England: The Cotswolds

Self-Guided Walking Tour, England: The CotswoldsSelf-Guided Walking Tour, England: The Cotswolds

England

The Cotswolds

overview

Covering some 800 square miles, the Cotswolds are England’s largest “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” and it’s easy to see why. This region of ancient limestone villages and gentle hills (or “wolds”) is the essence of England. Though time appears to stand still here, you won’t! You’ll follow detailed maps from the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water, the “Venice of the Cotswolds.” Peruse the antique shops in Stow-on-the-Wold, then meander on your own schedule to the Saxon capital of Winchcombe, site of the 500-year-old Sudeley Castle. Walk to Broadway, where 16th-century architecture commands attention and an 18th-century folly tower rises from a lonely hilltop. Dive still deeper into history at the ruins of Hailes Abbey, one of the most important Cistercian monasteries in the country. Explore the almshouses and covered market of Chipping Campden on a route that provides a wealth of discoveries—from tiny shops and Elizabethan cottages to gourmet restaurants and village pubs where you can savor a pint with local residents.

 

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
6-12 miles daily
Meet
Moreton-in-Marsh, England
Depart
Moreton-in-Marsh, England
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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From our blog

Self-Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Breakfast daily; beverages not included
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Luggage transfers between the hotels
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Compare Dates & Prices
Prices Starting from...
Season
2+ travelers
Single Supplement
Solo Surcharge
2014
April 1 - May 31
$1,798
$595
$115
June 1 - Sept 30
$1,898
$595
$115
Oct 1 - 31
$1,798
$595
$115
2015
April 1 - May 31
$1,898
$645
$125
June 1 - Sept 30
$2,098
$645
$125
Oct 1 - 31
$1,898
$645
$125

*Price is based on per person, double occupancy.

Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Moreton-in-Marsh
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2
Lower Slaughter
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3
Lower Slaughter
View on map
4
Broadway
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5
Chipping Camden
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6
Moreton-in-Marsh
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7
Moreton-in-Marsh
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Day 1

Moreton-in-Marsh

Arrival in Moreton-in-Marsh

You may arrive at any time to the thriving market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, which has welcomed travelers for at least 1,700 years.

The Manor House Hotel

Moreton-in-Marsh, England

On the main street of Moreton-in-Marsh, a 16th-century golden-stone manor converted into a classic country-house luxury hotel. Bedrooms are stylishly decorated with modern furnishings and warm colors, and feature views of the surrounding town and countryside. Common rooms include a library, inviting sofas, striking artwork, and an open terrace on the ground floor onto a tranquil garden with herbaceous borders, pathways, and a 300-year-old mulberry tree. Moreton-in-Marsh has been a market town since the 1200s and a travelers’ stop for 1,700 years; its main street has many 18th-century inns and houses.

Day 2

Lower Slaughter

Broadwell Crossroads to Lower Slaughter; 6 miles, easy to moderate, 730-ft elevation gain and loss

Today takes you through a bucolic landscape of green pastures, farms, and lovely Cotswolds villages. You follow paths through wheat fields and copses of hawksbeard and buttercups, and descend to the antique-filled village of Stow-on-the-Wold, where you may stop for an early lunch overlooking the stocks on the village green. At the height of the Cotswold wool industry, this town was famous for its huge annual fairs where as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at one time. Listen for woodpeckers in oak woods on the way to your home for the next two nights in the tiny hamlet of Lower Slaughter.

The Slaughters Country Inn

Lower Slaughter, England

A rural manor converted into a stylish boutique hotel, blending traditional architecture and furniture with strategically placed modern art. Plush guest rooms incorporate vintage and handmade furnishings and luxurious linens. Occupying manicured gardens on the bank of the River Eye, the inn is just a 15-minute stroll along country paths to Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswolds’ best-known village for its picturesque streets, series of bridges over the Windrush River, and bird habitat.

Day 3

Lower Slaughter

Layover day in Lower Slaughter or optional walk to Winchcombe; 12 miles, moderate, 1,475-ft elevation gain, 1,575-ft elevation loss, or 7.8 miles, easy to moderate, 885-ft elevation gain, 1,150-ft elevation loss

Located under two miles from Lower Slaughter and regularly voted the prettiest village in England, Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the showpieces of the region, and its hidden streets are full of tiny shops, Tudor houses, and gourmet restaurants to explore on your rest day. Or you may choose to walk to Winchcombe alongside the Windrush River, passing through the beautifully timeless villages of Naunton and Guiting Power.

The route crosses shady woodland before descending to the ancient Saxon capital of Winchcombe and nearby Sudeley Castle, one of England’s most enchanting old estates, set against the quiet dignity of the Cotswold hills. It is the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth wife. There is an option to shorten the walk by taking a taxi to Naunton to start the walk to Sudeley Castle.

The Slaughters Country Inn

Lower Slaughter, England

A rural manor converted into a stylish boutique hotel, blending traditional architecture and furniture with strategically placed modern art. Plush guest rooms incorporate vintage and handmade furnishings and luxurious linens. Occupying manicured gardens on the bank of the River Eye, the inn is just a 15-minute stroll along country paths to Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswolds’ best-known village for its picturesque streets, series of bridges over the Windrush River, and bird habitat.

Day 4

Broadway

Winchcombe to Broadway; 11.1 miles, moderate, 1,640-ft elevation gain and loss or 10.1 miles, moderate, 1,640-ft elevation gain and loss

Today a transfer is provided to the start of your walk in Winchcombe and you follow the Cotswolds Way and an ancient pilgrims’ route to the eerie ruined arches of Hailes Abbey. It’s a gentle climb up to the Iron Age Fortress at Beckbury Camp for superb valley views. After passing Stanway House’s magnificent gatehouse and tithe barn, enjoy a pub lunch in Stanton, and then amble through open meadows to charming Broadway, referred to as the “Jewel in the Cotswold Crown,” with its picturesque tree-lined High Street.

