of the Cotswold Way walking tour as a 3 / 5. The difficulty level is moderate, but you should be ready to walk up to 12 miles (19 km) per day.

Do I need a Visa?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included?

6 breakfasts are included with your accommodations. Lunches, dinners, drinks, and other food is not included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have Health and Medical insurance to join this trip. Get your travel insurance.

How do I get to Chipping Campden to start this tour?

Travel to Chipping Campden by car, bus, or taxi. If traveling by train, change to a bus in Moreton-in-Marsh. If arriving by air, the closest airports are Birmingham or Bristol, but London is also a great option. Contact your tour operator for assistance in making arrangements to get to Chipping Campden.

Where does the tour end?

The tour ends in Painswick, which is the midpoint of the Cotswold Way. The nearest train station is Stroud.

Do I need vaccines?

Check with your family doctor.

What should I pack?

Dress for the weather of the season in the Cotswolds. Always pack a jacket in case the temperatures are cooler than expected, and quality rain gear. Sun protection such as a hat and sunglasses is also recommended. Choose clothes that are comfortable and manage moisture well. Sturdy walking shoes are also recommended.

What is the weather like in the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds have mild weather, without extremes of heat or cold, making in reasonable to visit at any time of year. This beautiful area is not known for abundant sunshine and it rains frequently, particularly during the winter. More information about weather in the Cotswolds.

When is the best time to travel to England for this tour?

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.


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Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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From $975USD



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Tour Difficulty

We rate the North Section of the Cotswold Way walking tour as a 3 / 5. The difficulty level is moderate, but you should be ready to walk up to 12 miles (19 km) per day.

Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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