Coln St Aldwyns to Bibury & Return

Distance: 6 miles

Easy stroll through rolling countryside with three short inclines

A PLEASANT circular walk that can be done in either direction as both Bibury and Coln St Aldwyns have good places to eat before or after your walk, though if starting from Bibury an early start is advised to grab one of the parking spaces.

The directions here are given when starting from Coln St Aldwyns and parking is available near the crossroads with it’s Post Office and store. The outward route passes through woods and farmland with a couple of very short B road sections, while the return journey concentrates on following the meandering River Coln.


From the centre of Coln head down past the New Inn on the Quenington road, round a sharp bend at the bottom and along a straight stretch of road to a small road bridge. Cross the bridge and take the footpath on the immediate right past a small cottage.

The path forks with the right hand path heading towards the river – this will be your return route so branch off left and head gently uphill, following the visible path through a few trees, keeping a wall on your left. Where the wall ends a field begins and the way forward is directly ahead, with farm buildings visible in the distance. Aim for these then take the path across a smaller field towards another cottage. The gate to the left of this building gives access to the Akeman Street Roman road.

Turn right and walk for a hundred yards to the first signed footpath on the right. Following a well-marked track gradually downhill. The path then cuts across a field before heading gently uphill and around the right hand side of a field which can be a little overgrown but easily passable. When you meet the obvious crossroads of tracks turn right until you reach a minor road.

Follow the road downhill and to the right and you will emerge into the village of Bibury at the top end of the infamous Arlington Row which attracts visitors from all over the world and recently served as the backdrop for a Hollywood movie.

Cross the footbridge and you now have a choice- turn left to head into the village which boasts a fish farm, mill and museum, the Swan Inn or further uphill out of the village, The Catherine Wheel pub. Or turning right the walk continues. Rather than following the main road up and out of the village continue straight ahead where the road bends, passing the village hall on the left, followed by the church and primary school on the right. Directly ahead you will see a red telephone box so head for this then rejoin the main road for a few yards before turning right onto the road signposted New Inn at Coln.

A few paces on and you need to turn right again down a track marked as Private Road. As you walk down pause to look right for a great view of the Bibury Court Hotel. Continue over the bridge and follow the road round and up past the mill until you reach a gate.

Carry straight on and upwards into the woods and branch left. The track becomes a well- defined track that dips downwards and through woodland. Finally you meet the River Coln and follow its course across meadows towards more woodland. This section through the woods tends to be the muddiest part of the walk.

When you emerge into open fields again you will find that you are approaching the point where you originally branched left to head uphill. So walk straight ahead past the cottage now on your right to meet the road, retracing your steps across the bridge and back to Coln St Aldwyns.