Walks in the Cotswolds
Some of the most picturesque scenery in Britain can be found in the Cotswolds. Villages lined with distinctive cottages in golden Cotswold stone evoke a bygone age, as do their names: Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh. As the country’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is no shortage of attractions. The valleys and hills are gentle, making it great walking country.
North to south, the Cotswolds extend for around 100 miles from Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, to Bath, a few miles south east of Bristol. From east to west, it stretches from Oxfordshire to the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire. Chipping Campden and Bath also mark the extremes of the Cotswold Way, a National Trail. The route winds through largely gentle terrain (some areas, however, are steep), with sites offering evidence of Roman, Saxon and medieval occupation. It is possible to take in segments of the trail on many circular day walks.
Cotswold towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Cirencester thrived on the wool trade in the Middle Ages. In fact, Cirencester has an even bolder claim to fame: it was once the second largest city in Roman Britain.
Note that the Cotswolds spans several counties, including Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Warwickshire.