Costwold Way

This is the Costwold Way Page. It features an interactive map that is intended to help anyone planning a hike along the trail to plan the each days walking. To this end the path is clearly marked with alternating red and orange sections. Each section is 2 miles long except the first section from Chipping Campden, which is 2.38 miles.

Planning a walk on the Costwold Way

The Costwold Way starts in Chipping Campden and heads Southwest though the Cotswoldst to finish in Bath. This is just the defined direction though and it is perfectly fine to walk Northwards from Bath to Chipping Campden.

Bath is easily accessible by rail, but Chipping Campden is not on the rail network. The easiest way to get to Chipping Campden is to get the train to Moreton-in-Marsh and get a bus to Chipping Campden.

Standard Sections

The trail is typically divided into the following sections, many of which represent much less than a day, so the individual walker can tailor their daily plan according to their taste, with this in mind the map below indicates the trail in two mile sections (alternating red and orange lines, though the last section into Bath is 3.3 miles). This allows you to quickly choose a day's walking by counting sections up to the distance you feel comfortable with. This will depend on the type of terrain, so the terrain associated with each of the standard sections is described.

Chipping Campden to Broadway

This section covers a distance of 6 miles. From Chipping Campden (144m) the trail climbs through lanes/paths to the escarpment at Dover's Hill (223m). From here it climbs at a shallow but steady pace, through fields and tracks (and a bit of road here and there) for a bit over 3 miles to Broadway Tower (308m) when it then descends through fields to Broadway (91m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 193m. Cumulative climb heading North: 244m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 20 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 25 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 1 of the Cotswold Way

Broadway to Wood Stanway

This section covers a distance of 6.5 miles. From Broadway the trail climbs for about a mile to the escarpment at Burhil (173m) where it continues fairly flat for a short time before climbing again for 1.5 miles to Shenberrow Hill (278m) where it descends sharply over 1.25miles to Stanton (109m). About 2 fairly flat miles of mainly feild walking follows to Wood Stanway (124m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 290m. Cumulative climb heading North: 260m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 40 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 35 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 2 of the Cotswold Way

Wood Stanway to Winchcombe

This section covers a distance of 5.5 miles. Starting from Wood Stanway the trail climbs for a little over 1.5 miles to the Iron Age hill fort of Beckbury Camp (279m) followed by a two mile downhill treck, past Hailes Abbey (100m) and on through with another 2 flatish miles into Winchcombe (96m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 207m. Cumulative climb heading North: 237m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 11 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 14 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 3 of the Cotswold Way

Winchcombe to Cleeve Hill

This section covers a distance of 5.5 miles. The two mile climb from Winchcombe is initially shallow, but increasingly steep, though field paths to Belas Knap (297m) Neolithic Barrow. From here the trail is initially quite level until Breakheart Plantation where it frops sraply, bottoming out at 155m just before Postlip Hall. The trail then climbs for 2 miles through fields and common to Cleeve Hill (330m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 371m. Cumulative climb heading North: 175m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 20 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 10 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 4 of the Cotswold Way

Cleeve Hill to Dowdeswell

This section covers a distance of 5.5 miles. This section spends a good 3.5 miles on top of the escarpment, dipping slightly just before Bill Smylie’s butterfly reserve (248m), moving from common to laneways. The trail then drops Dowdeswell (120m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 143m. Cumulative climb heading North: 315m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 5 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 20 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 5 of the Cotswold Way

Dowdeswell to Leckhampton Hill

This section covers a distance of 4.75 miles. The trail clombs from Dowdeswell through Lineover Wood, peaking at 245m, before dropping slightly to 200m. It then climbs again through woods and fields to Wistley Hill (path peaks at 288m) and drops gradually to the roundabout at Seven Springs (215m) before climbing again up Leckhampton Hill Path peaks at 284m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 310m. Cumulative climb heading North: 160m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 5 mins walking time heading South, and 1 hours 50 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 6 of the Cotswold Way

Leckhampton Hill to Birdlip

This section covers a distance of 5.5 miles. Continuing around Leckhampton Hill the trail takes to lanes and tracks, dropping to Ullenwood (224m)where it swings west through woods and climbs to 260m, swings south again and drops before climbing Crickley Hill (273m) and then drops quickly to emerge from the woods at the roundabout by the Air Baloon Pub (240m). Just over half a mile climbing brings the trail to Birdlip Hill (trail peaks at 276m) and then continues fairly flat through woods to Birdlip (262m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 170m. Cumulative climb heading North: 177m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 10 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 10 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 7 of the Cotswold Way

Birdlip to Painswick

This section covers a distance of 8.5 miles. From Birdlip the trail continues through Beech forest for 3 miles to Cooper's Hill (trail peaks at 260m). It then continues through Buckholt Wood and out onto Painswick Beacon (trail peaks at 260m) before descending for about 2 miles into Painswick (144m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 309m. Cumulative climb heading North: 427m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours 20 mins walking time heading South, and 3 hours 30 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 8 of the Cotswold Way

