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#42317 - 01/10/06 01:50 AM Cotswold Way Guide Book
CDNWALKER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/10/05
Posts: 57
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I plan to do the Cotswold Way next spring. I will sort out the accomodation with Sherpavan, but want to study the trail in advance. Does anyone have suggestions for good guide books? Best maps? (Has anyone used the Harvey map?)

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#42318 - 01/10/06 07:28 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
Onslow2 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 128
I did the trail last June.

The Cicerone book is decent but not great. I also used the Harvey strip maps. But I would recommend taking a GPS along to help you place yourself on the map as the trail is not that well marked at places and there are lots of other footpaths that crisscross the trail. I probably added an additional 20 miles to my 7 day walk trying to get back on to the right trail. I never go without my GPS after that.

Saying that, the Cotswold Way is probably my least favorite walk. Other than the first bit from Chipping Campden to Cleeve Hill, which is scenic to say the least, the remainder consists of a bunch of rather steep forest trails.

It's fine to do it for the sake of accomplishment, but if I were to do it again, I would rather spend the week doing a walk furhter north (West Highland Way, Dales Way or Cleveland Way are three that come to mind).

One other thing, I was told that many of the B&B's do not take single night bookings, so you might want to start early on the bookings.


[This message has been edited by Onslow2 (edited 01 October 2006).]

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#42319 - 03/10/06 07:02 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
CDNWALKER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/10/05
Posts: 57
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Thanks for the input Onslow...I carry a GPS now too. I can get the Cicerone book here.

Is the path really so dull? Does it not pass through picturesque villages?

I have never spent time in the South of England (aside from London) and thought to do both the Cotswold and South Downs in tandem. (???)

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#42320 - 04/10/06 04:03 AM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 29/09/05
Posts: 135
Loc: Langley, BC, Canada
Hi CDNWalker,

I have only done the northern part of the Cotswold way (Winchcombe to Chipping Campden), but I quite liked it. I did that part of the Cotswold Way in combination with parts of the Warden's Way and Oxfordshire Way, so I felt like I saw a lot of what the Cotswolds had to offer.

Roughly my itinerary over several days was:

Charlbury to Bledington to Stow-on-the-Wold to Lower & Upper Slaughter to Naunton to Guiting Power to Winchcombe and then the Cotswold Way to Chipping Campden.

All the above were nice towns/villages, with my favorite place to stay being at a farm b&b named North Farmcote. Lower Slaughter, Guiting Power, and Stanton were my favorite villages.

The Ordnance Survey OL45 map only shows the northern part of the Cotswold Way, but it can enable you to hand-design variants to suit your fancy...

Good luck with your planning.

K

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#42321 - 04/10/06 10:59 AM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
Onslow2 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 128
Unfortunately all the picturesque villages are north of Winchcombe. South of there, the village names tend to be more "picturesque" than the villages themselves.

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#42322 - 03/05/07 05:39 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
CDNWALKER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/10/05
Posts: 57
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Am arriving in the UK on May 5, starting the path on the 7th. I'll tell you what I think about the book and Harvey map when I get home again. (BTW Onslow2: I'm also walking the WHW later this month)

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#42323 - 12/07/07 08:39 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
CDNWALKER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/10/05
Posts: 57
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I did walk the Cotswold Way last May (with my friend) and used both the Cicerone book and the Harvey strip map 1:40,000. The Cicerone book was very helpful for studying the route in advance, but found the Harvey map all that I needed for daily navigation. The path was very well marked with many signs.

This path is remarkable in that it takes you to, seemingly, countless viewpoints from the escarpment. This is true from above Chipping Campden all the way up to the final descent into Bath. It also walks you past many historical monuments from the Iron Age through to the Civil War. Many towns and villages are visited and there is no shortage of Chemists, ATMs, Post Offices and Pubs. There is also plenty of wildlife, streams and forest. We walked North to South and the final 10 miles into Bath are wonderful, particularly if you arrive at Bath Abbey when the bells are ringing, as we did:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ekGzBAcVLtc

In May there was very little traffic on the path other than dog-walkers near settlements. Although certainly a “country walk,” it passes above and past huge populations compared, say, to the Coast to Coast path.

I found the route more difficult than I expected. There is certainly lots of up and down; I walked the WHW the following week and found it easy by comparison. But, of course, Bath is worth the effort.

My pictures:
http://travel.webshots.com/album/559326892LgivHZ


[This message has been edited by CDNWALKER (edited 12 July 2007).]

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#42324 - 04/09/07 07:13 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
Gulf Islanders Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Gabriola Island,BC,Canada
CDNWALKER,

We are also Canadians who are planning our third LDW in May 2008. We did St. Cuthbert's and Dales Way back to back this year and C2C last year. We are looking at Cotswold Way and are wondering if you had any trouble booking single night B & B's? Any recommendations?

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#42325 - 05/09/07 07:53 AM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
CDNWALKER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/10/05
Posts: 57
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Gulf Islanders:
Living in paradise as you do it is a wonder you ever choose to leave home...however...you can book all B&Bs through this website. I booked everything in January, but no B&Bs were full when we walked in mid May. Our itinerary: 1)Chipping Campden (Old Bakehouse, one of my favourite B&Bs ever), 2)Stanton, 3)Cleeve Hill (Cleeve Hill Hotel, excellent family, very good) 4)Birdlip, 5)Kings Stanley (Old Chapel House, very basic bedroom but very interesting hostess),
6)Wotton-under-Edge (Sunrise House, wonderful hostess, great accomodation), 7)Tormarton (Chestnut Farm, good) 8)Bath. We walked it in 7 days. Hope that this helps! P.S. I am returning to Old Bakehouse later this month.

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#42326 - 05/09/07 01:44 PM Re: Cotswold Way Guide Book
Bliss 60 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: Birmingham
Is the path really so dull? Does it not pass through picturesque villages?

I have never spent time in the South of England (aside from London) and thought to do both the Cotswold and South Downs in tandem. (???)


Living in Birmingham, I go to the Cotswolds for day walks - and there are nice places to go there - and the bits of the Cotswolds Way are scenic enough.

But my view is that it's not a patch on the Pennine Way or the Coast to Coast or elsewhere. Of course, it depends what you're looking for - but if you're looking for wilderness, remoteness, and variety - not sure that you will find these things on the Cotswolds Way (or the South Downs Way).

I did the South Downs Way in the nice weather at Easter. It was OK - but only really OK. I got a bit bored of the endless chalk, walks along very similar ridges, and the perpetual sound of roads.

Give me the bleak solitary moorland of the Pennines or the stark climbs and amazing views in the Lakes...

But I guess that's just a personal view.

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