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Cotswold Way National Trail


Just over 100 miles of Cotswolds countryside

Follow the Cotswolds escarpment with its stunning views and charming villages from the beautiful Cotswold market town of Chipping Campden in the north to the World Heritage City of Bath in the south.

The Cotswold Way is a long distance walking trail that runs between the market town of Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south.

The trail is 102 miles (164 km) long, and runs for most of its length on the Cotswold escarpment. It passes through many picturesque villages and close to a significant number of historic sites, for example the Roman heritage at Bath, the Neolithic burial chamber at Belas Knap, Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe, Hailes Abbey and many beautiful churches and historic houses.

The Cotswold Way has existed as a promoted long distance walk for over 50 years. Following many years of lobbying by the Ramblers Association and others, its special qualities have been recognised and in 1998 the government approved its development as a National Trail. The Cotswold Way was formally launched as a National Trail in May 2007. This designation is a very special one and there are only a few other trails in England with this special grading.

Further information about the Cotswold Way, including diversions, accommodation and visitor attractions along the route can be found on the National Trail website.

Monthly Guided Walks

These walks are organised by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens enabling people to come together in groups to complete some of the longer trails across the Cotswolds National Landscape, there are two options for the Cotswold Way.  Each walk is led by two Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who are familiar with the route and provide information on aspects of interest.  As with all Cotswold Warden Walks, no dogs are allowed.  A charge is made to cover the cost of transport. In addition, walkers are invited to make a voluntary donation to the Countryside Fund which helps us to continue to provide our guided and self guided walks, as well as helping maintain the trails around the Cotswolds.

Circular and Linear walks along the Cotswold Way

We have developed a number of walks that incorporate sections of the Cotswold Way, these are free to view and download from the National Trail website.

Celebrate your achievement

Share your experience and success

The Cotswold Way Hall of Fame is a scheme to recognize the achievements of walkers that complete the National Trail and to encourage others to consider undertaking one of the nation’s finest walks.  Here you can share your experience and if you wish purchase an official enamel pin badge or patch as a memento.

We are responsible for the management of the trail and *we work in partnership with the Cotswold Way Association to look after it. If you would simply like to donate towards the upkeep of the trail, please do so via the Cotswold Way Association website.

The Cotswold Way Companion: an insider guide

Available in both eBook and paperback formats this guide will help you to get the most out of walking the Cotswold Way. It’s special for two reasons: it focuses on the Cotswold Way’s natural environment and its archaeology and history; and it’s the work of people with great knowledge and experience of the trail: members of the Cotswold Way Association (CWA), the charity set up in 2016 to promote its conservation and protection, and Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who patrol the trail and lead walks on it.

Proceeds from the Cotswold Companion, which is available as an eBook and paperback, will go towards the trail’s upkeep and improvement. Buy both and you will get one year’s membership of the Cotswold Way Association to help keep making a difference.

Browse through this PREVIEW to find out about the book’s contents, along with the types of improvement projects the book’s proceeds will be spent on.

To purchase visit the Cotswold Way Association online shop.

Audio Guides – a series of Audio Guides based on The Companion’s ten stage chapters are also being produced.

Each guide is just under 4,000 words in total and, like the book’s chapters, broken down into bite-sized sections taking just a few minutes to listen to. To confirm the excellent sound quality, to hear the final section of the Stage 10 guide on Chipping Campden listen here.  For more information visit the Cotswold Way Association website.

Organise your own Events on the Cotswold Way

We encourage events on the Cotswold Way that are well-organised, well-received by all and do not have unsustainable impacts on the Cotswold Way. All events must have appropriate Public Liability Insurance and risk management. To help you make your event the best it can be, we provide a guidance document and pass on feedback we receive about your event. Event organisers can seek permission to use the National Trails logo(s) where their event demonstrates good practice and an appropriate donation is made.

View the Cotswold Way National Trail on Google Street View

National Trail Annual Report

This report provides an overview of what has been achieved by the English National Trails in the  financial year based on information supplied to Natural England by individual trails as part of their annual reporting.

15 walkers infront of the west door of Bath Abbey, kneeling infront of the circular engraved Cotswold Way marker on the pavement area.

Volunteers and members of the Cotswolds National Landscape team preparing to set off on their 2021 Cotswold Way celebratory relay walk, starting from the marker stone outside the west door of Bath Abbey. ©Russell Sach – 0771 882 6138