How to get fit this January in the Cotswolds

Walking in the Cotswolds (Last Updated On: January 10, 2019)

The Cotswolds is a fantastic location to kick start a New Year plan to get fit, fitter, or even maintain a plan that you had going from last year. Here’s how we suggest you do it with walks and bike rides in the Cotswolds…

Whatever your preferred fitness endeavour there are plenty of outdoor activities that you can combine with a relaxing Bolthole Retreats cottage break in the Cotswolds. From walking to trail running and road or mountain-bike cycling, just being in some of the most beautiful British countryside makes it so much easier to cover some steps, do the mileage or spin your wheels than if you stayed at home and went to a boring old gym!

What’s so special about the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England, sometimes called the “Heart of England”. Just the meaning of the name ‘Cotswold’ – “sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides” – conjures up an outdoor space where you can blow away the indulgences of the festive season and kick start a healthy 2019.

Though the Cotswolds is known by most for its beautiful, quintessentially English villages, it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for the rare limestone grassland habitats as well as the old growth beech woodlands that typify the area, making it super enticing for outdoor pursuits.

Cotswolds Gate Panoramic

Miles and miles that are open and free to explore

What is particularly inviting about the Cotswolds is that there are over 3,000 miles of public footpaths, byways and bridlepaths, enabling visitors to go really deep into the glorious countryside, away from crowds and tourist hot-spots.

Ten easily accessible national long-distance trails (for walkers and runners) are in or pass through, the Cotswolds including:

  • The Cotswold Way
  • The Winchcombe Way
  • The Heart of England Way
  • The Oxfordshire Way
  • The Gloucestershire Way
  •  The Wardens’ Way and Windrush Way
  • The Macmillan Way
  • The Monarch’s Way
  • The D’Arcy Dalton Way
  • The Wysis Way

“Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers!”

With so many routes to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one to recommend, but if you’re new to the Cotswolds The Winchombe Way is a great starting point. It’s a figure-of-eight, 42-mile walk centred on the pretty town of Winchcombe – the first town in the Cotswolds to gain Walkers are Welcome status. If 42 miles is a bit more than you want to undertake, there are more than 20 other walks (or runs, depending on how energetic you are) starting from Winchcombe, ranging in length from 2 to 13 miles, all passing through beautiful countryside and gorgeous villages. Read more about the area in our Winchcombe guide.

Mountain bike and road cycling

The Cotswolds is a fantastic area for both types of cycling. A great, 21-mile off-road route centred on the village of Bibury (famed for its salmon farm and Arlington Row weavers’ cottages) and Aldsworth is detailed in the Cotswolds Conservation Board’s ‘Route 3: Aldsworth and Bibury’.

Cycling through a muddy puddle in the Cotswolds

Stay a while

Walking: Winchcome is an easy 10-minute walk from Sudeley Castle where we have a great selection of stunning self-catering cottages.

Cycling: Just 15 minutes’ bike ride from Aldsworth, is 27 Hatherop, a small-but-perfectly-formed luxury holiday cottage, sleeping up to 4 guests across two well-sized bedrooms, in the picture perfect (yet under-the-tourist radar) village of Coln St Aldwyns.

Great walks start from Sudeley Castle

Beautiful Sudeley Castle, the location of 16 luxury Cotswold cottages

Here’s to your healthy and active 2019!

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