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Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water via Stow-on-the-Wold

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Swan on water
    / Swan on water
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cotswold country stack
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Path trough church yard
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cherry tree and manor house
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Natural wooded tunnel
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Reflection of trees
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 200 150 100 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Starting in Moreton-in-Marsh you wind your way through fields and over streams to Longborough, a typical Cotswolds village. From here you will pass through Broadwell to Stow-on-the-Wold, through more farmers fields and small paths to Lower Slaughter where you will follow the river to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Distance 17.4 km
4:19 h
174 m
171 m
235 m
122 m
Starting in the linear market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, you will head off into the countryside winding through quiet fields, over gurgling streams and through dotted woodland. The way is watched over by rabbits, birds, squirrels and hawks while the waterways are full of fish from rainbow trout to giant pike. Passing through quintessential Cotswold villages, the houses, gardens and general ambience have a calming effect, harking back to simpler times. The town of Stow-on-the-Wold is chocolate box perfect, and Lower Slaughter, despite the name, is even more so. Lower Slaughter's Copse Hill Road was voted the most romantic street in Britain, and you can see why with its gentle waterways, low stone bridges and stunning architecture. The day ends in Bourton-on-Water, known as the Venice of the Cotswolds it is the highlight of many peoples visit to the area. Expect more delightful waterways and bridges, plentiful pubs and restaurants and tasteful shopping.

Author’s recommendation

Stow-in-the-Wold is one of the most beautiful villages in the U.K., it has a wonderful farmers market on Thursday's - if you happen to pass through on that day, don't pack a lunch, pick up some locally sourced goodies fresh from the suppliers instead.
Highest point
235 m
Lowest point
122 m

Safety information

There are some road crossings, always be aware of traffic and be sure to use a pavement/sidewalk where possible, where it isn’t walk on the right-hand side of the road,

Some of the ground can be uneven, with steep descents and muddy/boggy ground. Ensure you have suitable footwear and step cautiously where needed, the mud is especially tricky in wet weather.

A note about farms and animals: Be very aware of closing gates behind you. Remember, animals on a farm are not pets and can be closer to a wild animal than a domestic pet - particularly for dogs. The main risk today is horses as the path often crosses fields with grazing horses.

When crossing the streams, be wary of slippery and loose stones, if you feel unsure bring walking poles for support, and you can always find a more suitable crossing a little up or downstream.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest


Copse Hill Road

A beautiful road framed by tall trees and grand houses, meandering alongside it is a stone built waterway with impossibly fine little stone bridges crisscrossing the river below. Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter won the Google Street View award after a two-week vote by about 20,000 people. Take a loved one for a walk don this street, itis now an iconic place to propose!



The 'little Venice' of the Cotswolds, with the wide and slow Windrush river flowing directly through the centre of town. A collection of attractive houses, bridges and green grassy areas surround the river as it makes its way south. The town is full of excellent country pubs, with food varying from the hearty to the gourmet. Attractions include Birdland, The Motoring Museum for those who love vintage cars and the intriguing Dragonfly Maze, all within a short walk fo the centre.



The highest town in the Cotswolds, it was originally built by the Normans. It was a prosperous town, being central to the sheep and wool trade and the large townhouses and striking streets remain. Home to an excellent farmers market, plenty of bookshops and some lovely little cafes, it is a town to get lost in and while away a few hours in tranquillity and comfort.


Food and Drink

If you want to buy lunch en route, look no further than the farmers market and cosy cafes of Stow-on-the-Wold. For a packed lunch, there are many shops and cafes in Moreton-in-the-Marsh where you can pick up everything you need for a delicious picnic.


 ** Please note that if you are spending the night in Stow-on-the-Wold you will use this information to get here and then the same gps tracks, maps and route notes when you walk from Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water the next day.





The church on the high street, Moreton-in-Marsh (128 m)
OS Grid
SP 20462 32426
51.989914, -1.703423
51°59'23.7"N 1°42'12.3"W
30U 589028 5760710


The war memorial, Bourton-on-the-Water

Turn-by-turn directions


0.00 km - Start on the high street in the small carpark next to the church, with the church to your left and the Redesdale Arms in front of you on the right. Walk STRAIGHT ON past the Redesdale Arms down the High Street

0.20 km - TURN RIGHT at the duck pond

0.47 km -When you reach the edge of a field, BEAR LEFT as the road turns to a public footpath

0.81 km - Pass through a wooden gate on to a field, BEAR RIGHT and follow the hedgerow to your right side

0.90 km - Pass through a wooden gate on to a field, BEAR RIGHT and follow the hedgerow to your right side

1.20 km - BEAR RIGHT at the end of the field, ignoring the sharp right, and following the hedgerow on your right-hand side

1.40 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate, follow hedgerow to your right

1.70 km - STRAIGHT ON ignoring left turn

2.0 km - At end of the field, BEAR LEFT then TURN RIGHT through a metal gate, follow hedgerow to your left

2.20 km - STRAIGHT ON through a wooden gate, diagonally through a field passing a wooden stump with a way marker on it

2.50 km - Pass through the wooden gate and BEAR RIGHT staying on the path, following the hedgerow

2.60 km - BEAR LEFT across the field, once the field has been crossed, BEAR RIGHT keeping hedge to your left

2.90 km - Cross the bridge out of the field, TURN LEFT into next field then BEAR LEFT following the low fence to your left

