This holiday is intended to appeal to those who want a gentle introduction to walking in the English countryside; the Cotswold’s are hilly rather than mountainous - the highest point being little more than 1000 feet above sea level. Officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswold landscape is an entrancing mixture of parkland, cultivated fields with dry-stone walls of Jurassic limestone, and patches of unspoilt woodland. Stone-built, also, are almost all the cottages, farmhouses, villages, and small towns that our route passes. About half of our itinerary, around 50 miles (from Stratford-upon-Avon to Winchcombe), coincides with the Cotswold Way, a 102 mile Long Distance Path that is claimed to be the best waymarked in England.
We grade this walk as ‘Easy - Moderate’ in relation to our other U.K tours, the route is hilly, but not mountainous, the weather is rarely too bad for walking, and there are generally quite a number of villages enroute. Days of up to 20 km are not too long for most reasonably fit people.
Make your own way to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The day is free to explore the town. You can visit Shakespeare's birthplace in the centre of town, the Holy Trinity Church where he is buried, and the thatched cottage where Anne Hathaway once lived.
Accommodation: Moonraker House is a traditional English 4 star licensed bed & breakfast with en-suite rooms, delicious home cooking, friendly service and a cosy atmosphere.
Today's walk will bring you to Mickleton. We suggest that you stop off at the National Trust Gardens at Hidcote Manor, near Mickleton. Enjoy the wide views over the vales of Severn and Avon toward the Malvern Hills and Wales.
Accommodation: The Three Ways Hotel is home to the famous Pudding Club and its award winning restaurant.
Today you will walk to Broadway via Chipping Campden Fish Hill and the unique Broadway Tower, which offer remarkable views of the Cotswolds. Broadway is a beautiful and picturesque town, and the main street is lined with magnificent stone-built houses as well as some great antique shops.
Accommodation: You will receive a warm welcome at the 4 star Windrush Guesthouse.
On today's walk to Blockley you will pass Buckland where you can take a little time to explore, the church is interesting and has medieval painted roof timbers. Laverton, Stanton and Snowshill. A visit to the Tudor Snowshill Manor, with its collection of art and artefacts from all over the world, may be of interest. Blockley bears some resemblance to the villages of the Stroud Valley but the stone is much more golden in colour. During the 18th century when the wool industry was in decline Blockley turned to silk production. The village is a unique collection of buildings reflecting its past glory of mills and silk production and is quite different in, character to other north Cotswolds villages.
Accommodation: The Malins 4 star guesthouse is made from traditional Cotswolds stone situated on the edge of the village.
Today is a beautiful walk, and you will be able to explore some of the prettiest villages of the Cotswolds. To the medieval wool town of Bourton on the Water, the walk will take you via Batsford, Stow on the Wold and Lower Slaughter. The river Windrush flows down the main street of Bourton on the Water. Bourton is well known for its footbridges over the river Evenlode and for its scale model of the village.
Accommodation: The Lansdowne is a family run 4 star guesthouse where you can expect a warm welcome on arrival.
An easy schedule today, which allows ample time to explore Bourton on the Water with its many attractions before setting out on your walk. Guiting Power, nestled in the hills above a small valley, is a perfect example of a Cotswold village.
Accommodation: The 4 star Guiting Guesthouse is a restored 16th Century Cotswold stone farmhouse with all modern facilities.
The walk today leads you to the atmospheric ruins of Hailes Abbey, destroyed under Henry VIII, and the still inhabited Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII's last wife Katherine Parr lived. Winchcombe is a delightful town nestling in a deep valley near the regency town of Cheltenham.
Accommodation: Wesley House is a 15th century merchants house, and its restaurant has been awarded a AA ** rosette developing a reputation for excellent food, elegant surroundings and exemplary service.
Your trip concludes after breakfast.
Sherpa were very thorough in providing detailed route notes and interesting information about the places we walked through, as well as topographic maps (good photocopies, numbered in sequence) and local town maps / brochures. Only in a few cases was it evident that some of the information might have been a bit out-of-date, always a bit disconcerting when you need to turn left instead of right etc, but you get by.
L. Haegi, Unley, SA. Australia
Fabulous countryside. Beautiful experience walking through a variety of environments and gorgeous villages.
C. Braunack, Graceville, QLD. Australia
The scenery was amazing - loved the lot! Cotswolds - 3 Ways House accommodation and food superb. Particularly liked Blockley Village, Lower Slaughter and Sudley Castle. All accommodation great and enjoyed every day of walking. Thankyou!
M. Findlay, Macmasters Beach, NSW, Australia
Per Person, Twin Share