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Welcome to Winchcombe - Walking capital of the Cotswolds

Welcome to Winchcombe

Walkers Are Welcome

This website gives you all the information you need if you are visiting Winchcombe, the walking centre for the Cotswolds on one website. We have pages focused on walks, attractions, eating out, shops, accommodation and links to numerous websites where you can find a wealth of information.

Winchcombe is set in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds. It has a timeless quality about it which makes it an attractive centre for walkers. A walled town in Saxon times, the town became prosperous as a result of the wool trade. The town has "Walkers are Welcome" status which means we will endeavour to make your stay and experience memorable. We hope you use the local businesses on your visit especially those supporting the Walkers are Welcome initiative. These are easily recognisable by the logo displayed in their windows.

Strolling along picturesque streets surrounded by cottages of golden yellow stone and hidden courtyard gardens it’s easy to allow yourself to daydream that you’ve stepped back in time. The town is served by many footpaths coming off the hills, including the Cotswold Way National Trail.

You can base yourself in Winchcombe to walk these, and several other long distance routes such as the Winchcombe Way, Wardens Way and Windrush Way. The circular Gloucestershire Way also passes through finishing at Tewkesbury.

The 42 mile Winchcombe Way featured on BBC TV and radio, passes through a constantly changing landscape with a guidebook available. Then there is the newly waymarked Isbourne Way, explore the entire 14 miles of the river from Cleeve Hill to the confluence with the River Avon on the outskirts of Evesham.

If you fancy doing a bit of sightseeing as well as walking then we have delightful attractions to choose from. The lovely gardens of Sudeley Castle, the unexpected delights of Snowshill Manor (National Trust), the highest gravity fountain in the country at Stanway House, one of th UK's most prestigious motor racing venues at the Prescott Hill Climb, a ruined Cistercian Abbey at Hailes, the Steam Railway at Toddington and several smaller but equally interesting museums in the town centre.

The famous Cotswold Way passes through the town and the picturesque nearby villages of Hailes and Stanton on its 102 mile route from Bath to Chipping Campden. Belas Knap can be seen along the way, one of Britain's best burial chambers.

Winchcombe is steeped in history with evidence of a Roman villa still remaining. With the abbeys and castle there has been royalist activities for hundreds of years, Sudeley Castle was the home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last and only surviving wife of Henry VIII. The original castle was destroyed by Cromwell's troops.

Winchcombe was the first town in the Cotswolds to gain Walkers are Welcome status. We strive to be an attractive destination for walkers with top quality information on local walks. We look to ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained, improved and well signposted. In fact we offer some of the best footpaths in the Cotswolds.