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10 Autumn Walks in the Cotswolds


For many of us, autumn days are the best time of the year for donning our walking boots, zipping up our anoraks and going for a walk in the countryside – why? Well, there’s nothing quite like the cool, earthy smell of the autumn air, plus the season’s signature colours, burnished bright and resplendently rich, are a real feast for the eyes. So, without further ado, here are our top ten autumn walks in the Cotswolds.

Batsford Arboretum

Situated on the A44, close to the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum offers a fantastic, family and dog-friendly, option for an autumnal amble. With well over a thousand species of trees and shrubs, including Japanese Maples, majestic Oaks and Mountain Ash, the experience is a veritable riot for the senses.

Autumn walks family

Dumbleton Hill

There are deciduous trees aplenty in the dense woodland found at Dumbleton Hill in the district of Tewkesbury. Autumn sees a carpet of brightly coloured leaves covering the ground, vibrant avenues that lead to spectacular panoramic views of the Cotswolds once you arrive at the hilltop.

Upper and Lower Slaughter

If you’re looking for an autumn walk in a picturesque village, then the Cotswolds has plenty to choose from and the villages of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter and are fine examples. What you’ll find there are quintessentially English scenes, quaint riverside cottages sit alongside a 19th-century watermill and stone bridges. The trees that line the riverbanks are ablaze with red and golden leaves that, once fallen, crunch beneath your feet.

Slaughter Village

Bredon Hill

Another autumn walk that will give you elevated views of the Cotswolds escarpment, the Severn Valley and Malvern Hills is Bredon Hill. The ascent takes in a diverse range of landscapes including rolling green fields, farmland and ancient woodland. A magical meander for all the family.

Cleeve Common

The perfect place for a peaceful stroll or a more invigorating hike is Cleeve Common. Lying around 4 miles to the northeast of Cheltenham it offers a choice of walks from which you can enjoy the array of autumnal splendour that adorns the footpaths and surrounding countryside. The views from the top of Cleeve Hill are particularly enchanting at sunrise and as the sunsets.

Cleeve Hill

Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote

For an autumn walk with a little history, head to Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote. Here a 15th century Oxfordshire manor house lies in ruin amongst the rural landscape and the peace of the River Windrush that curves close by.

Blenheim Palace

When it comes to regal grandeur, Blenheim Palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire is hard to beat and during autumn the buildings, gardens and surrounding estate are simply magnificent. There are several walks to choose from including The Lake and Grand Cascade, which is a gentle 45-minute walk and The Park Perimeter, a more strenuous 2-hour walk covering 4.6 miles. No matter which route you choose, you’re assured autumnal alchemy.

Westonbirt Arboretum

Once again trees take the centre stage at Westonbirt Arboretum. Around 15,000 trees draped in golden, orange and copper coloured leaves put on an impressive annual autumn performance that just can’t be missed. Wander along the easy to navigate paths or head off into the trees for a unique and unforgettable autumn experience.

Autumn sunset

Guiting Power and Castlett Wood

An easy, fun for all, 4-mile frolic starting at the village of Guiting Power, this walk takes you quiet lanes, along Guiting Stream and through a wonderful stretch of Castlett Wood. An exquisite expedition that will leave you feeling calm, quiet and relaxed.

Charlbury and the Wychwood Forest

Seasoned walkers, wanting a bit more of a challenge, could step on to route 1 at Charlbury and the Wychwood Forest. This is a circular 8-mile walk that takes in a bevy of beautiful seasonal attractions. Starting at the charming town of Charlbury, the only public footpath leads you through some of the most breathtaking countryside the area has to offer, before returning you to Charlbury, where you can visit the Rose and Crown pub for a well-earned drink.