The heart of the Cotswolds is a firm favourite for many British people, as well as tourists. Fresh air, lots of open spaces, and plenty of places that are dog-friendly too. There’s no wonder it’s popular with walkers, hikers and do-walkers alike.
You’re spoilt for choice of walks in the Cotswolds, purely because of the green areas dotted around the area. Whether you’re a local or considering visiting the area as a tourist, there are plenty of activities to do alongside your walking too.
We’ve rounded up five of our favourite walks, ranging from 1.5 miles to a hefty 23 miles (don’t worry because those 23 miles can be broken up into shorter sections). Here’s the list of the best dog walks, Cotswolds edition.
Miserden Circular Walk, Gloucestershire
If you’re looking for a scenic but short country walk, the Miserden Circular walk is perfect for you and your pooch. This will take you through the village of Miserden as well as around the lake close by. It’s an ideal route for any time of year but the rainier it’s been, the sturdier the footwear you should have on!
Starting in Miserden, this walk takes you around the Golden Valley of the Miserden Estate, which features 850 acres of woodland and gardens, all open to the public. It’s a flat walk for the most part with a short patch of uphill and downhill in the middle of the walk.
If you take children on this walk, they’ll love spotting sheep, cows and horses on this route, with the sheer amount of farmland surrounding the village. They’ll love exploring the great outdoors and playing in nature!
You can explore the grounds of the Estate; however, dogs are not allowed in the gardens. There is a cafe and a gift shop onsite, with lots of events happening throughout the school holidays.
The Carpenters Arms pub in the centre of the village is very popular with locals and walkers. The owner has a Jack Russel terrier himself so you won’t find many pubs more dog-friendly than this one! Book ahead of time for a Sunday lunch though as it’s always very busy.
Broadway Tower, Worcestershire
Considered the Jewel of the Cotswolds, Broadway Tower on Beacon Hill is the second highest point in the area. That means views for days over the Severn Valley into Wales. If you’re looking for a route with a spectacular view, this is the walk for you.
The village of Broadway itself is a postcard-picture-perfect area, with an ode to its history of arts and crafts everywhere. There are a tonne of eateries to choose from as well as a museum and art gallery to explore too.
This route is well sign-posted throughout as you walk through the village, fields and over a bridge. The walk takes you around the outskirts of the tower so to enter, there is a fee. However, even from the outside, you’ll be able to spot the herd of red deer that live on the grounds.
With it being a hill walk, there are several parts of the route that are pretty steep uphill. There are lots of benches along the way to get your breath back though as well as a cafe at the top. It can definitely be a great pit-stop to refuel for the way down.
Nottingham Hill Walk
For those who are in need of a shorter walk, the Nottingham Hill walk is perfect for early mornings and late evenings. In fact, it’s the ideal walk at sunrise and sunset, with views that reach over the Malverns. Even if you have a busy life balancing work, children, and 21st-century living, this walk will give you a little rest bite, fresh air and beautiful views added to your day. It’s a lovely spot to sit and find some peace and quiet too so you could take a coffee and a good book to sit for a while.
Don’t be discouraged with the fact that it’s a hill walk. It’s pretty flat for a hill, with the occasional incline and decline if you want to go to the top. It can get a little muddy following rainfall so decent walking boots are a must all year round.
If you prefer a longer walk, it’s easy to extend this route. Add on Cleeve Hill or walk down towards Gotherington to stay out of the house for longer! Make sure to take plenty of food and drink though as eateries and facilities are sparse in this entire area.
The shorter walk is just as enjoyable with stunning views and tranquillity. This walk rarely gets busy so whilst you might encounter a few dog walkers, birdwatchers or cyclists, you can explore in peace.
Stanton and Snowshill circular walk
2.5 hours minimum
Another option for those who enjoy a tranquil, peaceful walk, the Stanton and Snowshill circular walk tends to be very quiet! It’s not the easiest walk, with hilltops, valleys and woodlands to navigate through, but your reward will be to visit some of the best pubs in the area situated before, during or after your walk.
Parking in the village is discouraged so park in the Stanton Village Club car park on the outskirts of the village to make nice with the locals. Alternatively, you can park at Snowshill, where there are more spaces as well as an overfill car park.
You’ll come across a mixture of hikers, dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists on this route so always be aware of your surroundings. Dogs should be kept on leads as much as possible but can be let off in the woodlands. There are usually sheep and cows across the meadows so leads are a must. Even when it hasn’t rained for days, the paths can get very muddy very easily so make sure you’re in your walking boots and waterproof gear.
Even if you only do a short stretch of this walk, there are beautiful views from almost every stop-off point, from The Mount Inn pub to Snowshill Manor. You could even visit the Manor and its gardens as part of a day trip to the area. The sixteenth century country house is part of the National Trust scheme.
Cheltenham ‘3 Peaks Challenge’ walk
If you want to spend all day outdoors, this is the walk for you! It’s definitely more of a hike than a walk so be prepared for that. However, it’s easy enough to break this walk into smaller sections. You could walk it over a long weekend or a few weeks if preferred.
This route takes in the main three hills around the town: Crickley, Leckhampton and Cleeve. There is an official charity walk every year on this route, where you join other walkers. They also provide self-guided maps for the shorter routes and sections too.
Whilst we’re not sure your dog will want to walk the 23 miles to complete the full walk, choosing one of the three hills is enough of a workout: a 1 mile stretch around Crickley Hill Country Park, the three mile circular route around Leckhampton Hill, or six miles over Cleeve Hill Common. Any of them would be an adventure for you and your pooch.
In the Cotswolds, there are definitely more than just five walks to choose from. If you live in the area, you’re never less than a short drive away from stunning views and green landscapes. It’s up there as one of the UK’s most dog-friendly areas so expect for people to approach your dogs on walks or in any eateries or shops you pop into!