I come from a generation where I read Enid Blyton’s storybooks for recreation. That was the time when pagers are still being used and mobile phones are not so common yet. The author did a fantastic job of describing what the English countryside looks like in her whimsical writings. Never would I imagine that my self-guided hike in the Cotswold brought my childhood imagination to life!
The hike comprises many different terrain and landscapes. I went through people’s farmlands, backyards, open fields, grazing fields, roads, and parks. I remember my hiking partner telling me that she is unsure about hiking through people’s farms as it seems intrusive. However, all our worries are unfounded.
Armed with a physical hiking map, detailed route instructions, and many local tourist maps, we set off on our journey with enthusiasm. My luggage is transported from one accommodation to another leaving me to hike with just what I needed for the route.
My hardcase luggage which will be transported to my next accommodation
Reading and deciphering the hike instructions made us feel like we are on a treasure hunt, always on the lookout for the next landmark or signage.
Some of the villages and towns we walk through are not the usual tourist spots and they are so quaint and quiet and offer a true glimpse into the daily lives of the locals.
The views when we look back from high grounds
The largest town in Cotswold, Stow-on-the-Wold
Just a family casually walking their pony through Lower Slaughter
Lovely town of Chipping Campden
Sheep and cows are a common sight during the hike, always curious at our presence, but not too bothered about it. We tried edging slowly near to them to touch them, only to have them deftly escape us every time, except once.
Along our hike, wildflowers bloom in the most unexpected of places, rejuvenating us with excitement each time.
During the hike, our meals are a mixture of picnic lunches and lunching at local pubs. The cost of a sit-down meal in the countryside is very affordable and portions are big. Be warned though, it will be hard to kickstart your engines again after a fulfilling meal hahaha.
At the end of every day, we look forward to checking into our lovely bed and breakfast located in quaint little towns often with local grocery stores within close vicinity. These towns are not the usual tourist spots, so we do enjoy catching a glimpse of authentic local living. It does make us appreciate the convenience of city living a little more, but we gladly embrace the experience.
This self-guided trip to the Cotswold allowed me the freedom to plan my schedule according to what I fancy. Stopping anytime I like to take pictures, walking faster when I am energised, slowing down when I got tired and exploring towns, churches, and museums that piqued my interest.
Optional visit to Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon
Optional visit to Snowhill Manor and Garden, the home of Charles Wade, who delighted in creating a stage for his life and passions.
This is an interesting way to visit the Cotswold in-depth and I will deeply cherish the memories made, both in my mind and on my camera!
All pictures taken during the hike can be viewed in the photo album here.
Catch my self-guided hiking experience in motion here.
If you would like to experience this hike yourself, we can be reached for a chat at +65 8714 3321.
We are available for a chat on: Line, KakaoTalk, Telegram, WeChat, WhatsApp & Viber @ +65 8714 3321.