Bike the Cotswolds Golden Triangle

At a Glance

Discover the Cotswolds Golden Triangle with this Advanced Cycling Tour

With an abundance of history, heritage and stunning scenery, the Cotswolds is perfect cycling country. Riding over rolling hills and down traditional country lanes, follow us on this 230-mile route through honey-coloured villages and bustling market towns. Setting out from Oxford, visit the birthplaces of Shakespeare and Churchill, be awed by the gardens of King Charles III’s Highgrove estate and explore the Roman ruins of Bath.

With stunning views, excellent accommodation, wonderful pubs and outstanding cuisine, Active England promises a guided Cotswold cycling experience you’ll never forget.

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. We’ll be cycling over 50 miles a day, everyday so you need to make sure you are comfortable in the saddle and have some fuel in your legs!

Your Itinerary

Saddling up in Oxford, we begin the tour with a 55-mile ride to Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands and the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Cycling through the quintessential countryside of the Cotswolds, our route brings us face-to-face with plenty of iconic English landmarks. From Blenheim Palace, World Heritage Site and the home of Winston Churchill, to the stunning Hidcote Gardens, internationally renowned for its collection of outdoor “rooms.” We’ll also find no shortage of favourite local places to stop for lunch, including The Deli at Chadlington, and traditional Cotswold pub, The Chequers. After a long day’s ride, we rest up for the evening in historic Stratford-upon-Avon.

Setting out from Stratford, today we cycle 63 miles to the beautiful Cotswold town of Tetbury. The longest ride on the tour, we take another stunning route over rolling green hills and down charming country lanes. Along the way, we visit sites such as Broadway Tower, where we’ll enjoy awe-inspiring views over 16 counties in England and Wales, the awe-inspiring lavender fields at Snowshill and King Charles III’s famous gardens at Highgrove. We’ll also find plenty more traditional pubs at which to stop for lunch, such as The Stump at Cirencester and The Bell at Sapperton, before finally finishing up in Tetbury.

Today we continue south-west, cycling 20 miles to the historic city of Bath. Taking advantage of a slightly shorter ride, our Active England guide will show you all of the city’s unmissable sites, from Bath cathedral and the Georgian-inspired Royal Crescent to the incredible Roman Baths, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman remains. At the end of the day, we’ll rest up at our hotel ahead of a longer ride in the morning. If you’ve still got some miles in the tank, there are some extra options on traffic-free routes towards Bristol.

Leaving Bath, we cycle north, riding 60 miles into the heart of the Cotswolds. Along the way, we’ll have chance to visit the historic town of Bradford-on-Avon and the pristine Cotswold Water Park, stopping for lunch in the excellent Potting Shed pub in Crudwell. We finish today’s ride in Burford, one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. Renowned for its bustling high street and vibrant atmosphere, we stop here for the night in a cosy local pub.

For our final ride of the tour, we complete our loop by cycling 35 miles back into Oxford. On arrival, we take the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most beautiful university cities, with our Active England guide leading you on a tour of the famous Oxford colleges, Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera. As the day draws to a close, we enjoy one last dinner together before spending a final night at our hotel.

After a relaxed breakfast, our tour ends at Oxford railway station, with London only an hour away. Wherever your journey takes you next, our guides will be on hand to provide all the help you need.

Gallery

Handpicked Accommodation

Stratford-upon-Avon
The Arden Hotel, Stratford

Stratford-upon-Avon

The Arden Hotel
Located in the heart of historic Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, directly opposite the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company Theatres. Combining luxurious accommodation with all the comforts you would expect from a sophisticated and contemporary boutique hotel including an all-weather terrace, cosy afternoon tea lounge and award-winning No. 44 Brasserie.

Tetbury
Hare and Hounds, Tetbury

Tetbury

Hare and Hounds
Located in Westonbirt with the Highgrove Estate and National Arboretum for neighbours; The Hare and Hounds Hotel is a homely country retreat that offers both relaxed and fine dining, with a focus on tasty British classics showcasing seasonal and local produce.

Bath
The Francis Hotel, Bath

Bath

The Francis Hotel
A Grade I listed building with a history of hospitality, this Georgian getaway offers a quintessential retreat in a coveted position moments from the most popular sights of the great British spa city.

Burford
The Lamb Inn, Burford

Burford

The Lamb Inn
Located along a peaceful side street in the historic market town of Burford, seize the opportunity to sink into a relaxing ambiance of pure bliss.

Oxford
Voco Spires, Oxford

Oxford

Voco Oxford Spires
Within easy walking distance of Oxford's colleges, museums and theatres, this is the perfect base from which to discover everything that one of the most historic cities in England has to offer. After the hustle and bustle of the city, the hotel offers a sanctuary of calm and you can enjoy the tranquillity of the River Thames – just one minute away – or take a stroll around the apple orchard and gardens.

What our guides say...

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. We’ll be cycling over 50 miles a day, everyday so you need to make sure you are comfortable in the saddle and have some fuel in your legs!

