2018 dates (start in Oxford) – Fortnightly from 8 April (22 April, 6 May, 20 May, 3 June, 17 June, 1 July, 15 July, 29 July, 12 Aug, 26 Aug, 9 Sept, 23 Sept, 6 Oct)
Our 8 day self-guided tour provides an outstanding tailored experience for our guests. Across 8 days, you will visit the following places, through the stunning English countryside: Windsor Castle, Oxford, Churchill’s Blenheim Palace, Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge and Highclere Castle (the setting for Downton Abbey).
When you’re not taking in all this wonderful heritage and culture you’ll be biking through the stunning countryside of the Cotswolds, soaking in England at its “Chocolate Box” best.
We will meet you in Oxford, which is about 1 hour outside of London (trains go directly from London Paddington to Oxford Station). We will fit you with your bikes, give you maps, GPS and written instructions and give you a safety briefing. Ride out of Oxford and stop for lunch in Woodstock, home of Winston Churchill and then head into the Cotswolds. The day ends at the beautiful market town of Moreton in Marsh. The total mileage for the day is 33 miles.
A beautiful ride through the North Cotswolds, through Chipping Campden, and the amazing American inspired, Hidcote Gardens you will arrive in Stratford in the early afternoon after a 20-mile ride. In Stratford, you’ll get a chance to learn about the life of the great playwright William Shakespeare. Guests then bike back for a back for a total of 39 miles. There is an option to shorten the day to 25 miles by catching the train back to Moreton-in-Marsh!
Experience the beauty of the Cotswolds, its chocolate box villages are dotted amongst a patchwork quilt of fields and woods. This area of Outstanding Natural Beauty makes for the perfect relaxed day in the saddle with 20 mile and 30 mile options. Through the Slaughters, Northleach, Bibury the day ends at the gateway to The Cotswolds, Burford.
Blenheim Palace, the World heritage site, is arguably England’s greatest Palace. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim has an illustrious history, stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown. Our route travels through the stunning Cotswolds right into the Palace with routes from 20 miles through to over 40.
Through the flatter part of the Cotswolds, and via Bampton, where all the outdoor shots of Downton Abbey are shot, we will arrive in Oxford in the early afternoon. We tour around the City of Oxford, where you’ll get a chance to visit the colleges and learn about its rich history on a walking tour. With options from 25 miles through to 50 miles.
Journeying from Burford to the mysterious White Horse Hill atop the Ridgeway and then onto Avebury (Stonehenge but bigger!), we then travel to Stonehenge itself for a tour of these grand Neolithic stones. A ride of 25 miles and then an afternoon of sightseeing allows guests a half day off the bike. The day will end in Tetbury, home to Prince Charles.
Bath is a stunning 20-mile ride down an old roman road, right into the centre of this beautiful city. The Roman Baths, Jane Austen, the Georgian architecture including The Royal Crescent are unmissable. Many will ride all the way back to the hotel, although the majority choose to miss the large hill out of the city, biking between 20 and 30 miles.
Cycle through the picturesque Cotswolds to Lacock, a village entirely owned by the National Trust and beautifully preserved. It has been used as the backdrop for a number of famous films including Harry Potter. After lunch we transfer guests to Oxford, Bath or the nearest mainline railway station to enable quick and easy on-going travel (only 1 hour to London).
Exceptional accommodation with the best hotel group in the Cotswolds, all our hotels are in the small market towns and villages that make the Cotswolds famous.
Beautifully positioned in striking distance of all the historic points of interest our guests sleep and eat right in the heart of the country. With food from the best local chefs, our cuisine has come a long way in the last 30 years! Active England tours enable guests to cheerfully immerse themselves in everything that’s Great about England.
Bike as much or as little as you like, a support vehicle is with the guided tours at all times and a daily “bailout” option on the self-guided tours ensures guests only need to bike the miles that suit them.
Our guides and mechanics will fix all major equipment issues and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
With a fleet of bikes from Giant and flat bar, drop bar, road, hybrid and e-bike options all bike types are catered for. Helmets as standard, just bring your shoes and pedals if you have them and away you go.