For our Really Rather Special Tour, we have combined our most interesting and picturesque routes in the Cotswolds with what we think are the best hotels. Most of these are country houses in beautiful settings with outstanding service. All have excellent restaurants and a number have spas. In fact you might want to relax for a day or so and leave your bike idle. Tailoring the itinerary and distances for you, this is the perfect way to enjoy the magic of the Cotswolds. If you like to have a knowledgeable local guide to lead you, we will be delighted to provide one. And if you prefer to have a support vehicle, we are very happy to include one. We have no doubt that we can create a really rather special Cotswolds experience just for you.
Price from: £3,400 per person based on two people sharing a room. This is a sample price for a 5 night tour. Extras included: Entrance to Blenheim Palace and grounds, and a guided cycle tour of Oxford. Start & Finish: Starts on the day of your choice. Airport transfer at the start of the tour and return to Oxford at the end of the tour. Hotels: 5 nights accommodation and breakfast at Le Manoir Oxford, Buckland Manor Buckland, Lords of The Manor Upper Slaughter, Barnsley House Bibury and Whatley Manor Malmesbury. All luggage transfers Equipment: Comfortable hybrid bikes. Each bicycle comes with a pannier, pump, lock, toolkit, spare inner tube, map holder and helmet. Activity level: Gentle cycling Electric bikes:Available (please request for specific price) Host briefing: To welcome and brief you, share their local knowledge and look after you. Adventure handbook: Packed full with information, history and photos of the area your tour covers. Route directions and maps of the area Advice, help and guidance:With all your holiday details before you arrive and during your holiday. We want you to go home feeling you have been thoroughly looked after. Terrain:The Cotswolds have some hills although we are adept at avoiding as many as possible. Traffic-free: As much as possible
Day 1: Oxford Environs
Arrive in the environs of Oxford and soak up the English country atmosphere at its very best. Both the loveliest reaches of the Thames and historic Oxford are close by so if time permits, there is much to explore and enjoy.
Day 2: Oxford to Buckland
Your host will meet you this morning with your cycling equipment before you pedal away to explore the Cotswolds. Your itinerary could include Oxford and the Cotswold village of Woodstock. Here is the world heritage site of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and now home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough. Back in the saddle, you can then explore classic Cotswolds country – twisting lanes leading through pretty villages; tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers; ancient woodlands and wonderful views. Take in Chipping Campden and Broadway before arriving in the village of Buckland.
Day 3: Buckland to Upper Slaughter
You will experience the classic wolds and valleys of the Cotswolds area today taking in a string of notable towns and villages. Visit Moreton in Marsh and Stow on the Wold, known for its antique shops now and as a woollen town formerly before discovering the idyllic hamlets of the Slaughters.
Day 4: Upper Slaughter to Cowley
Join the Windrush valley at Bourton on Water which leads you through unspoilt villages to Burford, one of England’s prettiest small medieval towns with beautiful Cotswold architecture and a high street to savour. Pause in Northleach and then explore the tiny Coln river; it bears amongst other gems a Roman villa at Chedworth.
Day 5: Cowley to Bibury
Freewheel down a remarkable almost hidden valley dotted with hamlets to arrive in Cirenecester, the capital of the Cotswolds. Important since Roman times, it is still a delight today. And beyond lies a string of idyllic villages nestling in yet another pretty river valley. This leads you to Bibury famous for its weavers cottages and a magical location to stay the night.
Day 6: Bibury to Malmesbury
Still in the idyllic Cotswold landscape of quiet stone wall lanes, pretty farms and peaceful villages, there are some interesting places to stop by today. At Highgrove you can take a thirst quencher or coffee at Prince Charles’s farm whilst in Tetbury there’s plenty to explore in this lovely old wool market town. If trees are your thing you can make a short detour to the world renowned and spectacular National Arboretum at Westonbirt.
Day 7: Malmesbury to Colerne
Malmesbury with its abbey remains a perfect small Cotswold town worth exploring before you pedal on through gentle valleys with fine views. One of the most remarkable finds of the day maybe Lacock which dates back to the 13th Century and is a charming rural village with yet another medieval abbey. The village remains untouched by modern development.
Day 8: Colerne to Bath
What a stunning ride to end the tour! Travelling cross country you drop down to Bradford on Avon which is a characterful former woolen town that sits on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Following the canal across aqueducts and through deep valleys you cycle right into the heart of the world heritage site of Bath known for its Georgian architecture and its Roman connections. Discover the Roman baths, a fine collection of museums, cobbled courtyards, historic tea rooms, the abbey and the famous Royal Crescent where you will spend your last night.
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