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Oxford to Bath Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
United Kingdom, Cotswolds
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W09OX
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

10 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

Visit some of Oxfords treasures from the Ashmolean to Bodleian Library before setting off along the Shakespeare Way to your first stop at Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace. Follow the River Windrush into the heart of the Cotswolds to explore 'wool' towns before arriving in Cirencester (Corinium), the second largest town in Britain during Roman times. Enjoy a visit to the Bathurst Estate, created in the 1700s as a deer park by the first Earl Bathurst before following the disused Thames and Severn Canal through a landscape of gently rolling hills to arrive in Tetbury, and a chance to visit Highgrove Royal Gardens. Continue through the bucolic landscape to Castle Combe to admire the picturesque high street lined with former weavers' cottages that was used as the film set location for War Horse. The final stretch of your walk continues through countryside and along the canal to your final destination, Bath.

At a Glance

  • 9 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Full English Breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Trip Highlights

  • Discover historical Oxford, Cirencester and Bath
  • Visit Blenheim Palace, Highgrove Gardens and the Bathurst Estate
  • Walk between some of the most scenic Cotswold villages in the southern Cotswolds, including Castle Combe, the film set location for War Horse
  • Gentle walks through wooded valleys and along canals and rivers

Is This Trip for You?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 20.7km
No. of days walking: 8
Terrain and route: Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with route directions so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy following route directions, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes directions contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes directions contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
12

Itinerary

W09OX map

Land Only

Start City:
Oxford
End City:
Bath

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Oxford

    Arrive in Oxford. Spend time visiting one of the many historic buildings, colleges or museums.
    Staying overnight at Oxford Coach & Horses or similar.

  • Day 2

    Oxford to Woodstock

    Today's walk follows the River Thames before joining the Oxford Canal and the Shakespeare Way to Woodstock. You'll have sweeping views back to Oxford across the flood plain meadows. You'll pass a derelict nunnery and the church at Bladon where Sir Winston Churchill is laid to rest, before ending up in the picturesque town of Woodstock where you can visit Blenheim Palace.
    Stay overnight at The Kings Arms or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 3

    Woodstock to Witney

    A chance for another visit to Blenheim Palace before setting off through Capability Brown's wonderful landscaped grounds towards the village of Combe, set on a hill above the Evenlode Valley. Continue on through the lush green Oxfordshire countryside to the busy town of Witney, the largest market town in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, once famous for its blankets.
    Stay overnight at Corncroft B&B or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 18.5 km / 12 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 4

    Witney to Burford

    Today follow the River Windrush into the heart of the Cotswolds. The route passes Minster Lovell and your walk ends in the bustling medieval town of Burford, where the High Street sweeps downhill towards the River Windrush, its three arched medieval bridge and its impressive 'wool' church.
    Stay overnight at The Highway Inn or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 5

    Burford to Bibury

    Your route today passes through the quiet hamlet of Holwell, through part of the River Leach valley and follows the Roman road into Gloucestershire to Hatherop. Follow a trail along the River Coln to Bibury, described by designer William Morris as 'the most beautiful village in England'.
    Stay overnight at Cotteswold House B&B or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 21 km / 13.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 6

    Bibury to Cirencester

    Head through the village of Barnsley, past Barnsley House where the garden was designed by its former resident, Rosemary Verey. Cross pasture and arable land to Ampney Crucis before heading to the Roman town of Cirencester. Visit the Abbey or stroll in the grounds of the nearby Bathurst Estate.
    Stay overnight at The Prince of Wales or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

    Cirencester to Tetbury

    From Cirencester head through the grounds of the Royal Agriculture College to follow the disused Thames and Severn Canal. After walking through a landscape of gently rolling hills you'll reach the small town of Tetbury, with its independent specialist shops and the Prince of Wales's original 'Highgrove Shop'. Possibility of visiting Highgrove Royal Gardens - pre-booking is essential.
    Stay overnight at Alma House or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 22 km / 14 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 8

    Tetbury to Castle Combe

    Skirt the edge of the Highgrove Estate and follow the Monarch's Way through a typical Cotswold landscape and through the National Arboretum at Westonbirt. Walk through charming Cotswold villages and into Wiltshire to drop down into Castle Combe, with its pretty high street used as the film set location for War Horse and Stardust.
    Stay overnight at Castle Inn or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 24 km / 15 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 9

    Castle Combe to Bath

    Walk through wooded valleys to the old market town of Marshfield. From Batheaston follow the canal to Bath for a triumphant entrance to the city, finishing up at the steps of Bath Abbey.
    Stay overnight at Apple Tree Guesthouse or similar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 27 km / 17 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6.5
  • Day 10

    Leave Bath

    Depart after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels and Guesthouses

Coach & Horses Oxford

A range of accommodation is used on this tour including B&Bs and Inns, many of which are in historic buildings. All offer a friendly Cotswolds welcome and full English Breakfast daily.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £558.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Enjoy the local cuisine in quintessentially British pubs, cafes and delicatessens - local delicacies include Cerney Ash or Stinking Bishop cheeses, Crackleberry Farm eggs, Cotswold Cream liqueur and the local ales - try the Yubby beer from the Yubberton Brewery Co. There's also the archetypal English Cream Teas that go down a treat with a nice hot cup of tea!

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The Cotswolds has a temperate maritime climate with warm, rather than hot, summers and cool to cold winters. The Cotswolds hottest month, on average, is July and the coldest is January with rainfall, on average, falling fairly evenly throughout the year. The weather is unpredictable as with the rest of the UK and it is possible to see elements of all four seasons in one day. It is advisable for visitors to check the weather forecast before they arrive in the Cotswolds to get a better idea of the sort of clothing they will need during their trip. Bringing hooded waterproof coats and hats will ensure visitors are prepared for any spells of wind and rain the region may experience.

Spring: The climate is milder in spring making it a good time to visit the Cotswolds. There can be some great sunny days mixed with cooler and wet weather. From March to May the average daytime temperatures are between 9°C and 17°C.

Summer: Most days in summer range from mild to warm with the possibility of some infrequent hotter days, the days are at their longest in the summer. There may be overcast and humid conditions in the summer. From June to August the average daytime temperatures are between 19°C and 22°C.

Autumn: The climate can vary from some pleasantly mild days particularly at the start of September to cooler and colder days in October and November. Autumn is a good time to visit the Cotswolds as it avoids the peak summer season whilst enjoying milder temperatures and longer hours of daylight particularly at the start of September. Visitors can see some wonderful autumn colours. From September to November the average daytime temperatures are between 9°C and 19°C.

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Oxford
Location end:
Bath

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots

Water bottle

Daypack

Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses

Warm jumper

Waterproofs

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

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Practical Information

Visa

United Kingdom

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

United Kingdom's Timezone:
Europe/London BST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

United Kingdom's Electricity:

220-240V. 50Hz. You will need a 3 pinned type G plug.

Money

ATM Availability

There are ATM's in most of the main towns along the route, but not all. Most businesses in the area will take payments in cash or by card.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

9 breakfasts are included, so you will need spending money for any picnics, lunches, evening meals and drinks. There is a good choice of cafes, pubs and restaurants on the routes as well as in the overnight towns and villages. Prices range from approximately £5-10 for lunch and you could pay between £15-30 for dinner, depending on where you decide to eat.

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Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.