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4.7 out of 5 stars23
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I recently walked the Cotswold Way from Chipping Campden to Bath. Together with my wife we did this in five days. An achievement of which we are both proud. Averaging around 20 miles a day stretched us to our physical limits. It is a serious undertaking which I gravely underestimated to our cost. The route follows the western scarp of the Cotswolds and takes in many glorious views. To do this it meanders up and down some seriously steep hills. We came back exhausted. I had no idea it would be that tough. Looking at the contours on a map is one thing, but slugging up Wistley Hill with a full backpack is quite another. The usual and more sensible options are to do the trail in 7 to 8 days which allows more time to stop and take in the sights. Most people tend to do it in small stages over a time period that suits them. Some lunatics even run it non stop.

However you wish to do the walk this little book is excellent. It was in my hand for the entire trip. I did get lost a couple of times but that was purely down to me being an idiot. The book is simple to follow for any map reader with the trail clearly marked. There is also an accompanying text which gives you interesting facts about the places you pass through. If you are thinking of deviating from the route to cut out a certain section, then a more detailed map might also be useful. Beware of the areas around Cleeve Common and Coopers Hill where I managed to get lost.

The area is extremely beautiful and the route has breathtaking views throughout. Although I have seen many places around the world this seemed to be the most authentic journey I have ever undertaken. It felt like I was following in the footsteps of Daniel Defoe. A true traveller at last and not the eternal tourist. A friend joined us on the last day and a half. I reminded him of a scene fron Sam Peckinpah's powerful anti war film "Cross of Iron". James Coburn playing the part of the grizzled and disillusioned veteran Steiner clashes with his superior officer Stransky a Prussian aristocrat played by Maximillian Schell. Stransky covets the iron cross which Steiner has won. At the end of the film Steiner leads Stransky out onto the battlefield against the overwhelming Russian tide to show him how the cross of iron is won. On the last day I quoted this to my friend who saw the funny side thankfully. The walk is an experience not to be missed, and a big thanks to those volunteers who keep it maintained. The Cotswold Way section of the National trails website is very useful, with details of accommodation on the route. The B & Bs were excellent and much needed. I would highly recommend you use this book if contemplating this walk.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2010
This is a great book for anyone walking the whole or part of the Cotswold Way. Contains explicit route instructions, with OS maps printed for the relevant part of the route on a facing page, as well as descibing interesting places and views along the way. A user friendly size with a weatherproof cover, although be aware that it only describes the route from Chipping Campden to Bath. It would be quite difficult to use backwards; south to north I would imagine. Having just completed the whole trail, it is also worth noting that the route is incredibly well signposted and waymarked, so the book was more valuable in the preparation stages of our walk, and we only used it occasionally for reference on the walk itself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2007
The directions in this National Trail guide are not as clear as the ones in the two others I have used (Thames Path, Hadrian's Wall Path). This isn't helped by a lack of signage in vital places along the route (for which I do not blame this book). Still, I know of no other better guide out there for this route. Good background info, too.
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on 6 May 2015
I should firstly make it clear that I have only walked the first part of the Cotswold Way (Chipping Campden to Broadway), so cannot comment on the other sections, but from a brief glance through, I can't see how they would be any less in their quality in comparison to this first section.

The guide has an excellent introduction, with lots of nice (and useful) information on the area and it's history. I'm quite familiar with the Chipping Campden end of the Cotswolds but still found everything it had to say about the local villages and scenery interesting to read, with many bits and pieces I wasn't aware of.

Onto the business end of the guide... I can only say good things here, as the guide was an excellent partner (and on many occasions, instructor) to our walk (on a personal note, this was one of the finest walks I have undertaken to date, with absolutely spectacular scenery). We found it extremely useful that the guide points out landmarks and points of interest along the route, which we may have missed - or at least not realised the significance of - without it.

The best thing I can say to sum up how useful the book was, is that the only time we were remotely lost, was due to user error, rather than a fault of the book (sorry about that... yes, it was my fault!).

Great guide. Great price.
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on 9 May 2013
I looked around for books, maps, guides and all over the internet whilst planning my walk and camp of the way and this book was invaluable.

It contains OS map coverage of the entire route (split into route sections on seperate pages all with high detail explanations) that include the 'traditional' route and some alternatives that you may want to take. I found it particularly useful the way they split it up into sections as it gave me a starting point for planning my route and advice on tricky bits.

In the end I didn't even take a map of the walk - just this book and some maps I had printed of on Google of my daily sections (incase I needed to 'escape' to a road somewhere) and my geocaching kit.

The way is very well signposted and a couple of times I did go wrong I worked it out by consulting the gradient lines on the OS maps in the book (i.e I was going down and should have been going up!)

One thing this book doesn't contain is a lot of information on accomodation, you will have to do some digging around in other books/online - especially if you're planning on camping!
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on 7 June 2015
This very useful publication was used in conjunction with a 1:25000 map to walk the Cotswold way and could,in fact, have been used by itself. The text was extremely detailed and although the edition used was 3 years old was 99% accurate. The combination of text and maps of 1:25000 was very helpful, made it easy to follow and there were interesting snippets of information which added enjoyment to the walk. The only disadvantages were that the maps were necessarily quite small so that when you were looking out over an escarpment and wanted to identify places, you couldn't and if you were following a path for a long way, through woodland for instance, some idea of distance would have been helpful, e.g. After half a mile take the footpath to the right.
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on 28 April 2015
Amazing book.. made are trip so much easier and got to see all the sites along the way to thanks to this book you will miss nothing and never get lost.. plus is great for mini hikes after the way.. One thing to be said is me and my friend are two strapping lads and we had hiking pack with tents n all stuff needed to feed are self .and it was one hard walk. DO NOT under estimate this walk. There is lot of very hard hill walks and tuff suffices... best I can say is be pepared practice and have really really good boots.. This walk is amazing and is the stuff of legends ... good luck
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2012
Anthony Burton makes two important points in his introduction. firstly not to understimate the Cotswold Way - this is a tough walk and needs a very good level of walking fitness and comfortable boots. Also that you need to be able to use map and compass. The route is very well signposted, but I walked with this excellent guide in one hand and my compass in the other. The great advantage of this book is that each map on the right hand page is an OS 1:25,000 scale, so you can use your compass easily without having to get large maps out. The guide is full of useful and interesting information about the country and towns/villages you pass through. I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Do not do the Cotswold Way without it!
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on 31 October 2014
Cotswold Way National Trail Guide was just the right book to take on this sometimes challenging walk. This book is easy to follow with all of the trail very clearly marked. From beginning to end this trail provides stunning views and each stage of the journey is described in the book's text which makes for a very complete experience. I highly recommend this book.
Diz White, Author: COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage (Available on Amazon)
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on 2 July 2013
Hello Amazon!

This book was very helpful to us on our walk. We can recommend it.
The only thing we could wish for was a more clear version of the overview map in the beginning of the book.
Thank you!

Best wishes
Susanne Midtiby
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