Both Cirencester and Cheltenham border the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The area is well known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), outstanding countryside with river valleys, water meadows and beech woods, sleepy ancient limestone villages, historic market towns and for being ‘typically English’. Throughout the area, the honey-coloured Cotswolds limestone features in buildings and stone walls acting as a common thread in seamlessly blending the historic towns and villages with their surrounding landscape.
Offering breath-taking scenery ideal for keen walkers, the Cotswolds offers 3000 miles of public footpaths and offers one of the best kept ‘rights of way’ networks in the country. The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty also contains a number of national and regional walking routes such as 'The Cotswold Way Trail', 'Macmillan Way', 'Oxfordshire Way' and 'Shakespeare's Way'. Circular routes with self-guided leaflets are also plentiful.