The Cotswold Way view

Best hikes in the world: The Cotswold Way

Author: Rosie Fuller

Continuing our weekly series of AT‘s favourite 100 hikes worldwide (first appearing in our 2012 special celebratory edition of Adventure Travel which marked our 100th issue), this week look at a particularly scenic route, the Cotswold Way…

The Cotswold Way will take you through scenery as typically English as it comes, passing through pretty Cotswold villages and market towns, as well as picturesque, rolling countryside.

“The Cotswold Way was the first long-distance path I did with my son Bryn – he was about seven,” says AT’s publisher Alun Davies about the 100-mile path from Chipping Campden to Bath.

A view from the Cotswold WayPhoto: Justin Clements

“It was an absolutely fantastic experience. Bryn wanted to be kitted out like Dad with the boots and a rucksack – which of course I had to carry for him after the first half a mile – but it was lovely spending so much time with him. I have a great memory of the pair of us sitting in the middle of a pea field eating peas in the charming Cotswolds scenery.”

One of the great things about the Cotswold Way is the diversity that exists along the trail. One minute you may be skirting hilltops with stunning panoramic views while the next you may be cutting through inviting woodland. The whole thing is about 100 miles in length, and you can easily split the trail into shorter sections if you wish. History buffs will be glad to hear that the trail also passes by some historic sites such as the Roamn hertiage at Bath and Hailes Abbey.

Most people who walk the trail in its entirety will take between seven and 10 days, though the quickest time was registered in 2012 when Darryl Carter ran it in a remarkable 20 hours and 36 minutes. While there is plenty of accommodation around the villages, campsites are limited along the trail so it is important to plan ahead.