The AET 8 day guided family adventure provides an outstanding tailored experience for our guests. Across 8 days, we 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 enjoying the stunning countryside of the Cotswolds, soaking in England at its “Chocolate Box” best.
Step inside the world of King and Queens when you take in everything Windsor has to offer. Packed with regal history at every turn; home to the Queen, the site of Henry VIII’s grave and monarchs since 1066, Windsor is a “must see”. We will also bike around Windsor Great Park for 10-15 miles to soak up the atmosphere and get you used to biking in England.
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 10 miles through to over 40. The maze at Blenheim is a must, kids will have the opportunity to beat Will (one of the guides) who has never been beaten around the maze!
A beautiful ride through the North Cotswolds, through Chipping Campden, and the amazing American inspired, Hidcote Gardens we will arrive in Stratford in the early afternoon after a 15-mile ride. Families will have the opportunity to canoe or kayaking right into the heart of Stratford before learning all about the life of the great playwright William Shakespeare. Many take the opportunity to ride back in the support vehicle whilst those who want to bike back for a total of 39 miles. (There is also an opportunity to watch a play performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company).
Experience the beauty of the Cotswolds, its chocolate box villages are dotted amongst a patchwork quilt of fields and woods by mountain bike. This area of Outstanding Natural Beauty makes for the perfect energised day in the saddle with 10-mile and 20-mile options. Through the Slaughters, Northleach, Bibury the day ends at the gateway to The Cotswolds, Burford.
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 i the early afternoon. We tour around the City of Oxford with a Harry Potter themed tour (much of the Hogwarts filming was in the city) and then punt (think a boat with a long pole going along the river) where there is always the possibility of getting wet! With biking options from 10 miles through to 30 miles.
A flat ride of 20 miles towards Tetbury, the home of Prince Charles, there is the opportunity to visit the home of Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) – home to the Carnarvon family and of course the Crawleys, between early July and mid September or let the kids let off steam at the Cotswold Water Park with its inland beach and a range of watersports.
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. Stand-up Paddleboard into the centre of Bath and enjoy everything that the city has to offer. Many families will ride back in the support vehicle, although some as young as nine have been know to bike all the way home up the hills!
After a 20 mile bike to the National Trust owned Lacock we jump in the support vehicle and travel to the mysterious and ancient stones of Stonehenge, one of Britain’s most treasured landmarks. We will then transfer guests to 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 enables 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 guide 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 you shoes and pedals if you have them and away you go.