Explore the Cotswolds on foot
Walking in the Cotswolds provides a wealth of choices with gentle strolls, hilly hikes and a variety of circular walks including many level, stile-free walks for wheelchairs and easy access.
You could also consider completing all or part of the Cotswold Way National Trail. This beautiful 102-mile route takes in some of the Cotswolds’ best scenery with sweeping views, historic monuments and picturesque villages along the way. Combine this with thousands of miles of footpaths and bridleways along rolling hills, dramatic escarpment and winding river valleys and you have a walker’s paradise in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Following the government’s review of the Covid-19 situation on 11/5/20, we would like to offer an update from the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The government has said that we can now enjoy unlimited outdoor exercise (with members of our own households), and we may travel to open spaces. This is good news – it’s good for our bodies and our minds to get outside and connect with nature.
More official government advice is here about what you can and can’t do as lockdown is slowly eased.
With this in mind, and knowing that the Cotswolds AONB is within accessible driving distance for many surrounding towns and cities, we’d like to remind those who may choose to visit the area of the following:
- We must still all observe social distancing guidelines, even outdoors and in the countryside.
If a walking path is narrow, wait for others to pass. Be patient.
- Respect those who live here.
Many of our countryside residents and landowners are older and fit into the ‘vulnerable’ category of those at risk from coronavirus. Help protect their health by remembering good hygiene around gates and stiles, being considerate about where you park, and looking out for and adhering to any route diversions (which may be in place to protect those on farms, for example asking walkers not to go through the yard, or not to go past the house etc).
- Plan your visit – research where you’re going to park, and check if the locations and car parks you’re heading to are open. Download self-guided walking routes.
- Remember the Countryside Code. Stick to it. If you don’t know it, learn it here.
- Tread carefully – remember that during lockdown, nature has reclaimed space!
Please be very careful not to disturb wildlife. This might include ground-nesting birds, wildflowers, or animals that may have moved into areas unexpectedly during lockdown.
- Please use your common sense – keep dogs on leads and pick up their mess, don’t release sky lanterns, don’t have barbecues or bonfires, don’t drop any litter.
- Support local businesses – if possible, buy local if you need something while you’re here. Remember to use social distancing when using any shops that are open.
Take your time, and breathe – these are strange times, but we can take this opportunity to slow down, understand, enjoy and appreciate our surroundings more. Nature has a wonderful ability to help us to heal, and we should make the most of that, and be grateful for it.