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England - The Cotswolds and Shakespeare

England - The Cotswolds and Shakespeare

Degree of difficulty - B

We begin with a short cycle from William Shakspeares birth place to the spectacular Warwick Castle, the land of William the Conqueror. Soon after we enter a different world of quintessentially English villages, and rolling green hills.

The cycle takes us deep into the Cotswolds with its limestone cottages along quiet back roads. One destination is Burford with a particularly attractive main street of handsome inns and charming cottages that lead down to a medieval bridge by the old mill over the river Windrush, also worth noting is Broadway destination also known as the "Jewel of the Cotswolds", where you will no doubt sample some traditional "cream teas". 

please contact us or more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com)

DAY 1 Stratford upon Avon
Allow time to look around. Shakespeare’s Birthplace is well worth a visit, to find out about the famous playwright. Even having a walk around this culturally beautiful city or if you time it right there may even be a show on offer at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. If arriving early there is a tour we can organise that will take in all five of Shakespeare’s houses. This is roughly a ten mile cycle and includes entry into all properties. (Must be booked well in advance and not included in the price) Take in a walk along the idyllic canal to the south west of the city, perfect to walk off your evening meal.

DAY 2 Warwick Castle Loop 29 miles / 47 km
A wonderful first days cycling to one of the best kept castles in the UK, Warwick Castle. This stunning building, built by William the Conqueror in 1068 within and adjacent to the Anglo-Saxon burgh of Warwick. En-route to Warwick you will travel through the quintessential towns that the Cotswolds is recognised for. For the sharp eyed there is a chance to see one of the only Avro Vulcan fighter jets still in working order in the World. Situated to the north of Loxley at a small private airfield (Wellesbourne), this majestic fighter jet is given a blast down the runway on selected dates throughout the year and is a sight to behold.

DAY 3 Stratford upon Avon - Broadway 20 miles / 32 km
Today you will cycle in a south direction along the quiet Greenway, converted from an old railway track in 1989. Leaving the Greenway you will head down the quiet country roads, through the rolling hills passing through beautiful countryside. On the way you will pass through one of the gems in the Cotswolds, the ancient market town of Chipping Campden. Today it is a popular Cotswold tourist destination with old inns, hotels, specialist shops and restaurants. Leaving Chipping Campden through the country roads towards your destination, the beautifully kept village of Broadway, often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswold’s’. The village lies beneath Fish Hill on the western Cotswold escarpment. The ‘broad way’ is the wide grass-fringed main street, centered around The Green, which is lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold limestone buildings, many dating from the 16th century.

DAY 4 Cotswolds Explorer Circular 29 miles / 47 km
On this day a camera is a must have in your bag! Using mainly quiet roads you will cycle past some of the most breathtaking scenery on offer in this area of outstanding natural beauty. Passing through rolling hills you may work up an appetite for a tea and scone, known locally as a “cream tea”, one if the guilty pleasures on offer in the Cotswolds. Ashton under Hill and Beckford are well worth stopping in to see some of the silk craft and little gift shops on offer. Another village well worth looking out for is Stanton; this little gem has been left virtually unspoilt and can be seen in all its Tudor glory. This gentle day’s riding gives you plenty of time to enjoy this region and do things at Cotswold pace.

DAY 5 Broadway to Burford 23.5 miles/38 km
Leaving Broadway cycling through the quiet back roads once again on the way to Burford, be sure to take your camera as you make your way through this picturesque landscape. Cotswold Farm Park is worth a visit for light refreshment. Next we pass through Bourton-on-the-Water. It’s known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswold’s’ because of the bridge-spanned stream that runs through the village. Perfect for lunch with lots of cafes with outside seating you will feel as if Venice is only a blink away. Travelling south we then join the cycle way along the River Windrush to Burford, our stop over for the night. Burford is known as the gateway to the Cotswold’s. The town centre features some houses dating from the 15th century. It’s most notable building, however, is the parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

DAY 6 Burford to Stow on the Wold 21 mi/34 km or 45 miles / 73 km
Today provides a choice of two routes. The first longer route takes in Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill who was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945 and then again from 1951-1955. This magnificent building is set in acres of unspoilt grounds, and is well worth the extra miles! The other route is shorter and allows you to take your time to take in all the beautiful views you will see on the way to the historic town of Stow-on-the-Wold. The town was founded as a planned market place by Norman lords to take advantage of trade on the converging roads.

DAY 7 Stow on the Wold to Stratford upon Avon 30 miles / 48 km
The last days riding offer the perfect opportunity to feel the fresh clean Cotswold air for the final time. Moreton-in-Marsh is the next main village we will visit. Moreton-in-Marsh was founded on the Roman Fosse Way, later the traditional London to Worcester coaching route via Broadway. We then join the cycle way through Shipston-on-Stour; the town’s name derives from being known in ancient times as ‘Sheep-wash-Town’. Shipston was for a long time an important sheep market town and after the demand for local wool began to diminish the town continued to flourish thanks to the opening in 1836 of a branch line from the horse-powered tramway built a decade before to link Stratford with Moreton-in-Marsh. Further up the cycle way we come to the village of Ilmington. The village lies just beneath Ilmington Downs, The highest point in Warwickshire is on Ilmington Downs. There is an almost uninterrupted 360 degree magnificent view across the countryside. Arriving in Stratford –upon-Avon having spent what we hope was an enjoyable week in scenic Cotswold countryside.

DAY 8 Departure
Tour is complete after breakfast.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

This tour is priced in Sterling
£795 per person sharing

£1095 for single occupancy

Tour Includes

- 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation 
- 21 speed tour bike/pannier bag
- route details and maps
- Tour information pack
- service hotline
- Luggage transfers daily

Self Guided Tour Information

You can start any Saturday from 1 April to 30 September.

Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.


Stratford Virgina Lodge Stratford Virgina Lodge1 Stratford Virgina Lodge2

Day 1 & 2: Virginia Lodge Guest House


Broadway White Acres Guesthouse2 Broadway White Acres Guesthouse1 Broadway White Acres Guesthouse

Day 3 & 4: Whiteacres Guest House


Burford Star Cottage Burford Star Cottage1

Day 5: Star Cottage


Stow on Wold Kings Arms Stow on Wold Kings Arms1 Stow on Wold Kings Arms2

Day 6: The Kings Arms

How to get to the start point in Stratford: 

Closest airport is Birmingham West Midlands airport. 
From there you will take 2 buses to get to Stratford-Upon-Avon. 966 to Solihul center and then S20 to Stratford (JohnsonCoachService) (total approx 1.5hrs) 

Alternatively from Heathrow you can take a train/bus toward Reading and then take the CrossCountry train to Lemington Spa and change lines to get to Stafford upon Avon.

OR you can take the Express into London and get a bus/coach direct to Stafford Upon Avon also. (Takes approx 3 hrs direct, see Coachfairer.com)

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

My daughter and I were very pleased with the bicycles, the welcome and arrangements along the way, and the support for the self-guided tour. 

Heid & Julia Bartos (Cotswold self led 2013)

If you'd like a one word review of our opinion of the cycling holiday it is: AMAZING! We had a blast and though you all did an outstanding job selecting the route, accommodations, dining recommendations, etc.

Mary J. (Cotswold self led 2013)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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