Winchcombe is a "Walkers are Welcome" town and a prime centre for people who love the outdoors and especially walking. The status is given to towns and villages that have something special to offer walkers. With pubs, shops and accommodation coupled with a lovely atmosphere and a great location you can't go wrong.
Rough Guides - "Historic walkers' village: a great base for the area, with memorably down-to-earth charm".
Country Walking Magazine - "The Winchcombe Way showcases a town with 'Walkers are Welcome' written through it as though it was a stick of rock".
The historic town is a great walking centre and offers a variety of walks to suit all ages and abilities. There are town walks, historical walks or walks across the unspoilt Cotswold landscape. The variety is diverse taking in a Roman villa, a Neolithic burial mound, a steam railway, common land and impressive views across to the Malvern Hills and Wales.
Alternatively there are walks where you can discover the beautiful views of the Cotswolds and the flora and fauna of the area of natural beauty.
Click on the walks summary to see a variety of suggested walks some of which are available to download.
The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and the Ramblers lead guided walks some of which start from Winchcombe. Details of the Cotswold voluntary wardens walks can be found in the "Cotswold Lion" free newspaper available from the TIC, some teashops and Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Walks centred on Winchcombe can be found on this website under "Guided Walks". Alternatively visit: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
The 'Ramblers' organisation, with around 140,000 members, runs a huge variety of walks throughout the UK each and every week of the year. To obtain full details of these walks both within Gloucestershire and other areas simply go onto their website at www.ramblers.org.uk or www.gloucestershirearearamblers.org.uk If you are not a member you are very welcome to come along on 2 or 3 of the advertised walks to see how you like them.
- Books of walks around Winchcombe published by the North Cotswolds Walkers are available from the TIC and other outlets. The walks range from 2.5 to 8 miles
- The official guide to the Winchcombe Way is available from the website or local stockists
- We also offer some downloadable PDF route guides describing walks including a map. These can be found on the walks page and can be used with an OS Explorer or OS 1:50,000 map
There are regular "Walking for Health" walks every Thursday morning at 10.30am outside the Plaisterers Arms, Abbey Terrace. No need to book, just turn up. For further information contact Ursula Cootes on 01242 609033.
Winchcombe Town Walks
Every Sunday there is a free town walk starting at 11am and again at 2.30pm outside the TIC from April until the end of October led by a guide.
The walks are a brief introduction to Winchcombe and designed to be suitable for all ages. The walk is less than a mile and the duration is approximately one hour.
If you would prefer a local specialist walking company to organise your own walking itinerary, please visit www.cotswoldwalks.com
Winchcombe can probably lay claim to more long distance walks than any other town!
The Cotswold Way National Trail passes along the High Street, taking walkers to Belas Knap long barrow and Cleeve Hill in one direction and Hailes Abbey, Stanton and Broadway the other way. Take the Castleways 606 bus out of town in either direction and walk back, but please note there is no service on Sundays.
There are several new Cotswold Way Circular Walks within easy reach of Winchcombe. Some are figure of eight walks, so you can choose to do the full walk or just the first loop. You can download the routes free from the Cotswold Way website. The Trail Officer is developing more so keep your eye out for them.
The other long distance walks are:
The Gloucestershire Way
The Gloucestershire Way - this 100 mile route starts in Chepstow, meanders through the Forest of Dean before reaching the Cotswolds. Here it forms a loop to Stow on the Wold and Winchcombe on its way to Tewkesbury Abbey. Take the Gloucestershire Way west over Langley Hill to find the Millennium carving of a shepherd with his dog.
- The Wardens Way
The Wardens Way - this 14 mile walk leaves Winchcombe and heading through the hills via several villages to Bourton on the Water. The walk passes through Naunton, Guiting Power the Lower and Upper Slaughters. This route provides a link between the Cotswold Way National Trail and the Oxfordshire Way
- The Winchcombe Way
A 42 mile figure-of-eight route centred on Winchcombe. The route passes through tranquil villages, across Cleeve Common, past ancient sites, historic houses and spectacular views.
- The Windrush Way
Another 14 mile walk to Bourton on the Water, this time taking to the hills. This route passes through lost medieval villages on its way to the River Windrush.
- St Kenelm's Way
A 60 mile trail from the Clent Hills, identified as the scene of his murder, to Winchcombe and his final place of rest by order of the Pope. The trail recalls the journey taken by the monks of St Peters Abbey, Winchcombe Abbey with the Saint's remains.
Alternatively take the GWR railway from Winchcombe Station (Greet) and alight at Gotherington Halt and return using the footpaths.
Helping everyone to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside
Some tips from the Countryside code
- Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs.
- Check weather conditions before you leave, and don't be afraid to turn back.
- Part of the appeal of the countryside is that you can get away from it all. There are some places without clear mobile phone signals, so let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return.
- Leave gates and property as you find them.
A farmer will normally leave a gate closed to keep livestock in, but may sometimes leave it open so they can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs.
- If walking in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates.
- In fields where crops are growing, follow the paths wherever possible. Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries when provided - climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
- Leave machinery and livestock alone - don't interfere with animals even if you think they're in distress. Try to alert the farmer instead.
- Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they're with their young - so give them plenty of space.
- Keep dogs under close control.
By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. On most areas of open country and common land, known as 'access land' you must keep your dog on a short lead on most areas of open country and common land between 1 March and 31 July, and all year round near farm animals.
- You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience.
- If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
- Take particular care that your dog doesn't scare sheep and lambs or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground and other wildlife - eggs and young will soon die without protection from their parents.
- Please support the rural economy - for example, buy your supplies from local shops.