- Start/finish: starts Sundays and is circular from Oxford
- Hotels: 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and inns in central Oxford, and in Woodstock, Bledington, Broadway, Chipping Campden and Stratford
- Cycling mileage: 6 days of cycling 10-26 miles (16-42 km) per day
- Skill level: novice
- Terrain: mostly flat but with some slopes on Day 6
- Traffic free: more than half, very low traffic on the rest.
Day 1: Oxford. Arrive in Oxford 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 am to 4 pm, to pick up your cycling equipment. Your host will meet you there, organize your bicycle and run through your itinerary.
Day 2: Oxford/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 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 lives there. Your hotel is in this lovely village.
Day 3: Woodstock/Bledington. 23 miles (37 km). Today’s ride explores classic Cotswold 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 is in one of these villages.
Day 4: Bledington/Stratford on Avon. 23 miles (37 km) or 32 miles (51 km). 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 hotel is in town with all its half timbered buildings.
Day 5: Stratford/Broadway. 20 miles (32 km) or 38 miles (61 km). Take the morning to further enjoy Stratford as there's much to see. Visit the five restored Tudor houses associated with Shakespeare and the theatre which is home to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Stroll through the many shops and 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. If you are keen to cycle further, ride on to Sudeley Castle and Winchcombe returning through a string of gorgeous villages.Your hotel- the famous Lygon Arms sits in Broadway High street.
Day 6: Broadway/Chipping Campden. 12 miles (19 km). 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 can 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 colored stone buildings of Chipping Campden. This gem of the Cotswolds is where you will spend the last night of your tour. Soak up its very special atmosphere and relax after a stunning day.
Day 7: Chipping Campden/Oxford. 7 miles (11 km). Enjoy all that Chipping Campden has to offer before wending your way through some pretty villages to Moreton in Marsh for a short train hop back to Oxford Return your bikes to our base where your luggage will be waiting for you and depart at leisure.
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