I bought a couple of useful travel guides for the Cotswold. My family and I are planning on starting in Bath and hiking for 10 days the entire length of the "trail." What is the best online site for booking accommodations - booking.com? We will be day hiking and staying in a different Inn each night. Thanks! Also, any other tidbits you wish to share on hiking the Cotswold Way is appreciated.
I think it would make most sense to book directly with the B&Bs or hotels.
I would use booking.com or similar sites to research possibilities, checking for price and reviews. After making a decision, I would then go directly to the accommodations website and book directly with them. Sometimes, the price with be less and they might include extras, if booked directly. Enjoy your walk! We, my husband and I, haven't done the entire Cotswold Way, but have done both circular walks and a three day walk from Winchcombe to Moreton-in-Marsh. We love doing this. I was just looking at my photos of our walk from this May. Most of our friends and family think we are crazy.
We do not wear hiking boots. We usually wear a pair of waterproof shoes, with good tread. Plus, you might want to take rain gear, raincoat and/or rain pants. A plastic sleeve for your map is also useful.
The best way is first decide how far you want to walk each day, and the village you will want to stay in. After you have decided that, look in your books, they should list B&B's/hotels that are near the trail. Then you can contact each place by email. My friend and I walked the trail two years ago, we started in Chipping Campden and ended in Bath. I booked all of our B&Bs, it was so easy, and we loved everyone on them. Also, there is a company The Volunteer Inn...www.thevolunteerinn.net, that we used to transfer our bags from B&B to B&B, it was £6.00 per bag per day, so we paid £12.00 a day. Peter was great, our bags was always at the next location when we arrived. At the end of the walk in Bath, Peter leaves the bags at a hotel near the Abbey, the hotel doesn't charge anything. Be prepared there are several very, very steep incline and descends along the trail. Two great books to have are.....The Cotswold Way National Trail Companion and Cotswold Way by Bob Hayne, you can get both on Amazon. If you have any questions you can PM me.
I have the book by the Hayne's. It is an excellent book. I also bought the rough guide. Thanks for the tip about luggage transfer.
It sounds as if you are making it harder then it really is. Get the The Cotswold Way National Trail Companion book, it list B&Bs/hotel by the trail. I found that it was easy to book the room. It was myself and my best friend (65&70 at the time) our husbands that we were crazy, but our kids were proud of us. The most important part is to decide how far you want to walk each day and what village/town you are going to stay in. Once you do that it's easy to find places to stay.
Again Robin, thanks! Looks like I just need the national companion book to get accommodation info. The book by the Haynes gives the itinerary. We are going to do the 10 day (10 miles a day) route. The Hayne's book lists towns like bird lip. It's actually confusing to find accommodations there with online websites and the two books I have already bought. I will pursue the national companion book.
You don't have to follow the itinerary in the book, you can make your own itinerary, which is what we did. In Birdlip we stayed at the Royal George Hotel, its right on the trail. There are several areas of the trail where you have to walk on the road, some of the roads are narrow so make sure you walk towards the traffic so you see the on coming cars, at times there isn't enough space to get off the road when the cars come. You will be walking through woods, sheep pastures, cow pastures, two corn fields (we walked it in September), you will go through several kissing gates, will have to climb over several walls. It was fun!!!
I did a 1 week walking trip to the Cotswolds with HF Holidays. We stayed in a lovely manor house in Burton-on-the-Water. Walks each day, we had a choice of short about 6 miles, medium 6 - 8 miles, or longer 8 - 11 miles. We walked to and through about 6 towns/villages. At the Manor they provided a table full of lunch foods, sandwiches, fruit, cookies, etc and we packed our own lunches into our rucksacks.
Each evening we returned to the Manor and had a really nice full dinner in the dining room.
Entertainment after dinner was a variety of things about walks, the area, history, slide presentations.... Some played cards. On HFholidays.com you can see that they offer walking all over and a variety of themes....
7 days and walk each day except Wednesday.... which was a free day with recommendations of other places to go and things to see.
I really enjoyed the trip and thought it was well worth the price. Each day the walks were lead by a member of Ramblers (An English Walking Org.)
Robins advice is spot on. One thing though, when booking your accommodation be sure to ask how far off the trail they are located.
Laurel notes that "when booking your accommodation be sure to ask how far off the trail they are located."
Laurel's point is that finding overnight accommodations (and dinning opportunities) convenient to the end of a day's walk can be a challenge.
On our coast to coast walk our booking agent had some interesting solutions to matching overnight accommodations to trail's end. On existing the Lake District segment of the walk at Burn Banks, our instructions were to look for a red phone booth and call a number listed in our instructions. A taxi was pre-booked to pick us up and drive us from the trail to inn some 2 km from the trail. The taxi was also paid to pick us up the next day and return us to the trailhead. Cotswold is probably more densely populated than the northern England coast to coast.
Some of the UK walkers had arrangements to call their B&B host on exiting the trail for a pick up and return the next day. Others just had longer walks off the trail to their overnight accommodations.
I wouldn't say it's a challenge, in a some of the books and on the internet it tells how close they are located to the trail.
My husband and I spent 8 nights in the Cotswolds in August. We booked our tour through Andrew Guppy, CotswoldsWalk.com.
As I see, the prices here CotswoldsWalk.com. are per person for 2 nights, I haven't been there, but suppose there may be other interesting options. Sometimes at such tourist paths there is no place to stay except hotels and b&bs, but I always manage to find another way! When traveling around the country or abroad, I use couchsurfing services and always find an accommodation for a short or long stay for free. When you buy a tour it’s all included, I suppose, but if you are going to walk with your family, you can find at least one place to stay during the trip using such service. It will save you money and you’ll meet new people, for example search here http://swap-house.com/host/united_kingdom/