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Bourton-on-the-Water Cotswold Ramble

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Bourton-on-the-Water Cotswold Ramble
Author: TomSawyer2112, Published: 28 Jun 2018 Walk Rating:star1 Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramblestar1 Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramblestar1 Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramblestar1 Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramblestar0 Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble
Gloucestershire, Cotswolds
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Bourton-on-the-Water Cotswold Ramble
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble boot Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble boot Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble
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0002_sunny_intervals Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold RambleToday's weather
9 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 6 mph SE
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0003_white_cloud Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble 0007_fog Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble 0007_fog Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble 0006_mist Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble 0002_sunny_intervals Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble

A 10 mile circular walk from the bustling village of Bourton on the Water in Gloucestershire The walk follows well-marked ways through Cotswold countryside, alongside rivers, through woodlands, and visiting the picturesque villages of Naunton, Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter. There are three pubs along the route, offering plenty of opportunities for refreshments. The village of Bourton on the Water offers many pubs and tea shoppes, ideal for a cream tea reward at the end of the walk, so long as you get back to the village centre by about 4:30pm.

There are a few steady inclines, both upwards and downwards along the route, but much of the route is flat. There are many well-maintained gates to negotiate along the way, but there are no stiles. You may encounter sheep or a few horses in one or two of the fields along the route. Allow 4.5 hours walking plus additional time for refreshments at the pubs.

Bourton on the Water is a bustling village at the heart of the Cotswolds. On peak weekends, the best place to park is on the Cotswold School playing field which opens specially for busy times (approximate post code GL54 2BD) where the charge is £3 for all day parking (correct Summer 2018).

During other weekends or in the week, on street parking may be possible or use the pay and display car park near Birdland (Approximate post code GL54 2AY).

Walk Sections

Start to Windrush Way
Start to Windrush Way

Start point: 51.8882 lat, -1.7578 long
End point: 51.8873 lat, -1.7687 long

If you have parked on the Cotswold School playing field, then leave the field through the opening halfway along the western edge of the field and turn left (south) along the enclosed pathway towards St Lawrence's Church and the centre of Bourton on the Water. Follow the path until you reach High Street and then turn right (north west) along High Street heading away from the village centre.

(If you have parked elsewhere in the village then head towards the village centre to find High Street and head along High Street in a north west direction to join the walk route).

Continue along High Street which becomes Landsdowne, past the Mousetrap Inn and then alongside the Windrush River until you reach the main road (A429). Cross the main road carefully and head for the start of the Windrush Way directly opposite the end of Landsdowne.

Windrush Way to Gloucestershire Way
Windrush Way to Gloucestershire Way

Start point: 51.8873 lat, -1.7687 long
End point: 51.8903 lat, -1.7825 long

The Windrush Way is a very clear path straight ahead, directly away from the main road you have just crossed. Follow the path through a gate into a field then continue along the path on the left-hand side of a field. As you reach the far corner of the field, pass through a gate into a small woodland.

Immediately on entering the woodland the path forks and you should bear right, following the northern edge of the woodland. Continue along the clear path until you reach a signpost indicating Windrush Way to the left and Gloucestershire Way to the right.

Gloucestershire Way to Woodland
Gloucestershire Way to Woodland

Start point: 51.8903 lat, -1.7825 long
End point: 51.8912 lat, -1.7922 long

At the signpost for Windrush Way and Gloucestershire Way, continue to the left along the Windrush Way and follow this into and through a small hamlet, where the path becomes a single track country lane. Continue along the lane up a small rise to a junction with a farm drive and another Windrush Way signpost. Turn right along the farm drive, still following the Windrush Way.

Just before you reach the farmyard, turn left through a gate into a field and head diagonally across the field to pass the farm building on your right-hand side. Pass through a gate into the next field and continue along the left-hand edge of the field. The path is very clear and will shortly lead you to enter a woodland.

Woodland to Lower Harford Farm
Woodland to Lower Harford Farm

Start point: 51.8912 lat, -1.7922 long
End point: 51.9012 lat, -1.8136 long

Proceed along the woodland path (which is very easy to follow) for about 800m, until you reach a gate into a field, marked with warning signs about a Clay Shoot. Proceed through the field with the woodland edge on your right-hand side. At the far side of the field, go through a metal gate and turn immediately left along the path.

This path will lead you a little way further through woodland, firstly south west and then gradually turning to the north west, across open grassy fields and back to the banks of the River Windrush. After a short stretch along the riverbank, go through a gate into another field and follow the path across the middle of the field, heading away from the riverbank, until you reach the country lane approximately 100m south of Lower Harford Farm and another Windrush Way signpost.

Lower Harford Farm to The Black Horse
Lower Harford Farm to The Black Horse

Start point: 51.9012 lat, -1.8136 long
End point: 51.9098 lat, -1.829 long

After a short distance along the track, pass through a gate into a long narrow field with a line of telegraph poles running down the centre. The path generally follows the telegraph poles for approximately 1km then arrives at a small stone bridge, hardly more than a large stepping stone, over a stream. Cross the stream and then immediately the path forks. Take the right fork heading diagonally up the small hillside. At the top of the small hill, pass through a gate onto a narrow track past the 17th tee of Naunton Downs Golf Course. Follow the track until it reaches the B4068, cross this road and continue along the pathway directly opposite, heading gently down the hill. When the path forks, take the right-hand fork and follow the path into the village of Naunton. When you reach the main street through Naunton village, turn right along it and proceed until you reach The Black Horse Inn (one option for a refreshment stop).

