The Wardens’ Way was created in the 1980s by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.
Distance: Bouton on the Water to Naunton; 5.5 miles (8.8km)
Duration: 2.75 hours
Distance: Naunton to Winchcombe; 8 miles (12.8km)
Duration: 4 hours
Start: War memorial in the centre of Bourton on the Water
Refreshments: Black Horse pub in Naunton. The Farmers Arms and Hollow Bottom along with a small tea shop in Guiting Power
Start at the war memorial in Bourton on the Water, with your back to the river, head left towards St Lawrence’s Church. Turn right through the metal church gates along a path for 400 metres until you reach a major road. Turn left and follow the road for 400 metres to the traffic lights 1.
Cross the Fosse Way (A429) and turn right along the pavement. After 100 metres turn left along a footpath through a pedestrian gateway and continue along the path to another gate in the right hand corner of the next field. Carry straight on for 200 metres to the road in Lower Slaughter. Turn left and follow the path beside the river. Cross the road at the junction and keeping the river on your left, continue round the bend to the mill.
Turn left immediately after the mill and follow the path for ½ mile (0.8km) through 6 gates over a footbridge and up to the road. Turn left along the road to the village square of Upper Slaughter. In the square turn right towards the ford and 50 metres before the ford turn left along a track by the School House and church. Follow the track for ¾ mile (1.2km) through 2 gates and 1field gate; through a wood until you reach the B4068 2.
Turn left along the road for 400 metres, taking care of traffic, then turn right along the left hand of two bridleways joining the road at this point, passing cottages on your left. Climb the hill for ¾ mile (1.2km) through 3 field gates arriving at some farm buildings. Go through 2 field gates by the buildings and immediately turn left to follow a track for 300 metres to another field gate by the road.
Cross the road; go through the gate in the hedge opposite. Immediately turn right and follow the field edge for ½ mile (0.8km) through 6 gates to reach a track 3.
Turn sharp left and follow the track downhill, continuing straight ahead on a bridleway into the woods, where the track bears left to the farm. Go downhill then briefly uphill to reach farmland. Continue across two fields through gaps in the hedge, in the third field follow the track diagonally right into the woods. Coming out of the woods go through a gate and across a field to reach the road through a gate. Turn left into Naunton and in 100 metres at a T-junction turn right.
If you require refreshments turn left at the T-junction and The Black Horse pub is situated ahead of you. With your back to the Black Horse pub in Naunton, turn right and follow the road through the village of Naunton for 300 metres taking the first left down past the Dovecote. Go over the river bridge and through the field gate, bearing right to follow the track along the valley bottom through another field gate, where the track becomes a road. Still in Naunton continue to the T junction and turn left up the hill for 400 metres to a gate on the right in the hedge 4.
Go through the gate and continue straight ahead through the field, following the contour line to a field gate. Continue in the same direction across the next field to the corner of a copse. Keeping the copse on your left follow the path through a field gate to the road. Turn right downhill along the road and go straight across the T-Junction to a gate and continue straight ahead across the field to another gate. Go through the gate and continue across the field to another gate. Go through the gate, down the steps over the bridge and up to another gate. Go straight across the next field to a gate then follow the wall to a gate and another gate by St Michael’s and All Angels church. Keep straight ahead past the Village Hall and Village Shop into Guiting Power 5.
On reaching the village green turn left and in 100 metres turn right along a road. Continue along the road which eventually becomes a track through woods as you leave the village, keeping the river on your right. Follow the track up past some buildings on your left, then turn right opposite a bungalow along a track through a field. Follow this wide track through a field gate, over a crossroads and down towards the woods. As the track enters the woods by a house (Pump Bottom Cottage) 6 bear left on a footpath before the house, uphill through 2 gates and into the woods. Continue straight ahead ¾ mile (1.2km) along the track, ignoring any cross paths, and just before reaching large painted gates by a lane, turn sharp left along another track (do not go through the gates) 7.
Follow the track along the edge of the wood for ½ mile (0.8km), turn right up a track when you reach a crossing of paths. After a further ½ mile (0.8km) uphill, the track along the edge of the wood, takes you to a painted gate by the road. Turn left along the road and in 100 metres turn right taking the right hand bridleway. Continue along the narrow track until you reach the Salt Way. Turn left and in 50 metres turn right through a field gate down a farm track. Follow the track turning right above Parks Farm, through a field gate and on down to rejoin the lane by turning right again and walk ½ mile (0.8km) along the lane following the contour of the hill.
Above Sudeley Lodge turn right along a track and continue until you meet the lane. Turn right here and in 40 metres turn left through a 8 gate and continue downhill to a gate. Turn right after the gate and follow the field edge for 200 metres, left at the corner of the field and down to a gate in the bottom corner. Continue 30 metres ahead and slightly to the right to go through another gate in the hedge with a footbridge, to enter Sudeley Castle home park. Follow the path towards the castle, through a gate and keeping the adventure playground fence on your right, continue through a gate to the driveway.
Turn left down the driveway, over the bridge and past the gatehouse to enter Vineyard Street. Continue along Vineyard Street until you reach Abbey Terrace, Winchcombe and the end of the route.
WWaW hope you enjoy the walk, however the walk is undertaken at your sole risk and WWaW have no responsibility for loss, damage, injury or interpretation. Every possible care has been taken to ensure the information given was accurate at the time of creation.