A 6-day walking holiday beginning and ending in Bath. It is best to commence this walking tour of the Bath and Wiltshire Cotswolds on a Sunday or Thursday to ensure a favourable choice of accommodation; however the tour is available on any day suitable for you. Bath with its showcase of classical Georgian architecture is recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is one of only four European cities designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the others being Florence, Venice and Strasbourg. Bath’s Georgian terraces, crowned by the magnificent Royal Circus and Royal Crescent, climb dramatically up the hillsides, while the historic centre, where the Roman baths and ancient abbey still stand, is in a splendid location by the River Avon.
Day 1. Bath
Arrival to Bath and accommodation. Free time to explore the beautiful city
Day 2. Bath - Bradford-on-Avon
Start from central Bath and walk to Sham Castle with fine views of Bath. Walk over the Dundas aqueduct to elegant Freshford and along a quiet valley to Farleigh Hungerford with its fine 14th century castle. Then through Barton Farm, with its magnificent tithe barn, to Bradford-on-Avon, one of the loveliest small towns in Britain with picturesque 17th century bridge, a complete Saxon church and tiers of Georgian townhouses and 16th century weavers cottages. (This walk can be shortened by taking a bus to Limpley Stoke.)
Walking distance: about 20 km
Day 3. Bradford-on-Avon - Lacock
From Bradford-on-Avon walk across rolling countryside to the picture-book village of Monkton Farleigh. Then to Kingswood with views of the Wiltshire Downs and Bath, and on to the handsome small town of Box. From there it is a short walk to Corsham, noted for Corsham Court, an Elizabethan mansion dating from 1582 which now houses a fine art collection. From here it is a short walk to Lacock – an exquisite village much used for films and movies as BBC’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Moll Flanders etc. Lacock Abbey was location for some of the Harry Potter’s films. Overnight at Lacock
Walking distance: about 21 km
Day 4. Lacock - Castle Combe
Pass through Corsham to join the picturesque By Brook Valley. Continue to Slaughterford and thence to Castle Combe, undoubtedly one of the prettiest villages in England, with its clear stream, ancient bridge and market place. Overnight in the village of Castle Combe.
Walking distance: about 19 km
Day 5. Castle Combe - Bath
Head south back towards Bath, walking along the beautiful St. Catherine Valley to Bath east on from where you have the choice of taking a bus into the centre of Bath or walking along the Avon to complete your journey. Overnight in Bath.
Walking distance: about 21 km
Day 6. Departure
After breakfast departure or extension of your stay
Practical information: ►this is an easy to moderate walking tour, the terrain is hilly in parts. ►Please note that it's very hard to book accommodation in Bath at the weekend, so it is better to start the tour on week days (Monday - Wednesday preferably) ►Bristol airport is the closest. You can take a bus from the airport to Bristol Temple Meads, and then a train to Bath Spa station (ab. 50 min). You can also fly to London. From London Heathrow you go to the Heathrow Bus Station, take the bus to Reading and then the train to Bath. From Gatwick Airport take the train to London Victoria, then by metro to London Paddington. From London Paddington Railway Station there are direct trains to Bath Spa Station (about 1 h 45 min). Train table and prices can be checked here: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Recommended travel period of the year: April - September
Nessesary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), small rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit.