- Name Cotswold Way
- Distance de sentier 161 km, 100 milles
- Durée en jours 7 jours
- Début de sentier Bath
- Fin de sentier Chipping Campden
- Classement Traildino EW, Marche facile, sentier de la nature
100 miles, 161 km, 7 days, Bath - Chipping Campden
The Cotswold in the southwest of the United Kingdom is a large area of outstanding beauty. The Cotswold Way is a walk that follows the limestone escarpment along the Severn estuary. This escarpment is the most prominent feature of the Cotswolds: from the east the landmass slowly rises, and here, in the Cotswolds, the gently rolling landscape dramatically breaks down to the Severn valley. Great vistas unfold, not unlinke a coastal walk. On a clear day, one will be able to see the Black Mountains in Wales.
The stone age people built their long graves, the iron age people created large and exposed hill forts, and in our times the rich merchants from Bristol built their country houses. All is still there to be enjoyed.
The hills are not high, but very varied. Sometimes the high combs consist of barren common lands dotted with sheep, often of old beech forests carpeted with wild garlic and bluebells. In the narrow valleys, small villages are hidden. The traditional building style is well preserved, and the cream coloured Cotswold stone merges perfectly into the landscape of hedges, large solitary trees and small fields. We should not forget to mention the centuries old drystone walls, a craft that is being revived nowadays.
Some practicalities. People usually walk north-south "because that's downhill" (Chipping Campden lies at 150 m, and Bath, in the south, at 50 m). Well, no one prevents you from walking the other way round, of course. A typical day involves some walking up and down, but on the whole the walk is very easy and very well waymarked, more so since 2007 when the trail became a National Trail and got a total makeover. It's the ideal B&B walk, since lodging is available in most villages and many solitary houses in between. Enough pubs are still open to find a meal every day. Camping is more difficult, since few official campsites exist.
On the downside it should be mentioned that the nearby cities of Bristol, Gloucester, Bath and Cheltenham put some pressure on the area (golf courses), and one often has to cross busy roads.
On the whole, this way is the perfect week's walk through a truly English countryside.