The Cotswolds is simply hound heaven – we think that the green valleys, wide-open plains, deep woodlands and snaking rivers would all be quite at home in a picture book. The lush hills and market towns have inspired artists for centuries and it is also bound to bewitch you and your dogs. So charming are the Cotswolds, once you and your pup have visited, you are bound to return again and again to recapture that sense of wonder.
We all love a walk in the countryside whether it’s a county-straddling trek or a short bout of exploration in the countryside. Below we have compiled a guide to the best dog walks in the region to embark upon with our four-legged chums, all of them within the boundaries of the spectacular Cotswolds AONB, or check out our other guide to the top dog walks across the UK.
Read on to sniff out our top 10 dog walks in the Cotswolds for yourself.
Broadway and the Tower
If you are staying at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Broadway, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to walk to Broadway Tower. This walk begins in the centre of the village and continues to Broadway Tower Country Park before heading back.
You could also visit a memorial commemorating the crew of a Whitley bomber that crashed in the nearby area (in 1943) during a training mission 200 yards from the tower. Look out for the deer herd in the country park and keep doggo under control.
Why your dog will love Broadway Tower Country Park
Terrain: Mild hills, covered pathways, lawns and fields to explore
Distance: 7 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: Historians and a springtime/autumn stroll with loved ones. Also, check out the nuclear bunker if you can leave the hound to play and exercise with your partner.
Stay nearby: The Bell Yard, Broadway | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans
Tewkesbury Abbey and riverside walks
Tewkesbury is a market town on the western edge of the Cotswolds and the site of an 11th-century abbey with lovely grounds and large, open space beyond for your dog to run and play unheeded. There’s even a section of stream that works as a dog magnet so maybe pack a towel to wipe soggy paws.
Near to enchanting Tewkesbury Abbey are the water meadows and a confluence of the River Severn and Avon. There is an endless choice of riverside walks at the northern edge of the town where you’ll encounter old mill buildings and historical battle sites from the War of the Roses in the 1400s and the English Civil War of the 16th century.
Why your dog will love Tewkesbury
Terrain: Gentle tow paths along with waterways and grassy meadows await
Distance: 3 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: Historians who love battlefields and old buildings will simply love the Severn Way walk.
Stay nearby: Tirley The Well House | sleeps 4 dogs and 8 humans
Chipping Campden Circuit
Part of the delightful Chipping Campden Circuit is made up by the Cotswolds Way National Trail, taking in the simply charming market town of Chipping Campden. The trail winds through shady woodlands, and some stunning Cotswold countryside scenery.
Chipping Campden’s High Street is arguably the UK’s prettiest - it’s certainly got a lot of competition in the region too for this accolade. Head past the ruins of Old Campden House and the 14th-century Town Hall – a walk around really is a treat for dogs that appreciate fine architecture. For an alternative walk close to Chipping Campden you could head to the local beauty spot, Dovers Hill, home to the Cotswolds’ Olympick Games and a superb view across the Vale of Evesham.
Why your dog will love the Chipping Campden Circuit
Terrain: Some steep sections
Distance: 4.5 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: Visitors who love seeing a Cotswold stone-gilded market town at its best. The walk also rises high above the town to take in some amazing views.
Stay nearby: The Plough House, Chipping Campden | sleeps 1 dog and 5 humans
The Eye of Windrush and Slaughter Circular, Bourton-on-the-Water
The Eye of Windrush and Slaughter Circular Walk follows the course of the Windrush River before its ascension off the ridge to the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter, where you will meet the River Eye. Follow The Wardens Way back into the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water.
The chocolate-box villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are two of the prettiest in the Cotswolds, filled with charming cottages built from the classic honey-hued stone of the area, and both offer wonderful places to stop at for a refreshing spot of lunch.
Why your dog will love The Eye of Windrush and Slaughter Circular
Terrain: Level – gradual gradients
Distance: 5.5 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: Walkers who love waterways and ending a delightful walk with a liquid lunch in a welcoming pub.
Stay nearby: Hatties House, Bourton-on-the-Water | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans
Circuit via Stanton, Snowshill and The Edge
Stanton and Snowshill are two of the most astonishing villages, for sheer beauty, in the Cotswolds. The Circuit via Stanton, Snowshill and The Edge is challenging after a spell of wet weather as sections of the climb can become slippery. The trail meanders through lush woodlands, over hilltops and across valley floors.
Stanton is a gorgeous leafy village set below Cotswold Edge, with a medieval church, while Snowshill is home to the National Trust-managed Snowshill Manor. As you climb up The Edge you will be impressed by the expansive views out over the Severn Vale to the west.
