Villages & Cottages inspired Foot Trails

We all love a wander through an English village, spotting all the gorgeous cottages as we go. Read on if you enjoy English villages and cottages to discover how you can enjoy these, and some of the best Foot Trails for discovering English villages and cottages.

A traditional English thatched cottage

We all love a wander through an English village and spotting all the gorgeous cottages too. So you can enjoy this activity on a Foot Trail.
You can enjoy being in the landscapes and villages of England you’ve dreamed of.
In most villages on our Foot Trails you’ll find peace and quiet and space to breathe as well as dark skies (due to low light pollution) where you can see the stars.
There’s clean air too, so you can breathe deeply and reconnect with yourself, your partner as well as England’s past.
Just think quintessentially English things guaranteed, like full English breakfasts, tiny red post boxes, village shops, artisan cheeses, local, ethically reared meats and pints of beer and cider.
Every Foot Trails country inn (where you stay) is located in an English village.

Country pub with fireplace

Foot Trails country inns & accommodation

Every one of Foot Trails choice of accommodation and country inns is unique, characterful and charming and personally chosen by our Founder Alison Howell. Every one is located in an English village. Expect a warm English country welcome and comfort. Often centuries old, each building provides an historical setting with modern comforts. Those news to this style of British accommodation love the peaceful locations in genuine English villages and the opportunity to meet local people in the bar.

Village cottage with slate roof


A cottage is a small cosy dwelling typically in a rural area. Different counties have different architecture and so cottages can be made of different materials in South West England depending on their location. And their roofs can be different too, with slate typical for example in the Cotswolds and thatch typical in parts of Wiltshire and Dorset. This country variance makes exploring cottages on a Foot Trail wonderfully varied and enjoyable. If you love exploring cottages try Bath and the Cotswolds or Wessex Ancient Kingdom Foot Trails.

Old Bell Antiques shop

Village stories and life

Stories and village life go hand in hand. And we’ll help you to discover all the stories of the villages and places you explore with the help of our “foot notes” contained in your trail cards. Explore villages with Foot Trails and see England as other tourists do not see it, off the beaten track for a more authentic experience.

For discovering village life, try Journey Across the Cotswolds or Knights Medieval Castle 

Walking in Dorset

Finding space to breathe

A Foot Trail gives you space to breathe. Peace and quiet. We aim to get you off the beaten track and away from crowded tourist areas. You’ll explore the England you have always dreamed off in a more authentic and peaceful way. And if you have visited England before, you’ll discover and find places you could not have found by yourself. For plenty of breathing space try Wessex Ancient Kingdom.

Country pub lunch

Mouthwatering food and drink

A Foot Trail is all about great food and drink with provenance. To start each day you’ll enjoy a Foot Trails breakfast to set you up for a day on the trail.  Then, at lunchtime, pause in one of our handpicked village country pubs to enjoy lunch on the trail (no squashed sandwiches in your rucksack).
As evening falls and you return to your country inn, it’s the anticipated treat of dinner. Discover more about Foot Trails food and drink here.

A thatched cottage in the Cotswolds

Thatched cottages

Thatched cottages are one of those wonderfully quintessential English sights as you walk. Not all cottages in all parts of the South West are thatched, but we will help you walk where they are if you’d love to see them. For a fix of thatch walk Wessex Ancient KingdomKnights Medieval Castle or Journey Across the Cotswolds. 

Create your perfect walking or hiking trip with Foot Trails

At Foot Trails our specialist knowledge means that we can create a trip centered around what interests you most. Perhaps you’d love to explore English villages or simply discover more about England’s rich history.

Call us on +44 (0) 1747 820 626 or complete the form below.

Talk to Team Foot Trails about creating your perfect Villages & Cottages inspired walking tour. Here are a few suggested example itineraries to get you started:

  • Complete Cotswolds, Chipping Campden to Bath

    Inn to Inn Trips & Tours The Cotswolds

    Book this authentic and credible alternative to the Cotswolds Way. Complete Cotswolds is crowd free using local a lifetime of local knowledge, local paths and traditional villages and market towns. Walking adventure up to 16 nights and 135 miles. Walk every day or have rest days or sight seeing days built in. Read more
  • Taste of The Cotswolds

    Staying in one place, The Cotswolds

    Up to 4 night Staying in One Place walk. Enjoy villages with honey coloured stone cottages and churches: a watery trail down by the River Windrush with its reeds and riverbank and take time to explore Cirencester, a rural market town that was once the second largest in Britain during Roman times. Read more
  • Bath & Classic Cotswolds

    Walking & Touring Holiday, Bath & The Cotswolds

    Discover the highlights of Bath, UNESCO world heritage city with its rich Georgian heritage and history and the gorgeous Cotswolds in this trip. You will enjoy staying in several different locations and numerous highlights include Georgian architecture, Roman baths, river valleys, unspoilt Cotswold villages and scenic English countryside. Read more
  • Thomas Hardy’s Dorset

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, Dorset

    Walk in the footsteps of author Thomas Hardy's Tess D'Urbervilles and follow her story through north Dorset. You'll take in Shaston (Shaftesbury) and Marnhull (Marlett) with plenty of Dorset countryside and hand-picked country inns and pubs and magnificent English countryside en route too. Read more
  • Knights Medieval Castle

    Staying in one place, Wiltshire

    A walking holiday where you can escape the trappings of the modern world. Idyllic rural countryside and stunning varied walks filled with adventure and discovery. As the name suggests you'll find a strong medieval feel with a stunning castle and knights tales on route. Read more
  • Wessex, Ancient Kingdom

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, Wiltshire

    Our signature award winning trip. Walking adventure up to 12 nights, through the ancient kingdom of the West Saxons, Wessex. Including Wiltshire as well as Dorset and Somerset. Off the beaten track, through ancient lands with castles, deer parks, rivers, mills, iron-age hill forts and scenic landscapes. Read more
  • Devon Coast

    Staying in one place, South Devon

    Brimming with beauty from the sea you'll enjoy coves, coastal views, white plastered cottages and tales of sea shanties and shipwrecks. Walking in Devon will delight and also surprise you. Click to find out more. Read more
  • South West Explorer

    Walk, Tour & Explore up to 21 nights

    Stunning and varied walking and hiking adventure up to 21 nights in up to six of the South West of England's counties in one trip. You'll work with your own fully trained Trail Consultant who will help you plan and organise your own totally custom-made and fully flexible tailor made walking trip through the South West. Read more