Cotswolds Lakes and Rivers: Wildlife, Walking & Watersports (2023)

A beautiful region in England, known for its charming villages, rolling hills, and picturesque rivers, Cotswolds lakes and rivers are popular for visitors and locals alike.

Whether you are looking for a peaceful stroll along the river, a picnic, an active trek through picturesque hills and valleys, or water sports, you are spoilt for choice.

Rivers

1. River Windrush: The River Windrush is one of the most popular rivers in the Cotswolds, and there are many great walks along its banks. One popular walk starts in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water and follows the river upstream to the village of Upper Slaughter. This walk is about 3.5 miles long and offers beautiful views of the river and the surrounding countryside.

Lots of wildlife to see in the Cotswolds
Lots of wildlife to see in the Cotswolds

2. River Coln: The River Coln is another lovely river in the Cotswolds, and there are several great walks along its banks. One suggestion is to begin your walk at Bibury and follow the river downstream to the village of Coln St. Aldwyns. This walk is about 5 miles long and takes you through some of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds.

3. River Thames: The River Thames is not technically in the Cotswolds, but it runs through the region and offers some great walking opportunities.

One walk starts in the town of Lechlade and follows the river downstream to the village of Buscot. This walk is about 4.5 miles long and takes you through some beautiful countryside and past several historic landmarks.

Cotswolds Lakes

4. River Evenlode: The River Evenlode is another lovely river in the Cotswolds, and there are several great walks along its banks.

Start at Moreton-in-Marsh and follow the river downstream to the village of Bourton-on-the-Hill. This walk is about 6 miles long and takes you through some beautiful countryside and past several historic landmarks.

Lakes

Taking a stroll through the rolling hills, picturesque countryside and seeing nature up close is a pleasurable experience. This is heightened more when coming across magnificent Cotswolds lakes surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

One of the most popular attractions is the Cotswold Water Park, a vast network of over 150 Cotswolds lakes spread across 40 square miles. Created from old gravel pits, the lakes provide a unique and beautiful landscape that offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors.

There are other lakes in the Cotswolds offering paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and paths for cycling and walking.

Here are other picturesque Cotswolds lakes that are worth a visit:

1. Lake Windrush: Lake Windrush is a tranquil lake located in the heart of the Cotswolds amidst rolling hills, meadows, and is home to swans, ducks, and other wildlife.

2. South Cerney Outdoor: This is a beautiful lake with lush greenery and beautiful countryside views, and is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and other water sports.

3. Cheltenham Park Lake: This picturesque lake is surrounded by beautiful gardens and with swans, geese and ducks in residence.

4. Lake at Stowe: This is a stunning lake on the grounds of Stowe House with gardens and countryside nearby.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or want to try your hand at water sports, the lakes in the Cotswolds are definitely worth a visit.

With its beautiful countryside, historic architecture, and charming villages, the Cotswolds is an ideal destination for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday.

Tips

Horses are a common sight near the Cotswolds lakes and rivers

If you are going to explore the great outdoors including a visit to the Cotswolds lakes and rivers, please remember to keep your dog on a leash if there are farm or wild animals along the way, take any rubbish home with you, pack water and snacks, pay attention to the signposts and warning signs, and take all the usual precautions around water. The trails can be muddy, so be aware of footwear and clothing.

Check the weather the day before and a few hours before you set out.

If you want to discover more villages and towns or find other things to do in the Cotswolds, visit our main page at www.travelcotswolds.com

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