Now you can explore the Cotswold Way with Google Street View

  • Cotswold Way

Intrepid internet explorers can now navigate the Cotswold Way from the comfort of their computer, ten years after the walking route became a National Trail.

It’s all thanks to a Cotswold Conservation Board team, who recorded a journey along its length for Google Trekker - carrying 16 cameras in a ‘backpack’ shell.

Cotswold Way is 102 miles (or 164km) long, and runs between the historic Cotswold market town of Chipping Campden and Bath. It is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales, and was formally launched as such in 2007.

Walking the full distance generally takes between 7-10 days, dependent on itinerary/walking speed (a number of shorter, circular walks along the trail can be attempted). In 2012, Darryl Carter ran the entirety of the trail in just 20 hours and 36 minutes, setting a new record.

BBC News journalist David Bailey was one of the first visitors to walk the full 102 miles of the Cotswold Way when it became a national trail a decade ago.

‘I'm surprised about how much I remember about specific parts of the route - the steep climb up to Dover' s Hill for example,’ reported David.

‘But also I realise there are lots of it that I'd forgotten. Were there really that many steps up to the top of Broadway Tower a decade ago?

‘One thing that hasn't changed is the beautiful English countryside. I'd recommend a hike along the Cotswold Way to anyone who appreciates getting away from it all and experiencing nature at its finest.’

Some general tips for those thinking of attempting the walk:

  • Make sure to bring a map and/or guidebook - the official National Trails guidebook is published by Aurum Press. The trail is well signposted, but stay well-informed of your surroundings. (Not least so you can stop off for a pub lunch!).
  • Notify others of your walk, as there are a few ‘black spots’ for mobile reception on the trail.
  • The walk should not be too challenging for those who are healthy and fit. However, according to the official website, ‘many walkers are surprised at the frequency of steep climbs.’ (Dover’s Hill at Chipping Campden - site of the 400 year old Cotswold Olimpicks - being one noteworthy example).
  • Don’t miss the chance to climb up Broadway Tower, where the views are unmatched. Other points of interest include Hailes Abbey, the Tyndale Monument, Sudeley Castle, Cleeve Hill and the Somerset Monument.

To plan your journey, and for more information, visit: www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold-way/information.