Winchcombe is a “Walkers are Welcome” town and a prime centre for people who love the outdoors, 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.
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, including 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 this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Click on the walks summary to see a variety of suggested walks, which are available to download.
- Books of walks around Winchcombe are available from the Tourist Information Centre and other outlets. The walks range from 2.5 to 14 miles
- The official guide to the Winchcombe Way and the Isbourne Way are available from the website or local stockists
- We also offer some downloadable route guides describing walks that include a map. These can be found on the walks page and can be used with an OS Explorer 1:25,000 map.
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 in the other. Take the Marchants 606 or Sunday service 606S and walk back. Alternatively, there is now a W2 service between Winchcombe and Cheltenham. The W1 service is a direct route to Winchcombe and the W2 is the more direct bus from Winchcombe to Cheltenham.
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 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 Isbourne Way
The Isbourne Way – a 14 mile route follows the River Isbourne from its source on Cleeve Hill to its confluence with the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham. Starts at the Washpool on Cleeve Hill, passes through Winchcombe, Toddington, Wormington and Sedgeberrow, and ends at Evesham.
- The Wardens Way
The Wardens Way – this 14 mile walk leaves Winchcombe and heads through the hills via several villages to Bourton on the Water. The walk passes through Naunton, Guiting Power and the 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. This trail recalls the alleged journey taken by the monks of Winchcombe with the Saint’s remains.
Alternatively take the GWR railway from Winchcombe Station (Greet) and alight at Gotherington Halt and return using the footpaths.
Taking the Lead – Your dog’s welfare
We want you and your dog to be safe in the Cotswolds. Here are some tips from the Kennel Club on protecting your dog:
Wherever you go, following these steps will help keep your pet safe, protect the environment, and show you are a responsible dog owner.
- Control your dog so that it does not scare or disturb farm animals or wildlife.
- When using the new access rights over open country and common land, you must keep your dog on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July – and all year round near farm animals – and you may not be able to take your dog at all on some areas or at some times. Please follow any official signs.
- 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. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals.
- 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 cows, 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.
- Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections, so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly. Also, make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.
In addition, the National Farmers Union say:
- Cows are nosey and may come to investigate, especially if you have a dog with you
- Don’t panic or run if cattle follow you – stay calm and walk quickly and quietly around the herd
- Remember cows can be protective of their young. Never get between cows and their calves – go around the herd and rejoin the path as soon as possible