Why your dog will love this circuit via Stanton, Snowshill and The Edge
Terrain: Steep gradients, unsealed pathways
Distance: 6 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: View-baggers and those that love country pubs – there are a few, like The Mount Inn, to choose from in the immediate area.
Stay nearby: Broadway House, Broadway | sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
Batsford and Westonbirt Arboretum
The Cotswolds can be seen as one giant arboretum but if you love to see exotic and unusual trees, the region is home to two of England’s best-loved collections: Westonbirt Arboretum and Batsford Arboretum are both great outings for you and your dog.
A verdant collection of natural beauty curated to complement their immediate environment. Both are dog-friendly facilities for owners who are happy to keep their pets under strict control whether at heel or on the lead. Set 40 miles apart, at opposite ends of the Cotswolds, it's hard to choose a favourite and why should we when you can feasibly spend a weekend enjoying both? Please note that dogs are restricted from accompanying you to The Old Arboretum at Westonbirt.
Why your dog will love this circuit via Batsford and Westonbirt Arboretum
Terrain: Sealed pathways – landscaped gardens
Distance: 2 miles (circuit)
Ideal for: Those that love a stroll in a controlled natural environment. For lovers of trees and arboriculture, these places are must-visits.
Stay near Batsford Arboretum: 3 Crown Cottages Blockley, Blockley | sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans
Stay near Westonbirt Aretum: Gladwyn Cottage, Lacock | sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans
Cleeve Hill and Nottingham Hill circuit
Not to be confused with the West London neighbourhood famous for its annual Caribbean carnival, Nottingham Hill is a hill close to Cleeve Hill and Bishop's Cleeve with panoramas of the Malvern Hills and the Severn Valley below.
The Cleeve Hill and Nottingham Hill Circular Walk takes in the small town of Bishop's Cleeve which has a few nice pubs, varied habitats and terrains for dogs and their human companions. After the walk, you’re good to go for a more measured stroll on the picturesque Overbury Estate and the Bredon Hill Nature Reserve.
Why your dog will love this walk around Cleeve Hill and Nottingham Hill
Terrain: Hilly, partially unsealed, cattle grids, the potential for stiles
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ideal for: Those that love a panorama - the dramatic Malvern hills are a sight to behold if you make the climb.
Stay nearby: Hoglets, Bredon | sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
Three Woods Trail (near Andoversford)
Starting at Kilkenny Viewpoint near Andoversford and Seven Springs, Three Woods Trail is relatively level and follows the path of some minor roads along sections.
The course of the journey winds, as the name suggests, through three areas of woodland in the vicinity of Hilcot. The path links up with the longest-distance national trails, the Gloucestershire and Cotswold Way.
Why your dog will love this walk around the Three Woods Trail
Terrain: Some minor roads, unsealed and slippery when wet
Distance: 6.5 miles
Ideal for: Lovers of ancient woodlands and the road less travelled.
Stay nearby: Naunton Little Barn, near Stow-on-the-Wold | sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
Leckhampton Loop, Severn Springs
Set out on the Leckhampton Loop to see the Devil's Chimney, a fantastic limestone rock formation that stands alone, tall and precarious above a disused Victorian quarry. Along the way you'll also pass by Iron Age remains, through magical country woodland, and you'll be able to enjoy views of the serene Cotswolds countryside.
The Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common Nature Reserve section of path is beautiful and the perfect place to look out for wildlife - foxes, stoats, badgers and rabbits all make their home here and it boasts a range of butterfly species as well.
Why your dog will love this walk around the Leckhampton Loop
Terrain: No stiles but some steep sections
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 4.5 miles
Ideal for: Lovers of historic sites must look out for the Victorian quarry and Iron Age remains.
Stay nearby: Halfpenny Retreat | sleeps 2 dogs and 2 humans
Crickley Hill, Cheltenham
Crickley Hill is easily accessible and has the added incentive of a pleasant café at the summit. With stunning views, a diversity of habitats and some historical significance to explore, it’s a great day out for dog walkers.
With many different routes over the limestone quarries, and through the woodlands, there is something for everyone which makes it one of the top visitor attractions in the Cotswolds. Why not stop for a picnic and take in the breathtaking views?
Why your dog will love this walk around Crickley Hill
Terrain: Chalk and stone paths wind up the hill to its summit, some are worn others are new and easy to walk
Distance: 1.5 miles
Ideal for: Fantastic views across the Cotswolds and over to Cheltenham.
Stay nearby: Broadridge Mews, near Painswick | sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
Plan a getaway to the Cotswolds
We have a large collection of dog-friendly cottages in the Cotswolds perfect for you and your pup, with properties that include contemporary holiday lets, traditional farmhouses and rustic lodges, so you'll soon find a wonderful place to retreat to with the whole pack in tow. Where will you stay during your visit?
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.