Articles by Year

<<     >>

Articles by Category
+44 (0)1768 721 210

Self Drive Collection

The Cotswolds

Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights

From £1,195 Book Now

Travel Planning & Advice

Book With Confidence

Trip created by Rachael Gavan
View Rachael's Profile

Region: The Cotswolds
Trip Type: Self Drive
Accommodation: Classic
Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
Deposit From: £298.75 £298.75

Grading: Your Own Pace

Carbon Footprint: 62kg ? What does this mean?
Click here to find out about our carbon labelling project and what we're doing to be more sustainable.

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

Download Itinerary

Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds are over 1,200km2 of gently rolling hills, rare grass meadows full of wildflowers and wildlife, long open valleys, winding rivers and idyllic chocolate box villages. Stretching across 5 counties from Bath in the south to Stratford-upon-Avon in the north there is plenty to explore.

Serving as the inspiration for many famous writers and artists, this trip allows you to really get to know and experience the landscape with spectacular hikes lead by an expert guide. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore yourself, visiting some of the incredible villages and local landmarks. This area of England has everything you need for a truly memorable holiday.

The Cotswolds trip is part of our inspiring collection of self-drive itineraries. You can enjoy this trip as a short break, or choose to extend your holiday by adding on one or more of our other itineraries in this range. Suitable for families, couples and groups of friends, the exciting and varied activities on these trips will be tailored to your interests and preferences, making them accessible to all ages and levels of experience. With the option to upgrade accommodation and add on extra days and activities, you are sure to find your perfect adventure.

This price is based on a group of 4, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with our team to confirm the trip price for your group.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover some of the most idyllic English countryside and picturesque villages.
  • Hike and bike with an expert Wilderness guide.
  • Stay in hand-picked accommodation.
  • Explore at your own pace with self-guided options and time to relax.
  • Upgrade the accommodation and add on extra days and activity.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in the Cotswolds

As you make your own way to the Cotswolds today, take your time as you drive along wooded lanes and admire charming villages before arriving at your base for the next four nights, Bourton-on-the-Water.  There are so many things to do and see in this part of the Cotswolds that you’ll be spoilt for choice on your first afternoon. Perhaps you might like to stay local and enjoy a tour of the local brewery or take a stroll along the river that weaves its way through the village. Or you might like to venture further afield to visit the nearby town of Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds and home to some wonderful antique shops and a beautiful market square.

Day 2 - Guided Hike

Your guide will meet you at your accommodation this morning to discuss options for today’s hike, which will be tailored to your own experience and interests. The views from Bredon Hill are fantastic, a great choice should you decide to climb a hill. This 950ft/290m peak stands apart from other hills and is subsequently a lot quieter than other high points in the area. It has a rich history dating back over several millennia. A great battle was fought near the hill fort at the summit and there have been many significant archaeological finds, including the largest hoard of Roman silver coins ever unearthed in Worcestershire. Your guide will share their knowledge of the fascinating history, legends (some say the area around the mysterious standing stones is haunted) and nature of the landscape. The steep sections are well worth the effort as you are rewarded with sweeping vistas and if you’re lucky, red kites circling in the thermals above. (B)

Day 3 - Guided Bike Tour

One of the best ways to discover the hidden gems of the Cotswolds is by bike. Your expert guide will join you once again and help you decide which of the many options available will suit you best, depending on your experience and preferences. A circular ride is always immensely satisfying, especially as the length of the route can be flexible, but for sure you will take in some of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds such as Great Barrington and Little Rissington. Stopping along the route to soak up the atmosphere of these delightful villages is a highlight of the day, as is riding along the country lanes, spotting wildlife and really getting to know the area. (B)

Day 4 - Free Day to Explore

After a relaxed breakfast this morning, head out to explore some more of the local area. One option might be to visit Hidcote Manor, an outstanding arts and craft garden, which was designed by the talented American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, or discover Sudeley Castle, the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the 600 acre Westonbirt National Arboretum, a wonderful tree garden comprising one of the finest collections of temperate trees and shrubs in the world. With over 27km/17 miles of trails and a treetop walkway it’s a fantastic place to spend the day. (B)

