An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds cover nearly 800 square miles of stunning countryside, making it a natural playground for walkers and day trippers who travel from near and far to visit this picturesque part of the UK.
Whether you’re a seasoned walker hoping to discover longer routes, or more of a novice, there are plenty of beautiful walks just waiting for you to lace up your boots and explore.
We’ve rounded up some of the best walking spots in this hot list sponsored by Cotswold Discovery Trail, which is brimming with ideas for days out across two separate walking trails covering the north and south Cotswolds.
The Trail Packs include fabric or paper maps with circular guided routes, detailed start points and historical facts about the different locations through the ages, along with a compass, paper, pens, while the Kids’ Cotswold Challenge and the Local Logo Challenge add a bit of fun to your walks.
For more information and to purchase the Trail Packs, visit cotswolddiscoverytrail.com directly.
Not only can you expect to soak up impressive views from the top of Broadway Tower, which stands at 65 feet tall, but you can also enjoy plenty of walks across the 50 acres of woods and parklands that it stands on.
If you’ve worked up an appetite you can enjoy delicious lunches, cakes and hot drinks at the on-site café. And if you also want to explore what the Cotswold town of Broadway has to offer, it’s just over a mile’s walk from Broadway Tower.
Described as ‘the most beautiful village in England’ by William Morris, Bibury is a must-visit for walkers who want to soak up chocolate-box charm while exploring this delightful corner of the Cotswolds.
Stroll along the banks of the River Coln and take in the much-photographed honey-coloured 17th century cottages on the iconic Arlington Row. Don’t miss the adjacent Rack Isle water meadow where you can expect to see water-loving plants and birds who thrive in the habitat.
Blow away the cobwebs with a walk up Cleeve Hill, the highest peak of the Cotswold Hills and the highest point in Gloucestershire, where you can take in breath-taking views over 1,000 acres of scenery.
There are a number of circular walks that take in parts of the Cotswold Way, with routes suitable for all ages and abilities, including a family circular trail that’s perfect for primary school aged children and above.
The picture-perfect Cotswold market town of Stow-on-the-Wold is perfect for discovering on foot, with short routes that take in both the town and the surrounding countryside.
Take in the medieval St Edward’s Church in the heart of Stow, and make sure you time your walk to savour afternoon tea at one of the many charming tea rooms or head to a pub to treat yourself to a well-earned pint.
National Trust sites, Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common are ideal for walks that take in the rolling hills and vast open spaces and views of the Stroud Valleys and Severn Estuary.
Plan your walk during the summer months to see the incredible varieties of butterfly, including many rare species, who come to breed on the wildflowers on Rodborough Common. And make sure you don’t miss getting an ice-cream
Winchcombe has a rich Saxon history and is the perfect base for walkers as the Cotswold Way, Gloucestershire Way and Wychavon Way all pass through the market town.
A short walk from the charming town is the impressive Sudeley Castle and Gardens, which boasts royal connections, while there are longer walks and others that offer elevated views.
Featuring chocolate box cottages, quintessential tea rooms and plenty of Cotswold charm, it’s no wonder Burford is one of the suggested stops along the Cotswold Discovery Trail.
A beautiful place for a town walk, Burford is a great place to stroll around. Take in the steep street as you drive in the town.
Wildlife lovers will be in their element when going for walks at Chedworth Nature Reserve, located on a disused section of the Cheltenham to Cirencester railway line.
The six-acre woods feature beech, oak and hazel trees, while there’s also the chance to see fossil-filled oolitic limestone that’s widespread across the Cotswolds. There are also walks that take in the spectacular National Trust property, Chedworth Roman Villas.
Whether you want to soak up the town’s famous 99 yew trees, pretty golden stone buildings that date back to the 15th century, or the nearby Rococo Garden, Painswick has plenty to offer walkers.
If you want to enjoy views from higher ground there’s a circular walk that takes in Painswick Beacon and passes through Sheepscombe. Make a stop at The Butcher's Arms to enjoy a hearty pub lunch or a refreshing pub lunch before making your way back to Painswick.
Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is a must-visit for walkers who want to discover the village’s charming riverside setting and the picturesque nearby walks.
There’s a circular route that follows the Windrush and Gloucestershire Way and takes in the beautiful villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter, along with longer routes that encompass the village of Naunton.
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