Cycling in the Cotswolds - Our Ultimate Guide
The Cotswolds is an exciting place for outdoor adventures, particularly if you love to cycle. Its a fun way to experience the Cotswolds many beautiful views, with trails and paths available for riders of all abilities. You dont even have to bring a bike with you as youll find many places offering cycle hire around the area, making sure you have everything you need to enjoy the Cotswolds on two wheels and have some fantastic adventures cycling in the Cotswolds.
Cycling in the Cotswolds - Taking in the sightsThe Cotswolds is filled with picturesque towns and villages which are ideal for cycling through, as well as stopping off for a spot of lunch. There are some existing routes which provide gentle rides that are suitable for both novice and experienced cyclists, and for children too. Some recommended routes include:Honeybourne to Morton-in-MarshThis easy-going cycle route is perfect for those who want to see a number of Cotswolds villages along the way, without having to put in some heavy miles. Totalling 11.5 miles, your journey will begin in charming Honeybourne, passing through Chipping Campden, Broad Campden and Aston Magna before ending (downhill!) to Moreton-in-Marsh. This is the perfect route for families or inexperienced cyclists, as youll find train stations on either side of the trail to give you the option of skipping the return journey.Full details of the route are availablehere.Where to stay:Located in Snowshill, near BroadwayOat Hill Coach Houseis a charming property to make your base during your Cotswolds stay. Just a short drive from Honeybourne, the cycle route will be a great activity to enjoy during your break.The Burford East CircularThis is a longer ride (32 miles in total) which is great for more experienced cyclists or those looking to enjoy a full day of cycling. Its a great route that takes you past a number of famous Cotswolds sights including Eynsham Park, the North Leigh Roman Villa and Blenheim Palace. Beginning in Burford and taking you all the way through the Windrush Valley, youll find many places to stop and admire, take photos or polish off a pre-packed picnic. If you want to cut the journey short you can, and simply make your way back to Burford.Further details of the route are availablehere.Where to stay:With a stay atCleeveley Cottage, youll be closely located to the starting point for the Burford East Circular, and may wish to begin your journey from there. Its a charming cottage that sleeps 4, so its great for families or small groups looking to escape to the country for a weekend.
Enjoy cycling in the Cotswolds with a guided tourThe Cotswolds is great for cycling and making up your own route, but you can also enjoy cycling in the Cotswolds with a guided tour. Tours are highly recommended as they offer you a safe way to cycle and find out more about the locations en route, with some of the best tours including:The Cotswolds Electric Bike ToursThe Cotswolds Electric Bike Tours are particularly popular with visitors as they allow you to explore the Cotswolds by bike - aided by some power so that you dont have to work too hard around the hills and long stretches. Theres a wide range of tours available that take you through some of the Cotswolds most popular spots, allowing you to get a good flavour of Cotswold living and enjoy meeting some new people along the way too.Further details of the tours are availablehere.Where to stay:The main home of the Cotswolds Electric Bike Tours is Kingham, where you can stay atLittle Garthand enjoy a relaxing stay in a cosy cottage for up to 4.Oxford Cycle Tours with Bainton BikesBainton Bikes is a fantastic company that offer bikes for rent all over the Cotswolds. For those whod prefer a guided tour, the Official Oxford Cycle Tour is a great one to choose from. At around 8 miles and lasting 2-3 hours, you can explore the best of Oxford while learning about its history and beautiful architecture. The bikes for your tour are classically designed (with a basket on the front too!), offering a fun and fashionable way to explore stunning Oxford.Further details of the tours are availablehere.Where to stay:If you want to explore lovely Oxford, then a stay in an Oxfordshire Cotswolds property is a must.Dairy Cottagein Chipping Norton offers a lovely location from which to enjoy the local sites, and is under an hours drive from Oxford itself for you to enjoy your guided cycling tour.
