A circular walk through the rural tranquility of the Cotswold countryside visiting three iconic villages and picturesque Bourton on the Water.
Leaving the village of Lower Slaughter the route follows the Monarch’s Way to the delightful town of Bourton on the Water. From here you head into the countryside along the Windrush Valley to the village of Naunton and its interesting medieval dovecote. From Naunton the walk continues through fields to the village of Upper Slaughter and the valley of the River Eye which you follow back to Lower Slaughter.
If you are staying in Bourton-on-the-Water you will follow the route notes starting from there.
This is a lovely walk capturing the essence of the Cotswolds; peaceful countryside and picturesque villages. Take time to explore the attractions of Bourton on the Water and maybe visit a local pub on the route.
Little Egrets can be spotted in the Windrush Valley and Red Kites above the open fields near Naunton.
The only hazard likely to be encountered on this walk is traffic, particularly near Bourton on the Water which can be busy at peak times. Care is needed crossing the A429 (Fosse Way) which you do twice, both entering and leaving Bourton on the Water.
Tips and hints
There are several opportunities for refreshments on the walk but it is a good idea to check local opening times before departure. There are pubs in Lower Slaughter and Naunton as well as a full range of facilities in the larger village of Bourton on the Water.
Points of Interest
The Old Mill, Lower Slaughter.
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book it was last a working Mill in 1958. Now a riverside tearoom with a museum about the history of bread making.
The Dovecote, Naunton.
The medieval building has been recently restored to its former glory. Once the home to over a thousand doves which were kept for meat to supplement the local diet. It is possible to visit for a small donation.
The Cotswold Motor Museum, Bourton on the Water.
Full of vintage and classic vehicles, motorcycles, original enamel signs and a unique toy collection, there is plenty to interest everyone.
The village itself is regularly voted one of the prettiest in England with its fine Cotswold stone buildings and picturesque riverside walks.
Good comfortable footwear is recommended. The ground is quite soft and the paths are well used by riders and walkers. Whilst the terrain is not difficult it can be very muddy with some waterlogged stretches after heavy rain.