For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides – The Cotswolds (Published 2009) Walk 7: Bibury and the River Coln. Distance: 6 miles.
This walk takes you through pleasant riverside meadows, woodlands, and two of the most enchanting Cotswold villages. It is one of our favourites, so we have done this walk many times throughout the seasons. In summer, it can be incredibly hot so apply sunblock, take plenty of water, and a hat. In winter, the trails and fields can be quite muddy which makes it harder going in places. Although this walk doesn’t have any very challenging climbs we are beginning to use it as the basis of our training for backpacking the Cotswold Way in September.
It can get pretty busy at peak times of the year. We were there on Easter Monday and were lucky to get a parking space by the church. Although, once you are out in the countryside, you leave the bulk of the crowds behind.
We often do the walk in reverse, starting near the Bibury Court Hotel and walking towards the former mill. However, the book begins at the stone clapper bridge over the River Coln. You can see trout in the river as the water is so clear. Bibury trout farm is at the other end of the village. They are wonderful barbecued whole or filleted and baked in the oven with chopped pecan nuts – a recipe I loved during a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Continuing on, you pass Arlington Row, a picturesque row of 17th century cottages, built for cloth weavers and one of the most photographed places in England.
The written directions for this walk are pretty good, and it makes a pleasant and relaxing day out. Usually we take a picnic with us, but in winter if it is very cold, we sometimes pop in to the New Inn at Coln at the halfway point. There’s nothing quite like a warm fire and a bowl of steaming hot soup on a winter’s day, or indeed a long cold drink on a summer’s day 🙂