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7 Top Tips for Walking the Cotswold Way

Walking the Cotswold Way is a remarkable adventure that takes you through some of the most picturesque landscapes in England. From historic landmarks to charming villages, this trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. After completing this journey, I’ve compiled seven top tips to help you make the most of your Cotswold Way experience.

1. Plan Your Itinerary Wisely

While the Cotswold Way can be completed in about 7-10 days, it's essential to plan your daily distances based on your fitness level and experience. We planned for 8 days but finished in 7 due to a big push on Day 2. Be flexible with your schedule to accommodate changes.

2. Pack Light but Smart

Packing the right gear can make or break your trip. Essentials include comfortable, durable footwear like the @inov_8 ROCLITE G 315 GTX V2 trainers, which I found to be incredibly versatile. Also, consider carrying a reliable communication device like the 📲📡ZOLEO for peace of mind, even though phone signal was mostly available.

3. Be Prepared for Weather Changes

The weather can be unpredictable. We were lucky with 6 sunny days and only 1 rainy day, but always be prepared for rain. Carry an umbrella and waterproof gear to stay dry and comfortable.

4. Plan Your Accommodation in Advance

We split our nights between hotels and wild camping. While wild camping saved money, booking a few nights in hotels can provide much-needed rest and recovery. Gemma and I enjoyed two hotel nights, which were a welcome luxury.

5. Start Early and Pace Yourself

Starting early can help you cover more ground and avoid the heat of the day. Our earliest start was 7:25 AM, and it helped us stay on schedule. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Our longest day was nearly 13 hours, but we included plenty of rest stops.

6. Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed

Maintaining energy levels is crucial. Carry snacks and plan your meals. Since I’m gluten-free, I found it easier to buy food from supermarkets to ensure I knew what I was eating. Keeping hydrated is equally important, so carry enough water and refill whenever possible.

7. Enjoy the Journey and Stay Flexible

The Cotswold Way is not just about the destination but the journey. Enjoy the stunning views, charming villages, and beautiful meadows. Be ready for unexpected challenges, like finding suitable wild camping spots or dealing with tiredness. Flexibility and a positive attitude will enhance your experience.

Detailed Stats from Our Trip

  • Walking Days: 7

  • Rest Days: 0

  • Travel Days: 2 - 1/2 days

  • Start Date: 28th May (Bath Cathedral)

  • End Date: 3rd June (Chipping Campden)

  • Earliest Start Time: 7:25 AM (Day 2)

  • Latest Start Time: 10:56 AM (Day 3)

  • Earliest End Time: 2:20 PM (Day 7)

  • Latest End Time: 9:15 PM (Day 3)

  • Longest Time on Feet: 12 hrs 55 min (Day 2)

  • Shortest Day: 6 hrs 35 min (Day 7)

  • Total Km: 194 | Average Daily Km: 28

  • Total Miles: 121 | Average Daily Miles: 17

  • Total Steps: 249,744 | Average Daily Steps: 35,678

  • Total Costs: £211 (thanks to wild camping and Gemma's contributions)

  • Average Costs Per Day: £30

  • Total Costs (excluding travel): £168

  • Daily Costs (excluding travel): £24

  • Travel Costs: £42.90 (half refunded due to train delay)

  • Misc Costs: £0

By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the Cotswold Way and fully enjoy this incredible walking experience. Happy hiking!

For a deeper dive into our adventure, challenges, and highlights, check out the full blog post here!



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