Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
An idyllic walk in southern England through the Cotswolds to the Roman city of Bath
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 70610
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
The Cotswold Way is not about windswept peaks and bleak moorland. It is about beautiful rolling countryside with beech woods giving way to open grassy fields with views sweeping down from the high escarpment to the Severn valley. Villages are as picturesque as they come, with warm honey coloured stone terraces and some of the finest church architecture to be found. The fields of sheep give an idea of where the prosperity came from, to build the many manor houses, churches and villages.
Each day offers lovely walking but also has cultural highlights such as a Neolithic burial chamber, an iron age fort, the last home of Henry VIII 6th wife and the site of a famous cheese rolling competition. It would be hard to imagine a better walk to capture the spirit and self-image of a nation, than the Cotswold Way, as it reveals to us, unique perspectives of the English culture, landscape and history.
We walk from north to south starting from the quintessentially English market town of Chipping Campden and finishing in the Roman city of Bath. The 102 mile long distance footpath had it's 50th anniversary in 2020.
From our hotel in Cheltenham, we have private transport to the trailhead each morning and return to the hotel each night. This has the advantage that there is no packing or unpacking each day just return to your room for a shower and then perhaps a drink before dinner. As such, some days travel may be long in duration however by being settled in one hotel is a greater benefit.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent travel to the Jurys Inn Cheltenham. Check in is from 4pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the hotel for a briefing before dinner. Dinner each evening is in the hotel restaurant.
From Chipping Campden, with its picturesque medieval Cotswold stone High Street, we climb to Dover Hill and its spectacular views over the Vale of Evesham. From Broadway Tower we descend into Broadway, known as ‘The Jewel of the Cotswolds’. We end the walk in Stanton, one of the most beautiful of Cotswold villages.
Today we walk mainly on easy terrain through peaceful countryside to Cleeve Common. We pass Hailes Abbey - the dissolution of which Thomas Cromwell is said to have watched; through Winchcombe, past the magnificent Sudeley Castle - home to Katherine Parr after the death of Henry 8th; and Belas Knap, a spectacular Neolithic burial chamber.
We walk across Cleeve Hill, the highest point of the Cotswolds and then descend to Dowdeswell, before climbing again to walk along the escarpment looking down onto Cheltenham, with views across the Vale of Evesham, where we will pass the Devils Chimney. We continue through a mixture of meadows and woodland to end the day at Crickley Hill Country Park, a fascinating archaeological site, with a panoramic view towards Gloucester and the Severn valley.
We enjoy a series of stunning vistas from different viewpoints along the Cotswold escarpment. We visit Witcombe Roman Villa and later pass the cheese-rolling slopes of Cooper’s Hill. Then onto Painswick Beacon - another panoramic viewpoint, before descending into Painswick itself, with its narrow streets of yellow-stoned cottages leading to the Church with unusual topiary surrounding it, at the centre of Painswick, another Cotswold gem.
Open meadows, woodland shade and a whole series of magnificent views make today’s stage of the walk particularly memorable. Haresfield Beacon, an ancient hill fort, is a real highlight, providing a broad panorama overlooking the Vale of Gloucester, the River Severn, and the Forest of Dean. We walk through Stroud, across the Canal, before ascending to Coaley Peak.
Today we enjoy dramatic views from more hill top forts, and see more interesting archaeological sites. We pass through Dursley, once one of the principal Cotswold wool towns. A final ascent through Beech Woods brings us to the Tyndale Monument, with magnificent views of the Severn valley and bride. We then descend into Wotton-Under-Edge, another delightful former wool town.
We walk through peaceful, low-lying meadows and lost farmland. The valleys here with their streams and mills reflect the region’s former dependence on the wool and cloth trades. This delightful walk ends at the hamlet of Little Sodbury where William Tyndale is said to have begun his translation of the bible.
Today we start the walk by passing through Little Sodbury Fort both an iron age fort and a Roman Army camp. The walk then takes us through the glorious parkland surrounding Dodington Park, designed by Capability Brown and later, the deer park that surrounds Dyrham House. We finish in Cold Ashton, perched on the southern edge of the Cotswold plateau, with superb views over land where medieval farmers used to grow vines.
