A self-guided walk from Stratford-upon-Avon to London through the Cotswolds, the Chilterns and the city of London.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate plus
- Experiencing the beautiful countryside in the Cotswolds and the Chilterns before passing into the lively capital of London along the River Thames.
- Following in the footsteps of the world famous Bard from his home in Stratford-upon Avon, visiting his tomb at Holy Trinity Church and the Globe Theatre in London.
- Visiting the wonderful stately homes at Blenheim Palace and Stonor and discovering their unique histories.
This self-guided walking tour explores Shakespeare’s Way trail in its entirety, traveling 146 miles from the Bard’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon all the way to the English capital city of London.
This is a fantastic trail for literary enthusiasts who are keen to explore the many sites associated with William Shakespeare, while at the same time enjoying the beautiful surrounding scenery from start to finish.
- 13 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
- Breakfast each day.
- Door to door luggage transfer.
- Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
- An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a packing list.
- Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
Total distance: 146 miles (233.5 km).
Duration: 14 days/13 nights, 12 days of walking
Minimum/maximum daily distances: 7 miles (11km)/16 miles (25.5km)
Waymarking: The trail is easy to follow with the assistance of the guidebook and maps provided.
Season: Start on any Saturday from March 7 to October 24 (other days of the week on request)
Tour Starts: Stratford-upon-Avon.
Tour Ends: Shakespeare’s Globe Theaater, Southwark.
Nearest Available Airport: London Heathrow or London Gatwick.
Arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon where your first night’s accommodation has been booked. Developed along the banks of the River Avon, this medieval market town is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Stratford-upon-Avon to Alderminster. 7 miles (11km)
Crossing the River Avon and the River Stour this morning, you’ll continue past picture postcard Cotswolds villages into the heart of the picturesque village of Alderminster.
Alderminster to Shipston-on-Stour. 10 miles (16km)
The trail takes you throught Halford and Honington, which is one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. Look out for the 16th-century half-timbered Magpie House before arriving in Shipston. The joy of Shipston is the old market square with many busy shops and several butchers!
Shipston-on-Stour to Chipping Norton. 14 miles (22km)
Rolling hills and green valleys make for easy walking today. Known as ”Chippy” to the locals, Chipping Norton is a vibrant town with market square and 15th-century church of St Mary boasting one of the finest interiors among the great Cotswold churches.
Chipping Norton to Woodstock. 16 miles (25.5km)
You’ll explore a thousand years of Oxfordshire’s history on this undemanding walk. Passing the tiny hamlet of Lidstone Parish are the remains of an ancient burial chamber, the Hoar Stone. And near Hobbard’s Hill, a pre-Roman earthwork, thought to be a barrier against chariots.
Woodstock to Oxford. 11 miles (17.5km)
The first village you pass today is Bladon. In the churchyard is the simple tombstone of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill. You continue through Begbroke and Yarnton before reaching the Rivers Thames on a river side path into Oxford.
Oxford to Stadhampton/Chalgrove. 11 miles (17.5km)
Quiet countryside as you enter the Chilterns section of Shakespeare’s Way, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with quintessential, uncrowded, rolling greens of English countryside.
Stadhampton/Chalgrove to Cookley Green/Pishill. 12 miles (19km)
A moderately challenging walk through picturesque hills and valley into Cookley Green.
Cookley Green/Pishill to Marlow. 14 miles (22.5km)
Your approach to Marlow starts with a lovely view of Visham Church reflected on the waters of the River Thames.
Marlow to Farnham Common, nr Slough. 11 miles (17.5km)
Marlow is set in the most beautiful stretch of the Thames. Beyond Marlow, the river becomes busier.
Farnham Common, nr Slough to Iver/West Drayton. 9 miles (14.5km)
Today through the Black Park Country Park through the village of Love Green before joining the Grand Union Canal into Drayton.
ver/West Drayton to Kew/Chiswick. 14 miles (22km)
Easy walking today. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are worth a visit.
Kew/Chiswick to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Southwark. 16 miles (25.5km)
A surprisingly quiet approach to London on a green corridor beside the Grand Union Canal and the Thames towpath to arrive at Shakespeare’s Glbe, lying in what was once the very heart of Elizabethan theaterland.
Depart from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Southwark after breakfast.
This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.
The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to walk more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.
Transfers allow your holiday to go ahead when accommodation directly on the route is unavailable. Local taxi operators (or your hosts for the night) will pick you up from a suitable location near the trail and take you to your night’s stay; then, the following morning they’ll drop you back off right where you were picked up so you can continue your walk.
Since we foot the extra bill for transfers, you can rest assured that we’ll get you on the trail whenever we can.
13 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected guesthouses, inns and hotels and B&B’s.
Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are walking on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Walker or Single Supplements apply respectively:
Singles: Add $62 per night for a single room; solo traveler add $103 per night.
Taking an extra night is a wonderful way to extend your holiday and ensure that you don’t miss some of the wonderful sights and sounds along Shakespeare’s Way.
Consider taking an extra night at the start of the trail if you would like to learn more about Shakespeare before embarking on the walk. Stratford Upon Avon is a delightful town that rests on the banks of the river Avon, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has a wealth of shops, cafes and restaurants. Besides this, you may wish to visit the five houses that are connected to Shakespeare and his family that are located in and around the town, or watch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
If you would like to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, consider spending an extra night in Woodstock. As well as being home to one of the most spectacular buildings in the country, Woodstock is fascinating in its own right, with numerous period buildings and the home of famous poet, Geoffrey Chaucer.
The city of Oxford is an excellent choice for an extra day. There is so much to see and do that you will be left craving more from this remarkable place. Some of the highlights include the stunning Bodleian Library, Oxford?s 38 ancient colleges, the oldest building in Oxford at Oxford Castle and countless other museums, galleries and breathtaking architecture. You may even wish to take a tour on an open top bus, take a punt along the River Cherwell or explore some of the locations made famous by film, including Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard) add $124.00 per person / per night.
Extra night (Woodstock or Oxford) add $141.00 per person / per night.
Extra night (Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Southwark) add $177.00 per person / per night.
There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Stratford-upon-Avon). Train from London Marylebone station to Stratford-Upon-Avon (approx 1 hour 40 min).
The nearest rail station at the end of the trail (Southwark) is London Bridge Underground. Train from London Bridge Underground to London Waterloo station (approx 1 hours 40 min).