Cycling in the Cotswolds for familiesBringing your bikes along for your family holiday is an easy and affordable way to spend time during your break, as well as help you all get some exercise too. Families will find that there are a number of child-friendly options for cycling in the Cotswolds, including:Cotswold Water ParkThe Cotswold Water Park is an excellent place for families to cycle together. There are many different routes you can take and as the ground is mostly flat, its ideal for families with young children too. The Water Park is a vast area with many places to explore, and when its time to take a break you can always enjoy a picnic by the water or stop off and enjoy the beach and watersports.Further details of cycling at Cotswold Water Park are availablehere.Where to stay:Wishbone Cottagein Fairford is a great cottage to enjoy Cotswold Water Park and other nearby attractions. It has a cosy kitchen and gorgeous dcor that makes it great for families who want to enjoy a relaxing break.Kids-only cycling at Westonbirt ArboretumIf you have young children who would love to ride their bikes in a safe, flat area then a trip to Westonbirt is a wonderful idea. Westonbirt permits children under 5 to ride their bikes around, provided they are supervised by adults. If you want to cycle to Westonbirt then youll find some excellent facilities for leaving your bikes securely, while youll also benefit from a discount on entry too. Theres a lot to see around the arboretum and some great activities for children, making it a fun day out to enjoy during your stay.Further details of cycling at Westonbirt Arboretum are availablehere.Where to stay:New Church Cottagein Tetbury is around 25 minutes by bike to Westonbirt, making it a fabulous location if you want to leave the car behind during your stay. Its a chic cottage which will make you feel at home for the week with some amazing nearby opportunities for exploring the Cotswolds by bike.
Challenging Cotswolds routes for experienced cyclistsCycling in the Cotswolds offers many opportunities for families and infrequent cyclists to enjoy a country ride. The Cotswolds is also home to some challenging rides for experienced cyclists. Taking in various hills and covering long distances, these routes will definitely be a challenge that will take you around a wide part of this beatiful area.The Great British Bike RideFeatured in The Guardian, this 83-mile bike ride is not for the faint-hearted, but is an excellent way to see the Cotswolds and enjoy the glorious British countryside. Its a route that doesnt feature too many climbs which is great, and youll have a number of opportunities to stop off and take in the scenery along the way. Beginning in Fairford, youll pass through Burford, Chipping Campden and Broadway amongst many other lovely locations. Theres a shorter route available too at 54 miles, which may be more suitable if you have limited time.Further details of the route are availablehere.Where to stay:The good news about this route is that you can stay anywhere along it and pick the route up wherever is nearest to you. We recommend staying atBettys Cottagein Taynton, near Burford, as its ideal for resting after a day of tough cycling. It sleeps 6 so is perfect for groups of friends or families enjoying a cycling holiday. It has a beautiful garden area and huge glass dining area that makes it a chic, modern cottage.Witney Bourton-on-the-Water WitneyAnother long-distance ride at 41 miles is this pleasant circular route which will take you through many towns and villages in just one ride. Starting in Witney, youll travel through Shipton-under-Wychwood, Farmington, Taynton and then Bourton-on-the-Water before you make the journey back to Witney. Its a challenging ride in places, but worth the journey, as you can relax and enjoy a tasty pub meal in one of Witneys welcoming pubs.Further details of the route (and others) are availablehere.Where to stay:Snipe Barnis located within Chimney Nature Reserve, which is around 40 minutes by bike to Witney to start your route. This modern barn conversion sleeps 12 and is ideal for groups, with a lot of space to leave your bikes. Its a lovely location which is good for exploring and has comfortable beds to rest in after a long day out on the bike.No matter what your cycling ability, the Cotswolds has a bit of something for everyone. Beginners and less confident riders will love the flat areas and cycling through the villages, while more expert cyclists will feel challenged taking on the Cotswolds many hills and climbs. To enjoy cycling in the Cotswolds at any time of year, take a look at ourfull range of Cotswold propertiesand book your visit.