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 peoples 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 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.
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.
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.
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.