3.00 km - BEAR RIGHT at end of the field, then BEAR LEFT in the next field following a similar low fence

3.40 km - At the end of the field, pass over the fence using the wooden step, ignoring the larger gates either side, immediately pass over a small bridge followed by another fence crossing and then STRAIGHT ON over the field, following the waymarkers for a public footpath

3.70 km - Pass through the wooden gate, TURN RIGHT to cross a fence using the wooden step and BEAR LEFT to cut diagonally across the field

3.90 km - Cross the fence into a small back alley in the village of Longborough, continue through the car park and then TURN RIGHT up the hill on Charlesway Avenue

4.10 km - Pass the church and STRAIGHT ON

4.30 km - TURN LEFT at the Coach and Horses pub

4.40 km - TURN RIGHT signposted for Stow-on-the-Wold

4.70 km - TURN LEFT at the post box, descending and carry STRAIGHT ON as the road turns to track

5.0 km - When the track splits, BEAR LEFT to continue descending

5.50 km - The path splits into three, take the middle option marked for Monarchs Way and continue STRAIGHT ON

5.70 km - BEAR RIGHT to join the path as it runs alongside the hedge on your right

5.80 km - Through a big wooden gate and STRAIGHT ON joining a smaller fenced path

6.10 km - Stay on path and BEAR LEFT ignoring right turn

6.20 km - Ignore turns to the right and continue STRAIGHT ON through field

6.50 km - Through a metal gate at the top of the hill, then BEAR RIGHT through another metal gate, then cross a fence passing a barn on your left, once you pass the barn TURN LEFT onto a vehicle track

6.70 km - Through a metal gate and into the field, BEAR RIGHT

6.80 km - Cross gate at top of the field by the mansion, TURN LEFT onto a tarmac road (if the gate is locked, this is a footpath, climb over the gate if it is safe)

7.00 km - TURN LEFT at the T Junction descending with the road

7.30 km - STRAIGHT ON through the junction, careful of busy road

7.70 km - Just before entering Broadwell, TURN RIGHT and then TURN LEFT into the churchyard of St Pauls Church

7.80 km - When you leave the churchyard, BEAR RIGHT onto the grass path, ignoring the track to your left

8.00 km - Pass the wooden gate and BEAR RIGHT to join the main road

8.20 km - TURN RIGHT at the end of the village green signposted to Stow-on-the-Wold 1 1/2 

9.00 km - As you reach the top of a long hill, TURN LEFT on to cycle route 48

9.7 km - Path turns to a small road, STRAIGHT ON

10.20 km - TURN RIGHT at T Junction, marked cycle route 48, you are now in Stow-on-the-Wold 

10.4 km - TURN LEFT onto the High Street

10.50 km - TURN RIGHT at end of the village square, by Lloyds bank, then TURN LEFT past the church down a small paved alley

10.70 km - TURN RIGHT onto Sheep Street and TURN LEFT onto main road walking on pavement

11.30 km - Cross the road and TURN RIGHT being very careful of traffic, signposted Gloucester Way Footpath

11.40 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through a metal gate and onto a track with wall to your left

11.70 km - Continue off the track and into a tree plantation, STRAIGHT ON

11.90 km - At bottom of the field pass through a wooden gate, stay to left in the next field and pass through a sequence of four white gates and carry STRAIGHT ON through a farmyard

12.10 km - after passing log cabins/stables to your right, BEAR RIGHT to pass through a gap in the fence, signposted for footpath

12.40 km - Drop down steps and through gate and BEAR LEFT to cross the field

12.60 km - Pass through two white gates and BEAR RIGHT to cross the bridge

12.70 km - Pass through gate and BEAR LEFT, ignore the path to the right, pass through a second wooden gate, follow signs for Lower Slaughter crossing a bridge almost immediately, and the BEAR LEFT across the field

12.90 km - Through the wooden gate and STRAIGHT ON

13.10 km - Through the wooden gate and STRAIGHT ON

13.40 km - Pass through int the next field, then TURN RIGHT immediately into the next field, BEAR LEFT with the farm to your right

13.60 km - BEAR LEFT as you pass the farm, into next field and then head STRAIGHT ON

14.00 km - Pass into next field and head BEAR RIGHT

14.10 km - Pass into next field and STRAIGHT ON

14.60 km - TURN RIGHT through a metal gate and continue until you reach the cricket club, BEAR LEFT and pass through a metal gate behind the club

14.90 km - TURN RIGHT onto a gravelled road

15.00 km - TURN LEFT passing the church, you are now in Lower Slaughter

15.10 km - BEAR LEFT on to lower pike lane, then TURN RIGHT, following the river and signs for Bourton-on-the-Water

16.00 km - TURN RIGHT when you reach the main road and then turn left after 30 metres, using the traffic crossing to cross the road and joining Station Road

16.60 km - TURN RIGHT after traffic lights, signposted Wardens Way

17.00 km - TURN LEFT onto the main road, following signs for Wardens Way

17.20 km - You will reach the war memorial on your right hand side, you have finished the days walk















all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
SP 20462 32426
51.989914, -1.703423
51°59'23.7"N 1°42'12.3"W
30U 589028 5760710
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Sturdy waterproof boots as the path can be slippery and wet in parts.

Walking poles for stream crossing and muddy descents if the weather is wet.

Questions and answers

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+ 1

17.4 km
4:19 h
174 m
171 m
Highest point
235 m
Lowest point
122 m


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