Extending through five counties, the Cotswolds is quintessential England at its finest. I’ve cherry picked my favourite areas to bring you some of the best walks in the Cotswolds. Blessed with woodlands, rolling hills and ancient market towns, the Cotswolds offers countless walks. Discover historical trails and dog-friendly routes as you explore the best places to walk in the Cotswolds.
1. Broadway Tower Walk
This 4-mile walk takes you on a route through the charming Broadway High Street and up to the tower via ancient trails. Broadway Tower is a folly erected in 1798 for Lady Coventry and stands at 55 feet. Beginning at the clock tower on High Street you’ll continue past the signposted activity park and picnic area before crossing over a footbridge. From here you’ll cross several fields to make your way up to the historic St. Eadburgha’s Church.
En route you’re greeted by awe-inspiring views over the Cotswolds as you reach the second-highest point in the region at Broadway Tower. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views over 13 counties when the weather permits. This is one of the best walks around the Cotswolds for views as you get to appreciate the most beautiful scenery from the top of the tower.
2. Stanton Walks in the Cotswolds
Stanton is one of the prettiest English villages, perfect for those looking for short walks in the Cotswolds away from busier tourist hotspots. The 6-mile, Stanton, Snowshill, and the Edge walk travels between two gorgeous villages and is best tackled by intermediate to experienced walkers. You’ll begin by following the signs for the Cotswold Way which will take you by an old tree-fronted cottage and a pretty pond. Continue upwards before leaving the Cotswolds way and heading towards Snowshill. The walk then leads you through a small area of woodland owned by the National Trust. The latter part of the walk takes you back to the Cotswold Way where you can embrace the view over Stanton and the Severn Vale as it stretches into Wales.
3. Walks around Lower Slaughter
If you’re looking for the ideal place for dog walks in the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter is the place to go. There’s very little traffic on the through-road, and the river at the Old Mill will tempt your furry friends in for a dip. In fact, the slow-flowing river is renowned for being a dog-paddling paradise during the warmer months.
Lower Slaughter provides a quieter place for walks around the Cotswolds, away from the more popular locations. Stroll by the river towards the Old Mill or take a lengthier 3-mile round trip to Bourton-on-the-Water before enjoying local food at the dog-friendly Slaughters Inn.
4. Broadway to Chipping Campden Walk
Embark on an 11-mile walk from Dover’s Hill to the historic town of Chipping Campden. The walk immediately immerses you in spectacular views as you begin at the topograph at Dover’s Hill. The route continues through landscapes of paddocks, fields and woodland before reaching Broadway High Street. During this Cotswolds walk, you can join the Cotswold Way to Broadway Tower where you’ll be rewarded with views over the Malvern Hills and the Vale of Evesham. The final section of the walk takes you via Chipping Campden which boasts a 17th century stone market and numerous tearooms, including Bantam Tearooms which was established in 1693.
6. Sudeley Castle Walk
The Sudeley Castle walk is a stunning route that includes the 1,200-acre estate surrounding the 15th century castle. The estate boasts 10 spectacular gardens, each with a unique theme, which are set inside an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The castle grounds are also home to St. Mary’s Church, the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr. The Sudeley Castle circular route provides a short 2-mile walk from Vineyard Street and on to the castle before leading back to the town centre via the riverside path.
7. Bourton-on-the-Water Walks
Referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds”, Bourton-on-the-Water is a beautiful village adorned with several charming stone bridges that cross the River Windrush. There are many walks in the area, but the 26-mile circular route includes several waymarked walking trails, including sections of the Windrush Way, the Gloucestershire Way, the Warden’s Way, and the Heart of England Way. During the walk you can explore the medieval village at Aylford, the gardens at Sudeley Castle, and the traditional Cotswolds stone cottages at Naunton.
8. Moreton-in-Marsh Walks
Moreton-in-Marsh is not only a great spot for walks but it’s also a superb base for exploring the Cotswolds. The small market town is close to two of the Cotswolds most popular attractions, the Batsford Arboretum, and Sezincote House. The 7-mile circular walk from Moreton-in-Marsh includes sections of the Monarch’s Way and the Heart of England Way which showcase some of the most beautiful parts of the English countryside.
During the walk you’ll have the chance to visit Sezincote House, an Indian inspired house and gardens in the Cotswolds. Before completing the circular walk, explore Batsford Arboretum with its 56-acres of exquisite woodland and wander through the Japanese maples, magnolias and pines.
If you’d prefer to explore by bike, find out more about my cycling tour of the Cotswolds.