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Bourton on the Water

By following one of our Cotswolds circular walks, you can look forward to experiencing the region’s diverse beauty, from the honey-coloured cottages to the picturesque valleys; a walk in the Cotswolds truly has it all.

After exploring one of the magnitude of circular walks in the Cotswolds, you will be left wanting to discover more! Each corner of the Cotswolds comes with varied landscape for you to explore, ranging from strolls amidst quintessentially English villages to hikes up the rolling hills, promising to reveal breath-taking scenery.

Read on to discover 6 of the best Cotswolds circular walks…


1. Launie Lee Wildlife Way

Slad Valley

During this Cotswolds circular walk, you will follow in the footsteps of Laurie Lee, author of ‘Cider with Rosie’, as you explore the wanders of Slad valley.

Begin the walk in the village of Slad, where you will notice Rose Cottage, where Laurie Lee and his family once lived, a prominent landmark which the glorious valley plays backdrop to.

Highlights of this literary escape includes a stroll through the endearing Laurie Lee Wood and the climb up Swift’s Hill which reveals breath-taking views of limestone grassland.

Additionally, the 10 posts dotted along the route, displaying an appropriate poem which was inspired by the landscape around complete this magnificent walk in the Cotswolds.

Distance: 5.75 miles

Difficulty: Moderate


2. Windrush and Wardens Way

Windrush and Wardens Way

This circular walk in the Cotswold encompasses both the Windrush and Wardens Ways, winding its way through four picturesque Cotswolds villages along the way.

You will begin this walk in the Cotswolds from Bourton-on-the Water, which is often referred to as the Venice of the Cotswolds, before crossing over the Windrush Way which will take you over the hills.

Upon the hills on your the way to Naunton you will discover the remains of ‘lost’ medieval villages, in addition to picturesque views at the top.

On return, you will walk along the Windrush Way which follows the River Windrush, taking you through valleys and woodland settings.

Distance: 10 miles

Difficulty: Moderate


3. The Leckhampton Loop

Cotswolds Countryside

A beautiful sunset, with lens flare, in summer looking towards the Royal Forest of Dean from Painswick Beacon. This is a very popular viewing point in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, UK

Considered one of the best circular walks in the Cotswolds, The Leckhampton Loop promises a varied landscape, from lush grasslands to Iron Age remains, you are guaranteed a true taste of the Cotswolds landscape during this walk.

This circular Cotswolds walk starts at the Seven Springs pub before you continue along the Cotswolds Way and reach a meadow and through some enchanting trees.

From here, you will enter an Iron Age hillfort boasting breath-taking views or you can take a detour to Devil’s Chimney landmark. From here, leave the Cotswold Way and head down the slope to a wooded area.

Distance: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate


4. Cranham, Coopers and the Beechwoods Circular

Cooper's Hill Woods

Set amidst one of England’s most treasured habitats and taking you through a diverse landscape of woodlands is this easy, circular walk in the Cotswolds.

You begin this walk on the outskirts of Cranham, under the ancient beech tree before entering the first of the woodland settings of this circular walk.

Continue through the woodland where at the top of the hill you will begin to walk the famous Cotswolds Way. Follow the Cotswold Way until you reach the top of Cooper’s Hill, home to the annual cheese-rolling festival.

Leaving the path, take the route into Buckholt Wood and be captivated by the rich carpet of bluebells before you take the road track towards the Black Horse Inn in the pretty village of Cranham.

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy


5. The Diamond Way

Moreton-in-Marsh

The Diamond Way is our favourite long-distance circular walk in the beautiful landscape of the North Cotswolds due to its quiet footpaths exploring a magnitude of typical Cotswolds villages.

During this walk you will be immersed in many of the highlights that North Cotswolds has to offer, including the striking contrast between the sleepy valleys and the bustling market town of Chipping Campden.

This walk is ideal for more seasoned walkers or for those wishing to soak up the scenery of the open fields, steep valleys and the delights of honey-coloured cottages, which are famous in the Cotswolds.

This challenging, yet rewarding walk can be accomplished between four and seven days, and promises to capture the true charm and essence of the Cotswolds.

Distance: 66 miles

Difficulty: Hard


6. The Cleeve Hill

Cleeve Hill

Towering 1,083 feet above sea level and crowned the highest peak in the Cotswolds is Cleeve Hill which can be enjoyed during this Cotswold circular walk.

Start the walk from Cleeve Hill car park before following the Cotswolds Way past the 17th century Postlip Hall before enjoying the peaceful woodland setting, accompanied by the soundtrack of the flowing river.

This is the perfect spot to rest awhile before you continue along this Cotswolds circular walk and towards the edge of the escarpment, revealing some of the finest views in England.

On a clear day, be spoilt by the breath-taking views which stretch to the majestic Black Mountains of Wales.

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate


If you are seeking a place to stay whilst exploring theses Cotswolds circular walks, take a look at our places to stay, or if a walk with a pub is more up your street, perhaps one of our 7 perfect pub walks in the Cotswolds? If you have enjoyed the scenery of our Cotswolds circular walks, be sure to share your photos with us on with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

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