- Start/finish: starts Mondays from Oxford. Finishes Bath
- Accommodation: two hotels, an inn, a manor house and 6 nights in boutique bed and breakfasts
- Cycling mileage: 7 days of cycling 12 - 22 miles (19 - 35 km) per day
- Skill level: novice
- Terrain: remarkably flat with a few slopes on days three and four.
- Traffic free: 25%, very low traffic on the rest.
Day 1: Oxford
Arrive in Oxford on Monday and check into your hotel located adjacent 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, organize your bicycle and run through your itinerary.
Day 2: Oxford to Woodstock, 10 miles (16 km)
Your cycling journey begins as it will end, along a canal. The Oxford Canal which lies very close to your hotel offers a delightful and rural waterside ride out of Oxford, past houseboats and locks and through pretty villages. Not far from the navigation, sits the Cotswold stone village of Woodstock and grandiose Blenheim Palace set in 2000 acres of Capability Brown landscape. Built in the 18th century, it was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the 11th Duke of Marlborough now lives there. Your hotel sits in the heart of the lovely village.
Day 3: Woodstock to Burford, 20 miles (32 km)
Ride into the Cotswolds and explore the old woollen town of Witney. Discover the beautiful valley of the River Windrush. Nestled here is a string of romantic villages such as Minster Lovell, bearing ancient honey colored stone buildings and thatched village pubs. Burford too, where you will stay, has changed little over the centuries and it's bustling high street is one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds.
Day 4: Burford to Coln, 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 overnight stay is in Coln, adjacent to Bibury, described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England.
Day 5: Bibury to Cirencester, 15 miles (24 km)
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 an antiques and street market you can enjoy. You will stay the next two nights in the heart of the town.
Day 6: Enjoy Cirencester. Have a relaxing day exploring the bustling high street and characterful craft workshops of this medieval town. Take in the museum housing Roman mosaics and stroll through elegant Cirencester Park, family seat of the Earls of Bathurst and home to much polo playing.
Day 7: Cirencester to a Wiltshire Village, 25 miles (34 km)
Still in the idyllic Cotswold landscape of quiet lanes, pretty farms and peaceful villages you have the opportunity today to visit a remarkable manor house of Arts and Crafts fame. Stop awhile too in Tetbury to explore this lovely old wool market town and if trees are your thing then make a short detour to Westonbirt Arboretum. A warm welcome awaits you at the Cotswold manor house where you will stay the night
Day 8: A Wiltshire Village to Lacock, 18 miles (29 km)
This ride offers fabulous views, a chance to test the Fosse Way as the Romans did, without cars and easy pedaling through unspoilt hamlets hiding cosy inns. But the most remarkable find of the day will probably be Lacock where you will stay the night. Dating back to the 13th century, this charming rural village with a medieval abbey remains untouched by modern development.
Day 9: Lacock to Bath, 22 miles (35 km)
There's a scene change today as you pedal along one of the prettiest canals through steeply wooded valleys, over dramatic aqueducts and past locks and weirs. En route, explore Bradford on Avon and stay an extra night here if you wish, to relax in this fine town and enjoy a rather special Italian garden. Your waterside ride leads you into the heart of Bath and to your overnight stay for the next two nights. This is a fitting finale to an extraordinary journey through history from the dreaming spires of Oxford to the legendary architecture of Bath.
Day 10: Enjoy Bath. Here you're spoiled for choice. Character and charm are around almost every corner of this city. You could visit the Roman Baths with their natural hot waters and bathe in the thermal waters of the spa. Take in the abbey, admire the buildings and stroll across Poultney Bridge. Discover a fine collection of museums, unique shops, cobbled courtyards and historic tea rooms.
Day 11: Depart Bath. Take time to explore all that Bath has to offer and depart at leisure.
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Europe England Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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