The Great Cotswolds Outdoors
Enjoy yourself in the great Cotswold outdoors by exploring on foot or by bike. With over 5000km of footpaths and rights of way, the Cotswolds offers great walking country. Serious hikers will enjoy the challenge of the Cotswold Way or Thames Path. For recreational walking, most towns and villages have shorter circular routes.
A few of the small, market towns hold annual walking festivals in the Cotswolds including Dursley and Winchcombe. Cotswold Voluntary Wardens organise hundreds of interesting walks throughout the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that are free of charge.
Base yourself in a town or village and enjoy a weekend with walks. Find out about our recommendations here.
Cycling is very popular in the Cotswolds with routes ranging from flat towpaths to gentle slopes and sharper escarpments. These differences in terrain give every level of cyclist a chance to enjoy an extensive network of routes, including quiet lanes and Sustrans Route 45.
One of the Cotswolds greatest secrets is how good the area is for off-road cycling. The network of tracks designated as byways and bridleways makes off-road cycling one of the best ways to discover the area.
The Cotswolds & Severn Vale 7-day Cycling Route is a circular touring map of the south Cotswolds and is broken down into seven 30-mile circular or linear routes, featuring ideas for where to stop, eat and stay. The waterproof 7-day cycling route map is available to purchase from Tourist Information Centres in Gloucestershire, or you can download the individual linear or circular routes by clicking here.
The Cotswolds has many cycling sporting events, charity rides and triathlons. The off-road Hell of the North and Heaven of the South events have built great reputations. If you feel put off by the idea of hills, there are plenty of flatter routes along rivers and canal towpaths.
Some of Britain’s top eventers live in the Cotswolds and unsurprisingly it’s a great place to ride. Numerous riding centres cater for both the experienced and novice rider and there are long distance routes and trails to follow such as the Sabrina Way. Buy a copy of The Cotswolds on Horseback or find out more about riding in the Cotswolds by contacting the British Horse Society.
At the end of a day’s walking, cycling or riding, kick off your boots and relax with a pint in the pub, a glass of English sparkling or just sink into a bath full of bubbles back at your B&B, cottage or hotel.