Walk in the Cotswolds: Picturesque villages & rolling country scenery in Badminton

Picturesque thatched and stone cottages in Little Badminton on the Badminton Park walk

The Badminton walk explores the picturesque Cotswold village of Badminton, the delightful Badminton Park and the rolling Cotswold countryside. This gentle, circular walk features quiet country roads, serene woodland avenues and rolling fields carpeted with wild flowers.

Located in the South Cotswolds, Badminton is renowned for the grand Badminton Estate and the annual Badminton Horse Trials. However, this quaint village also boasts an impressive collection of chocolate-box cottages and beautiful country scenery.

This Cotswold walk is part of the River Avon walk series. The village of Badminton is located to the north of Acton Turville, the source of the River Avon. Although this walk is not a river walk, it explores one of the key places along the River Avon and in the Cotswolds.

Location: Badminton, the Cotswolds

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 5 miles (8.3 km)

Exploring the picturesque Badminton village

The Badminton walk starts at the village of Badminton. A typical Cotswold village, Badminton boasts an impressive collection of picturesque cottages. From almshouses to thatched cottages, farmhouses and country cottages painted yellow, dwellings in the village date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and form a picture-perfect scene.

Quaint Cotswold cottages painted yellow in Badminton
Picturesque cottages in Badminton

Located in the village, the Badminton Estate has been the private home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort for generations. Their home, Badminton House, was remodelled in the 17th century and enjoys an imposing Palladian facade along with majestic rooms. Private tours of the house and gardens are available.

Held on the Badminton Estate, the Badminton Horse Trials are renowned around the world. Since 1949, this sporting event hosted by the Duke and Duchess attracts crowds from near and far. The Badminton Estate is also known for the sport of badminton. Named after the house, the sport of badminton was introduced on the estate in the 19th century.

Walking across the rolling Cotswold countryside

The Badminton walk leaves the picturesque village of Badminton behind and takes you along a quiet country road and past the remarkable Lower Slait Lodge. Guarding Badminton Park, the 18th century gate lodge is the size of a small cottage, yet boasts castle-like turrets.

Rolling Cotswold countryside with a footpath signpost
The rolling Cotswold countryside

From the quiet country road, you then cross verdant fields filled with wild flowers in full bloom as well as the grassy airstrip used for the Badminton Horse Trials. Keep an eye out for the short cut of the grass indicative of the landing strip. While crossing the first field, you’ll also spot an 18th century folly castle in the distance and enjoy lovely views of the rolling Cotswold countryside.

You then reach Seven Mile Plantation, a wide path flanked by trees. Walking along this woodland path, you’ll feel as though you’re in the depths of a forest, even though you can catch a glimpse of the lush countryside from time to time and hear the busy Bath road in the distance. This country walk then takes you through more verdant fields and follows the undulating Cotswold landscape back to the quiet country road.

Lush woodland avenue known as Seven Mile Plantation
‘Seven Mile Plantation’ woodland path

Escaping to the otherworldly Little Badminton

The Badminton walk follows the country road to the hamlet of Little Badminton and leads you along a triangle of roads that forms this otherworldly village. Built around the village green which houses the vestiges of a sunken medieval village and a remarkable medieval dovecote, Little Badminton boasts an even more impressive collection of chocolate-box Cotswold cottages.

Thatched cottage in Little Badminton
Thatched cottage in Little Badminton

Dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, these charming stone and thatched cottages, medieval farms and converted barns are a marvel to discover. The St Michael and All Angels Church in Little Badminton is also unusual. The 13th church is simple in appearance and enjoys a small timber bellcote and a large churchyard. You can visit the church by appointment only.

Discovering the tree-lined Badminton Park

From Little Badminton, you then enter Badminton Park next to Upper Slait Lodge. Sister to Lower Slait Lodge, this gate lodge is an intricate medieval cottage guarding the entrance to the deer park. Part of the Badminton Estate, Badminton Park is a private parkland and the setting of the Badminton Horse Trials.

Lush trees, shimmering lake and grazing sheep in Badminton Park
Park Pond in Badminton Park

In the park, you follow the tarmac path lined with burgeoning trees. Although Badminton Park is a deer park, we didn’t spot any deer when visiting, but saw plenty of sheep grazing the day away. You can enjoy only limited views of the parkland, but you can spot Park Pond and the Palladian facade of Badminton House through the trees.

This Cotswold walk then leaves the deer park next to another remarkable gate lodge. You then walk past quaint stables, farmhouses and cottages belonging to the Badminton Estate and make your way back to the heart of Badminton village. From there, you can explore the small village further and spot the most charming cottages.

To view the walk itinerary, visit cotswoldsaonb.org.uk (pdf file). To download the walk GPX file, visit my.viewranger.com.

Badminton walk details

Location: Badminton, the Cotswolds

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: Approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours with regular stops

Distance: 5 miles (8.3 km)

Ascent: Gentle

Itinerary: Badminton woodland and parkland (pdf file)

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get muddy in wet weather

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs

Parking: Streets of Badminton (GL9 1DG)

Facilities: Shops in Badminton. Closest toilets and pubs in Acton Turville.

Notes: Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead. Please beware of oncoming vehicles when walking on roads.

Explore more: Walks in the Cotswolds

From rolling hills to enchanting valleys, captivating woodland and picturesque villages, the Cotswolds offer beautiful walks and spectacular scenery.

Sherston to Easton Grey walk

Located near Badminton, the Sherston to Easton Grey walk explores a charming section of the River Avon. Featuring delightful country lanes, rolling fields and equestrian centres, this circular walk offers a serene countryside escape to the picturesque villages of Sherston and Easton Grey. Discover this Cotswold walk guide.

River Avon flowing through Easton Grey in the Cotswolds
Easton Grey in the Cotswolds

Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury & Little Sodbury walk

This Cotswold walk tours the three quaint villages of Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury, as well as the beautiful Cotswold countryside. Located near Badminton, this circular walk enjoys lovely views of the Cotswold hills, the Frome Valley and the Severn Vale. Find the Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury & Little Sodbury walk guide.

Dyrham to Doyton walk

Exploring a rolling Cotswold valley near Bath, the walk from Dyhram to Doyton offers lovely views of the Cotswold countryside. Featuring verdant fields, rolling hills, enchanting woodland and cute streams, this circular walk follows the Cotswold Way and the Monarch’s Way. Check out the Dyrham to Doyton walk guide.

Fantastic views during the Dyrham to Doyton walk near Bath
Country views on the Dyrham to Doyton walk

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References: Cotswold Conservation Board (pdf file), Badminton Estate, Historic England, South Gloucestershire Council

Featured image: Chocolate-box Cotswold cottages in Little Badminton

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