Best walks in the Cotswolds

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Rolling countryside scenery, postcard-pretty villages, historic market towns, and lashings of charm make the honey-tinged Cotswolds one of the UK’s most romanticised landscapes. So for those keen to soak up the timeless beauty of the region, here are some of the best places to visit.

Bourton-on-the-Water

With the River Windrush gently running through its heart, the impossibly pretty town of Bourton-on-the-Water is all chocolate-box cottages, old-fashioned tearooms, low-arched stone bridges, and plenty to see and do. Highlights include spotting pelicans and flamingos at Birdland Park & Gardens, strolling around the adorable Model Village, following the river along the Windrush Way, walking through the village and over to Lower Slaughter, and visiting the Cotswold Motor Museum.

The Windrush Way

Ideal for those who fancy a long walk filled with lovely views, the Windrush Way is the 13.5-mile-long footpath in Gloucestershire which links the Cotswold Way at Winchcombe with the Oxfordshire Way at Bourton-on-the-Water. In addition to undulating countryside, you’ll also pass Sudeley Castle - the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds (Queen Catherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII, lived and died here).

The Cotswold Way

Running between the market town of Chipping Campden in the north and the spa city of Bath in the south, the 102-mile-long Cotswold Way takes you through rolling English countryside dotted with medieval churches, timber-framed villages, and historic stately homes. Along the way, you can visit the ghostly ruins of the 13th century Hailes Abbey and Cooper’s Hill – home of Gloucestershire’s famously weird and wonderful cheese-rolling championships.

Bibury

Described by William Morris as ‘the most beautiful village in England’, Bibury is just a 20-minute drive away from Harrington House – our Grade II-listed property that showcases a mix of Tudor and Palladian architectural styles. The star attraction here is the National Trust-protected Arlington Row – a series of honey-coloured weavers’ cottages dating back to the 14th century. Once you’ve admired England’s most photographed street, take a stroll along the scenic River Coln. 

Broadway

Another Cotswold contender for the title of England’s most beautiful village, Broadway is cherished for its cobbled streets, quaint cottages, and artistic heritage (it attracted the likes of JM Barrie and William Morris). Don’t leave without heading to the Broadway Tower to discover the Capability Brown-designed landmark set in 200 acres of parkland. Rising 312 metres above sea level, the tower stands on Beacon Hill - the second highest point in the Cotswolds. Climbing to the top rewards with views spanning 16 counties and 62 miles in each direction.

Hidcote Manor Gardens

Created by American-born horticulturalist and plant collector, Major Lawrence Johnston, this celebrated Arts and Crafts-inspired garden is just under three miles from Chipping Campden and houses plant species of national importance (stewardship was transferred to the National Trust in 1948). Admire plants and flowers from far-flung locations, follow the maze of narrow pathways, and work your way around the extensive and inspirational series of outdoor ‘rooms’ – each with their own character.

3-night Cotswolds Self-guided walking

Accommodation: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water

Departures: Jul 2023 - Mar 2024, 3 nights

Price from: £365pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3-night Cotswolds Gentle guided walking

Accommodation: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water

Departures: 8 Sep 2023, 3 nights

Price from: £499pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

7-night Cotswolds Walking with Sightseeing

Accommodation: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water

Departures: Jul-Sep 2023, 7 nights

Price from: £1,149pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

7-night Cotswolds Guided walking

Accommodation: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water

Departures: Jul 2023 - Feb 2023, 7 nights

Price from: £919pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865