Our 5-day, 4-night multi-activity holiday tour is perfect for the active traveler, combining bustling vibrant cities with rivers and trails that lend themselves to many fun activities including cycling, punting, canoeing, walking, paddle-boarding, swimming, golf and pubs and more!
Guests can relax and watch the world go by as we visit the best of the Cotswolds including Oxford, the River Thames, Churchill’s Blenheim Palace, Cirencester and Bath. Guests will also be able to sample gastronomic delights including the wonderful restaurants of Oxford and Bath, real ale country pubs, and England’s best pub crawl in Oxford.
We meet guests in Oxford at 10am, which is a one-hour, direct train journey from London Paddington. Bikers will be set up on their bikes before cycling to Blenheim Palace, World Heritage Site. For the walkers, we arrive at the gates of Blenheim Palace and walk through the 2000-acre estate. At lunchtime we provide guests with a sumptuous picnic over-looking the Capability Brown inspired gardens and give you ample time to explore the historical house and beautiful gardens.
The afternoon ride takes into the city of Oxford where we head off on a punting expedition on the river. Punting is a typically English affair, where you push a long pole into the river bed and push yourself along. With riverside pub at the end and then a punt back to a wonderful restaurant on the river for dinner. We stay in a wonderful converted prison, in the cells at the stunning Malmaison hotel!
Mileage: Biking, 20 miles. Walking, 4-8 miles.
We take a walk into the stunning city of Oxford in the morning visiting the colleges, museums, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland locations, soaking up its unique atmosphere before heading off to the River Thames for a walk or a gentle kayak or Paddleboard through beautiful countryside, right back into the heart of the city. Biking options include heading off into the Cotswolds, stopping at the pub for a wonderful lunch, before returning to Oxford in the afternoon.
In the evening we embark on the Oxford Pub Crawl – 3 or 4 of the most atmospheric pubs we know including the pub where bill Clinton smoked dope but did not inhale – really!? Dinner is on the rooftop of the famous Ashmolean Museum and we stay again in the old prison.
Mileage: Biking, 30 miles. Walking, 4-8 miles. Paddle-boarding or Kayaking
From Oxford we bike into the Cotswolds, visiting archetypal English villages, including Burford, the gateway to the Cotswolds, and Bibury, described as the most beautiful village in England. We walk through the stunning Cotswold landscape, stopping at idyllic pubs and cafes along the way, before the night’s accommodation in the bustling Roman market town, Cirencester. Accommodation for the evening is in the Kings Head with dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants in the town centre.
Mileage: Biking, 30 miles. Walking, 4-8 miles.
We set out from Cirencester aiming to kayak or paddleboard into the centre of Bath, via the River Avon. It has to be one of the most stunning ways to enter the city, right into its heart. The walkers enter the city via the world famous 19 century aqueducts (Dundas and Avoncliff) and the bikers set-off from Cirencester and bike all the way into Bath in the mid-afternoon.
A relaxing afternoon shopping or just relaxing in Bath’s wonderful atmosphere will top off a wonderful, active day. In the evening we dine in one of the many beautiful restaurants and check out a couple of Bath’s renowned pubs.
We can also arrange an evening spa in the newly renovated Roman Spa in the centre of the city near to our hotel – St Francis Hotel.
Mileage: Walking, 4-7 miles. Kayaking or Paddle-boarding
After a leisurely breakfast, guest have the opportunity to visit the iconic Roman Baths, a World Heritage Site and near complete after 2000 years, as well as visiting Jane Austen’s house and the wonderful Royal Crescent. The tour ends at lunchtime and transfers are made to on-going destinations. Most go back to London on the train or to London Heathrow on the bus. We are on hand to give you all the information you need for your on-going travel.
Mileage: Walking, 3 miles.
Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and stunning food – just see Trip Advisor for Malmaison in Oxford. 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.
Bike, walk or paddle 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 travel 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.
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.