The Black Horse to Wardens Way
The Black Horse to Wardens Way

Start point: 51.9098 lat, -1.829 long
End point: 51.9149 lat, -1.8061 long

From the Black Horse retrace your steps along the main street through Naunton for approximately 50m and then turn right into a country lane. Follow the lane north for about 100m then look for a signpost for the Warden's Way on the right. At the signpost, pass through a gate into the field. The path follows the left hand edge of the field, slightly up hill, to the far left corner where you will find a gate into a woodland. Enter the woodland and follow the path for a short distance to reach a second field. Head diagonally across this field to the far right corner, then continue straight on into the third field and diagonally across this field to a gap at the mid point of the far field boundary. Go through the gap into the fourth field and head for the closest corner of the woodland on the opposite side of this field. Follow the path through the woodland until it reaches a farm track, then continue north along the farm track until you see a road ahead. The path now turns right through a gate just before the road is reached. Follow this path through four more fields, with the field wall on your left and the road the other side of the wall. At the end of the fourth field you will reach a metal gate and another signpost for Warden's Way.

Wardens Way to Postbox on B4068
Wardens Way to Postbox on B4068

Start point: 51.9149 lat, -1.8061 long
End point: 51.9161 lat, -1.7802 long

Go through the metal gate, cross the road, and follow the track through the field immediately opposite, with the field boundary on your right. After approximately 300m the path turns right, just after passing some farm buildings. Head diagonally across the next field on the well marked path, and then through the next two fields, keeping the line of trees approximately 30m away to your left. Towards the end of the second field, head to pass along the left side of the buildings, entering woodland ahead and then along the woodland track until you reach the B4068. Cross the road and turn left, carefully walking on the road verge for approximately 350m until you reach an old red postbox.

Postbox on B4068 to Upper Slaughter Defibrillator
Postbox on B4068 to Upper Slaughter Defibrillator

Start point: 51.9161 lat, -1.7802 long
End point: 51.9075 lat, -1.7757 long

After the postbox, turn right onto the track leading away from the B4068 and follow this track for approximately 600m through woodland. Exit the woodland into a field (the path is still well marked) and, after another 600m, it leads you into the centre of the picturesque village of Upper Slaughter. Here you will find an old red telephone box, now home to a much more modern piece of equipment; a defibrillator.

Upper Slaughter Defibrillator to The Slaughters Country Inn
Upper Slaughter Defibrillator to The Slaughters Country Inn

Start point: 51.9075 lat, -1.7757 long
End point: 51.9009 lat, -1.7615 long

Pass the defibrillator box on your left, head to the centre of the village and then bear left (east) along the lane out of the village centre. Approximately 200m from the defibrillator, at the end of high stone wall on your left, is another signpost for the Warden's Way again. Follow the Wardens Way through three narrow fields, and then alongside the River Eye to the picturesque village of Lower Slaughter. Follow the River Eye through the village centre until you reach The Slaughters Country Inn, (another option for a refreshment stop).

The Slaughters Country Inn to Coach and Horses
The Slaughters Country Inn to Coach and Horses

Start point: 51.9009 lat, -1.7615 long
End point: 51.894 lat, -1.7588 long

From The Slaughters Country Inn continue on the road through the village, following the River Eye on your right. After a short distance the river and path bend right away from the road. Continue along the path and follow it through a line of trees and then across two fields back to the A429. (If you are so inclined, there is another option for a refreshment stop at the Coach and Horses a short distance away to the left along the A429).

Coach and Horses to End
Coach and Horses to End

Start point: 51.894 lat, -1.7588 long
End point: 51.8884 lat, -1.7578 long

The route turns right along the main road for 175m to a pelican crossing. Use this to cross the A429 and head into Station Road, back towards the centre of Bourton on the Water. After passing Bourton Link on the left, look for a footpath turning right off Station Road and take this path back to the School Playing field where you may have parked, or alternatively back to the centre of Bourton on the Water and your alternate parking location.

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network Bourton-on-the Water Cotswold Ramble Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author TomSawyer2112 and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 Comments for: "Bourton-on-the-Water Cotswold Ramble"

This is a very challenging walk! Lots of ups and downs, which made it feel much longer than the quoted distance. Don't attempt litely and make sure to either take food or arrive at the half way pub when they are serving food because it's not all day.

By AndyMcD0nald on 22 Aug 2018

Ice cream shop at Lower Slaughter is worth a visit! Perfect for the walk along the river

By OwenT49 on 22 Aug 2018

Note, the School Field parking mentioned in the introduction only opens on selective weekends during the summer - it is not open every weekend. Also note - gates are locked when school field parking closes. Other parking options is the Bourton Vale Car Park at rear of Co-op Garage.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know, we have updated the guide.

By jezzaph on 01 Jul 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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