OXFORD, BATH, THE COTSWOLDS & STONEHENGE
8 days / 7 nights, Self-Guided Tour
Fine Hotels and Country Pubs
Quintessential England, the one the picture books and history annals speak of is the Cotswolds. Thatched cottages, tiny bridges over bubbling brooks, stately willows on lawns of magnificent manors, haunted glens and medieval pubs where kings and queens passed the night, these all make up the fascinating fabric of this tiny corner of England.
Our journey not only takes you from Oxford, the seat of fine education at the edge of the Cotswolds but over to ancient Bath, known by the Romans as Aquae Sulis for its thermal waters, crossing 4 different counties and including the areas known as the Cotswolds
Along the way there are many a Victorian Spire, church green, Roman mosaic, Crusader Cross, ancient fertility circle and lovely lopsided Tudor homes to cycle by, as well as countless local pubs, coaching inns and tea houses where the pass of time seems to have missed them. We encounter picture perfect villages, a chance to visit Shakespeare´s Stratford and of course, one of England´s favourite past times, visiting a traditional beer brewery.
Taste the refreshing pale ales of the area and see how artisans of the area have kept alive a craft like thatching a roof. And when not on the bike, try the local specialities of the region, the fresh produce and seafood and the array of baking cakes and tarts to tempt any palate. Staying in some historically steeped villages which have hosted travellers for centuries, this is definitely a trip for those who enjoy relaxing travel on two wheels, and watching millenniums of history slip by at each turn of the wheel.
DAY 1. OXFORD
Arrive in Oxford on Monday and check into your hotel located in the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city and stroll through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Take in the museums, galleries and libraries galore, and perhaps a concert or play. Discover the little tea rooms and fine restaurants, the unique shops and back streets and the river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights.
DAY 2. OXFORD TO MORETON IN MARSH
Your host will meet you this morning with your bikes and run through your itinerary before your cycling journey begins. Enjoy a short city tour if you wish before leaving Oxford and heading for the Cotswold village of Woodstock. Here is the World Heritage site of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and now home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough. Back in the saddle, you can then explore classic Cotswolds country – twisting lanes leading through pretty villages; tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers; ancient woodlands and wonderful views. Your welcoming inn for the next 2 nights sits near the Roman Fosse Way in the market of Moreton in Marsh.
DAY 3. CIRCULAR RIDE TO STRATFORD AND CHIPPING CAMPDEN
Ride to the renowned gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate for inspiration before dropping down the Cotswold’s scarp to Stratford on Avon where you can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. Pootle on to the sweet little chocolate box village of Broadway before climbing back up the scarp past Snowshill Manor and fields of lavender to iconic Broadway Tower with its refreshment stop overlooking 12 counties. It’s a short pedal on to Chipping Campden – the gem of the Cotswolds, before returning to Moreton. What a great day!
DAY 4. MORETON IN MARSH TO BIBURY
67km/42mYou will experience the classic wolds and valleys of the Cotswolds area today taking in a string of notable towns and villages. Visit Stow on the Wold, known for its antique shops now and as a woollen town formerly before discovering the idyllic hamlets of the Slaughters and joining the Windrush valley at Bourton on Water. This valley leads you through unspoilt villages to Burford, one of England’s prettiest small medieval towns with beautiful Cotswold architecture and a high street to savour. From here you pedal an old Roman road with long vistas to arrive in Bibury, famous for its weavers’ cottages and pretty River Coln. Additional mileage from Bibury for those wanting to explore the tiny Coln valley.
DAY 5. BIBURY TO LACOCK
Pedal through a timeless landscape today that is utterly charming and leads to the Cotswold capital of Cirencester – important since Roman times and still a delight today. Beyond are some interesting places to stop by. At Highgrove you can take a thirst quenching drink at Prince Charles’s farm whilst in Tetbury and there’s plenty to explore in this lovely old wool market town. If trees are your thing you can make a short detour to the world renowned and spectacular National Arboretum at Westonbirt. The most remarkable find of the day maybe Lacock where you will spend the next two nights. Dating back to the 13th Century, this charming rural village with a medieval abbey remains untouched by modern development.
DAY 6. LACOCK TO BATH AND BACK
This is a great ride to the World Heritage site of Bath known for its Georgian architecture and its Roman connections. Discover the Roman baths and its excellent museum, a fine collection of galleries, cobbled courtyards, historic tea rooms and the very impressive 12th century abbey. It is one of England’s favourite places and the history here is palatable in all its honey coloured stone buildings. Leave Bath by heading into former railway tunnels and briefly along a magnificent canal to take in yet another characterful town at Bradford on Avon. Here there is a short climb as you head back to Lacock. Truly a day to remember!
