5 Walks in Gloucestershire



This county’s stunning countryside is a patchwork of pastures, honey-hued villages, rolling wolds and ancient woodlands, making walks in Gloucestershire some of the most alluring in England. Castles, ruins, stately homes and acre upon acre of inviting parkland... it’s where you, your tent and hiking boots want to be. 

So, here's a list of five walks in Gloucestershire to get you thinking about where in this scenic county you fancy pitching up and hitting the trail.  

All to walk for in Gloucestershire (Robert Bye / Unsplash)

The Cotswold Way National Trail

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty takes in some of England’s most adored landscapes. Even after a hundred miles through the Cotswolds, it’s unlikely you’ll tire of their scenic beauty. But you can try: the Cotswold Way is a 102-mile National Trail running from the 14th-century stone village of Chipping Campden to ever-popular Bath in Somerset. It’s also one of Gloucestershire’s most complete hiking experiences. 

Explore abbey ruins and medieval churches along the way, then wander the many centuries-old market towns for eateries serving up food and drink made with local ingredients, some of which are among the best restaurants in Gloucestershire.  

You don’t need to go the full distance, of course. As the trail is divided into segments (seven miles on average), it’s easy to pace yourself along the Cotswold escarpment while taking in spectacular views across Cheltenham and the Severn Vale. 

Those interested in Gloucestershire’s castles can take a quick detour from Winchcombe to 15th-century Sudeley Castle & Gardens (the burial grounds of Catherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s queens). And if country and manor parks are what you’re after, there’s Crickley Hill, Newark and Dodington.

Finally, if the castle experience has got your appetite going, head back to Winchcombe for an excellent array of eateries and pubs.

Campsites near Chipping Campden

Pretty familiar in the Cotswolds (Ivy Barn / Unsplash)

Long trails and circular walks in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

The ancient Forest of Dean and nearby Wye Valley give the Cotswold Way a good run for its money. Gear up for days of exciting exploration through the medieval forest’s many trails and circular walks. And be sure to get on top of Symonds Yat Rock for one of the most spectacular views of the River Wye. Birdwatchers will appreciate it as a vantage point for sighting peregrine falcons, sparrowhawks, goshawks and buzzards.  

Want more views and fresh air? Further beyond the forest is the greater Wye Valley with even more of a dramatic expanse of leafy landscape. It’s also an area of outstanding natural beauty with something for all hikers: circular walks, riverside strolls, woodland rambles and long-distance treks. 

The truly intrepid can take on 177 miles of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail or the slightly shorter Wye Valley Walk at 136 miles.  

Browse campsites near the Forest of Dean

Walk the winding River Wye (Mike Erskine / Unsplash)

Walks around Tewkesbury 

With an abundance of riverside wanders and country trails, the handsome and historic town of Tewkesbury is a brilliant base for memorable walks in Gloucestershire. 

Start with an easy stroll along the Avon and into the centre of town via the Riverside Walk or Heritage & Alleyways Trail. Take in some of Tewkesbury’s local history while admiring its countless Tudor facades – there are public houses hiding behind many of these, should you feel peckish or thirsty. 

The history buff who’s up for a longer march can join the Battle Trail to venture in and around the site where the Battle of Tewkesbury was fought in 1471 – a deciding stand-off during the Wars of the Roses. 

Or, go further back a few more centuries on the Severn Ham history and nature walk. Stroll an hour or two around this peaceful water meadow that’s also a listed Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).  

For the hardcore hiker, there’s also Shakespeare’s Avon Way and its 92 miles of footpath, bridleways and minor roads that flank one of Englands’ most scenic and significant rivers. Set out from Tewkesbury, leaving Gloucestershire, and look forward to Northampton. 

Choose a campsite near Tewkesbury

Walk through monastic history at Tewkesbury (David George / Unsplash)

Circular Walk at May Hill

Rising above the border with Herefordshire, May Hill is a well-known landmark that’s popular for scenic strolls. Though a shorter circular walk, it’s a winner for a slow day of ambling, picnicking and soaking up the Gloucestershire surroundings.

‘Hill’ usually means ‘view’ and on the May Hill Countryside Walk (three miles) there are panoramas aplenty. Ascend from May Common and admire the vistas across the Severn Estuary and plain, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and the Black Mountains. You might struggle to pull yourself away… 

A gentle descent over heathland into Huntley Estate is just the cue for spreading a blanket and installing yourself for a few hours lazing, grazing and chatting. 

After Huntley Estate, another mile’s walk returns you to May Common, where you just might consider doing it all over again.

Browse campsites near May Hill 


Whichever of these five walks you choose, find the best campsite in Gloucestershire to settle in nearby. But it’s not all boots, tents and trails – here’s a list of more things to do in Gloucestershire