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16 Best Cotswold Walks – Background
First, some background about the region where you find the best Cotswold walks The English Cotswolds has some of England’s most impressive scenery. Hiking in the Cotswold’s offers an unforgettable experience. Hikes vary from easy to difficult.
The scenery along the best Cotswold walks also varies and offers stunning hilltop views, green woodlands, grassy valleys, and sparkling rivers and streams. The region has a rich history too. The history spans from the Neolithic Age to Roman occupation, early England, the Middle Ages, and more recent times.
Hikes can be easy to strenuous in places. Cotswold walks often have rolling hills that appear one after another. When repeated during a 4-mile to 7-mile hike, the hills give you a very good workout. As well, you can find hikes in the Cotswolds that lazily take you on a relaxing walk through cool thickets and green meadows.
Often, you hear Cotswold’s villages and cottages called Chocolate Box villages and houses. This name comes from late Victorian times.
The Cadbury Chocolate company’s owner built cottages near the chocolate factory for his workers. He wanted his workers to have high-quality, affordable homes. During the 1950s and 1960s, Cadbury Chocolate printed charming scenes of the houses located in Bourneville.
View this great Costwold Walk video from … Adventure Geek.
A Few Things to Think About for Your Cotswold Walks
As you consider these walks, think about how to plan your hike and what you might want to take with you as you hike.
The stunning variety offered by the best Cotswold walks can be breathtaking. When you think you already took the best hike, you can easily find a lot more to enjoy as you hike through the Cotswolds! If you choose any of the following hikes, you see more scenery and history than you might imagine. My children and I took the Bibury Trail Chocolate Box Country walk described below. We loved it!
Let’s Begin, the 16 Best Cotswold Walks!
Bibury Trail – Chocolate Box Country – 3.5 miles; easy to moderate St. Mary’s Church, Church Road, GL7 5NR
My children and I LOVED this hike. We had some typically English weather. It rained lightly during part of the hike. There was a cool breeze. The trail was muddy at times. Still, we LOVED this walk!
Like the other best Cotswold walks, the Bibury Trail in the Chocolate Box Country also has stunning scenery. The aged stone walls and cottages the color of honey make the Cotswold hikes a true pleasure.
The honey color results from fossils in weathered limestone. Weathering gives the stones their well-known golden or honey color.
The loop (circular) hike begins and stops in the Cotswold village of Bibury. Many people say that Bibury is the most beautiful village in England. The trail has gentle hills as well as a few moderately steep hills. The ending at Bibury’s Arlington Row (this post’s featured picture) makes this an Ideal Chocolate Box Country hike.
We stayed here during our Cotswold visit. We had a great location for nearby hiking and day trips to other Cotswold villages.
The Shenington Round from Upton House Trail – 7 miles; moderate Upton House and Gardens, Banbury, OX15 6HT
Enjoy expansive landscapes and breathtaking sky during this hike through beautiful Warwickshire countryside. In 556 AD, Banbury was the site for an ancient battle between local Britons and local Anglo-Saxons.
Ebworth Centre Cotswolds – 4 miles; moderate Cranham Common, Cranham, Gloucestershire
This walk lets you see and explore many of the traits that make the Cotswolds a special area to visit. The walk includes steep valleys with stunning scenery. The hike’s views include grand beech thickets and gorgeous limestone fields. These fields make an ideal home for diverse wildlife and plants. Also, this hike includes two chocolate box villages that seem suspended in the past. The villages maintain their appeal and beauty from an earlier time.
Cotswold Hills Newark Park Hike – 3 miles; moderate Newark Park, Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7PZ
The Cotswold Hills Newary Park Hike lets you enjoy walking across rolling farmland with views of wooded hills and valleys as you approach Newark Park House.
The Newark Park House in the village of Ozleworth is a Grade I listed country house built during the English Tudor period. In England and Wales, special buildings have grades between Grade I and Grade III with Grade I buildings designated as worth exceptional interest.
The Cotswold Hills lets you enjoy hiking through wild woodlands that have a variety of bird types. The Hills’ hike covers valleys with breathtaking views as you approach the bottom and striking views when you reach the hilltops. When you leave the valley, enjoy the thick, wild blackberry bushes and antique apple tree orchards.
This hike includes a ha-ha fence. A ha-ha is a hidden fence meant to keep animals from grazing certain pieces of land. The hike ends beside a calm lake.
Woodchester Park Boathouse Walk – 3.5 miles; moderate Nympsfield, near Stonehouse GL10 3TS, UK
Enjoy many unique sites as you take the Woodchester Park Boathouse Walk. Nestled in the Cotswolds, the remote Woodchester Park Valley holds the remains of landscape parks of the 18th and 19th centuries and a Victorian mansion. Enjoy the chain of five lakes. The lakes, encircled by forests and pastures have lots of wildlife that you might see and like.
Haresfield Beacon Cotswold Walk – 4.5 miles; easy Haresfield Beacon Estate – Stroud, UK GL6 6PP
When you take the Haresfield Beacon Estate walk, savor the wide variety of woodland and grassland areas. The estate sits high on one of the many steep slopes you find in the Cotswolds. During the Tudor period, the late 1400s to the early 1600s, the estate was a hunting lodge.