DAY 7. LACOCK TO A WILTSHIRE VILLAGE
89km/56m or 57km/36m
Your last day of cycling leads you away from the Cotswolds and takes in a rural landscape before giving way to the cosy hamlets and villages of the picturesque Avon valley. This peaceful scene leads you to within ear shot of Stonehenge and your final night’s stay. Those wanting to explore further can pedal on to the historic cathedral city of Salisbury before turning around.
DAY 8. TOUR STONEHENGE AND DEPART
This morning you can depart after breakfast under your own steam or have a private transfer to the World Heritage site at Stonehenge with a 2 hour private guided tour. A prehistoric monument without parallel, its site and surroundings pose a number of intriguing questions about our development as a people. What a dramatic end to your historic ride through England! We will bid you farewell by transferring you to Salisbury station.
Discovery Tour – Guided
Bikes – Road / Hybrid / Ebike
Route: Oxford, Chipping Campden, Cotswolds, Bath, Lacock, Witshire village
Group Size – 8 – 16
Moderate – distances are a daily average of 65 km.
All 7 full English breakfasts
Carefully chosen hotels and a country inns for 7 nights
All bedrooms are private en-suite
- Hybrid bike and additional accessories including helmet, pannier, saddle cover, water bottle, lock, puncture repair kit and spare inner tube
- The services of our friendly local host to welcome and brief you, share their local knowledge and look after you.
- Written summary Route Directions and OS maps with your route marked
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Emergency 24 hour phone number and support
- Adventure Handbook – packed full of information, history and photos of the area your tour covers, as well as insider tips on how to discover the local secrets and hidden gems most tourists never see!
- GPS navigation by App on own mobile phone. Waterproof mobile phone holder, power bank and mains charger (free for clients to keep at the end of the tour)
- Airfares, travel to and from the trip start and finish points, entrances to attractions, boat fares, lunches and dinners, alcoholic beverages, mini bars and meals pre and post the trip (unless specified)
- Entrance to Stonehenge, private 2 hour guided tour of Stonehenge and private transfer to Stonehenge and to Salisbury station available as a supplement of £120 per person based on 2 people travelling
- E bike: £130 supplement
- Road bike: £210 supplement
Slow down, put the brakes on and put your feet up at the end of the day here. What better way to do it than experience English hospitality in historic places, pubs and inns. Close the day with a cup of tea or a nip of brandy to ease into the land of nod. Just don’t get started on the ghost tales!
** Please enquire about the option of hotel upgrades, which is the Deluxe Cycling Tour we are offering.
Situated in the picturesque Cotswolds market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, The Bell Inn has for years been a favourite for those seeking a truly unspoilt rural break combining a menu bursting with fresh, seasonal, locally sourced dishes.
Popular with locals and tourists alike, the refurbished pub with its fabulous courtyard and stunning walled garden provides the ideal setting in which to relax and unwind. A warm welcome, superb surroundings, friendly service await!
The Catherine Wheel is a family-run venue in the beautiful village of Bibury offering you great service in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Since 2009 they have used fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and served flavorful, appetising food, which is all made by hand and partnered with a wide selection of quality wines, beers and beverages. Whether you decide to cosy up next to a fire or enjoy the sunshine in our gorgeous garden, there’s something for everyone.
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
DATES & RATES
Select a Custom Date to Ask for Availablity! - Starts on Mondays
CLASSIC COUNTRY INNS
Single Supp.: £275
Single Supp.: £745
Price includes all local taxes. Please note we transact in British Pounds for this tour.
- Oxford's bustling charm and its impressive College buildings
- Stay in historic 16th century coaching inns in quiet villages
- Stately Bath, an UNESCO heritage city with its Roman baths, lovely Cathedral and literary references
- Famous Cotswold Medieval town of Chipping Campden
- Cotswold Cream Teas and Ale Brewing experiences
- Megalithic stone burial mounds and Sarsen Block Paths
THE CC ADVANTAGE
An area CC specialises in, with the company owner Geoff spending his university years in Bath
A route carefully planned around the local roads highlighting all the famous villages of this beautiful area
We know what it takes to order a pint of the best bitter, or to teach you how to make the perfect cup of English tea!
The trip was very well organized. Nothing was too much trouble for our leaders, Geoff (owner), Dean and Penny. Great food, hotels and cycling. Thank you.Jack Albright
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