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Tel: +44(0)1453 768 598

  • What are the route choices?
    Two separate Trails have been written for you to follow. One in the North and one in the South Cotswolds. The routes are loops, written to follow in a counter-clockwise direction, allowing you to return to a similar place you started. You can start on one loop and move to other in a single day of that ‘route’ fits in with your overall travel plans. The maps display these ‘bridging’ routes along with appropriate directional information.
  • Is the trail a guided tour?
    No, this is a self-guided tour for you to follow in a car and on foot using a specifically designed map.
  • How do you complete the trail?
    It’s a combination of in the car and on foot. The two Trails are 66 and 82 miles (106km and 134km long). The leg work of those miles is done in the car but every few miles you are asked to get out and explore on foot. As well as towns and villages to explore there are several short rural walks, notably at Painswick Beacon to find the Iron Age fort, Chedworth to find the Roman Villa, near Winchcombe to find a Stone Age burial sight and near Tetubry and Cirencester to discover the source of the River Thames and a Roman Amphitheatre.
  • Where do we start the trail?
    The Trails are loops designed to allow you to start at one of several locations. If you live or are staying in the Cotswolds or travelling here to start a Trail, pick the most convenient start point for you. The map will display these locations in detail with relevant information for you to plan this. Most start points guide you specifically to a suitable parking location at one of the major stops on the route.
  • Is there suitable parking along the trail?
    Appropriate parking is cited on the map at each location along with directional information on exactly where to find it. All parking around the Trails is immediately road side to the trail routes so you can’t miss them. The majority are free to use but some require a small payment of 50p or £1 for an hours stay. SOUTHERN TRAIL: Badminton (Village walk) Parking: Free Sherston (Town walk) Parking: Free Tetbury (Town Walk) Parking: 50p/hour Cirencester (Rural Walk) – Amphitheatre only) Parking: Free Bibury (Town Walk) Parking: Free Coln Rogers (Saxon Church) Quick walking stop Parking: Free Chedworth (Village & Rural Walk) Parking: Free Painswick Beacon (Rural Walk) Parking: Free Painswick (Town walk) Parking: 40p/hour NORTHERN TRAIL: Burford (Town walk) Parking: Free Bourton-on-the-Water (Town walk) Parking: £1/hour Stow-on-the-Wold (Town walk) Parking: Free Chipping Campden (Town walk) Parking: £1/hour Broadway Tower (Rural walk stop) Parking: Free Winchcombe (Town walk) Parking: Free Belas Knapp (Rural Walk Stop) Parking: Free Northleach (Town walk) Parking: Free
  • What do I do if there is a diversion along the trail?
    We keep up to date on major road works but diversions can pop up unexpectedly. If the route is blocked following the yellow diversion signs until their conclusion. Then if required use the next CHECKPOINT with a postcode on the map to find your way back to the trail.
  • What sort of map is it and what does it provide us with?
    The map is a double sided A0 size map, with the North Trail on one side and the South Trail on the other. Don’t worry its folded up and usable much like an OS map so it’s easy to handle as you move around the Trails. The map provides everything you need to complete the Trails. It is your trail guide and companion, displaying all the directional information you need, your starting locations, positions of petrol stations and much more. The questions on the route are displayed on the map along with places to write in the answers. It is a functional map with a complete road network, road names and place names.
  • Corporate events and hen dos
    If you are planning team building event or a hen do in the Cotswolds the Discovery Trail is an ideal fun filled day. Divide your group in to different teams each team equipped with their own discovery trail pack. Pick your route and start point that is convenient to where you are staying. It’s not a race but the trail questions and challenges will present a light hearted competitive edge between your teams
  • How seriously do we need to take it? Do we need to answer all the questions?
    You can take this as seriously as you like. The questions are an additional level of engagement that you DON’T need to answer to get around the Trails. They’re there to allow you to discover more interesting information about your location and provide the opportunity to bring a competitive edge to your day if you’re completing the Trail(s) in different groups. The directions for you to follow and the plethora of interesting information already displayed on the maps along with the beauty of what you see, for may will be more than enough.
  • How do we check the answers?
    The answers are available online for you to check when you have completed the Trail. Details on how to access them are provided on the map.
  • What else do we get beside the map?
    Your map will be delivered in a pack containing many goodies and extras to complement the day. Pens, notepads, car stickers, compass and much more.
  • What else do we need to bring?
    Appropriate footwear for short rural walks is advisable. In the winter months’ footpaths, can become muddy for example. But be assured that all the rural walk elements to the trails are easy for all the family and great for dogs as well. For parking at some of the locations ensure you have some change to pay the meter. Fees are listed in the parking section above.
  • How many people can do it?
    Each pack contains one map so its suitable for one car load of people.
  • What time should we start the trail?
    The Trails are a full day so aim to get to your chosen start point by 9:30am.
  • Where can I purchase the trail?
    Online here is likely to be your simplest solution. We have a growing number of locations around the Cotswolds that also sell them which you can see on this site.
  • Postage is free to UK addresses
    If you order your Trail pack online we will deliver for free to any UK address using a tracked delivery service.
  • Ordering from abroad
    If you are planning a trip to the Cotswolds as part of a holiday in the UK you may want to plan your trip by ordering the trail pack and map before you travel. We can deliver abroad but appropriate postage costs will be charged depending on your location. We can of course deliver to accommodation you are staying in the UK for free.
  • Do we need online access along the trail?
    The map provides everything you need to complete the Trails. It is written and designed to avoid the need to use a phone or tablet. This is principally because we cannot guarantee a good phone reception all the way round and if you are travelling from abroad mobile data charges can be prohibitive. It will of course help if you have online access to plan your route to a start point using the postcodes provided. The map does however, display a QR code for you to access a route map online for you to use as a backup if necessary. This is there to support you if there are unexpected diversions on the route caused by roadworks for example. This does not contain any of the other information on the map, just the route.
  • When can we do the trail?
    You can do the Trail any time of year. There are no time limits or restrictions after you have purchased the map. As there are two Trails you may do one close to the time of purchase and the other in 6 to 12 months’ time.
  • How long are we in the car?
    The North Trail is approximately 2hours 20 minutes in the car. The South Trail is a little longer with a 3 hour drive time in total.
  • Can we bring our dogs?
    With plenty of town and country walks it’s a great day out with your dog.
  • How quickly do we need to move around the trails?
    You’re under no obligation to complete a Trail during a day but to do so each stop you make should be 10-20 minutes.
  • What ages is it suitable for?
    Children over the age of 5 are likely to start enjoying what the trail has to offer. We are developing additional elements for younger children to use as well.
  • What are the roads like?
    The routes are on a mixture of roads between quiet country lanes and major A roads acorss the Cotswolds. The busiest section is around Cirencester. There are small sections of duel carriageway and many roundabouts to navigate. There are no 'off road' elements to the Trails, its all on public highways. At times of rush hour the roads will be busier. The routes have been designed to avoid major bottlenecks so you should never be stuck in any significant traffic.
  • What kind of car do we need?
    Any standard small car up to the largest people carriers will be fine. The Trails were designed by exploring the Cotswolds in a tiny Citreon C1 in all seasons!
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