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Cotswolds Self-Guided

Cotswolds Self-Guided

Flag great britain Great Britain

  • Region Region West of England
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 7 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

201 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 34 km
0 70 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 557 m
0 1000 m

Extended Route

280 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 47 km
0 70 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 866 m
0 1000 m
April - October from
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Experience some of the best Cotswold Cycle Routes and get to see everything that the Cotswolds has to offer on this self-guided cycle tour. The Cotswolds is a unique region with some of the finest rural landscapes in England. Gently undulating hills and tree-lined valleys rise gradually from the meadowlands of the upper reaches of the River Thames to the dramatic limestone escarpment that is the high point of the Cotswolds.

From here, the hills sweep down westwards to the Vale of Evesham and the Severn Vale. The Cotswolds region is particularly renowned for the beauty of its villages and towns, built of the characteristic Cotswold limestone. The colour of the stone varies, from the honey colouring of the north, through the golden hues of the central region down to the pearly white stone associated with Bath.

The golden age for the Cotswolds came with the growth of the wool trade in medieval times, when trading, processing and weaving brought great prosperity to the region. The wealthy wool merchants invested in fine houses and in the endowment of the imposing "wool churches" that dominate the towns and villages. It is the combination of beautiful landscapes and beautiful villages, together with the abundance of lightly trafficked country roads and lanes of that makes the Cotswolds such an attractive cycling destination.

You will start your cycling holiday in the Cotswolds from Bath and follow the Kennet and Avon canal east to the outskirts of the city and then climb gradually north up to the plateau of the Cotswolds escarpment, continuing to Tetbury. The next leg continues north through beautiful Cotswolds countryside toBourton for a two night stopover. The loop ride visits several beautiful and historic villages in the Bourton area. Leaving Bourton to the south, you visit Burford and Northleach en route to Cirencester. A circuit from here explores the valley of the River Coln. The final leg of this Cotswold cycle tour will bring you back to Bath takes you to Castle Combe and finishes with a marvellous descent down to the Avon Valley.


  • Exploring the beautiful city of Bath – a World Heritage Site

  • Westonbirt Arboretum

  • Chavenage House

  • Bourton-on-the-Water

  • The Slaughters

  • The Rollright Stones

  • Arlington Row in Bibury

  • The World of Mechanical Music in Northleach

  • Chedworth Roman Villa

  • The village of Castle Combe

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast

  • Pre-trip planner

  • All routing, maps, cue sheets and gpx tracks

  • Emergency telephone support

  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

  • Regional Handbook


  • Bike rental

  • Luggage Transfers

  • Evening meals


  • Core Tour Cost

  • Luggage Transfers

  • Hybrid bicycle rental

  • Road bicycle rental

  • Single Supplement

Day 1

Arrive Bath After arriving in Bath and checking into your accommodation, you can go and collect your rental bicycle, explore the town and/or go for a short warm up ride to check out the bike and equipment.


Bath to Tetbury 29ml / +490m (L) From the centre of Bath take either the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath or the London Road (traffic but bike lanes) to Batheaston, then turn north towards St Catherine’s for a good climb up the southern slopes of the Cotswolds escarpment to the village of Marshfield. Continue north and then turn east to Acton Turville ,Badminton, Sopworth and Sherston. From Sherston there is an out-and-back leg to ancient Malmesbury and its famous Abbey Gardens before heading north to Westonbirt and the chance to visit the National Arboretum.

Bath Tetbury elv


Tetbury to Bourton-on-the-Water 37ml / +824m Although not a particularly long ride, this has quite a lot of up and down work! Although there are no major en route sites of interest as such, the Cotswolds countryside is very beautiful and makes for very enjoyable riding.Leaving Tetbury to the north you pass historic Chavenage House – check for opening times. You ride through the villages of Sapperton and WInstone en route to Withington – possibly the best lunch option on the route. Riding just to the north of the village of Northleach you visit the hamlets of Compton Abdale, Hazleton, Turkdean and Farmington before reaching your destination of Bourtonon-the-Water – the Cotswold’s very own Little Venice.

Tertbury Bourton


Bourton Loop 35ml / +655m (L, S) This loop ride is packed with sites of interest and you will probably have difficulty deciding at which ones you want to spend a bit of time. As you make your way around the loop, the attractions in order are The Slaughters (very attractive Cotswolds twin villages), Stow-onthe-Wold (ancient sheep market town and antiques centre), Moreton-inn-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum and Falconry Centre, Chipping Campden, Broadway Tower, Snowshill Manor, Broadway, Temple Guiting and the Cotswold Farm Park and Rare Breeds Centre.

