THE sun shone brightly in Winchcombe as Cotswolds Tourism launched its new campaign for 2014.

The Great Cotswold Outdoors, which aims to showcase the Cotswolds as a key destination for walking and cycling, was launched at an event on May 16 which saw the introduction of 17 new weekend walking itineraries based around the key market towns of the Cotswolds.

Visitors will be able to see at a glance where to stay and what to see and do, as well as viewing highlighted walking routes catering for gentle strollers and serious hikers.

Anna Sanders, of Cotswolds Tourism Partnership, said: “This is one of the ways in which Cotswolds Tourism is trying to push the Cotswolds up into the top three visitor destinations in England”.

Guests at the launch also got a first glimpse of the new Cotswolds 7-day Circular Cycling Holiday Tour map which will be available for sale in Visitor Information Centres in the summer.

The map provides the visitor with a circular route taking in Stroud, Nailsworth, Berkeley, Painswick, Winchcombe, Burford and Cirencester which would be best enjoyed over a week’s worth of gentle cycling.

The launch coincided with the start of the Winchcombe Walking Festival.

Chairman Rob Talbot said: "The Cotswolds offers such a great variety of walks, enabling visitors to enjoy our wonderful outdoors.”

Sally Graff, of Cotswolds Tourism Partnership, added: “ We are keen to encourage as many local businesses as possible to get involved with the campaign now via the website so we can highlight to visitors and locals the wonderful diverse attractions, accommodation, eating places and outdoor related businesses we have across the Cotswolds.”

The itineraries will be available shortly for download on The Great Cotswold Outdoors section of