Circular Hikes in the Cotswolds?

Old Nov 12th, 2015, 01:06 PM
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Circular Hikes in the Cotswolds?

We are visiting the Cotswolds at the end of March 2016. Does anyone have any favorite circular walks to recommend? I have found quite a bit of information about one-way walks, but only a handful of circular walks.

We will consider one-way walks with buses back to our original starting points, but not having to worry about bus schedules would be relaxing.

Some additional details....

We will have a car
We are interested in walks from 3-10 miles
We are will be staying for 5 nights in Chipping Campden.
If there was a pub about half-way through the walk - that would be a great bonus!
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Oh! So lucky! One of my favorite walks is the Chipping Campden to Broadway Tower to Broadway walk. I'd do this as a 1-way walk, and pop on the 24A bus from the High Street in Broadway back to Chipping Campden.

I wish I knew more circular walks, but when I was in the north Cotswolds, I had no trouble doing lots of 1-way walks along the Cotswold Way, and then catching a bus back to my base. I used traveline for bus/rail schedules.

I also enjoyed my Stanton-Snowshill-Stanton walk. Very pretty walk and lovely villages, and easily done. Snowshill Manor is really interesting, and I believe there are lavender farms nearby, but I didn't have a car. Again, I used a bus, but if you have a car, you can just park in Stanton, and do the walk to Snowshill and back to Stanton.

If you have a less than brilliant day, I'd drive to WInchcombe, and you could wander about that village and do the really short walk to Sudeley Castle.
Winchcombe seems to have lots of walks.

Have fun planning!
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 10:33 PM
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Every shop in the area has a range of books with titles like "a dozen walks round here." There are 31 pages of such books at Amazon (google Cotswolds walks Amazon) , but there are also a lot of locally-produced ones, often aimed at tight niches.

Practically all walks are 5-12 miles and circular: the idea of a walk in our countryside that's ever more than 30 mins from the nearest pub is practically a logical impossibility. Anything below 5 miles is called "a short stroll" here. "Hikes" are things eccentrics do in walker-unfriendly countries.

Web listings are now expanding beyond anyone's control, and I'm intrigued how you managed to find so many one-way walks: till now, I'd never heard of any.

A significant current fad is for microtown websites to feature a range of such walks, with interactive maps or downloadable pdfs. An example is

There's a catalogue (inevitably incomplete) of these sites at

Click, under "England", on South east/Oxfordshire/West Oxfordshire and South West/Gloucestershire/Cotswold (the Cotswolds straddle two administrative districts: the conventional division of England into regions puts these two districts into different regions). A short selection is also at

By common assent the finest short circular country walk on earth is Swinbrook-Widford-Burford-Fulbrook-Swinbrook, one routing for which is at

Though those instructions start at Burford, parking there can often be tricky. It's easier to park at Swinbrook (by the church, not the pub, where parking can be tough at weekends), Asthall or Fulbrook. Pubs within 5 mins of the footpath at Swinbrook, Asthall, Fulbrook and throughout Burford.

This walk typifies the inadequacy of short web-based route descriptions. For example: You MUST visit the churches at Swinbrook (Mitford connections and fabulous tombs), Widford (medieval wall paintings and now concealed Roman tessellated flooring. A Roman villa morphed into a church) and Burford (just wow. Includes - on the memorial to Henry VIII's barber - the earliest depiction of Americans in the English-speaking world)

The valley northbound from Widford church ("4" on the map) is my own favourite few hundred yards of the Cotswolds, and well worth a 15 min diversion.

All these walks repay a few minutes googling for further detail, and most hard-copy versions of them give a depth of background the web-based routings rarely have space for.

Alternatively: buy Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps 180 and 191, and create your own walks by following the footpaths.
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Old Nov 14th, 2015, 05:12 AM
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Flanner, not my post but I would just like to say thank you for this generous reply. Walking in England is moving up my travel list so have been browsing these type of posts. It is easy to read and search the internet but the value of having this type of access to someone with local knowledge for guidance is priceless.

Again thank you for your generosity.
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Old Nov 14th, 2015, 05:52 AM
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Thank you, flanneruk. The Swinbrook walk sounds lovely. I hope to walk that next year.
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Old Nov 14th, 2015, 05:33 PM
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Thanks so much for everyone's advice - it's very helpful.
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Old Nov 15th, 2015, 06:55 AM
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If you come a bit further south there are many, many footpaths and some wonderful walks. Here is a list of walks in the South Cotswolds which you can download and print off...

I live in Painswick, known as the 'Queen of the Cotswolds', and while the Cotswold Way passes through the village, it is at the centre of a veritable maze of public footpaths through beautiful countryside. There are many circular walks, from 3km to 10km - in fact you can make a walk as long as you wish. An OS map is essential for this - I use No 179.

This is one of my favourites; though I start from Painswick itself and walk it in either direction, often with variations, branching off onto other footpaths.The walk along the Painswick stream valley with the old mills is gorgeous.

And finally...
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