When it comes to culture, architecture and history, the attractions on an Active England bike tour are hard to beat.
From the grand designs of Blenheim Palace and Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church to the majestic ancient beauty of Stonehenge and Bath’s Roman spas – our tours are packed with heritage waiting to be explored.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
A place that is considered to be of special cultural or physical significance by UNESCO is granted World Heritage Status. Once it meets the strict criteria, it is added to an impressive list that includes the world’s most famous landmarks, such as the Taj Mahal in India and the Pyramids of Egypt. On an Active England tour, you’ll get to visit three World Heritage sites in just one week – Bath, Blenheim Palace and Stonehenge.
With its ancient Roman Baths, gorgeous Georgian architecture and World Heritage Status Bath has a well-deserved reputation as a city of history, culture and style. The 2,000-year-old Roman baths with their sacred temple, courtyards and pump room is an enthralling experience.
Bath’s classic Georgian architecture give the city an iconic look. Fine examples include The Royal Crescent, The Circus and Pulteney Bridge. There is also Bath Abbey, redesigned in the 1860s by Sir George Gilbert Scott, its high fan-vaulted nave ceiling and flying buttresses make it a wonderful illustration of perpendicular gothic architecture.
One of our most popular stops on our tours, Stonehenge is instantly recognisable and completely unforgettable. Stonehenge, which means hanging stone, consists of 80 huge bluestones, in three concentric circles.
Alongside the prehistoric stones, you’ll now find a modern discovery centre, with displays and exhibits explaining the site’s fascinating history. Estimated to be over 5,000 years old, this magnificent Neolithic landmark is visited by over a million people every year.
Another World Heritage Site, this stunning stately home is most famous as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The illustrious palace of the Marlborough dynasty dates back to 1705 and the backdrop to all this heritage is one of the country’s most picturesque estates.
Designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the formal landscaped gardens flow sublimely into vast parkland meadows.
Found in the small towns and villages that are dotted over the Cotswolds, these English churches were built during the 15th century from the proceeds of the profitable wool trade. The riches gained from the Cotswolds sheep’s ‘Golden Fleece’ led to grand buildings replacing older and smaller places of worship.
St Mary the Virgin in Chipping Norton is particularly noteworthy. Exuding elegance and tranquillity, the 2,000-year-old church with its octagonal entrance and creation window make it worth a visit.
Holy Trinity Church
There are many reasons to visit Stratford but one of its buildings is particularly rich in Heritage. The Holy Trinity Church sits peacefully on the banks of the River Avon and was built over 750 years ago. It is the church where William Shakespeare was baptised and prayed with his family. Later, in 1616, it was also the final resting place of that great playwright and many come to the church to pay their respects at his graveside.
Come on a journey of discovery with us, along with beautiful country roads, to the mesmerising relics of the past. Through church doors, ancient stone archways and imposing edify, we will transport you to times of grandeur and create memories to treasure.