For our final hiking training trip before our big Swiss adventure, we headed out to the beautiful Cotswolds to hike along the Cotswold Way. Running along the western length of the beautiful Cotswolds Area of National Beauty, the Cotswold Way is over 100 miles long, reaching from Chipping Camden to Bath.
A weekend on the Costwold Way in the summertime was just wonderful. All weekend we enjoyed taking in the beautiful views, meeting friendly people, eating beautiful fresh food and discovering more of the idyllic countryside in this very special part of England. We had been to the Costwolds before in December, but visiting in June meant the flowers were all in bloom. It was gorgeous!
The rolling hills of the Cotswolds and the distance we covered were good prep for our big hiking adventure. The opportunity to see this region of England on foot was a treat!
A Weekend on the Cotswold Way
Moreton-in-Marsh, The Cotswolds
To make the most of our weekend trip, we didn’t hike exclusively on The Cotswold Way, but began our weekend in Moreton-on-Marsh. Just an hour and half train ride from London, this lovely little village was easy to get to and cute, with stone buildings lining the main square.
We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast we found on Airbnb, just outside the main street of Moreton-in-Marsh. At the recommendation of our hosts (who also were kind enough to pick us up at the train station), we decided to walk to dinner at The Black Bear Inn.
They also recommended grabbing at drink at The Manor House, which was also awesome. The grounds were beautiful and we loved the interior design.
The Heart of England Way
The next morning we set out for Broadway and the Cotswold Way along the Heart of England Way across the Cotswolds. Our plan was to follow the Saturday Walker’s Club Walk 228, the Moreton-in-Marsh Circular, to Broadway.
As always on our hikes, but particularly on this leg of this journey, Andrew’s trusty OS Maps app was a lifesaver. This route had some pretty overgrown paths at points and OS Maps was our savior in making it along without getting lost.
We were the only ones on the trail most of the way and it was a very serene morning, passing through small, quiet stone villages, meadows lush with summertime flowers and super green forests and fields.
Before going down into Broadway, we stopped by Broadway Tower. Set atop one of the Cotswold’s tallest hills, it was built in 1798 for the Earl of Coventry. A stay at this unique tower inspired William Morris to start his campaign for the preservation of historic monuments.
It was all downhill from there among many, many baying sheep into Broadway for lunch!
We came upon Broadway around 1:30pm in the afternoon. This charming village was the perfect stop for lunch and it was probably a good thing we got there a little bit past lunchtime, as it there were tons of people out and about there for a cycling race and an art festival.
It was lively along the main road, but we ducked into a little tea house, Tisane’s Tea Rooms & Garden, and snagged a table in their back garden for lunch. The garden was perfect for us sweaty hikers with backpacks, and so peaceful. They offer a great menu of sandwiches, teas and treats – including tons of gluten-free options!
After our lovely meal, we continued through Broadway and onward to the Cotswold Way.
Cotswold Way from Broadway to Stanton
The Cotswold Way was just as I imagined, taking us up and over green rolling hills.
And, of course, past lots of sheep!
Our bed and breakfast hosts had told us that we might just catch the lavender fields in bloom if our route were to take us through Snowshill. Any time we passed a field of purple we wondered if that was lavender.
Turns out the fields didn’t bloom until last week or so, so safe to say none of the purple fields we saw were lavender in bloom, haha!
After a couple quick hours on The Cotswold Way, we began our climb down into the village of Stanton. The trail goes right through the middle of the village and took us straight to our B&B for the night.
Stanton, The Most Charming Village in the Cotswolds?
We descended into the little village in Stanton to discover on of the most charming places I’ve ever been. THe little village was bathed in sunlight at that moment, adding more warmth to the tan color of the stone buildings. The flowers climbing the houses and peaking above the stone walls were so bright and beautiful. We saw thatched roofs, neighbors going about their days, with each turning revealing more darling stone homes and beautiful gardens. It was enchanting.
From its website, we we’re expecting much from the Old Post House. As we walked up, we couldn’t believe that this could be our bed and breakfast!
We even got our own little room in a little side structure of the house, just through the garden. It was just perfect and a wonderful treat after a day of walking.
We enjoyed the gardens for a bit, then got washed up and ready for dinner at a nearby pub, The Mount Inn.
The Mount Inn
Everyone we met on Saturday knew this countryside pub, The Mount Inn. And everyone asked if we had a reservation, ha! We did, though it wouldn’t have been a problem that evening. This charming place had great food and drink, but the real winner was that view!
It was wonderful to watch the sunset from here over a delicious dinner of lamb and gluten-free toffee pudding for dessert.
Our first day on The Cotswold Way was a wonderful day of walking. Stay tuned for part II coming soon!