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Walking in the Cotswolds

We are seniors in our early 70’s but we are very active and in good health. We are planning a 3 day walk in the Cotswolds starting in Chipping Campden with stops in Stanton , Winchcombe and finishing in Charleton Kings. Our concern is that the walk from Chipping Campden to Stanton is hilly and may be too strenuous for us. Has anyone who has made this walk give us some advice on this leg of our walk?

Posted by
395 posts

We walked the full Cotswold Way last summer with our British friends--all of us in our mid to late 60s. As I recall, pretty much every day of the hike had a lot of uphill and downhill, though we did cover a bit more ground each day than you are planning. (For reference we walked Chipping Campden to Wood Stanway on Day 1, ended Day 2 in Cleeve Hill, and Day 3 in Birdlip.) However, since this is your first day out, and it looks like you're planning to cover under 8 miles of relatively flat ground the day after that, you should be fine as long as you train for hills. That was my mistake in preparing for this hike--I could cover a lot of distance, but had not done as much hill climbing as would have been wise. Still, though I vividly recall the hill out of Broadway, it was not a difficult day. I should also add that we used a luggage transfer service (Sherpa Vans), so carried just day packs with food, water, rain gear and trail guides. So we weren't trying to do the hike with full backpacks, which makes a big difference also. If you are used to doing 10 mile hikes, and add some hill training, you should be fine.

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Our Best of The Cotswolds adventure from Cotswolds Walks was truly a memorable experience, one we will never forget. Here is a quick response:
1- Super organized itinerary personalized to our specific needs
2- Amazingly detailed and most helpful guide book with trail maps and comments for each days walk
3- Top notch accommodations at each Inn, Hotel and B&B with caring hosts
4- Delicious full English breakfast offerings plus a generous variety of alternatives included each morning
5- Proficient communications with organizers at all times before and during the adventure
6- A variety of interesting and helpful suggestions of things to do and see all along the way
7- Complete list of emergency services, taxis, and other transportation services available at each town
1- Unseasonable cold and rainy weather the first two days of our walk – Blame Mother Nature

Posted by
1302 posts

Hi Kennycat -

I suppose it depends what you are used walking where you live. The Cotswolds in comparison with the hillier parts of the U.K. can best be described as ‘rolling’. There are some steep ups and downs but most of the time it’s flattish, and my recollection is you are either going gently up or steadily down, the very definition of rolling. My other recollection is that the Cotswold Way follows the escarpment on the western edge and it descends and ascends almost wilfully.

My advice is to walk slowly enough - up or down, but mainly up - so that you never get into oxygen debt (gasping for breath) and so you can hold a coherent conversation with your walking buddies or anyone else you encounter. It may feel like you are walking with the brakes on, but it will pay dividends as you ascend. Let any young whippersnappers that want to pass you go, you can’t walk at somebody else’s pace. If you happen to wander through their prone and sweating bodies at the summit, do try to suppress any laughter you may feel welling up inside you! Go steady, enjoy it - it’s what you’re there for - and remember you might be on a loose schedule, but it’s not a race!

Have a great trip!