North Cotswold Diamond Way
This is a circular (or perhaps we should say trapezoidal) route designed to include many of the highlights of the North Cotswolds. The path crosses undulating farmland and woods, dipping into steep valleys and passing through numerous sleepy villages of honey coloured stone. Much of the route explores quiet areas of the Cotswold Hills where you may reflect on their beauty in solitude. In contrast the lovely market towns of Chipping Campden and Northleach are bustling tourist centres in summer, but are nonetheless worth spending time to explore.
The main villages and towns along the route, which is travelled anti-clockwise starting from Moreton in Marsh are as follows. Ebrington, Chipping Campden, Blockley, Ford, Guiting power, Notgrove, Turkdean, Northleach, Farmington, Bourton on the Water, Oddington, and Adlestrop. Many of these villages and others along the way have typical Cotwold inns where you can re-fuel and picturesque cottages, often colourful in the summer months. The terrain is varied and interesting, sometimes across open fields with drystone walls, often through little spinneys or along the banks of streams. The hills are gently undulating and provide very pleasant views. As far as possible lesser known footpaths are used, but all should be in reasonable condition, depending upon the time of year.
This long distance path was devised by the North Cotswold Group of the Ramblers Association to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Association. Their in depth local knowledge and careful route planning is reflected in an interesting and varied route. The route was re-walked and surveyed in 2010 for the new edition of the guidebook. The North Cotswold Diamond Way provides an ideal route for someone new to long distance walking as well as more seasoned walkers. You can, of course, walk sections of the Way as day walks by creating circular routes and the '30 Sparkling Short Walks' guidebook is ideal for this purpose.
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