- Start/finish: starts Sundays and is circular from Oxford
- Hotels: Historic 5 star hotel in Oxford, a boutique hotel in Burford and a luxury hotel in Bibury.
- Cycling mileage: 3 days of cycling with two further days of optional cycling. 22 - 26 miles (35 - 42 km) per day
- Skill level: novice
- Terrain: mostly flat with a few slopes
- Traffic free: more than half, very low traffic on the rest.
Follow the Thames meadows in and out of Oxford and ride tiny lanes and gentle bridleways along the Windrush and Coln valleys. Enjoy an 18th century working wool mill, tiny farm shops and babbling brooks.
Day 1: Oxford
Arrive in Oxford on Sunday and check into your hotel located close to the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today. 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. At a time to suit you make your way to our base in the center of Oxford, which is open from 10.00 to 16.00 to pick up your cycling equipment. Your host will meet you there, organize your bicycle and run through your itinerary.
Day 2: Oxford to Burford - 26 miles (42 km)
Leave Oxford by riding along the peaceful and very rural Thames meadows into the Cotswolds. Explore the old woolen town of Witney and discover the beautiful valley of the River Windrush. Nestled here is a string of romantic villages like Minster Lovell bearing ancient honey colored stone buildings and thatched village pubs. Burford too, where you will stay for the next two nights, has changed little over the centuries and it's bustling high street is one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds.
Day 3: Burford to Bourton on Water and back - Optional 22 miles (35 km)
Today you have a choice of relaxing in Burford or taking the circular ride which leads you further into the Windrush valley through classic Cotswolds country. There are tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers and twisting lanes leading through scenic hamlets to Bourton. This ever so pretty village has the Windrush flowing right through its heart and if you want to see the even more beautiful then pedal on to the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter before returning to Burford.
Day 4: Burford to Bibury - 22 miles (35 km)
This is another wonderful ride through timeless countryside into the Coln valley. Explore the town of Northleach with its interesting history and mechanical music museum, and Chedworth village with its Roman villa. Enjoy the great views, ancient woodlands and the pretty folds and villages of the tiny River Coln. Your next two nights are in Bibury, described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England.
Day 5: Bibury to Lechlade and back - optional 22 miles (35 km)
You might like a day out of the saddle to soak up the atmosphere in Bibury. But if you are keen to explore there's quite a ride ahead. The little Leach valley and its woods provide much of the route which takes in a working weaving mill, the Old Salt Way and thatched cottages with cosy village pubs. Enjoy too the market town of Lechlade where boats on the Thames can go no further and where you will wish to linger in antique stalls and tea shops before returning to Bibury.
Day Six - Bibury to Cirencester & Oxford
15 miles (24km)
Amble along the Coln valley this morning before heading to Cirencester through the quiet villages of the Ampney Brook. Once a key town of Roman Britain, Cirencester is today the capital of the Cotswolds with a bustling high street and characterful craft workshops. We will meet you here late afternoon and transfer you back to Oxford and to your hotel. How glorious are these varied Cotswold valleys !
Day Seven - Explore Oxford and Depart
Take time to explore all that Oxford has to offer and return your bike to our base at a time to suit you. Depart at leisure.
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Europe England Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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