Riding gives you the time to appreciate the diversity of the stunning Cotswolds ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.. Cycle back in history as you take ancient architecture and historic battlefields.. Visit the quintessentially English tea houses and picture-perfect stone villages of the Chipping Campden and Upper and Lower Slaughter.. Unpack just once and base yourself in serenely beautiful market town of Moreton-in-Marsh
Immerse yourself in the scenery that earns the Cotswold the classification of an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ from the saddle of a bicycle. This four-day Intrepid Cycling experience offers a comfortable, yet active way to discover a much-loved part of Britain that has inspired travellers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Base yourself in the charming market town of Moreton-in-Marsh and cycle your way past picture-perfect stone villages and rolling green fields, up challenging hills and thrilling descents. You’ll also pass ancient buildings and iconic battlefields yet have the comfort and security of returning to the same accommodation each evening.
Breakfast Included: 3 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Cotswolds - Moreton-in-Marsh
Welcome to the Cotswolds and the charming market town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Today is arrival day and there are no activities planned until a welcome meeting at 6pm. Unpack your bags and make yourself comfortable, safe in the knowledge that you will spend the next three nights in the same accommodation, with no need to repack until you leave. As one of the principal market towns in the northern Cotswolds and set on the crossroads of the ancient Fosse Way Roman road, historic Moreton-in-Marsh is the perfect base for this adventure but for a more gentle introduction you may like to simply wander the many shops, restaurants and tea rooms that dot the town. Be sure to pay a visit to the 16th century Curfew Tower or perhaps the nearby Batsford Arboretum and Chastleton House, one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. After the group meeting there’s the option of heading out for a meal to get to know your fellow travellers and leader.
After filling up on breakfast this morning, you’ll have a bike fitting and short test ride to make sure everything is working properly. Today is the first of your loop rides out of Moreton as you head north out across the rolling terrain of the beautiful Evenlode Valley. Your first coffee (or tea) stop of the day is the charming town of Shipton-on-Stour and you’ll have time to admire the many historic former coaching inns that line the main street. It is also home of the first full-scale distillery in the Cotswolds. Leave town and start the steady climb through rolling fields before dropping down past the stunning Hidcote Gardens. If there is time you may wish to pay them a visit before riding on to the small village of Ebrington. Perhaps enjoy a lunch at the award-winning Ebrington Arms, voted the UK’s number one pub by the Sunday Times – the food is perfect for the hungry cyclist. From here it's a straight shot back to Moreton-on-Marsh and a chance to put your feet up for the day.
Today features a longer ride as you head out on an eastern loop of the Cotswolds. Your first destination for the day is the picture-perfect market town of Chipping Campden, known as one of the most beautiful towns in the UK. Cycle past history in this well-preserved town, with honey-coloured limestone buildings dating back to the 14th Century lining its elegant High Street. Be sure to keep a keen eye out for the iconic 400-year-old Century Market Hall. From here start the long climb past the iconic Cotswolds landmark of Broadway Tower up to Snowshill. On a clear day you can see all the way to Wales and across 16 counties! After you get your breath back enjoy a freewheeling 7 mile descent along narrow tree-lined roads into the Windrush Valley and the charming village of Guiting Power. Enjoy a moment to take in the attractive stone buildings and quiet streets and perhaps refuel at the local café – home to the best Victoria Sponge we’ve ever tasted – before jumping back in the saddle and riding on to Bourton-on-the-Water. Set on the tranquil River Windrush, historic Bourton-on-the-Water is known as 'the Venice of the Cotswolds' and frequently voted one of the prettiest villages in England. From here follow the River Eye north to the charming twin villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter (collectively known as 'the Slaughters'). Despite the ominous sounding name, derived from old English 'Slohtre', meaning 'Muddy place', these twin villages were untouched for over a century and are the epitome of the Cotswolds’ village charm. Continue to the delightful market town of Stow-in-the-Wold, the highest of the Cotswold towns. Along the way you will cycle along the same paths as the combatants of the First English Civil War. The Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold (1646) was the final battle of the Civil War and saw the total destruction of the last Royalist field army. While there is little evidence of the battle, it remains a haunting place. Afterward continue north through classic rolling Cotswold scenery before returning to Moreton for a relaxing evening.
Your last day's ride is easier but no less picturesque as you start early and head south across the rolling Cotswolds back to Stow-on-the-Wold before continuing past the Rissingtons, once an RAF base home to the Red Arrows, as well as a beautiful collection of stone houses and cottages. Enjoy a well-earned 8-mile descent before turning your handlebars north and cycling back through the pretty Evenlode valley as you wind your way along small hedge-lined country roads towards the lovely communities of Churchill, Kingham and the small, privately owned village of Daylesford. Perhaps stop off for a quick refreshment before continuing on through Adlestrop, inspiration for Edward Thomas' 1914 poem of the same name. From here it’s just a flat 5 mile ride back to Moreton-on-Marsh, where your Cotswolds cycling adventure comes to an end.