1 ~~~ 10 of the best walks in the Cotswolds ~ Conde Nast ~~~
Step into English Arcadia with these beautiful countryside walks around the Cotswolds
Walking in the Cotswolds is to step into an English Arcadia: a landscape immortalised in period adaptations and poems, greeting cards and biscuit tins. Its story begins in the Jurassic period – before the age of tea shops and antiques dealers – when Oolitic limestone was formed in tropical seas. This rock still defines the Cotswolds some 200 million years later in its rolling hills and sunken valleys, and the cottages and coaching inns whose honey-hued stones were quarried from the land. Exploring on foot means you can bypass tourist hotspots, following trails that are quiet but for the peal of bells from Norman churches and the singing birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Home to some of the best walks in the UK, the Cotswold walks featured below are mostly based on long-distance trails in the region, with many following the 102-mile Cotswold Way. Walking here generally isn't challenging, but wear sturdy boots and carry a map.