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.
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 people's visit to the area. Expect more delightful waterways and bridges, plentiful pubs and restaurants and tasteful shopping.
Stow-in-the-Wold is one of the most beautiful villages in the U.K., it has a wonderful farmers market on Thursdays - 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.
Rest stopsThe Black Bear Inn
Tara Antique Centre
Tolkien's Door at St Edwards Church
The Old Bakery Tea Room
The Kings Arms
The Porch Inn (Britain's Oldest Pub)
Slaughters Country Inn Pub & Restaurant
The Old Mill
Slaughters Manor House Restaurant
The Cotswold Motoring & Toy Collection Museum
Rose Tree Restaurant
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 wild animals than domestic pets - particularly 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
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and cafe stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
Food and Drink
If you want to buy lunch en route, look no further than the farmer's 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. You could also have lunch at Slaughters Country Inn when you pass.
There are plenty of options in Bourton-in-the-Water for an evening meal.
The 801 Bus towards Cheltenham goes from Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water. Bus timetables change year on year and can be seasonal. Be sure to check https://www.pulhamscoaches.com/ (the local operator who runs this service) for up-to-date timetables.
Please note that bus services may be affected by public bank holidays in the UK and in some cases may run a limited service or no service at all on weekends.
There are also useful websites to find when the next bus is due at www.traveline.info or simply have a quick google search.
Good comfortable boots or walking shoes are recommended. The ground can be quite soft and the paths are well used by walkers and riders. Whilst the terrain is not particularly difficult it can be muddy with some waterlogged stretches after heavy rain. Walking poles are an option if preferred. The British weather is changeable so waterproofs should also be carried just in case.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike/or if you have an older phone, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank as a backup.
There are opportunities on today's walk to buy food and drink, however, ensure you bring enough snacks and fluids with you.
Weather at the route's trailhead
- 17 Waypoints
- 17 Waypoints