Now, the public can enjoy what only a lucky few used to enjoy. The public can now admire the grand views and stunning landscapes. Walkers can also appreciate the plentiful wildlife that attracted early hunters. Hikers can find evidence about many who lived here including early Britons, Anglo-Saxons, and Romans.
Chipping Campden – 4.5 miles; moderate with some steep sections Chipping Campden, UK, GL55 6HB
Another of the terrific Cotswold circular walks, the Chipping Camden hike takes you through the English Village of Chipping Camden. The village was a market town. In old, England, a market town was legally allowed to have a weekly market. Beginning around 1200, market towns began to thrive.
The walk includes cool, shaded woodlands and more of the awesome views you expect in the Cotswolds. This walk offers a very good Cotswold’s introduction and a great way to begin hiking the Cotswold Way.
Broadway and the Tower – 4 miles; moderate with some steep sections and stiles Cotswold Way, Broadway, UK WR12 7AA
If you already experienced some of the beauty the best Cotswold walks have to offer, you might find it difficult to imagine more Cotswold’s charm. Still, the Broadway and Tower Walk provides you with more magic.
The charming walk leads you through the scenic Cotswold high street of Broadway.
Beginning around the 14th century the main English village roads were called “high streets”. The streets were called high streets since they were higher in the sense of more important streets. Often high streets were on higher land too.
When you end the walk at the Broadway Tower, enjoy the outstanding views of Wales as you look across the Severn Vale (valley) into Wales. England’s longest river, River Severn, flows through the vale and lets you see even more of the Cotswold’s glory.
Stanton, Snowshill, and the Edge – 6 miles; moderate with some steep sections and stiles Stanton, Broadway, UK WR12 7NG
This hike takes you over hills and into lush, green valleys with cool, shaded woods. Considered a moderately difficult hike the steep inclines help give you a good workout.
Discover two of the Cotswolds most scenic hamlets when you make the Stanton, Snowshill, and the Edge walk. Stanton and Broadway date from the 17th century and offer incredible scenery along with great restaurants and shops.
Winchcombe and Belas Knap – 5.25 miles; moderate with some steep segments and stiles Winchcombe, Cheltenham, UK GL54 5LL
The Winchcombe and Belas Knap hike includes the almost unchanged village of Winchcombe. As you make the hike, see the ancient, interesting Belas Knap Long Barrow monument. Dating from around 3,000 BC, the site was built as an ancient burial place. Enjoy the scenery and history this trail provides!
The Cleeve Hill Ring – 6 miles; moderate with some steep segments Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham, UK GL52 3PW
Still another exceptional Cotswold’s hike, the Cleeve Hill Ring walk takes you over hills, through grassy woods, and across gleaming streams. The walk can take your breath away.
The unique views the walk gives you brings you close to the Cotswold’s astonishing beauty. You can find some of the best samples of the Cotswold’s lovely flowers and fluttering butterflies along this hike.
The Leckhampton Loop – 4.5 miles; moderate with some steep segments Seven Springs, Cheltenham, UK GL53 9NG
Take pleasure in the diverse, exquisite scenery and interesting history this walk provides. When you make this hike, lush, green pastures, and quiet woods. Also, you see Iron Age sites and Victorian mines. The hike gives you an example of everything the remarkable Cotswold countryside offers.
Cranham Coopers and the Beechwoods – 4 miles; easy with some moderately steep segments Cranham, Gloucester, UK GL4 8HP
Among England’s most prized environments, you see where the Cotswold’s cheese rolling event occurs. In late May, contestants chase a barrel of cheese rolled down Coopers Hill. They try to catch the barrel which can reach speeds of 70 miles per hour! Also, enjoy the beech woods covered with bluebells during May.
The Selsley Circuit – 5 miles; moderate to difficult with some steep segments High St, King’s Stanley, Stonehouse, UK GL10 3JD
During this hike enjoy more beech woods and rich, green grasslands. The Victorian English who lived here had mills here to take advantage of the River Severn streaming through this walk.
Cam Long Down and Uley – 4 miles; moderate to difficult with some steep segments, stiles, and steps The Green, Uley, Dursley, UK GL11 5SN
The hike vividly shows the Cotswold’s great, scenic and historic variety. Enjoy the Cam Long Down’s and Uley’s walk for hikes through the woods and terrific hilltop views into Wales. The walk’s history includes Uley Bury an Iron age hill fort built around 300 BC.
Wotton-under-Edge – 5 miles; moderate with some steep segments and stiles High St, Wotton-under-Edge, UK GL12 7DB
This is one of the best Cotswold walks. The hike has a variety of woodlands, steep slopes, and lush valleys. Also, see prosperous towns with cute shops and historic buildings.
A Few More Things to Consider for Your Cotswold Walks
- Hiking energy foods you might like
- Hiking Poles, be nice to your knees!
- Stay dry, lots of rain in the Cotswolds!
Conclusion – 16 Best Cotswold Walks
England’s Cotswold walks are a memorable experience! As you hike the Cotswolds, enjoy some of England’s most impressive scenery. In addition to the gorgeous scenery and charming English villages, the walks offer trails for both the avid hiker and the beginning hiker to enjoy.
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