Glorious weather, excellent guides and gorgeous countryside all made for some very happy cyclists.
We have truly kicked off our season in style; our first Active England tours have been thoroughly enjoyable. And it’s been far more than just cycling – we’ve made friends and created lasting memories as we’ve travelled along quiet country roads, sharing a journey together. Our groups became close, spending happy days, filled with the sunshine and plenty of British heritage.
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Everyone was in agreement that the highlight of our recent tours was the Cotswolds. Nestled in a vast blanket of lush countryside, are clusters of tiny villages and market towns, many dating back more than a thousand years.
Their cobbled streets, delightful thatched roofs and unique mellow stone combine to make some of the most picture-perfect, chocolate-box pretty places in the country.
We had a great time at Chipping Campden, a small town located to the north of the Cotswolds. This fascinating old wool merchant’s town still has many features from its old trading days. In the middle ages, it had a rich wool trade and the wealth generated from this time has left its mark on the town, with an impressive high street of honey-coloured stone and the old Market Hall, dating back to 1617.
Cycling through beautiful Cotswold villages and stopping along the way at plenty of pubs – life doesn’t get much better. And one of the Cotswolds’ most charming spots is Bourton-on-the-Water, with the pretty river Windrush winding through, it is easy to see why it is regularly voted the prettiest in England. It is the perfect place to relax before we hit the road once more.
The artist William Morris once described Bibury as ‘the most beautiful village in England’, and it’s hard not to be charmed by its delights. Surrounded by nature and the village’s old weavers cottages, it really is a picturesque sight.
We all enjoyed looking around, visiting the trout farm and partaking in a well-deserved lunch at the Swan Inn. Sitting outside, enjoying a delicious meal and wonderful scenery – what better way to unwind.
Read more about our bike tours through the Cotswolds
Cycling leisurely, we journeyed to the lovely villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter. Dating back over 1000 years, these tiny ancient villages are located in the most splendid landscape on the banks of the river Eye. We got to explore the incredibly quaint narrow lanes and secret corners as well as the impressive water mill museum. The calming surroundings make a relaxing day for everyone, there’s even a chance to dip our toes in the river for a quick cool down.
Here we enjoyed fantastic food and overnight stop, staying at the characterful Lamb Inn, a prime example of a traditional Cotswold stone dwelling. Burford is also known as ‘the gateway to the Cotswolds’ and it is definitely worth exploring. The river Windrush and the medieval bridge greet you at the bottom of the broad high street, lined with bespoke traditional shops.
If our first tours are anything to go by, this summer is going to be spectacular. Of course, we couldn’t have done any of it without our knowledgeable guides; whose kindness and dedication are commendable. And even better than the bike tours themselves is hearing how much everyone enjoyed their Cotswold adventures – knowing that we’ve helped make your cycling holiday one to remember is rewarding and spurs us on to make the next one even better.
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