15 Best Walks in the Cotswolds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in the Cotswolds (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you ready for an escape? If so, the Cotswolds are calling your name.

This picturesque region of England is renowned for its lush rolling hills and charming villages, making it a perfect destination for those seeking some fresh air and a sense of freedom.

Here, you’ll find some of the best walks in the country, from leisurely hikes to challenging treks that will test your endurance and reward you with stunning panoramic views.

Step away from the hustle and bustle and get ready to explore 15 of the most beautiful walks in the Cotswolds.

1. The Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way
Photo by Philip Halling

If you’re looking for a stunning hike, the Cotswold Way is a must.

Spanning over 100 miles of breathtaking English countryside, this incredible trail stretches from Chipping Campden to Bath.

As you walk along the Cotswold Way, you’ll pass through picture-perfect villages, rolling hills, and lush green valleys.

You’ll also come across many ancient monuments and sites that have been preserved since medieval times.

What’s more, the route offers some of the best views in England – so don’t forget your camera!

With its abundance of wildlife, wildflowers, and spectacular sights, it’s no wonder why so many people love to explore this mesmerizing trail.

The Cotswold Way is sure to provide an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

2. The Wychavon Way

The Wychavon Way on Hintons Hill
Photo by Trevor Rickard

The Wychavon Way is a spectacular journey through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds.

The path spans approximately 18 miles, taking you from Bredon Hill in Worcestershire to Wyre Forest in Shropshire.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the lush countryside and quaint villages.

The route is easy to follow and suitable for all ages, making it an ideal family walk.

You can explore ancient woods, meadows, and orchards, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along the way.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot a deer or two!

There are plenty of places to rest your feet too – pubs, tea rooms, and country inns line the route so you can take a break whenever you need one.

So why not treat yourself to a leisurely stroll through some of England’s most beautiful countryside? You won’t be disappointed!

3. The Leckhampton Loop

Path on the top of Leckhampton Hill
Photo by Trevor Rickard

The Leckhampton Loop is an essential part of any stroll through the Cotswolds.

This picturesque route takes you past ancient churches, lush green fields and pastures, and breathtaking countryside views.

The 6-mile circular walk begins in the beautiful village of Leckhampton, located on the edge of Cheltenham.

You can either follow a path up to the top of Leckhampton Hill or take a shorter route that goes through some stunning beech woodland.

Once at the summit, you will be rewarded with stunning views across Cheltenham and beyond.

To the north, you’ll see Cleeve Hill, while to the south there are rolling hills as far as the eye can see.

As you continue along this rewarding loop, you’ll come across pretty villages such as Bourton-on-the-Hill, Hailes Castle, and Winchcombe Abbey.

There’s also plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife such as badgers and deer along your journey too!

By taking your time and admiring this stunning landscape, you will be able to get away from it all and experience some true peace of mind.

This walk offers something for everyone; whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an energetic hike, it has everything you need to make your day out in the Cotswolds one to remember.

4. Adlestrop On The Diamond Way

Just a few miles to the north of the Leckhampton Loop lies Adlestrop on the Diamond Way.

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This tranquil walk is perfect for those looking to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds at a leisurely pace and take in breathtaking views along the way.

The Diamond Way is an ancient path that dates back centuries and runs through some of England’s most picturesque villages.

The route begins in Adlestrop and takes you past fields dotted with sheep, rolling green hills and valleys, and small country towns surrounded by trees.

As you make your way along this timeless route, you’ll be able to spot wildflowers blooming in springtime and take in stunning views of nearby hills on clear days.

The Diamond Way is a great option for those hoping to explore all that the Cotswolds has to offer without committing too much time or energy to physical exertion.

With flat terrain, gentle slopes, and plenty of beauty along the way, it’s easy to see why this walk has been so popular for generations.

Whether you’re after a peaceful stroll or an adventure-filled day out, Adlestrop on the Diamond Way won’t disappoint!

5. Chedworth Roman Villa On The Monarch’s Way

The Cotswolds is a region in the south of England that are renowned for its stunning beauty.

One of the best ways to experience this beauty is to take a walk along the Monarch’s Way.

This trail passes through some of the most picturesque areas, and one highlight is the Chedworth Roman Villa.

This ancient villa was first discovered in 1864 and its ruins remain today.

The walk to Chedworth starts with a steady climb up a hill but is well worth it for the view at the top.

From here you can see stunning countryside views as far as the eye can see, and it’s easy to understand why this area was chosen by the Romans centuries ago.

To get to the villa itself you’ll need to follow a path that winds through fields and woods until you reach an open space where you can admire its remains.

Although much of it has been destroyed over time, it still provides plenty of insight into life during Roman Britain.

Don’t forget to look out for wildflowers growing around its walls too – these add even more color and charm.

Take your time exploring this beautiful area – there’s something special about walking in ancient footsteps and soaking up its history.

Whether you’re looking for peace or adventure, Chedworth Roman Villa on the Monarch’s Way offers something for everyone.

6. Trails Of Westonbirt

Leaving Chedworth Roman Villa, the next stop is the beautiful Trails of Westonbirt.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, this area has something to offer.

