We’re the newest members of the Cotswold Way Association!
The Cotswold Way Association (CWA) is a volunteer-run charity. It works to maintain, repair and protect the famous Cotswold Way national footpath. When the CWA asked us if we’d like to become members, it was a total no brainer. We’re in! And here’s why. But first…
What is the Cotswold Way?
The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile-long public walking trail. It’s one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales. For hikers, it’s a bucket list item to complete it all in one trek!
The trail starts in the Gloucestershire town of Chipping Campden in the north of the Cotswolds. It stretches all the way down to the city of Bath, in Somerset, at the southern edge of the Cotswolds. Along the way, it passes through beautiful villages and quintessentially English countryside. There are some amazing views and wildlife to be enjoyed, too.
You can walk (or even run!) the entire Cotswold Way in one go, but you certainly don’t have to! You can tackle one stage at a time, or even enjoy some shorter circular walks which follow part of the trail.
The Cotswold Way Association
The Cotswold Way Association (CWA) was created in 2016. It is a charity, run by volunteers from the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and the Ramblers. The CWA’s aim is to ensure that the best loved trails in the Cotswolds do not fall into disrepair.
Projects the CWA undertakes are very practical. They do things like:
- installing information boards and waymarkers
- creating steps on steep slopes
- restoring areas of erosion
- replacing stiles with gates to improve accessibility.
The map below shows some recent projects.
The CWA works closely alongside the Cotswolds National Landscape, the conservation board that manages the entire protected region of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Go Cotswolds and our customers already support the Cotswolds National Landscape by taking part in the Caring for the Cotswolds visitor giving scheme.
So why did Go Cotswolds join the Cotswold Way Association?
Tourism is invaluable to many people in and around the Cotswolds. It provides jobs for locals, allows high streets to continue thriving, and puts money into the local economy. However, we also know that tourism can have detrimental effects on this fragile landscape and its communities.
As a responsible, ethically minded small family tourism business, we don’t want to be part of this problem.
We already support the Cotswolds National Landscape through Caring for the Cotswolds. Now, by becoming paying members of the Cotswold Way Association as well, we are doing our little bit to support a wonderful army of volunteers. These volunteers carry out essential repair and maintenance work on the Cotswold Way and other treasured public footpaths in the region.
Go Cotswolds and the Cotswold Way
Our small group tours of the Cotswolds give you options to experience short sections of the Cotswold Way. No hiking experience or specialist equipment required!
Our Cotswolds in a Day tour is suitable for people of all abilities*. On this tour, we start the day at Dover’s Hill. Dover’s Hill is near the very start of the Cotswold Way (or the end, depending on which way you look at it!).
It’s the perfect place to admire rolling English countryside views. It’s also a great place to learn from your guide as they introduce you to the Cotswolds and some of our quirky traditions!
Next, we descend the hill into the small market town of Chipping Campden. Here you will find the official ‘start’ marker for the trail, inlaid into the ground in front of the 16th century market hall. There’s a matching one at the other end of the trail, in front of Bath Abbey.
There are 4 more stops on our Cotswolds in a Day tour. Read about it here.
May to September, you can also try our Cotswolds Walks & Villages tour. We developed this tour as an entry-level introduction to walking in the Cotswolds. It’s perfect for people with a moderate level of fitness and mobility, but who may feel intimidated by long hikes or navigation. There are easier options available, and you won’t need hiking boots or poles – just a comfy pair of shoes and your camera!
On this tour, you’ll walk a short section of the Cotswold Way (1 mile/1.6km) to the iconic Broadway Tower.
After some free time here to explore, then you can then walk back the way you came (1 mile/1.6km) and drive with your guide to the village of Broadway. Alternatively, you can continue downhill along the Cotswold Way (a further 1.5 miles/2.4km), so you arrive in Broadway on foot.
Later in the afternoon, your guide will lead you on a beautifully scenic and historic walk (2.75 miles/4.5km; shorter option available). The route passes through glorious countryside and quiet villages in the Cotswolds’ Windrush Valley, so you will get truly off the beaten path and see a different side to the Cotswolds. (Note: you can also skip this walk if you prefer, and spend more time in the town of Burford instead.)
Ready to explore a little bit of the Cotswold Way on a tour with us? Click here!
By the way, if you are interested in hiking the Cotswold Way as a multi-day hike, check out our friends at Cotswold Walks – they’re the local experts!