Bourton Loop elv


Bourton to Cirencester 35ml / +542m (L, S) Leaving Bourton you climb to Great Rissington and then turn south to Great Barrington. Here you ride east to historic Burford following the northern bank of the River Windrush. After visiting the town, you follow the southern bank of the river west to Little Barrington and continue to Sherborne and Northleach – a good spot for lunch. After leaving Northleach there is bit of a roller coaster ride to Yanworth Roman Villa. A last climb is followed by a long and gentle descent to Cirencester.

Bourton Cirencester Loop


Cirencester Loop 26ml / +388m (L) The loop to the east of Cirencester explores the River Coln Valley and its villages. You will ride through the beautiful villages of Barnsley and Coln Rogers to Bibury, where you can stop to admire the much- photographed Arlington Row. Continuing east you rach the Cotswold Wildlife Park at the far end of the ride before turning back west through Quenington and along the Roman Road back to Cirencester.

Cirencester Loop Elv


Cirencester to Bath 38ml / +444m Riding south from Cirencester you pass through Siddington and Ewen to Kemble, close to the source of the River Thames. Continuing south you come to the picturesque chocolate box village of Castle Combe, made famous as the location for the original Doctor Doolittle film (with Rex Harrison). Leaving the village, you have a final short climb before turning south on a long welcome downhill to Bathampton. You can choose between the road route into Bath or to cross over the toll bridge and pick up the Kennet and Avon canal towpath into the city.

Cirencester Bath elv

Route Map



The standard accommodations for this region's self-guided itineraries are guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Generally, these have between 4 and 10 guest rooms and the owners/providers live on the premises. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room), and the room facilities usually include a television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a communal reading / television lounge. Small family run hotels are also used in a few locations. The providers are excellent sources of local information.

Breakfast is always included. Most guesthouses do not offer an evening meal.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our guesthouses in this region include;

Getting there-

The most convenient international airports are Bristol Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Gatwick Airport is a bit further away and less convenient than Heathrow, but still doable.

From Bristol Airport the Bristol International Flyer is a regular shuttle bus that stops at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and terminates at Bristol Bus Station, with a journey time of around 25 minutes.

From Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western operates regular trains to Bath Spa – journey time around 15 minutes.

From Bristol Bus Station Firstgroup run regular buses to Bath Spa Bus Station – journey time around 45 minutes.

It is also possible to take a taxi from Bristol Airport directly to Bath – the journey takes around 40 minutes and costs about 40 pounds.

From London Heathrow Airport, National Express runs a direct bus service to Bath Spa Station.

Alternatively Railair operates a regular bus shuttle from Heathrow to Reading Station from where you can take a First Great Western train to Bath Spa.

Otherwise from Heathrow take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington Station (15 mins) and take a First Great Western train from Paddington to Bath Spa.

From Gatwick Airport, take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria Station (30 mins). Then either take a National Express bus from Victoria Coach Station (5 mins walk from Victoria Rail Station) to Bath, or take a London Bus or the Underground to Paddington Station and take a First Great Western train to Bath.

On arrival in Bath, it is easiest to take a taxi to your accommodation.

The UK is well known for the variability of its weather – from day to day, season to season, year to year and place to place. Its position in the mid-latitude westerly wind belt on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with its relatively warm waters, yet close to the continental influences of mainland Europe, plays a major role in this. Changes in topography and land use over relatively short distances, together with a long coastline and numerous islands, all add to the variety of weather. In general, places in the east and south of the UK tend to be drier, warmer, sunnier and less windy than those further west and north. Also, these favourable weather conditions usually occur more often in the spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

England weather is very changeable and unpredictable, but generally summers are warm and winters are cold, and temperatures are milder than those on the continent. Temperatures do not usually drop below 32°F (0°C) in winter, and in summer they hardly reach 90°F (32°C). July and August are the warmest months, while January and February is the coldest time of year. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but late winter/early spring (February to March) is the driest period.

Fixed Costs

£810 per person sharing, to include;

  • 7 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-Trip Information Booklet and Planner
  • On call telephone support
  • All mapping, routes and cue sheets with gpx tracks
  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

Optional costs

Luggage Transfers

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 330 (165 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 330 + 20= 350 (116 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 330 + 20 + 20 = 370 (92 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider

Bicycle Rental

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid

Bike Code : TKH

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 5 frame sizes
  • FX Alpha Gold Aluminium
  • FX Alloy fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame

Bike Code : TKW

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 3 frame sizes;
  • Alpha Silver Aluminium
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Core Tour Costs £810
Luggage Transfers £330
Hybrid Bike Rental £145
Road Bike Rental £235
Single Supplement £280


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