Cotswolds Cycle Tour - History & Heritage - Guided
At a Glance
Journey from Oxford to Bath on this 6 Day Cotswolds Cycle Adventure
Explore some of the Cotswolds iconic destinations on two wheels. This 6-day, 5-night guided Cotswolds cycling tour will lead you through honey-coloured villages and busy little market towns, over rolling hills and down country lanes.
Taking the most picturesque roads, let us transport you back to England as it was before mechanisation, when sheep farming and dry-stone walling dictated the way of life. Explore global heritage sites and ride right up to some of England’s most iconic destinations, from the university city of Oxford and Churchill’s Blenheim Palace to the Neolithic wonder of Avebury and the spa city of Bath.
The Cotswolds is perfect biking country, with this tour offering routes designed for cyclists of all abilities, shorter options and e-bikes available for guests who would prefer a gentler ride. With stunning views around every corner, excellent accommodation, local pubs and outstanding cuisine, Active England will take you on a guided Cotswold experience you won’t ever forget.
We collect you from Oxford railway station at 10.00am, where we begin with a walking tour of the university colleges and several other historic sites, before enjoying a relaxed lunch and transferring out of the city. In Moreton-in-Marsh, we will fit you up with your bikes and head out for a stunning introductory ride through the Cotswolds. In the evening, we settle down at the hotel in Moreton-in-Marsh and have our first dinner together as a group.
Winding our way through the breath-taking countryside for which the Cotswolds are so beloved, we visit Hidcote Gardens, internationally renowned for its collection of outdoor “rooms.” We then have lunch at Broadway Tower, enjoying awe-inspiring views over 16 counties in England and Wales. Throughout the afternoon, we bike through some of the most well-known Cotswold towns and villages, including Chipping Campden, the Slaughters and Bourton-on-the-Water, before returning to Moreton-in-Marsh for the evening.
We cycle from the hotel to Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill’s birthplace and a World Heritage Site. The morning’s ride is around 20 miles, taking us through idyllic rolling countryside. At Blenheim, we eat lunch overlooking the Capability Brown parklands, and take some time to explore the historic Palace and the 2,000-acre estate. In the afternoon, we bike toward Burford, affectionately known as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’.
Riding out from Burford, our route today takes us to Tetbury, one of the largest towns in the Cotswolds and a site of outstanding natural beauty. Along the way, we’ll cycle through the charming villages of Bibury and Sapperton, and via the stunning Elizabethan Chavenage House. If time allows, we’ll end our day with a visit to the gardens at King Charles’ home of Highgrove.
In the morning, we cycle down to Bath, first via a 2,000-year-old Roman road then into the city via the Kennet and Avon canal. In the afternoon, we visit the incredible Roman Baths, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman remains, and take a tour up to the Georgian-inspired Royal Crescent overlooking the city. We then head back to the hotel for our last dinner together.
Our tour ends after breakfast, when we help with your onward travel arrangements. Most of our guests travel from Kemble railway station, a short transfer from the hotel. Wherever your journey takes you next, our guides will be on hand to provide all the help you need.
The award winning Redesdale Arms Hotel sits at the gateway to the Cotswolds, on the High Street of the historic town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Steeped in history and dating back to around 1650, constructed of mellow Cotswold stone with a heavily oak beamed interior.
The Manor House Hotel
The Manor House Hotel, Moreton in Marsh, is an enchanting 16th Century Cotswold retreat where you can both indulge and relax in a homely atmosphere.
Prince of Burford
The Prince Of Burford is a newly refurbished pub and hotel converted from an 18th-century coaching inn, located in beautiful Burford on the north-eastern edge of the Cotswolds.
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.
An atmospheric coaching inn that has welcomed travellers since the 17th century. One of many historic buildings in the centre of town, an ideal base for exploring this area of outstanding natural beauty or wandering the many antique shops and independent stores that make Tetbury such a gem for an indulgent Cotswold break. Enjoy the informal modern well-kept ales, fine wines and delicious food.
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.
What our guides say...
Discover the history and heritage of Oxford, Bath and the Cotswolds on two wheels.
- 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* options for an additional cost.
This tour is rated moderate, meaning it’s appropriate for guests who enjoy a good ride and can handle an incline or two. We cover varied terrain, enjoying some rolling hills and a few steeper climbs which are slightly more demanding. Your holiday, however, will be tailored by your guide to suit your individual preferences. Daily distances range from 10-40 miles. Rewarding views are guaranteed!
- 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 relaxing, with the start of our tours sitting within easy reach of London, Bristol or the Midlands. This tour begins from Oxford, a direct 1.5-hour train journey out of London, so that you can begin your holiday stress-free.
End-of-tour location: Kemble 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!
Which cycling holiday should I choose?
In the Cotswolds we offer a range of guided or self-guided tours to suit everyone!
Want to extend your trip?
For pre-tour options, please see our London packages.
For post-tour options, please see our London / Devon and Cornwall packages.
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’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.