A six or seven night circular tour of the Cotswolds.
Leave any day you like, subject to accommodation availability. The South Cotswold Ring is a village-to-village walking tour offers a route through some of the least visited parts of the Cotswolds, following a circular route of just over 70 miles/112 kilometers.
7 nights mixture of hotels and inns
Upgraded luxury accommodation available on request – ie Lords of the Manor Upper Slaugther, Painswick Hotel
Single supplement depends on accommodation chosen – please ask.
Included: 7 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, luggage transportation, route notes and OS maps, back-up service.
Not Included: Lunches, dinners, drinks, insurance, anything not mentioned in programme.
Departure Dates: Any day April-October subject to accommodation availability
Day 1: Overnight in Regency Cheltenham.
Day 2: Cheltenham to Winchcombe – (11 kms/7 miles). Over Cleeve Hill to pass the Neolithic tomb at Belas Knap and so down to Winchcombe, home to Sudeley Castle. Overnight Winchcombe.
Day 3: Winchcombe to Bourton-on-the-Water (21 kms/13 miles). Cross the old Salt Way to descend to the beautiful villages of Guiting Power (church with gorgeous golden Norman doorway) and Naunton, with its ancient dovecote overlooking the River Windrush , which you then follow into Bourton-on-the-Water. Overnight Bourton.
Day 4: Bourton-on-the-Water to Northleach – (17 kms/11 miles). The route weaves around Bourton lakes, then crosses the hills to Sherborne. Stroll through landscaped Sherborne Park and continue to the tranquil and historic village of Northleach, with its glorious wool church, mechanical music museum and air of timelessness. Overnight Northleach.
Day 5: Northleach to Cirencester – (22 kms/14 miles). Head for Chedworth with its welcoming pub (and nearby Roman villa, one of the best preserved in the country), before continuing to Cirencester, after London the second town of Roman Britain, with its excellent Corinium Museum and its majestic market square overlooked by the huge and recently restored parish chruch.
Day 6: Cirencester to Painswick – (21km /13.5 miles). A stroll through the 18th century landscape of Cirencester Park brings you to Sapperton, once a centre for William Morris’s Arts & Crafts Movement. Follow the old Thames & Severn Canal, and then walk through perfect rural England to Painswick, ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’, noted for its fascinating churchyard and the Rococo Garden.
Day 7: Painswick to Cheltenham – (20kms/13 miles). Walk through the countryside immortalised in Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’ to Sheepscombe (which features in the book), which straddles an enchanting valley. The Cotswold Way takes you along the Cotswold Edge, with panoramic views towards Gloucester, the Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains in Wales. Overnight Cheltenham.
Day 8: Departure after breakfast.
Option to include Burford:
It is possible to add an additional day’s walking to include the walk from Bourton-on-the-Water to Burford – 9.5 mi/15 kms. A comfortable walk from Bourton takes you around a series of lakes, the home of flocks of water birds, and passes through Taynton, whose quarries produced the finest Cotswold stone used in the construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and many Oxford colleges. Please ask if you wish to do this.
Malmaison – Cheltenham
White Hart Inn Winchcombe
Chester House or similar Bourton on the Water or upgrade Dial House, Lords of the Manor
Wheatsheaf Inn Bourton on the Water
Fleece Hotel Cirencester
Falcon Inn Painswick or upgrade Painswick Hotel
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit
Mid-April to mid-September. Accommodation will be difficult to obtain on UK national holidays unless booked well in advance (and may require an alteration to the programme).
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.