THE COTSWOLDS CYCLE
Cycling Through the Heart of England
Rolling hills, picture postcard villages, rustic old pubs for leisurely lunches, and a wealth of historical interest from ancient castles and manor houses to old abbeys and Roman villas. These are the joys that await you in the heart of England. There is a choice of routes each day for the energetic and the sedate. Honey-coloured stone villages, open wolds, wooded valleys and Roman roads are the background to pretty villages, and welcoming inns.
our tour starts in elegant Cheltenham with its Regency buildings, beautiful gardens, and fashionable centre. From here the first day’s delightful ride is a circular tour to Churchdown Hill for good views over the valley. The second day takes you over the top of the Wolds, through Duntisbournes and across the River Dunt’s pretty fords. The ride passes exquisite village churches with Saxon and Norman features, to reach Frampton Mansell where you will stay in a 17th Century inn overlooking a wooded valley. An easy ride from Frampton Mansell visits Tetbury, an important mediaeval wool market town, then continues through the Cotswold Water Park to reach Bibury - described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England - with its famous row of weavers’ cottages, where you stay for 2 nights. From Bibury you ride along the valley to Quenington and back via Fairford, or an alternative route visits the historic Roman town of Cirencester and returns along the Welshway, once used by Welsh drovers to walk their sheep to London.
After a visit to Chedworth Roman Villa, the ride takes you through Northleach, another attractive wool town with a magnificent church, to the Slaughters, surely some of the most delightful villages in England and on to Guiting Power, a typical upland Cotswold village. An alternative route follows the scenic Windrush Valley, past Windrush village’s Norman church, to Burford, an elegant town with its steep main street leading down to the river. On day 6 you can enjoy a pleasant circular ride which crosses several North Cotswolds rivers, the Dicler, the Evenlode and the Windrush. It passes through many attractive villages including Broadwell, Bledington, and Naunton with its famous Dovecote that once housed a thousand birds. You can also visit the historic 15th century Snowshill Manor, take lunch at Broadway, and enjoy the wonderful views from Broadway Tower. The last day takes you via Winchcombe back to Cheltenham.
nights/8 days - Our first and last guesthouse in Cheltenham
(5 star) dates back to 1824. It is a beautiful regency house close to antique shops, fashion houses, wine bars and restaurants in the Montpelier district. Night two is spent in
Frampton Mansell in a comfortable inn (4 diamond) dating from 1660. Here you can sample the best of Cotswold cuisine, freshly prepared with local ingredients. In Bibury we spend two nights in a family-friendly 15th century Cotswold stone building. On nights 5 and 6 we overnight in a 16th century stone farmhouse situated in a typical picture postcard Cotswold village called
Guiting Power (4 diamond). All rooms throughout the tour are ensuite
Gentle rolling countryside with some mild ups and downs which make cycling through the Cotswolds a real pleasure. On this tour we provide several different cycling routes which allow you to choose either a short or longer ride each day.
18/21 speed hybrid bicycles, equipped with a tool kit, helmet, lock and front bar bag.
Accommodation and Meals
Bed and breakfast in country inns and hotels with ensuite facilities.
Start and End of Tour
Cheltenham. By train from London Paddington. The starting point can also be reached by train from Birmingham International Airport.
Cheltenham. Train to London. Journey time 2 hours.