Your UK Cotswolds Cycling is sure to include quaint and interesting villages named Lower Slaugher or Burton-on-the Water along with more famous places such as Oxford making cycling in the Cotswolds a delight. This region located just northwest of London can easily be reached by train to Oxford or Moreton-in-Marsh. Limestone houses and pubs dot the landscape as you cycle the narrow lanes.
Stow-on-the Wold is 8 km (5 miles) from the train station and is one of the highest poinst in the Cotswold’s so we started each day with a downhill cycle. We stayed here in a Bed and Breakfast and really enjoyed the town. It offers antique shops, a bustling market square, supermarket and many restaurants with bus service to many areas in the region if needed.
Moreton-in-Marsh meanwhile is right on the main railway line, offers many restaurants and the largest market in the Cotswolds held every Tuesday. The main street can be busy at times. Both villages are pretty central so they make excellent bases for a week long cycle vacation.
Cotswolds UK Cycling Routes
Cotswolds Cycling in the Windrush River Valley
For an excellent cycling orientation of the Cotswold’s head south to the Windrush River Valley on a 50-60 km (31-37 mile) circuit using quiet country lanes. You will quaint villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water which is known as the Venice of the Cotswold’s and receives many day visitors to its many shops. Cycling a short distance brings you to Lower Slaughter which while not overloaded with tourists is very pretty. Continue to nearby Upper Slaughter, which many consider to be the prettiest town in all of England.
Cotswolds Cycling to Oxford and the Southeast
This is a long day. Cycling through the Cotswolds towns of Shipton Under Wychwood, Ascott under Wychwood, Charlbury you arrive in Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and a must visit. It takes about 3 hours to tour the palace, see the exhibit on Churchill and the different gardens.
From Woodstock there is a bicycle path to nearby Oxford to visit some of the famous colleges such as Christchurch where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. It seems everyone in Oxford cycles and there are bike paths going in every direction.
Return home via Burford with its meandering lanes lined with antique shops and famous century pub, The Lamb on Sheep Street.
Cotswolds Cycling to the north and Chipping Campden
Taking country lanes you arrive in Moreton-in-Marsh and take a lovely route to Chipping Campden with its 14th century architecture and thatched roofed houses. You will want to walk the full length of High Street, wide enough to accommodate the flocks of sheep and later see the town’s famous 15th century Gothic “wool” church.
Continue north taking Sustrans National Cycle Route 5 into Stratford-upon-Avon where you can visit the theatre, Anne Hathaway’s cottage which is a requires a nice cycle through the city and the birthplace of Shakespeare.
Cycling the Cotswolds Hills.
Perhaps the route with the highest hills is to the northwest to Snowhill Manor, known for its gardens and intricate hedgerows. Continue to Broadway with many coaching Inns now B & Bs, pubs, shops. And finally on to Sudley Castle, once home of Catherine Parr, wife of Henry VIII.
For other European cycling routes, click here.
After your Cotswolds UK cycling all day sit down for a pint in the local pub which you find not only in the villages but around the countryside.