Villages & Cottages inspired Foot Trails

We all love a wander through an English village, spotting 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

English Villages.

Would you love to wander through an English village spotting the gorgeous cottages and cottage gardens? You can enjoy being in the landscapes and character 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.

And every Foot Trails country inn (where you stay during your trail) 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 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

About English Cottages

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.

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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.
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  • Country Houses and Gardens on foot

    Splendour & Grandeur in the country

    A must for anyone who loves English country houses and gardens. From stately homes to wandering down long meandering driveways, see the South West's greatest gardens with a memorable Foot Trail. Stay for several nights in multiple locations of up to 6 different counties of South West England.
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  • Journey Across The Cotswolds

    Inn to Inn Walking & Hiking, The Cotswolds

    Take time to walk the Cotswolds away from the crowds and you will be rewarded with a magical journey through its delightful stone villages and beautiful English landscapes. From top to bottom across this quintessential region, this is an inn to inn hike like no other.
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  • Taste of The Cotswolds

    Short Break - Staying in one place, The Cotswolds

    Enjoy villages with honey coloured stone cottages and churches: a watery trail down by the River Windrush with its reeds and riverbank, take time to explore a Roman villa and grand Cotswolds country estate too. A Taste of the Cotswolds that will leave you wanting more!
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  • 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.
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  • Wessex Ancient Kingdom

    Our signature inn to inn walking trail

    This inn to inn (village to village) walking experience is your ultimate experience of hiking rural England. Full of history and breath-taking English countryside, from rivers to woods, character villages & cottages to breath-taking scenery & views, this trail has it all!
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  • 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.
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