Jago
  • All accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • All breakfasts and x2 dinners (excluding dinner drinks)
  • Bikes / E-bikes available on request
  • GPS routes, provided via RideWithGPS (app available for Apple or Android)
  • All special events, iconic points of interests, expert guests and entrance fees
  • All transportation from rendezvous to farewell locations
  • All baggage transportation
  • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
  • Services of a professional local guide

Handpicked accommodation in 3* hotels or upgrade to 4* hotels for an additional cost.

Hard. This tour is rated active, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good bike ride which lasts most of the day. We cover varied terrain, enjoying some rolling hills and a few steeper rides which are a little more demanding. Your holiday, however, will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences. Daily distances range from 40-60 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!

  • Bikes (road / hybrid / e-bike (with supplement)
  • Helmets
  • Phone mounts
  • Bike accessories
  • Guests are free to bring their own pedals / saddles, which we will fit to the bikes

Pick-up location: Oxford railway station. Our cycling holidays are designed to be completely stress-free, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Oxford, a direct 1-hour train journey out of London, although it can also be reached directly from London Heathrow via the Heathrow Express.

End-of-tour location: Oxford Railway Station

What is the best way to get out of London into the Countryside?
The best way out of London and into the Cotswolds is by train, out of Paddington, and directly into Oxford station, Moreton-in-Marsh or Bath. All of our cycling trips begin from these locations so you can arrive relaxed, refreshed and ready to start your tour. If you prefer to drive there is station parking available.

Can I do a cycling tour as a solo traveller?
All our trips are open for single travellers to join. You will have a great time on our cycling tours whether travelling on your own, as a couple, family or group, meeting like-minded people on our guided trips, or choosing your own adventure on our self-guided tours. “As a single female, I would not hesitate to go on another Active England trip as a solo traveller”. S.G.

Are the roads safe to cycle on in England and the Cotswolds?
Our cycling routes are carefully chosen to ensure we bike on the quietest country lanes, with the best views of the Cotswolds! Drivers in the Cotswolds are very polite and guests have always felt safe and secure when riding our routes, check out our Trip Advisor Reviews from guests who have cycled with us: “I was concerned about riding in traffic, but for the most part there were not that many cars. The people are very watchful and careful, they wait and allow cyclist to go ahead. The Cotswolds and very beautiful, rural and unspoiled. I loved the small towns and the beautiful countryside. I would absolutely do it again with Active England. Loved it all.” E.C.

How hilly are the Cotswolds?
The Cotswolds are a range of hills, with its name stemming from ‘Cote’ meaning sheep enclosure and ‘wold’ meaning hills. There are therefore lots of hills and incredible views from the top! However, you will able to miss out some of the steeper inclines – or add in some trickier climbs for those looking to stretch their legs. There are routes for everyone and with our routes we can tailor your tour to your preferences. We also have e-bikes available on request to make your holiday care-free!

Do you have E-Bikes available?
Absolutely! Our e-bikes allow our guests to go the distance without the slog, to enjoy the countryside at their own pace and to provide assistance that will get you up any hill. They are as good on rural country roads as on canal tow-paths and rail to trail tracks. Safe and easy to use, these e-bikes are perfect for all abilities.

What to pack for a cycling holiday?
We provide bikes, helmets, cycle bags and all the cycling essentials you will need. All you need to bring are clothes suitable for cycling in, and your enthusiasm! You can of course use your own saddle and pedals if you prefer. We will transfer your luggage to each hotel, so you don’t need to worry about carrying everything you want for evenings out of the saddle!

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?
This tour is not for the faint-hearted. We’ll be cycling over 50 miles a day, everyday so you need to make sure you are comfortable in the saddle and have some fuel in your legs!

Which cycling holiday should I choose?
In the Cotswolds we offer a range of guided or self-guided tours to suit everyone!

Make this trip private

Our private tours offer complete freedom to customize your trip. Base your tour on one of our scheduled departures, or tailor a bespoke experience to match your every expectation. We love combining our knowledge of England with our expertise in planning and delivering the best adventure trips.

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Carbon Footprint

What’s the Number?
Nearly everything has a carbon footprint. Together with ecollective, we’ve measured the carbon impact of not only every tour we operate but our entire business. We’ve taken into account greenhouse gas emissions across the business including office, travel, website, vehicles, accommodation, activities, food, suppliers…

What does the number mean?
We’re going to improve this by measuring and reducing our footprint each year. That means working with our suppliers to make changes that have a more positive impact on us and the planet. What does this look like in reality?

  • Redesign trips to reduce our carbon impact
  • Working closely with all our suppliers across England to join us on our decarbonisation journey
  • Switching up our vehicle fleet to electric
  • Investing in projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere for any emissions that remain.

We’ve got a long way to go but we’re on our way to net-zero

We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and working towards a sustainable future. We’ve taken ownership of our carbon footprint and are on a mission to reduce our emissions year on year.

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