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Around the Cotswolds


Route Summary

From the market town of Stroud, Around the Cotswolds clambers the Cotswold escarpment and roves through picturesque golden villages and patchwork green fields.

It swoops down into Winchcombe and onward north past Broadway Tower to Chipping Campden. Along quiet back lanes, the route heads south through Moreton-in-Marsh and the iconic Upper and Lower Slaughter, before swinging east through Burford and then back through Bibury, Cirencester and Tetbury to its starting point in Stroud.

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This circular cycling tour is the perfect introduction to long-distance cycling holidays, with few major climbs, plenty of cosy cafes, and an equal balance between the open countryside and the close lanes of little villages.


TOURING HIGHLIGHTS HONEYCOMB COTTAGES

The Cotswold villages are known for their picturesque cottages, built from honey-yellow local stone and often draped with greenery. Around the Cotswolds visits the most iconic streets, including Chipping Campden, Moreton-on-Marsh, Burton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters, and Bibury.

No less iconic is the tall silhouette of Broadway Tower, with access to the historic landmark’s very top, and the impressive market halls at Chipping Campden and Tetbury. The sweeping, grassy shapes at Cirencester Amphitheatre provide a subtler glimpse into the past.

Throughout the ride, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty provides glorious natural views. Sloping fields and little woodlands form a peaceful backdrop with no lack of picturesque places to pause for a picnic.

ELEVATION RELAXED

The route begins with several stiff climbs from Stroud up the Cotswold Edge onto the escarpment, with views across the patchwork fields of the Severn Valley as its backdrop. A swift descent into Winchcombe leads to another, sharp ascent, peaking near Broadway Tower at 321 metres above sea level. This is the highest point on the route, and leads to a downhill run into Chipping Campden.

Around the Cotswolds from here on rises and falls in small increments, with only one remaining statement gradient: an enjoyable run down into Stroud.

Route profile

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THE TERRAIN QUIET COUNTRY LANES

  • Primarily low-traffic country lanes
  • A handful of brief road sections

Around the Cotswolds keeps to surfaced roads as it circles the area’s picturesque villages. Any road bicycle will be ideal on this cycling holiday.

Route NEWS

12/06/2017 Update
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Route Details

Length: 130.5 miles / 209 km
Start & end: Stroud / Stroud
Season: 2nd January to 24th December

Itineraries


TOUR CODE ITINERARY NO LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
WITH LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
GRADE more info more info  
C-ACOT1 3 nights, 2 days £235 £310 Hard More Info Book Now
C-ACOT2 5 nights, 4 days £395 £480 Easy More Info Book Now
C-ACOT3 6 nights, 5 days £475 £585 Beginner More Info Book Now

The above itineraries show our preferred overnight stops. If accommodation is unavailable at any of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.

Please note that if you choose not to book luggage transfers for your holiday, you must make sure that you are able to carry all of your luggage with you for the duration of the holiday, whether this be via the use of panniers or any other method you wish. Ensure that you test the weight of your luggage while riding well in advance, so that you are comfortable transporting your own luggage during your holiday. We particularly recommend booking mountain biking holidays with lugagge transfers included.


Pricing Information

Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are riding on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo rider supplement: £45 per person / per night
  • Single supplement: £20 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard) : £50 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • A comprehensive information pack containing maps and/or guide books, a full itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Travel Information

Detailed travel information is sent to you in your holiday pack, but we have provided a summary below.


By Air
The most convenient major cities and international airports are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham Airport, and Bristol Airport.

By Rail
There is a rail station at the start of the route (Stroud).

From London (Heathrow) - Take the Heathrow Express train service to London Paddington and then take a train to Stroud. There are also regular, indirect train routes that run between Gatwick and Stroud.

Please note that most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ as you may need to book a space for your bike or there may be a limit as to how many bikes the train can store.

By Car
For advice on driving to the start of the route, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Please note that most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board, so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Return to Start
This is a circular route starting and ending in Stroud.