Painswick to King’s Stanley

This section covers a distance of 7.75 miles. The first 1.5 miles sees the trail initially dip from Painswick to cross Wash Brook and then climbs to Edge Common and Mailtlands Wood (237m). This return to the escarpment is maintained as the trail virtually circumnavigates Haresfield Beacon for 3.5 miles. It then descends gently through Standish and Randwick woods for a mile and then sharly drops though fields to the outskirts of Stonehouse, across the train tracks and on roads to Kings Stanley (44m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 360m. Cumulative climb heading North: 460m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours 10 mins walking time heading South, and 3 hours 20 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 9 of the Cotswold Way

King’s Stanley to Dursley

This section covers a distance of 7.25 miles. The first mile involves a shallow climb through fields from Kings Stanley to Middleyard, followed by a steep climb into Penn Woods (160m) 1.5 miles gentle climb through woodland turns into Buckholt wood and then emerges onto Coaley Peak (230m). Back into the trees at Coaley Woods for 1.5 miles and then drops sharply into a valley (128m) and climbs sharply up Cam Long Down (200m). The trail then drops gently through farmland to Dursley (78m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 410m. Cumulative climb heading North: 380m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours 45 mins walking time heading South, and 3 hours 40 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 10 of the Cotswold Way

Dursley to Wotton-Under-Edge

This section covers a distance of 5 (7.25 alternative) miles. The trail climbs sharply from Dursley to Stinchcombe Hill (190m). Here the map on this page indicates a route across the golf course but the walker can instead take the route around the golf course, which has better views and adds about 2.25 miles. Re-entering the woods the trail drops, emerging again onto farm land and passing through North Nibley (65m) and climbing again to the Tynedale Monument (190m). The route soon plunges into woods again for 1.5 miles, emerging at Wotton Hill (180m) to drop to Wotton-under-Edge (80m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 300m. Cumulative climb heading North: 300m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 10 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 10 minutes heading North. Add 45 minutes to both for the route around the golf course.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 11 of the Cotswold Way

Wotton-Under-Edge to Hawkesbury Upton

This section covers a distance of 7.5 miles. The first 0.5 miles to the outskirts of Wotton-under_Edge is flat, followed by a sharp climb up the escarpment over 0.75 miles bringing the walker to 221m. It drops gradually through field and wood for 0.75 miles and then drops steeply to pass close to Wortley (61m). This is followed by a short climb to Alderly (103m) and flat going over fields and lanes for close to 2 miles. It then climbs for 1.5 miles to the Somerset Monument (200m) and on to Hawkesbury Upton (190m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 385m. Cumulative climb heading North: 287m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours 10 mins walking time heading South, and 3 hours heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 12 of the Cotswold Way

Hawkesbury Upton to Tormarton

This section covers a distance of 7.75 miles. The trails maintains height (bar a couple of ups-and-downs) over 3 miles to the outskirts of Horton (trail peak at 195m), where it descends sharply to Little Sodbury (130m) and climbs again to an Iron Age hill fort (190m). From here the trail descends again to Old Sodbury (115m) and then undulates generally upwards to Tormarton (164m).

Cumulative climb heading South: 241m. Cumulative climb heading North: 266m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours walking time heading South, and 3 hours heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 13 of the Cotswold Way

Tormarton to Cold Ashton

This section covers a distance of 6.5 miles. Out of Tormarton the trail climbs gradually for 2 miles, peaking at 200m, It then continues quite level to the outskirts of Dyrham Park, when it drops down to Dyrham (125m). A short flatish section is followed by a steep climb trhough woodland, peaking at 205m, and a 1.5 mile stroll to Cold Ashton (213m)

Cumulative climb heading South: 210m. Cumulative climb heading North: 170m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 2 hours 30 mins walking time heading South, and 2 hours 25 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 14 of the Cotswold Way

Cold Ashton to Bath

This section covers a distance of 10.25 miles. From Cold Ashton the trail drops through fields for 1.5 miles, to a laneway (101m) and then climbs to the site of the civil war battle of Lansdown (230m). For 2.5 miles the route meanders through fields to skirt around the west end of Bath race course, where it descends to Weston where the ramining route is mainly urban interspersed with parkland as far as Bath Abbey.

Cumulative climb heading South: 316m. Cumulative climb heading North: 497m.

Naismith's rule estimates this at 3 hours 55 mins walking time heading South, and 4 hours 15 minutes heading North.

A Google Earth virtual tour for Section 15 of the Cotswold Way

Accomodation

Having decided how far you want to walk on a given day (taking into account the terrain descriptions given above) the next thing to do is arrange accomodation. Except where the trail passed through or close by villages and towns it is inevitable that you will have to deviate a fair bit from the trail to find a bed for the night. The best bet is to choose somewhere near your stopping point for the day, check for a suitable B&B in or around the village and when booking ask about transport options to and from the trail.

Bags

While the trail is not too hard going it is far more pleasant to leave the heavy lifting to someone else, and a couple of services exist to help in this regard. The going rate seems to be £5 per bag per day. All you need do is provide them with your accomodation itinerary and they will see to it that your bags get picked up in the morning and are waiting for you when you stumble tired into your night's accomodation. Link is provided below.

Test

Useful Links:

It is also hoped to eventually provide a gallery of photos to help give an impression of the scenery on various stages of the walk.