Our 6-day, 5-night tour will immerse you in England’s iconic history and heritage along the West Way, championing England in all its glory. With stunning views around every corner, excellent accommodation, wonderful pubs and beautiful cuisine, Active England will give you an experience you won’t forget.
From the honey coloured Cotswold villages and busy little market towns you will be transported back into England as it was before mechanisation, where sheep and dry-stone walling were the biggest industries. The Cotswolds is perfect biking country; we take the quietest roads so all you need to do is relax and enjoy the stunning vistas of chocolate box England. As well as cycling through the countryside and along beautiful canals, we will also visit the magnificent Windsor Castle, home to the Queen, cycling through the deer park and hunting ground of Windsor Great Park, and tour two World Heritage Sites: Bath’s famous Roman Spa and the Neolithic Avebury.
We collect you at 8.30 from London at Paddington Station, platform 1, under the clock and take you by bus Windsor, which is about 1 hours’ drive. We visit Windsor Great Park, the old royal hunting ground and world home of Polo, where there is a match on most Sundays we visit. We fit you with your bikes, give you a full safety briefing and head out on the traffic restricted roads within the park. For the walkers, we walk through Windsor Great Park, down the Long Walk and right into the heart of Windsor, before all guests take a full tour of Windsor Castle and a good look around the town. Taking the bus to your hotel on the Kennet and Avon Canal means a nice, gentle start to your holiday.
Mileage: Biking, 10 miles. Walking, 3-5 miles.
We bike and walk along the picturesque and tranquil Kennet and Avon canal in the morning. The ride and walk are flat and in the afternoon we visit Highclere Castle. For all Downton Abbey fans this is a must visit where you will be able to see, first hand, both the above and below stairs lives of the cast and the owners, Lord and Lady Carnarvon. For those who are not Downton devotees, there is ample additional walking and biking available in the afternoon. We return to the same hotel in the evening (so we don’t have to move hotels) for dinner.
Mileage: Biking, 20-35 miles. Walking, 4-8 miles.
After an earlier start we bike and walk along the wonderful canal route towards the beautifully named Honeystreet and on the quiet roads in the surrounding areas. We have coffee alongside the canal at Crofton and lunch in the cafe at Honeystreet before visiting Avebury (think Stonehenge but much bigger), setting off by support vehicle to the World Heritage Site and monument at Stonehenge. You will have ample time to walk to and around the stones which have been an enduring mystery for millennia. We stay the night in Devizes, which gives us great access to the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Mileage: Biking, 20-35 miles. Walking, 4-8 miles.
We head off on the Kennet and Avon canal for a wonderful flat ride, along the West Way, next to the boats, stopping at the pubs and soaking up the atmosphere past Devizes as the landscape slowly passes by. We pass over the majestic Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts before finishing the ride for the day in Bath where the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and Jane Austen’s house are unmissable.
For the walkers we drive to the aqueducts and then walk into the city on one of the most beautiful walks in the country. We stay in Bath where the city comes to life in the evenings, with great restaurants, pubs and entertainment.
Mileage: Biking, 20-35. Walking, 4-8 miles.
We drive you into the Cotswolds for an atmospheric ride through stunning countryside and villages, before having lunch at Prince Charles’ house and gardens at Highgrove. In the afternoon we ride into Bath, mainly downhill, via a 2000-year old Roman road right into the heart of the city. For the walkers, we walk from Tetbury to Prince Charles’ house and in the afternoon, join the Roman road into the city. We return to the same hotel as the previous night for dinner.
Mileage: Biking, 20-45. Walking, 4-10 miles.
A beautiful flat ride all the way into Bristol via a disused railway line. There is the option to extend the ride through newly renovated railway tunnels and a loop back via the Kennet and Avon Canal. For the walkers, we walk directly into Bristol, one of the most vibrant and historic of England’s cities.
The tour ends in Bristol where guests are able to stay for longer, with a number of hotel options available. On-going travel is easy from Bristol Airport, or Bristol Railway Station with connections back to London.
Mileage: Biking, 15-30 miles. Walking, 3-7 miles.
Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and stunning food – just see Trip Advisor for The Francis Hotel in Bath. Further options are available for those who want to stay in a country cottage location or in a selection of hand-picked bed and breakfasts or pubs.
Walk or bike as much or as little as you like as there are options to suit all ages and abilities. Every day guest will be able to shorten the route if required ensuring guests only need to walk and cycle the miles that suit them.
And if you need picking up that’s no problem, we are always on hand to help. A support vehicle is with the guided tours at all times.
If you choose to bike, we have 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.
Our guides are local experts in history, heritage, flora and fauna. They know every gate, stile and pub!