Extra Night / Rest Day

The Cotswolds is often thought of as the best example of quintessentially English countryside, filled with green hills, peaceful woodlands and an abundance of charming settlements. By booking a few extra nights at any of the route's overnight stops, you can extend your holiday and spend more time getting to know this magnificent corner of the UK.

Stroud marks both the start and finish of this cycling route, offering plenty of opportunity to spend a couple of extra nights here and discover everything it has to offer. This charming market town is filled with an eclectic mix of independent shops to explore, as well as a great choice of places to eat, one of the best farmers' markets in the country and several wonderful galleries to visit. Situated below the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills at the meeting point of the Five Valleys, Stroud is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful South Cotswolds and take in the fantastic scenery on offer here.

Another good option for an extra night's stay is Winchcombe, a beautiful town with a bustling, friendly community. Winchcombe is fully stocked with all the facilities and services you may need, including a selection of tea rooms, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and shops to enjoy. There is also a range of enticing landmarks to visit, including Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe Pottery and the Railway Museum. The town's picturesque streets, lined with cottages of golden yellow stone and hidden courtyard gardens to discover, gives the impression of having stepped back in time.

Stow-on-the-Wold is another good choice, particularly if you're looking for a relaxing little town rich in local history. Stow-on-the-Wold is filled with mellow stone houses, a range of independent shops and several inviting inns overlooking the medieval cross and stocks in the large market square, as well as countless narrow alleys leading off from the market square, begging exploration. There are grand manors, stunning gardens, ancient woodlands, rolling hills and much more to discover around this beautiful area, making an extra night or two highly recommended here.

If you're looking for somewhere a little livelier, the town of Cirencester - often referred to as the Capital of the Cotswolds - is packed with things to see and do. Along with a mix of independent and national shops and a great choice of restaurants, pubs and cafes, Cirencester offers a vast array of leisure activities to suit all tastes, including water sports, golf, guided walks and much more. Must-see landmarks include Chedworth Roman Villa, the Corinium Museum and the New Brewery Arts gallery, amongst many others. Cirecester really does cater to every need, ensuring you are fully rested, replenished and ready for the next leg of your journey.


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GRADE 1: Beginner

Daily distance: approx. 10 – 20 miles / 16 – 32 km
These itineraries are perfect for beginner cyclists, families or explorers eager to sight-see along the route. Expect plenty of time to relax along the way thanks to short-mileage days, with barely a hill in sight!

GRADE 2: Easy

Daily distance: approx. 15 – 25 miles / 24 – 40 km
With longer-mileage days, these itineraries will suit occasional riders who want a bit more of a challenge. As they still steer clear of steeper or more frequent climbs, they're perfect for quick riding, so you can still make plenty of time for lunch or a spot of exploration.

GRADE 3: Moderate

Daily distance: approx. 20 – 40 miles / 32 – 64 km
Longer daily distances team with a few challenging sections on these itineraries, ideal for regular cyclists confident in their fitness. Exploration stops may require an extra rest day - but there should still be time for a relaxing lunch!

GRADE 4: Hard

Daily distance: approx. 25 – 50 miles / 40 – 80 km
If you're looking to test your abilities as a keen cyclist, these are the itineraries for you. The daily mileages aren't just high, they may also include tough or frequent climbs. Get ready to pedal hard and push yourself!

GRADE 5: Epic

Daily distance: approx. 50 miles + / 80 km +
For these itineraries, you're going to need previous experience cycling long distances over consecutive days. Each is designed to test your strength and your stamina, with high mileage days and tough, frequent climbs.

*** Occasionally our itineraries can straddle between two levels of difficulty, such as 'Easy-Moderate' or 'Hard-Epic' etc. This can be for a number of reasons, such as if there is a wide range of distances between the days of the itinerary, or if the distances are ‘Easy’ but the hills and terrain involved are a bit tricky and more ‘moderate’ etc. If you require more information about any of our itineraries, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance.

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