Accommodation: Hand picked hotels and inns close to central Oxford, and in Woodstock, Bledington, Broadway Stratford and Chipping Campden. Breakfast is included each day and dinner for two nights.
Cycling mileage: 6 days of cycling . 10 - 26 miles (16 - 42 km) per day
Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: Lower 3
Terrain: Mostly flat but with some slopes on day 6.
Traffic free: More than half; very low traffic on the rest
This van supported tour wanders through the classic hills and valleys of Cotswold country with its picturesque honey coloured villages and peaceful streams. And by its hidden tracks, it leads you from the heart of one bustling historic town to another. The graceful contours of Cotswolds lanes and bridleways provide much of the route with the tranquil Oxford Canal leading to Blenheim Palace. Stop and explore Cotswold market towns, several famed gardens, thatched inns, lavender fields and marvellous vistas. Discover Shakespeare’s history in Stratford Upon Avon and enjoy the spirit of Oxford.
On this tour, you will cycle at your own pace with your host/guide briefing you each morning, sweeping your route and meeting you for lunch and at the highlight locations en route. He will be your host with you for the duration of the tour, providing van support along the route, fixing any bike problems, sharing his local knowledge and making sure a fun time is had by all. The tour includes entrance to Blenheim Palace, Hidcote Gardens and Shakespeare's houses.
Day One - Oxford
Arrive in Oxford on Sunday and check into your hotel located in the heart of the city. Your guide will meet you and fellow cyclists after lunch when you will collect your bikes. He will then take you on a tour of this beautiful city through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Discover museums, galleries and libraries galore, little tea rooms, unique shops and river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights. Return to the hotel for dinner tonight and an opportunity to get to know your companions for the next few days
Day Two - Oxford to Woodstock
10 miles (16 km)
Your cycling journey begins along the Oxford Canal which lies very close to your hotel. This delightful and rural waterside ride leads out of Oxford, past houseboats and locks and through pretty villages. Not far from the navigation, sits the Cotswold stone village of Woodstock and the world heritage site of Blenheim Palace set in 2000 acres of Capability Brown landscape. Your will visit this 18th Century palace which was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and now the home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough. Your hotel sits in the heart of the lovely village of Woodstock
Day Three - Woodstock to Bledington
23 miles (37km)
Today’s ride explores classic Cotswolds country. There are twisting lanes leading through pretty villages; tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers; ancient woodlands, hidden tracks nestling in the valleys and wonderful views. Cosy pubs are dotted along the route and there’s time to linger in the old stone and thatched villages. Your inn tonight overlooks the village green in one of these villages.
Day Four - Bledington to Statford on Avon
23 miles (37km) or 32 miles (51km)
Start the day with either a short train hop or a gentle pedal to the Cotswold market town of Moreton-in-Marsh where the high street formed part of the Roman Fosse Way. Linger in the shops and cafes before cycling gently on through peaceful country lanes to enjoy the renowned gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate before freewheeling downhill through villages seemingly untouched by time, to join the old railway track that leads into Stratford. This famous old market town, needs little introduction as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Your overnight stay is in the heart of the town with all its half timbered buildings.
Day Five - Stratford on Avon to Broadway
20 miles (32km) or 38 miles (61 km)
This morning you will visit the five restored Tudor houses associated with Shakespeare and there will be time to stroll through the backstreets, linger in a cafe or take a boat trip on the river Avon on whose banks the town attractively sits. Pedal off after lunch on the flat and easy ride to the neat gardens and pretty cottages of Broadway where you will stay the night. For those keen to cycle further, your guide will show you Sudeley Castle and Winchcombe returning through a string of gorgeous villages Your accommodation nestles in the main street of Broadway.
Day Six - Broadway to Chipping Campden
12 miles (19km)
This is a truly wonderful day despite the inclusion of the only real hill of the entire route. Leave all visitors behind as you take an idyllic rural track through sheep clad hills to the delightful village of Snowshill where you will visit inside the manor house. Ride on past stunning fields of lavendar and look forward to a refreshment stop near the Broadway Tower with breathtaking views over 12 counties on a clear day. The outstanding vistas continue with a downhill route for the rest of the day that leads to the 'must see' 14th Century honey coloured stone buildings of Chipping Campden. For the last night of the tour you will stay in the heart of this gem of the Cotswolds. Soak up the very special atmosphere of the village and relax after a stunning day.
Day Seven - Chipping Campden to Oxford
7 miles (11km)
Enjoy all that Chipping Campden has to offer before wending your way through some pretty villages to Moreton in Marsh. Enjoy a farewell lunch together before taking a train hop back to Oxford.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe England Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey