A couple from the UK with a passion for exploring the world, and enjoying a drink or two while we’re at it!
We want to share our travel epxperiences to help you plan your next trip, and let you know the best places to enjoy a cold one when you get there!
This walk is for anyone that wants an energetic hike with some very rewarding pints!
During lockdown we have loved visiting some of the natural beauty sites a little closer to home. Our favourite destination so far has to be The Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in centre and western England that stretches across the counties of Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire, as well as parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire an Warwickshire.
The best way to explore this beautiful part of the English countryside is by foot. We decided to combine our new love of walking with our old love of enjoying good beer with a great view!
This circular walk begins in the charming village of Stanton and rises up along the Cotswolds Way. The walk then drops back down into Snowshill, another lovely village, before looping back. Both villages have fantastic pubs which make for great half way refreshments, and a celebratory pint to finish!
3 hr 30 min circular walk | 11km | Medium difficulty
Start - Stanton
The hike starts in the picturesque village of Stanton, Gloucestershire. A quintessential English village, think golden Costwold Stone cottages with thatched roofs from a Jane Austen novel and you'll be pretty close.
The village is just a short 15 minutes from junction 9 of the M5, and you can park in Stanton Village car park for free (as shown on the map below). This is quite a small car park though, we visited around mid-day on a Sunday and luckily got the last spot!
We did find out afterwards that if the car park is full, you can park in the next car park behind the dividing hedge, if you make a donation to Stanton Village Club.
From the car park, head along High Street until you come to a fork in the road. Take the right hand side following signs for the Cotswolds Way. Follow the road round past the cottages, taking the dirt path out of the village.
You will soon need to start navigating your way to Snowshill via public footpaths. We always keep https://footpathmap.co.uk to hand on one of our phones so we don't get too lost.
The hike starts to climb when you get out of Stanton. It's a little challenging especially on a hot day, so make sure you have plenty of water with you. The views back over the valley are worth it though!
Cotswolds Way - Part 1
After the initial climb the route levels out as you follow the Cotswolds Way along the hills towards Snowshill. The views from the top of the valley are stunning so if you've packed a lunch or just want to stop off and enjoy the view, this is the place.
From here, the trail starts to wind its way back down the other side of the valley. You will make your way through some woodland that leads onto an opening out into a wide open field. In the distance you will see Snowshill and Pub number one!
A short walk down country lanes will bring you out into Snowshill, another picturesque village with ancient cottages set around a traditional village green.
If you like visiting National Trust properties you'll want to check out Snowshill Manor, a Tudor mansion and garden that houses a collection of art, crafts and antiques collected by Charles Wade, the house's eccentric former owner.
We're guessing though that if you're like us, you're going to want a cold one to cool off after that walk. The Snowshill Arms is a great place to get one!
The pub is over 500 years old and serves a range of ales from Donnington Brewery, as well as hearty country pub food. Grab a drink and head down into their large beer garden to unwind before heading back towards Stanton.
Cotswolds Way - Part 2
After Snowshill it's back on the Cotswolds Way to complete the loop back to Stanton. Follow the lane back towards where you came into Snowshill before heading off right down into the woodland.
From here, the trail heads back upwards past a farmhouse before winding it's way over rolling hills and through fields back to Stanton. The isolated footpaths give a feeling of adventure as you navigate your way through the countryside, with beautiful views over the Cotswolds to keep you motivated as you head back down towards Stanton.
Finish - Stanton
Back in Stanton, it's time to reward your efforts at pub number two!
The Mount Inn, as the name suggests, sits atop a hill at the edge of the village. The 17th century pub boasts exceptional panoramic views over the Vale of Evesham looking towards the Malvern Hills and even the Welsh Mountains on especially clear days.
After your hike over the hills its the perfect place to enjoy your achievement. Grab a drink or a bite to eat on their terrace and just enjoy the view.
This walk is a great day out. It won't take you all day and it's not too difficult, but you do need to put in a little bit of effort to earn your beers and pub grub!