Blenheim Palace, where Winston Churchill was born, in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. Photo via Flickr:Sheila Sund

Biking through the Cotswolds, England. Photo via Flickr:Anup Shah

Shakespeare Country and the Cotswolds

England Bike Tours

Bike the hills and valleys of England’s Cotswold Country

  • Oh, the romance of the Cotswolds! This bike tour in England through the land of Shakespeare is quintessential England. The graceful contours of Cotswold's lanes and bridleways lead from one honey colored village to the next, winding through the classic hills, valleys, and peaceful streams.

    You will want to 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 - a magical combination.

    Highlights:

    • Oxford
    • Blenheim
    • Stratford upon Avon
    • Chipping Campden

    Feel free to explore our other bike tours in England!

  • Classic accommodation:
    Twin/double:  £ 1238 $ 2,122 1426 NOK 14856 kr 13713 $ 1,783 Single: on request
    Solo traveler: on request
    Luxury accommodation:
    Twin/double: £ 2008 $ 3,442 2313 NOK 24096 kr 22242 $ 2,892 Single:  on request
    Solo traveler: on request

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 90 $ 154 104 NOK 1080 kr 997 $ 130 Extra night: on request
    (Extra nights are possible within the tour)

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Closest international airport to Oxford, your tour start, is London Heathrow International Airport.

    Local Travel

    Heathrow has a direct bus link to Oxford which takes 90 minutes and runs every 30 minutes.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before travelling. A good website to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and nore is: weatherbase.com


Skill Level

Easy self-guided tour on mainly flat terrain. You will encounter slopes on most days and a big hill on Day 6. ‘Wolds’ actually means hills! Even though the mileage is low, there are hills as well as much to see, so do expect 3 -5 hours of daily cycling. Half of the route takes place on traffic free paths and the rest of the tour is routed on low traffic roads.

Where You’ll Stay

Two levels of accommodations are offered for this tour, classic accommodation and luxury accommodation.
Classic: 2 inns, a Victorian guest house and a small, lakeside hotel.
Luxury: 4 country house hotels, all 4 star or above. Ask us for a hotel list.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights accommodation according to booked level
  • Welcome meeting and tour briefing
  • Breakfast
  • Bike rental equipped with pannier, pump, lock, toolkit, spare inner tube, map holder, and helmet
  • Luggage transfer
  • Emergency call out service
  • Train ticket on Day 4 if you opt for the shorter distance
  • Train ride on Day 7
  • Route descriptions and maps (UK Ordinance Survey (OS ) maps with route marked)
  • Tourist handbook with information, history, photos, and insider tips on discovering hidden gems and local secrets

What’s Not Included

  • International and local travel to/from your destination
  • Entrance fees to attractions unless specified
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From£1238 Rates
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Tour Dates

Sundays, April through October. 
Ask us if you would like to start on a different day. Supplement will apply.

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Oxford
Day 2: Oxford - Woodstock, 10 mi. (16 km)
Day 3: Woodstock - Kingham, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 4: Kingham - Stratford upon Avon, 23 or 32 mi. (37 or 51 km)
Day 5: Stratford upon Avon - Broadway, 20 or 38 mi. (32 or 61 km)
Day 6: Broadway - Chipping Campden, 12 mi. (19 km)
Day 7: Chipping Campden - Oxford, 7, 19, or 31 mi. (11, 30, or 50 km)
Day 8: Oxford

Day 1: Oxford
Arrive in Oxford on Sunday and check into your hotel adjacent to the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today and 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.

Day 2: Oxford - Woodstock, 10 mi. (16 km)
Meet your host first thing at your hotel. They will check your bicycle and run through your itinerary. Then 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 canal, 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 12th Duke of Marlborough lives there. We know the mileage is low this day, but to really enjoy Blenheim, you need sufficient time to do so.You will stay in the heart of this lovely village.

Day 3: Woodstock - Kingham, 23 mi. (37 km)
Today’s ride explores classic Cotswolds country. There are twisting lanes leading through pretty villages; tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers, old woodlands, hidden tracks nestling in the valleys and wonderful views. Cozy pubs dot the route. Your inn tonight overlooks the village green in one of these villages.

Day 4: Kingham - Stratford upon Avon, 23 or 32 mi. (37 or 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 ancient villages, to join an old railway track route that leads straight into Stratford. This old market town is of course known worldwide through its most famous resident, William Shakespeare. Your overnight stay is in the heart of the town with all its half timbered buildings.

Day 5: Stratford upon Avon - Broadway, 20 or 38 mi. (32 or 61 km)
Take the morning to further enjoy Stratford as there's much to see. Visit the restored Tudor houses associated with Shakespeare and the Royal Shakespeare Company's theatre. Stroll around the backstreets, browse the shops, linger in a cafe or take a boat trip on the river Avon. Pedal off after lunch on an easy ride to the neat gardens and pretty cottages of Broadway where you will stay the night. If you are keen to cycle further, we provide directions to Sudeley Castle and Winchcombe, which offers a lovely return journey through a string of gorgeous villages.  Your overnight stay is in the heart of Broadway.

Day 6: Broadway to Chipping Campden, 12 mi. (19 km)
This will be one of your favourite days of cycling in England ever - 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 the manor house. Ride on through purple lavender fields and look forward to a refreshment stop near the Broadway Tower, which affords breathtaking views over 12 counties on a clear day. The breathtaking 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. For the last night of the tour you will stay in the heart of this town. Soak up the very special atmosphere of the place and relax after a stunning day of cycling. Again, we know the mileage is not great this day but there is just so much to see and enjoy!

Day 7: Chipping Campden - Oxford, 7, 19, or 31 mi. (11, 30, or 50 km)
Your final day gives you a couple of fascinating options. Start the day by cycling through some lovely hidden villages to reach Moreton in Marsh. From here you can pedal further on through the Cotswolds across fords and fields to discover ancient Stow on Wold before returning by train to Oxford. Or if you prefer to spend more time exploring Oxford itself then hop on the train at Moreton and follow your bike tour through the city's alleys and lanes to find colleges galore, inns where writers gathered and cow filled meadows. Enjoy your final night in the heart of this stunning city.

Day 8: Oxford
Departure

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