Cotswold Way South: Long Barrows and Baths

Painswick to Bath in 5 Days Walking Code: CTS6

A walk along the southern section of the Cotswold Way through stunning woodlands and past ancient historical sites. A beautiful section of the trail that ends in the World Heritage City of Bath.

This is a 5 day walk along southern section of the Cotswold way. The days are a perfect length to enjoy the hikes through the stunning woodland and past several Neolithic Burial Burrows along the way. Finishing in the sublime City of Bath this walk is an excellent choice for those that do not wish to complete the whole Cotswold route, but want to get a taste of this delightful part of the country.

Miles Km
Day 1 Travel to Painswick for your first nights accommodation
Day 2 Painswick to King’s Stanley then transfer to Frocester 9 14
Day 3 Transfer back to King’s Stanley then walk to Wotton-under-Edge 15 24
Day 4 Wotton-under-Edge to Old Sodbury 13 21
Day 5 Old Sodbury to Cold Ashton 9 14
Day 6 Cold Ashton to Bath 10 16
Day 7 Depart from Bath after breakfast

Painswick to King’s Stanley

Painswick is about halfway along the route, and many people choose to spend an extra night here to relax and enjoy the timeless architecture. The next section crosses open countryside to Scottsquar Hill, before entering the woodland that leads to Haresfield Beacon. The path then skirts between the towns of Stroud and Stonehouse before crossing the Stroudwater Canal and entering King’s Stanley.

King’s Stanley to Wotton-under-Edge

Regaining the escarpment by a steep path up to Pen Hill, the way continues through beech woodland until you reach the Nympsfield Long Barrow. Here there are superb panoramic views from Coaley Peak on Frocester Hill. The path returns to the woods with many ups and downs before descending to the small market town of Dursley. After descending to the valley the way climbs steeply again onto Nibley Knoll and the stunning views from the Tyndale Monument. The path continues to traverse the escarpment, before descending into the old wool town of Wotton-under-Edge nestling at the foot of the hill.

Wotton-under-Edge to Bath

After a steep climb out of Wotton there is easy walking across gently rolling countryside to the pretty little hamlet of Little Sodbury. After this the way then crosses the parkland of Dodington House, before entering the peaceful village of Tormarton. Easy walking then leads across farmland to Dyrham Park before climbing gently up to the tiny hamlet of Pennsylvania. From here the path climbs gradually up to the top of Lansdown Hill. The trail then follows the escarpment again to Prospect Stile from where there are superb views down to Bath before descending to this magnificent city and completing the walk at the Roman Baths.

Easy to Moderate

This is another relatively easy National Trail which is clearly way-marked along the length of the path. A good route for people wanting to do their first long-distance walk.

Terrain: Varied - but these are gentle wolds and not mountainous areas. The path rises up and down onto the Cotswold Escarpment in the northern section, and is lower, but still undulating over farmland and through woods towards the south.

What’s it like underfoot? Pretty good. Well maintained paths throughout, although sections can get a bit muddy in wet weather.

How much up & down? This trail is rolling and it does go up and down a lot, with some short steeper sections, but they don’t go on forever – the highest point is 330m (1083ft). Ascents and descents are usually 150 – 200m (495- 660ft)

Signposting: Generally good.

Navigation: Pretty straightforward. Well defined paths, and good signposting.

All Holidays
Accommodation Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.
Guidebook A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.
Information of Services Along the Route A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.
Maps A waterproof map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.
Personal Itinerary A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.
Emergency Telephone Support If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.
12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.
Luggage Transport We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.
Packed Lunches
Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.
Off Road Parking If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).
Arrangement of return transport We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!
What’s not Included
Evening Meals Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.
Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.
Travel Insurance Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.

Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.

We use a variety of accommodation. Over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, or on a working farm. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. Occasionally we may use a chain hotel.

We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than two for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.

General travel information for the Cotswold Way route will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

To view train times please visit trainline where you can also purchase tickets in advance. For information on bus timetables please visit traveline

If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for detailed information. Please be aware that long term parking can be very expensive in Bath.

Getting There:

By Air: The nearest International Airport to Painswick is Bristol (25miles/40km). Alternatives are London Heathrow or Gatwick.

By Public Transport: The nearest train station is in Stroud, from where it is a short taxi ride to Painswick. National Express Coach services run to Gloucester and Cheltenham, from where a local bus service connection to Painswick can be made.

By Road: Painswick is on the A46 between Stroud and Cheltenham. From the North: Come off the M5 at Junction 11a and take the A417 towards Cirencester. Then take the A46 towards Stroud until it reaches Painswick (5miles/8km) From the South West: Come off the M5 at Junction 13 and take the A419 towards Stroud. From Stroud take the A46 towards Cheltenham which passes through Painswick after 3 miles/ 5km.

Returning from Bath:

By Public Transport: From the end of the walk at Bath you can travel onwards by all forms of public transport, as it is well linked. The nearest international airport is Bristol.

By Rail: there are fast and frequent services which connect Bath to London (journey time 1hour 30 minutes) or Birmingham (2 hours).

By Bus: National Express coach services serve Bath regularly.


Painswick is a delightful market town, and is perfectly located for a halfway break with its elegant white stone buildings. From here you can visit the Rococo Garden, designed in the 18th century and claimed to be the only one of its kind in England.


This is the most popular choice for an extra night or two. This stunning city is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Cotswold Way ends outside the glorious Bath Abbey re-built during the reign of Elizabeth I. From here you can explore the superb Georgian Architecture including the Royal Crescent, the Circus, the Assembly Rooms and the sublime Pulteney Bridge. Or you can discover Bath’s earlier history with a visit to the Roman Baths where you can soak your weary limbs in the newly refurbished Thermal Spa with its spectacular roof top views. Bath is a vibrant city with beautiful open spaces and many other attractions and museums to keep the visitor occupied. It is also renowned for its cafe and restaurant culture.

Prices GBP (£)
Accommodation, map & guidebook only £732
with Luggage Transport £774
with Packed Lunches £787
with Luggage & Lunches £826

Other Options

Extra Nights (per night) £90
Single Supplement (per night) £65
Solo Luggage Supplement (per day) £0