The arboretum is home to thousands of trees and shrubs, making it a great place to explore nature and discover wildlife.

In springtime, the grounds are awash with blooming wildflowers and vibrant foliage.

As you wander through the pathways, take time to admire the open spaces that provide a sense of serenity and freedom.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some rare animals such as red deer or badgers.

At Westonbirt, there are trails for all abilities – from easy walks to challenging hikes.

It is also a great place for families; children can run around in a peaceful environment without worrying about traffic or other hazards.

Whether you choose a gentle ramble through rolling meadows or tackle an arduous climb up steep slopes, Westonbirt offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure.

So don your walking boots and get ready to discover one of the best walks in the Cotswolds!

7. Broadway Tower Circular Walk

The Broadway Tower Circular Walk is a unique experience that will take you to the highest point in the Cotswolds.

The walk takes around two and a half hours, so it’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

It starts at the foot of the tower, taking you through some stunning countryside before beginning the ascent up the hill.

You’ll be surrounded by beautiful views of rolling hills and lush green fields, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting – don’t forget your binoculars!

At the top of the hill awaits Broadway Tower itself: an iconic landmark in England’s history.

This 18th-century folly was designed as an eye-catching landmark from miles away, and it certainly delivers on its promise.

Take your time to explore this historic site, and make sure to take some pictures – it’s a must-visit for anyone exploring the area.

After you’ve had your fill of history, you can continue your walk down through some tranquil woodland before finishing back where you started.

The Broadway Tower Circular Walk is an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left the Cotswolds.

8. Castle Combe & Around

The Cotswolds is a picturesque region of rolling hills and lush green valleys, and Castle Combe is the quintessential English village.

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Here, you’ll discover thatched cottages, ancient bridges, a 13th-century church, and plenty of country pubs.

With its untouched beauty and rural charm, it’s no wonder why this village has been used as the backdrop for many films.

Just outside Castle Combe lies one of the best walks in the Cotswolds – The Bybrook Valley Trail.

This five-mile route takes you along an old railway line, past meadows full of wildflowers, and through woodland teeming with wildlife.

As you meander along the trail, you’ll get stunning views of the river below and may even spot some rare birds.

It’s an ideal way to escape from it all and experience nature up close.

9. Warden’s Way – Lower Slaughter Loop From Lower Slaughter

For a truly captivating experience, why not try the Warden’s Way – Lower Slaughter loop from Lower Slaughter?

This leisurely walk takes you along a peaceful riverside trail, past rolling hills and stunning Cotswold countryside.

You’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, with meadows and woodlands full of wildflowers in summer.

The trail begins at the picturesque village of Lower Slaughter, where you can take in its thatched cottages and old-fashioned charms before heading out onto the path.

The route will then lead you along the River Eye, with plenty of opportunities to pause and enjoy nature’s beauty.

You may even spot some wildlife such as kingfishers or otters!

As you continue your journey, you’ll be rewarded with views of ancient churches and charming villages.

Concluding your hike in Lower Slaughter again provides a chance to explore this delightful village once more before ending your day.

A wonderfully satisfying walk awaits you on the Warden’s Way – Lower Slaughter loop – so pack your bags, grab some supplies, and come explore one of the most beautiful areas of the Cotswolds!

10. Arlington Row Loop From Bibury

The Arlington Row loop from Bibury is one of the Cotswolds’ most iconic walks.

With its timeless charm, meandering streams, and lush rolling hills, this walk is sure to delight.

Start your journey in Bibury, a quintessential English village filled with thatched cottages and honey-colored stone buildings.

From here you will be enveloped in a blanket of nature as you explore the picturesque countryside. Follow along the banks of the River Coln and through woodlands rich with wildlife – keep an eye out for deer that may be grazing nearby.

Enjoy stunning views of Arlington Row and take some time to appreciate the beauty of its 17th-century weavers’ cottages lined up like pearls on a string.

After passing by Coln St Aldwyns and Barnsley, your walk will end back in Bibury where you can take stock of all you have seen – it’s a real slice of English rural life at its finest.

The Arlington Row loop is certainly a must-do when visiting the Cotswolds – step into nature’s serenity and enjoy one of the region’s best walks!

11. Sezincote House And Bourton-On-The-Hill Hike

If you’re looking for a pleasant and easy hike in the Cotswolds, then the Sezincote House and Bourton-on-the-Hill hike is one of the best.

This 5-mile circular route takes you through enchanting rolling hills and quaint countryside villages.

You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, while also getting some exercise in a peaceful setting.

The hike begins at Sezincote House, an exquisite Regency mansion set against a backdrop of woodlands and hills.

Along your journey, you’ll pass through Bourton-on-the-Hill and its picturesque streets lined with traditional cottages.

You can also take a detour to the impressive St Mary’s Church for an even more breathtaking view of this charming village.

Finally, you’ll end your hike on top of Hanger Hill, where you can admire panoramic views across the Cotswolds before heading back to Sezincote House.

This is a great way to spend time outdoors while exploring some of the most beautiful parts of England’s countryside.

