A double marathon through the heart of the Cotswolds
Through quaint traditional villages and medieval burial grounds, you’ll finish at the magnificent Broadway Tower, home to one of the best views in the country.
* Please note this is the approximate route for 2019
From Gloucestershire to Worcestershire, the Cotswold Way is simply stunning. You’ll pass through some of England’s most charming stone built villages, via Winchcombe and Painswick. The yellow Jurassic, Cotswold Stone will pave the way for your challenge ahead, look out for landmarks like Hailes Abbey, Sudeley Castle before the epic finish at the foot of Broadway Tower.
From 13th Century ruins right through to modern day film locations, where J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ was set, this route is rich in history. The only private castle in England to have a Queen buried in its grounds, to Stone Age monuments and Cooper’s Hill, which hosts the 200 year old tradition of Cheese rolling, there’s lots to discover along this spectacular trail.
- Total distance – 52 miles
- Total climb – 7,476ft.
- Day 1 distance – 26 miles
- Day 1 total climb – 4,147ft.
- Day 2 distance – 26 miles
- Day 2 total climb – 3,329ft
At the top of Leckhampton Hill sits a formation of rocks. This landmark survived an earthquake in 1926, and is said to be the gateway to where the Devil lurks beneath. Local story tellers say that the Devil used to sit at the top of this hill and throw stones at church goers. They didn’t take too kindly to this, and returned the gesture, forcibly enough to drive him down below. If you’re feeling a bit nervy, you can leave a coin on top of the rock as payment to the Devil for keeping away.
These 13th century ruins used to be rich and elaborate buildings, home to medieval monks. Eerily beautiful in the heart of the Cotswold countryside, it was founded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to thank God for his surviving a shipwreck. Many then took the same steps as you, as it became a place of pilgrimage. People believed this was home to Holy Blood, which was later denounced by Henry VIII as a fake concoction. The abbey was surrendered on Christmas Eve, 1539.
The Cotswold’s highest castle is where you’ll cross the finish line and it’s likely to be emotional! With incredible views across 16 counties, you’ll feel like you’ve truly conquered the Cotswolds. Built in 1798 for the Countess of Coventry, it later became a country retreat for artists such as William Morris. So inspired by the Tower, Morris then founded the Society of the Protection of Ancient Buildings. We’re glad he did. It’s time to celebrate and enjoy the view.