cotswold-way-signThe Cotswolds is a walkers paradise with over 3000 miles of public footpaths through some of the best scenic landscapes that England has to offer. The Cotswolds generally takes up an area from Worcester, south to Bath, across to Oxford and then north to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Cotswolds comes from the name of an Anglo-Saxon chieftain named Cod in the 12th century that owned high land or “wold”- hence “Cod’s wold” and eventually became “Cotswold”. The Cotswolds are sometimes known as “King Cod’s land”. Also another explanation is that the word ‘COT’ meant an animal Pen (sheep in this instance) and Wolds means rolling Hills.

Four hikes in the Cotswolds you could go on:

With acres and acres of West Country farmland, divided by 4,000 miles of dry stonewalls and crisscrossed by walks there are so many miles of beautiful English countryside one is slightly spoilt for choice. So here are some of the walks I’d like to do.

  • The Cotswold Way National Trail: A classic five-mile taster walk through beech. Then enjoy a winding riverside ramble through Laurie Lee country.
  • The Rollright Stones: Is a 8.3 km walk in Chipping Norten through a valley walk where you’ll climb to discover a prehistoric mystery on the Jurassic ridgeway. Return through the hidden hamlet of Little Rollright.
  • Woodchester Mansion: This 5.6 km Boathouse walk passes the charming mansion and includes parkland, woodland, ponds and the picturesque boathouse.
  • Cotswold Stone: This spectacular walk shows you first the raw stone and then what men have done with it over the centuries to create such a harmonious landscape taking you through the steep Broadway Quarry.

Other interesting sights are the buzzy Stroud Farmers’ Market, the spectacular Sudletly and Warwick castles and Gloucester Cathedral.But hiking in the Cotswolds is not just about the walks – you need to find a good pub too! And a new wave of stylish pubs-with-rooms have opened in the Cotswolds.

  • The Wild Rabbit, Kingham. The owners of Daylesford organic deli have created an exquisite haven of extreme Cotswold chic with exposed stone and artfully worn wood. The food is by, Gavroche trained, Adam Caisely, who overseas the organic menu.
  • The Five Alls at Filkins, is a country pub, yet epicurean restaurant by Sebastian Snow, trained by Antony Worrall Thompson, has the likes of Kate Moss making tracks here at weekends.
  • The White Hart. This 16th century coaching inn in the southern Cotswolds serves top quality, unfussy dishes matching the food with the check blinds, antler chandeliers, an eclectic mix of wood and leather furniture contribute to that rustic never looked this good.

The-Cotswold-Arms

The Five Alls

When to go
Every season has a different appeal. Come in spring to see baby lambs and blooming wild flowers. The summers are for the warmth and particularly long evenings. Make an autumn excursion for a quieter atmosphere and wonderful leaf colours or crowd-free winters are ideal for bracing walks, fire-side pub sessions.
Getting around by private car is, by country mile, the easiest means of transport.

However after doing all this research I have concluded that embarking on such an adventurous and probably exhausting hike, needs for appropriate gear and clothing. This is easily found on Costwold Outdoor where brands such as Jack Wolfskin, Helly Hansen and North Face jackets will provide you with plenty of options to prepare you for even the most enduring of hikes.

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