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Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Lower Slaughter
    Lower Slaughter
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure
m 200 150 100 6 5 4 3 2 1 km
Walk through farmers fields and small paths to Lower Slaughter where you will follow the river to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Distance 6.7 km
2:00 h
6 m
105 m
235 m
131 m
A short four miles through more quintessential English countryside brings you to Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the prettiest villages in England, and is known as “Venice of the Cotswolds.” Famous for its attractive stone bridges crossing the bubbling River Windrush all along the center of the village, Bourton has a unique charm. Treat yourself to English tea and delicious homemade cakes at one of the many tea rooms before making your way to your lovely country manor house hotel just outside Bourton-on-the-Water.  

Author’s recommendation

Your hotel for tonight is in the village of Lower Slaughter which you will pass through on the way to Bourton-on-the-Water. However, we recommend continuing to Bourton-on-the-Water for lunch before returning to your hotel in Lower Slaugther. There is approx 1 mile between Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water.
Profile picture of Laura Paterson
Laura Paterson
Update: April 08, 2019
Highest point
235 m
Lowest point
131 m
Best time of year

Track types

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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.


Stow-on-the-Wold (229 m)
OS Grid
SP 19146 25734
51.929801, -1.722958
51°55'47.3"N 1°43'22.6"W
30U 587805 5754001
Show on Map



Turn-by-turn directions

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

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

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

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

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

1.40 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

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

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

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

2.20 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

2.40 km - Through the wooden gate and STRAIGHT ON

2.60 km - Through the wooden gate and STRAIGHT ON

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

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

3.50 km - Pass into next field and head BEAR RIGHT

3.60 km - Pass into next field and STRAIGHT ON

4.10 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

4.40 km - TURN RIGHT onto a gravelled road

4.50km - TURN LEFT passing the church, you are now in Lower Slaughter. If you like you can stop here as this is where your hotel is located but we recommend continuing to Bourton-on-the-Water

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

5.5 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

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

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

6.70 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 19146 25734
51.929801, -1.722958
51°55'47.3"N 1°43'22.6"W
30U 587805 5754001
Show on Map
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.

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6.7 km
2:00 h
6 m
105 m
Highest point
235 m
Lowest point
131 m


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