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Wonderful winter walks in the Cotswolds

13:35 12 December 2016

Breathtaking views from the top of Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire (c) Stephen Clarke / Shutterstock

Breathtaking views from the top of Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire (c) Stephen Clarke / Shutterstock

Archant

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

1. Upton House and Gardens

Based in Warwickshire, Upton House and Gardens boasts an incredible history when, in 1939, the Bearsted family moved out and their family-owned bank moved in. War-time features are prominent at the house and gardens, and wandering through the rooms and grounds gives you a special insight into the part the location played in the Second World War. The beautifully manicured terraced garden, which rolls out in front of you, is delightful to explore and a ramble to the Edge rewards with a glorious panoramic view across North Warwickshire.

2. Malvern Hills

Separating the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 3000 acres of varied landscape awaits a keen walker on the Malvern Hills. Described as a miniature mountain range, expect endless walking routes crossing all over the length of the Hills with a promise of a stunning view on a crisp, clear winter’s day whichever part you choose to explore.

3. Cotswold Way beginning in Chipping Campden

The Cotswold Way, beginning in Chipping Campden, right through to the city of Bath covers over 100 miles of countryside and ofers the avid walker plenty of beautiful scenery, historic monuments and cute as a button villages to explore. The War Memorial centred in the pretty Cotswold town of Chipping Camden is the official start/finish point of The Cotswold Way; while there why not explore and warm yourself up in the many eateries the town boasts. Why not enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake at the charming Bantam Tea Rooms or some delicious fare and a pint of local ale at the delightful Eight Bells Inn?

4. Batsford Aboretum

Well-known as a spot to enjoy an autumn walk, Batsford Arboretum is famous for its wide collection of trees and shrubs showcasing hues of red, burnt oranges and gold. As winter arrives, and the leaves fall from the trees, the Arboretum proves just as magical as the frost adds a glimmer to the trees and shrubs. Following December, spot the early blooms of colour when daffodils and bright yellow aconites spring to life. Embrace the Christmas festivities at Batsford, where plenty of Christmas events can be enjoyed.

5. Crickley Hill

A ramble round Crickley Hill exudes the beauty the Cotswold countryside has to offer. The limestone grassland the area boasts is rich in plant life, glorious beech woodlands and steep valleys. There are plenty of trails all over Crickley Hill including this National Trust walk beginning at the bustling Edworth Centre, and featuring magnificent views out towards Robinswood Hill and May Hill, and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain beyond. In the winter, soak in the rolling patchwork fields that stretch out in front of you shimmering with frozen dew.

6. Woodchester Park

Nearby the Cotswold market town of Stroud lies Woodchester Park, a peaceful wooded valley containing a landscape park with a chain of five lakes. There are three sign-posted National Trust routes to choose from to enjoy the landscape whether you fancy a relaxing ramble or vigorous hike. There is something quite magical about Woodchester Park in the winter; frost sparkles from the bare branches in the woodland, fallen leaves crunch under your feet and the tranquillity of the lakes is only broken by the varied wildlife that resides there.

7. Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water

If a walk where you can admire the picturesque towns and villages of the Cotswolds is your bag, why not try this walk from Cotswolds Conservation Board? Beginning in the historic town of Stow-on-the-Wold via the pretty villages of Icomb and Wyck Rissington, this walk includes exhilarating views from the top of Maugersbury Hill on a clear day, beautiful Cotswold architecture and a plethora of flora and wildlife on the River Eye. Once you reach the charming village of Bourton-on-the-Water, why not head to The Duke of Wellington for a delicious home cooked meal to warm yourself up with afterwards?

Fancy exploring more of the Cotswolds this winter? We recommend...

Stunning stately homes and gardens in the Cotswolds

Cotswold Christmas markets

Where to see Christmas lights in the Cotswolds

Christmas in Chipping Campden

12 days of festive fun in the Cotswolds

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