Broadway Hotel

Broadway, England

A 16th-century coaching inn on the main street of the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” features tastefully appointed rooms surrounding a small central courtyard. Guestrooms, located in a converted wing, are luxuriously furnished and decorated in light colors. Bar, restaurant, and lounge areas on the ground floor have low beams, open fires, warm colors, and paneled walls. The honey-colored limestone buildings and garden-lined streets were an inspiration to many artists and writers, such as J.M. Barrie and John Singer Sargent.

Day 5

Chipping Camden

Broadway to Chipping Campden; 5.7 miles, easy to moderate, 820-ft elevation gain, 650-ft elevation loss

Walking beneath the Worcestershire Hills, your first stop is at Broadway’s Tower, the 18th-century folly inspired by Capability Brown, where you’re rewarded with stunning, unspoiled views. Located 1,024 feet atop Fish Hill, the tower is the second-highest point in the Cotswolds; it is said that in good weather 13 counties can be seen from here. The tower was built to satisfy a countess’s whim, and later was the home of William Morris, a 19th-century poet, painter, and social reformer. It’s a gentle descent to Chipping Campden, a charming town once famous for its wool trade, with many fine 14th-century buildings, a covered market, almshouses, and silversmith.

Noel Arms Hotel

Chipping Campden, England

Chipping Campden at the start of the Cotswold Way walking route. Refurbished guestrooms are well-equipped with modern and antique furnishings. Also blending antique and exposed beams with contemporary flair are the hotel’s restaurant, coffee shop, bar, and terrace. The town that was once the center of Europe's wool trade contains the region’s most beautiful “wool church” and rows of historical stone houses.

Day 6

Moreton-in-Marsh

Chipping Campden to Moreton-in-Marsh; 6.6 miles, easy to moderate, 885-ft elevation gain, 920-ft elevation loss

Today’s route takes you to Blockley, an ideal stop for lunch, then you descend to Batsford, where you’ll discover an arboretum filled with spectacular coral bark maple and russet-berried mountain ash trees. The final stretch is an easy stroll to Moreton-in-Marsh, at the head of the beautiful Evenlode Valley, where your wonderful walking journey in the Cotswolds began six days ago.

The Manor House Hotel

Moreton-in-Marsh, England

On the main street of Moreton-in-Marsh, a 16th-century golden-stone manor converted into a classic country-house luxury hotel. Bedrooms are stylishly decorated with modern furnishings and warm colors, and feature views of the surrounding town and countryside. Common rooms include a library, inviting sofas, striking artwork, and an open terrace on the ground floor onto a tranquil garden with herbaceous borders, pathways, and a 300-year-old mulberry tree. Moreton-in-Marsh has been a market town since the 1200s and a travelers’ stop for 1,700 years; its main street has many 18th-century inns and houses.

Day 7

Moreton-in-Marsh

Departure from Moreton-in-Marsh

After breakfast, you transfer on your own for connections home or to your next destination.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guest Comments

T. and B. Schmidt, Wisconsin, September 2013

From our initial contact with Amy O'Brien; to the insurance and telephone information; to the trip booklets and maps; to the accommodations themselves, everything was done very professionally.

E. Wilson and F. Price, Pennsylvania, September 2013

A beautiful experience, just what we needed.

M. and S. Randall, Washington, September 2013

Our experience on this trip was way beyond what we could have imagined. The scenery was incredible and we had so many adventures we never dreamed of having. Our accommodations were great.

M. Tisdale Cordell, Oklahoma, May 2013

This was an excellent tour for relaxation and beauty. The walks were very manageable in length and the hotels at the end of each day's journey were welcoming and charming.

J. Romine, California, May 2013

I had been to the British Isles many times over several decades, including the Cotswolds, but this was the best. By walking, we experienced the sights and sounds of this area in such a tangible way. We also enjoyed our accommodations. We so enjoyed the countryside and the friendly residents of the Cotswolds. Your walking instructions and map were really good. We were fortunate to have good weather.

K. Long, Massachusetts, April 2013

One of best vacations we've had!

R. Rainer, Alabama, May 2013

Another wonderful walking trip with CW! We had not done a Self-Guided tour before our tour of the Cotswolds. Despite not having a guide (other than ourselves), our trip was outstanding in every way. We managed to get lost only one time, and that was because we misread our map. :-)

A. Dobbs, California, April 2012

Beautiful and Peaceful! I loved it! Lots of animals and cute little villages.

S. McCormick, Illinois, September 2012

Our self-guided tour of the Cotswolds provided with a five-day adventure of finding our own way through lovely and varying countryside without the challenges of a different language or different customs. We thought the choice of route and the written directions were excellent. The meals and the dining facilities in the hotels definitely exceeded our expectations.

E. Finden, California, April 2012

My sister and I really loved exploring the countryside and villages of the Cotswolds by foot. It gave us time to appreciate the beauty of the rolling hills, village gardens, farmyards and old buildings in use for hundreds of years. The frolicking spring lambs were an added bonus!

C. Jones, North Carolina, August 2012

What a wonderful treat we had in our walking tour of the Cotswolds. Exactly what you would expect of this beautiful area made all the better with quality accommodations and accurate directions for walking.

R. Leon, Illinois, August 2013

I would recommend to take some binoculars so you get an idea of where you are going before walking to unclear directions.

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