Today there are yet more broad panoramas, hills and low-lying valleys. We pass through the civil war battlefield of Landsdowne Hill, just before we have our first panoramic view of Bath at the beginning of the last, long descent to our final destination. The final walk through the city of Bath ensures we see some of the best examples of its elegant 18th Century and Regency architecture. The end of the walk is marked by a plaque just in front of Bath Abbey, a suitable conclusion to a memorable journey.
Departure from the hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 12pm. We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Departure dates for your selected tour
14th May 2022 - 24th May 2022 (10 Nights)
13th Aug 2022 - 23rd Aug 2022 (10 Nights)
17th Sep 2022 - 27th Sep 2022 (10 Nights)
Private coach transport to and from the trailheads each walk day is included.
The shortest journey to/from the trailheads is 15 minutes, whilst the longest could be as long as 1 hour 15 minutes from Bath back to the hotel.
Nearest mainland railway stations:
Cheltenham Spa station (1.4 miles)
Car parking is available at the hotel and charged at £6 per day.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
*New hotel for 2022 departures*
The Jurys Inn Cheltenham is a contemporary and comfortable hotel, located on the edge of Cheltenham. The hotel has 122 guest bedrooms and your standard rooms include Wi-Fi-, Freeview TV, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities.
If time allows, you have access to the hotel's leisure facilities which include indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym, steam room and sauna.
Breakfast and evening meals are taken in the hotel's Burford Room Restaurant.
Cheltenham Spa train station is located just 5 minutes drive from the hotel, making it convenient if arriving by public transport. Alternatively, if you are driving to the hotel, there are plenty of car parking spaces (charged by the hotel at £6 per day).
Check in is from 4pm and check out is by 12 noon.
This is a Grade 6 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in some remote areas. Paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
The Cotswold Way National Trail is a 102 mile walking trail which we offer walking south from Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath. It is a popular trail and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020.
Following the west edge of the Cotswold hills, the route passes Neolithic burial barrows, stately homes and historic battle sites.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To reach the hotel…
by car: from the M5, take exit 11 for A40. At the roundabout take the third exit for the A40 to Cheltenham. Follow the A40 to Jurys Inn Cheltenham which will be on your left. Sat Nav drivers can use postcode: GL51 0TS. Please note that whilst the hotel has a large car park, the will charge you approximately £6 per day to park.
by train or coach: The nearest train/coach station is at Cheltenham Spa, a 5 minute drive away or 10 minutes by bus. To get between your station and the hotel, use a bus or taxi as described. From Cheltenham Spa walk 6 minutes to Shell Garage and take the 94U bus towards Gloucester and stop at Arle Court. From here is a 1 minute walk to Jurys Inn Cheltenham Hotel.
by bus: The hotel is served by the number 94 bus which goes from Cheltenham to just opposite the hotel. Just ask inform the driver where you want to go and they can advise when you should disembark. For details of the timetables, please visit www.stagecoachbus.co.uk
Taxis from the centre of Cheltenham to the hotel cost about £8. Taxis are readily available, however we recommend that you obtain a quote before you book.
The closest airport is Bristol Airport which is 48 miles away.
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel;
Route planning to and from the hotel at Cheltenham:
The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at:
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost and will be taken at the hotel. Lunches are not included.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Our intended route is covered by the following maps and guidebooks:
Ordnance Survey Explorer series (1:25,000):
Explorer OL45 The Cotswolds
Explorer OL155 Bristol & Bath
Explorer OL 167 Thornbury, Dursley & Yate
Explorer OL168 Stroud, Tetbury & Malmesbury
Explorer OL179 Gloucester, Cheltenham & Stroud
You might also like to read:
Cicerone, Walking the Cotswold Way guide book or the Trailblazer guide to walking the Cotswold Way.
More information can also be found at https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/trails/cotswold-way/
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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