Day 5 - Explore and Depart

Before you return home, take time to visit the fantastic miniature Bourton-on-the-Water. Crafted from local Cotswolds Stone this is an exact one-ninth scale replica of the village as it was in the 1930s with a water wheel and singing churches. After lunch, head for home or extend your trip by adding one or more of the additional activities on offer. You may also want to link this trip with one of our other Self-Drive Collection itineraries for a longer adventure. (B)

Optional Extra - Guided Hiking

Enjoy another day with your expert hiking guide with a route tailored to your group. Perhaps hike up Cleeve Hill, at 1,083ft/330m the highest point in the Cotswolds, or head to the pretty town of Winchcombe and enjoy a guided walk to Belas Knap, a Neolithic long barrow and one of the area’s most intriguing monuments.

Optional Extra - Visit Daylesford Farm

Spend the day at Daylesford, a local organic farm that takes huge pride in their approach to sustainable agriculture. If you’re feeling creative, why not join a cookery or floristry workshop or spend some time exploring the extensive grounds, stopping to enjoy a picnic bought from the farm shop. If you would prefer just to relax, treat yourself to some time at the nearby spa.

Optional Extra - Travel Through Time

Take a ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire steam railway and travel back in time as you gaze through the window and enjoy watching the landscape unfold as you steam past. Later treat yourself to afternoon tea in a luxury manor house.

Optional Extra - Extension to Bath

Bath is the UK’s only city designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This two-night extension allows you to sample some of the delights of this wonderful city. Enjoy a walking tour and discover the secrets of the city, sample the delicious food and drink and visit the historic Roman Baths. It’s the perfect way to finish your holiday in the Cotswolds.

Self Drive
The Cotswolds

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter your telephone number including the country code.

Book Now

Price from: £1,195
Duration: 5 Days 4 Nights

Trip Details

Accommodation Read More

You will be based in the Cotswolds at one of our excellent, hand-picked accommodation partners. The accommodation on this trip will generally be in a small hotel or guest house. However, if you would like to upgrade the accommodation on this trip to deluxe or 5* luxury please get in touch.

Single Rooms

Single occupancy rooms are available for a small supplement. Please get in touch with the team to book.

Meals Read More

At all stages of your trip you will be able to enjoy delicious meals prepared from superb local ingredients.

Breakfasts are included at your accommodation. Packed lunches are not included in the trip, but will be available from your hotel if requested the night before or a local cafe/ deli. Your guide can help make local restaurant suggestions.

Inclusions Read More

4 nights accommodation with breakfast each day
2 days of privately guided hikes, led by an expert Wilderness England guide including bike hire
Personalised trip design and delivery
Expert local suggestions for restaurants and activities
Detailed trip itinerary and map
Pre-trip care and 24 hour in country support from the Wilderness team

Travel Read More
  • This trip starts in Bourton-on-the-Water
  • This is a self drive holiday – you can bring your own car or we can recommend car hire companies.
Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

This trip is designed to be tailored to your preferences. Choose to upgrade the accommodation or add on extra days and activities to create your perfect adventure.

Photo Gallery

Speak to an Expert

Jane Gillies

Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Britain & Ireland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

Ask Jane a Question

Difficulty Grades Explained

At Your Own Pace

On this adventure you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Scotland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle low level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready!

On the other days of the trip you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

Our holidays reviewed
in your own words

I selected this tour because it provided the opportunity to combine a holiday in Scotland with an opportunity to also explore the Yorkshire Dales and Lakes. It was a very well designed tour, providing a good variety of landscapes and walking challenges. Staying two or more nights in each area allowed us to adjust the walking itinerary to allow for the changing weather conditions. Our guide Dave, the accommodation, food and additional touring experiences all combined to provide a wonderful experience. Cant wait to come back!

Katharine Tighe
Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
Reviewed on 09/10/2018

Rated 4.95 out of 5 based on 1,055 reviews

Read More Reviews

Want more Wilderness in your life?

Be the first to hear about new trips, locations and activities with our monthly newsletter