There’s a real pleasure in mixing the luxury of our Cotswolds hotels and inns with a walk. We’d say this is even more pleasurable in winter. You return to your hotel feeling that you have really earned lunch or dinner and with a virtuous feeling that excuses an early evening G&T in the bar.
Anyway! On the basis that the prerequisites for a good walk from our Cotswolds hotels in winter are that..
a) it should be short, sharp and interesting and..
b) that there will be some coffee available nearby, here are some recommendations from the staff in our Cotswolds hotels – all tried and trusted (the walks that is). And dog-friendly too.
1. Painswick Beacon.
Selfies taken on this walk will impress your friends because of its hilltop location, but if you choose not to walk up from (the very beautiful) Painswick village you can cheat slightly by using the car park that is hidden away just beneath the summit. Either way, the reward is the view over the Severn Vale, with Wales and the Malvern Hills beyond. Down below the River Severn bends and turns flashing light in the sunshine.
2. The Rollright Stones.
A good Winter’s walk should also have a story to it. The Rollrights , near Chipping Norton, a great example. Learn of the king and his army turned to stone, the Whispering Knights and the bargain struck with a local witch. A perfect short walk. Take a couple of pounds to pay for admission to the stone circle.
Our next walk is near Cheltenham.
3. Cleeve Hill
Cleeve Hill is well known to locals. Perfect dog walking territory for canine guests at Cotswolds hotels. Cleeve has a huge area of common land (over 1000 acres). It’s also the highest point in Gloucestershire, riddled with footpaths. The walk rewards the fairly steep ascent with a plateau-like view of Cheltenham Racecourse, the Malverns and the Welsh Black Mountains. One of the best walks is over to Belas Knap, a Neolithic burial mound that sits in splendid isolation above Sudeley Castle and Winchcombe town.
4. Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt Arboretum is a Forestry Commission attraction that, like Batsford at the other end of Gloucestershire, is eternally popular with guests at Cotswolds hotels. Enjoy winter tree shapes and the sheer magnificence of the collection at these wonderful paces.
5. Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace. This walk features landscapes by Capability Brown, so the parkland route is easy and gentle. The Palace is, of course, magnificently impressive – perhaps better seen from a distance as this walk leads around the edges of Churchill’s birthplace.
The grounds are open year-round and in fact you don’t have to pay if you stick to footpaths, details here: http://walksinoxfordshire.co.uk/oxfordshire-walks/blenheim-palace/
None of our Cotswolds hotels are more than an hour from the walks mentioned above.