With its historical buildings, stunning scenery, and peaceful atmosphere, this route promises to be an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

12. Guiting Power And Naunton Circular

The Guiting Power and Naunton Circular is one of the most popular walks in the Cotswolds.

This seven-mile route starts in the village of Guiting Power and passes through lush meadows, rolling hills, and ancient woodlands.

You’ll pass through traditional English villages with thatched cottages and cozy pubs. The walk culminates at Naunton, a charming Cotswold village with its own unique history.

This walk is perfect for anyone looking to experience an idyllic slice of rural England.

It’s a leisurely stroll that takes about three hours to complete.

Along the way, you’ll get to enjoy stunning views of the countryside and get a taste of local life as you wander past farms and old churches.

If you’re lucky, you may even spot some wildlife like deer or pheasants!

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All in all, this is an enjoyable route for all ages; it’s a great way to escape into nature while still having plenty of interesting sights to explore along the way.

13. Tetbury To Westonbirt Arboretum

Continuing the exploration of Cotswold’s best walks, the next stop is Tetbury to Westonbirt Arboretum.

This 5-mile journey offers spectacular views of the rolling countryside, with a chance to spot some rare wildlife along the way.

The trail begins at Tetbury town center, where one can marvel at the traditional stone cottages and historic buildings before heading west towards Westonbirt.

As you make your way along the footpaths, you’ll find yourself surrounded by wildflowers, trees, and hedges which never fail to impress.

With plenty of picnic stops and benches dotted around, it’s easy to take a break and enjoy all that nature has to offer.

The trail culminates with a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum – an idyllic haven for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Explore 18 miles of pathways winding through this enchanting ancient woodland, with its grand collection of trees from around the world – an array of colors and shapes that will astound you.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or a challenging hike – this is sure to be an experience that will stay with you forever!

14. Blenheim Palace

An ideal stop for those looking to explore the best of the Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace is a must-see.

Set in an impressive 2,000 acres of parkland, it’s home to a wide range of attractions and activities.

From beautiful gardens and woodland walks to historic buildings and art galleries, there’s something for everyone.

The palace itself is a spectacular sight and you can take time to explore the State Rooms where many royal events have been held over the centuries.

You can even take a guided tour or attend one of the many events that are held throughout the year.

The grounds are perfect for leisurely strolls, with plenty of paths through the landscaped gardens and woodlands, taking you past lakes and waterfalls.

There’s also a butterfly house, deer park, and adventure playground – making it an ideal spot for families.

Blenheim Palace is full of surprises; it offers something special for every explorer who visits this magical place.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxed walk or an adventurous day out – it won’t disappoint!

15. Malmesbury Abbey And River Walk

Moving from the grandeur of Blenheim Palace to the delicate beauty of Malmesbury Abbey is a delight.

It’s set in the picturesque Wiltshire countryside, surrounded by lush meadows and rolling hills.

This 12th-century abbey is one of England’s oldest churches and its history is deep-rooted in literature, making it an amazing place to explore.

The river walk that follows takes you along the River Avon, past ancient trees, wildflowers, and wetlands, through hidden pathways and leafy trails until you reach the abbey ruins.

Take your time to soak up the tranquillity of this magical place; watch out for herons and kingfishers as they swoop over the river in search of food.

There’s even an old mill to explore with stories about how flour was once milled here for locals.

With so much natural beauty around every corner, it’s easy to see why this spot has remained largely unchanged since medieval times.

As you make your way back towards Malmesbury town center, take a moment to admire the stunning views from atop St Lawrence Church Tower – standing proud since 1220 AD.

From here you can look out across miles of unspoiled English countryside, with its rolling hills and patchwork fields stretching as far as the eye can see; a reminder of just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of England.

Best Walks in Cotswolds – Final Thoughts

It’s clear that the Cotswolds are one of the most beautiful areas in England to exploring.

From the wild and rolling hills of The Cotswold Way to the historic sites along The Monarch’s Way and Diamond Way, there’s something for every kind of walker.

For those looking for a leisurely stroll, there’s no better place than Adlestrop on the Diamond Way or Tetbury to Westonbirt Arboretum.

And for history buffs, a trip to Malmesbury Abbey or Blenheim Palace is a must.

No matter which routes you choose, you’ll be sure to find yourself surrounded by stunning landscapes and rural beauty.

Whether it’s an afternoon stroll or an all-day hike, these fifteen best walks in the Cotswolds offer something for everyone.

So why not get out and enjoy some fresh air as you take in this special part of England? You won’t regret it!

Whether you’re a local or just visiting the area, exploring these fifteen best walks in the Cotswolds is an absolute must.

It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories and appreciation of this charming region of England.

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Cotswolds?

Some easy walks in Cotswolds are Broadway Tower, The Garden of Britain, and the Rollright Stones.

What are the best circular walks in Cotswolds?

Some of the best circular walks in Cotswolds are The Selsley Circuit, Cotswolds-Korea Friendship Trail, and The Cleeve Hill Common Ring.

What are some good family walks in Cotswolds?

Some good family walks in Cotswolds are the Cotswold Way, the Blossom Trail, and Cleeve Common.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.