Footloose Trails in the Cotswolds
                          Six suggested trails shown in our 2-part film.                                

    Each chapter of Footloose our top-selling Cotswolds DVD set shows a walking trail lasting 2-3 hours. 
We thought you might be interested in the details if you fancy doing any of them yourself...
It is a good idea to purchase a suitable OS map of the Cotswolds area although three of the trails 
listed here have sheets you can print out.
 Back to the Cotswolds page  

1. Walk from Stow-on the Wold to Bourton-on the-Water 
About 4.5 miles mostly level, stopping at Lower Slaughter Mill and Museum. You set out down the Fosse Way (A429) till you reach the footpath sign for the Gloucestershire Way. Walk down the lane with fine views till you get to a farm with an equestrian centre. From here you take the path across a field to reach Hyde Mill. From this delightful spot you cross the bridge and head through the meadows on level ground close to the little river Dikler. Following the waymarkers as you go (there are 4 major footpaths here!) take the Macmillan Way which will eventually bring you to Lower Slaughter church. From here you follow the road round then right to see the classic picture book scene: idyllic cottages lining the river Eye, and of course the Old Mill ...where you can take tea. It is just a mile and a half then on the Heart of England Way to Bourton, crossing over the Fosse Way and down the lane through the Cotswold School grounds into town. No shortage of places to eat and drink at Bourton! There is a bus to Stow (Pulhams Coaches no.801) you can catch from the stop outside the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, back to where you started.
GOOGLEMAPS plotted trail ~ walk 1

2. Circular Walk from Bibury (Jubilee Walk)

About 4 miles undulating through farm tracks, woods and fields but quite easy and very scenic. You set out from the picturesque little village missing out Arlington Row beacause you will encounter these beautiful cottages on your return. Have a look at the little church before passing by Bibury Court Hotel. You pass over the River Coln on a mill bridge, past a farm, then down a long dry-stone walled lane into woods. After a mile or so you cross a pleasant meadow with sheep, then join another lane and cross the route of the Roman Akeman Street, although there is no trace of it now. At the end of the lane are cottages which mark the half-way point. The jouney back to Bibury passes an ancient dew-pond and skirts around grain fields with lovely hedgerows and some really classic undulating Cotswold countryside. After a sharp turn right, the grassy track leads you back over a stile and downhill to Arlington Row and all the attractions of Bibury once more. A very pleasant couple of hours away from the crowds.

~ BIBURY and the River Coln (printable)

3. Broadway to Toddington
About 6 miles with great views (some ascents and descents but not too strenuous
) ending at the famous Cotswold GWR steam railway. Leaving Broadway on the Snowshill road, you join the Cotswold Way on the right which takes you over sheep fields to West End. Fom here you follow the Way up and around another field ...but do stop and look back behind you as you climb, all of Broadway and the Vale of Evesham begs to be noticed. After a copse you bear right, away from The Cotswold Way, to the flat site of Burhill Iron-Age Fort, with more superb almost 180 views. Then it's down to the tiny village of Buckland with an almost deserted church and the opulent Manor Hotel. Cross more sheep fields as you walk to the next village of Laverton, with some fine old cottages and gardens. Leaving at the top of the village you make your way along the scenic Winchcombe Way crossing the side of the escarpment to the beautiful and largely unspoilt village of Stanton, with houses made from the deepest coloured stone you are likely to encounter in the Cotswolds. There is a pub here at the top of the village: The Mount Inn (check opening times-we didn't!). Leaving lovely Stanton, cross sheep fields back on the Cotswold Way to the neighbouring village of Stanway, famous for its Manor House and spectacular fountain. The gatehouse next to Stanway's church is very imposing.  After such a scenic trail you end up taking a rather ordinary road walk along the B4077 to the steam railway village of Toddington. Refreshments at the station, or the Pheasant Inn at the crossroads.

Cotswolds Trail
3 plotted on GoogleMaps

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4. Circular Walk from Winchcombe to Belas Knap 
4-5 miles, quite steep at times... but all downhill coming back!.
A recommended short trail on the Cotswold Way taking in the wonderful neolithic burial chamber, Belas Knap. Depart Winchcombe via Vineyard Street with its lovely stone cottages. You begin the trail at a stile just over the stone bridge, which leads you to a footpath alongside the village to a lane and a cricket field. From here you climb steadily through pasture with horses, to a kissing gate on Corndean Lane above. Behind you is a view you cannot ignore: the whole of Winchcombe and the rolling hills surrounding, marvellous! From here you go along and up through woodland then make a steep climb through sheep fields to the famous and very well-kept burial chamber. After a rest and a look round you could carry on to Hill Barn Farm, but we retraced our steps to the Corndean Lane, then on to the delightfully named Humblebee Cottages. A wonderful vista of Sudeley Castle and the curvacious Cotswold escarpment opens up here. It is a steady downhill trail now through farmland back to Vineyard street where you began. There are, of course, plenty of opportunities in Winchcombe for refreshment. 

Belas Knap Circular Walk
  Suggested circular walk (printable)

5. Cotswolds Escarpment walk from Crickley Hill

5.5 miles, undulating and following the Cotswold Way ...with fine views. We parked our car at Coopers Hill (the end of our walk) then arranged a taxi to drop us off near Shurdington Hill, but you could easily start at Crickley Hill Country Park and make a shorter trail. This is a good taster of the Cotswold Way if you ever decide to walk the entire National Trail. Passing through ancient leafy beechwoods along the top of the Cotswold escarpment, you soon arrive at Crickley Hill (228m) where you can take in spectacular views of not only Gloucester and Cheltenham, but the mountains in Wales far beyond. Also on this hill are the earthworks of an Iron-Age village with fascinating interpretation boards. Taking a sharp left turn you follow the Cotswold Way to the interestingly-named Air Balloon pub, and could probably fit in a swift drink. It can be a noisy spot because it is situated at the junction of two major roads into Gloucester. From here you follow the undulating escarpment and gradually descend into pleasant woodland for 2 miles with just occasional glimpses out across the Gloucester vale. With a chance to see the site of a Roman Villa (we didn't) you carry on to the site of the famous and crazy annual Cheese Rolling Event at Cooper's Hill, held at the end of May. There is a small car park here where we left our car.

Cotswolds Trail 5 plotted on GoogleMaps

6. Walk into Bath
This is the classic end of the Cotswold Way ~ 6 miles mostly downhill from the Landsdown Racecourse, but a few short climbs as you enter the suburbs of Bath. The trail starts very conveniently at the Landsdown Park & Ride so you can return back to this spot by bus after you have completed this lovely walk. Starting at the Blathwayt Arms you see Bath's famous racecourse, and yes, you have to walk across it, ducking under the railings... there might be other arrangements in season if a race is being held! Possibly the best viewpoint of the whole of the Cotswold Way is to be found at Prospect Stile before you descend steadily  along the hilltops and fields into the Georgian city. When you arrive the suburb of Weston, the trail doesn't take you along the main roads, it meanders up and over, delightfully through parkland, and to Sion Hill, an older part of Bath. Then it takes you down through a golf course into Victoria Park, and past magnificent and iconic Royal Crescent and then the Circus... Not far then down Gay Street into the city centre, ending at the wonderful Bath Abbey. Highly recommended!

Journey's End Walk to Bath  Suggested circular walk (printable)

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