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England - The Cotswolds and Shakespeare

England - The Cotswolds and Shakespeare

Degree of difficulty - B

Follow cycle routes through quintessentially perfect Cotswold countryside and villages, such as Chipping Camden and Upper Slaughter. Honey-coloured stone houses, hedgerow lanes, gloriously blossoming and colourful gardens all contribute towards what has been designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 During this self-guided cycling tour, every day has a highlight, from the discovery of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments to the romantic water gardens at Sezincote and the Brailes, an area mentioned in the Domesday Book. You will be cycling through many iconic areas of the Cotswolds and even a cycle through Stratford-upon-Avon is included, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

DAY 1 (Saturday): Moreton-on-Marsh
Today you will arrive in Moreton-on-Marsh located at the head of the beautiful Evenlode Valley. This thriving market town has just one main street which is lined with shops and galleries. Perhaps you would like to arrive on a Tuesday as this is when Moreton-on-Marsh is host to the largest open-air street market in the Cotswolds. Also of interest is the White Hart Royal Hotel, a former manor house that sheltered King Charles I during the Civil War.

DAY 2 (Sunday): Loop Cycle through Chipping Norton ( 29 miles / 47 km ) 
The cycling route today takes you through pretty rural routes, and initially to the town of Chipping Norton. The town’s name means “market town north” and began as a small settlement at the foot of a hill on which there was a mote and Bailey Castle. Just north of the town, you will cycle past the Rollright Stones, a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments. They are now known as the King's Men, the King Stone and the Whispering Knights and were all built at different times during the late prehistoric age.Continue on your route through quaint villages, such as Little Compton and Paxton, before arriving back into Moreton-on-Marsh.

DAY 3 (Monday): Loop Cycle through the Brailes ( 27 miles / 43.5 km )
Today’s loop takes you to the west of Moreton-on-Marsh and through Upper and Lower Brailes situated in the county of Warwickshire and in the northern part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Expect some hilly terrain today as the Brailes are surrounded by small hills. Brailes derives from a Saxon word for wood, and in the Domesday Book was described as an important manor. You then cycle through more pretty villages with stone farms, cottages and gardens overflowing with flowers en route.

DAY 4 (Tuesday): Cycle to Broadway via Upper & Lower Slaughter ( 23 miles / 37 km )
Today's route takes you through some of the most iconic Cotswold countryside and villages. Upon leaving Moreton-on-Marsh your route takes you close to Sezincote House, built with an Indian influence, and inspiration for the architect of the Brighton Pavilion. The house is set in a romantic water garden and it is definitely worth stopping to stroll through the house and gardens. Continue on until you reach the twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter. The name is derived from the old English “slohtre”, which means a muddy place. The epitome of Cotswold charm, these villages should not be missed and you will enjoy spending time here exploring.

After this visit, you now concentrate on getting some miles under your belt. The route to Broadway takes you through the undulating countryside and to Snowshill. Here, if you have time, it is worth stopping at Snowshill House and its Arts and Crafts style terraced gardens.

DAY 5 (Wednesday): Loop Cycle through Stratford-Upon-Avon ( 23-43 miles/37-69 km ) 
Today there are a few different options to choose from. The first is to take a 43 mile bike ride that takes you in a loop from Broadway to Stratford-upon-Avon and back. If you take this cycle ride you will probably arrive in Stratford around lunchtime, and you will have a little time to explore this town, famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

The second option is a shorter ride of around 23 miles in the morning. This route takes you through Chipping Camden, a charming and historic town, once famous for its wool trade. This afternoon perhaps you would like to take a bus into Stratford to see where The Bard was born and explore.The third option is to take a day of rest. Broadway is a really picturesque town to stroll through and perhaps you may wish to search out some antique and bookshops or have lunch in a tea room or local pub. You may also take the bus into Stratford-upon-Avon if you wish.

DAY 6  (Thursday): Broadway Loop via Stanway House & Gardens ( 29 miles / 47 km  )
The route today takes you on a loop to the south and west of Broadway. Head out of town to the west and along pretty country lanes to Elmley Castle, a small village and where the ruins of the castle remain. Continue through the charming villages of Ashton under Hill, Alderton and Gretton.

Just south of Broadway is Stanway, a scenic village and where it is worth stopping to see Stanway Manor House and Gardens. Explore this outstanding Jacobean Manor House and the 18th-century water gardens, the finest in all of England.

Arrive back in Broadway for your final evening. With plenty of restaurants and pubs to choose from, perhaps you would like to have a final dinner and a toast to celebrate your week of wonderful cycling.

DAY 7  (Friday): Departure
Tour is complete after breakfast.

( This tour is priced in Sterling )
£745 per person sharing

£970 for single occupancy ( Based on travelling with others ) 

Tour Includes

  • 6 nights bed & breakfast accommodation 
  • 21 speed tour bike/pannier bag
  • route details and maps
  • Tour information pack
  • service hotline
  • Luggage transfers daily 
  • Taxi transfer from Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh on Day 7
  • £50 Supplement for e-bike rental ( subject to availability ) 

Self Guided Tour Information

You can start any Saturday from 6th April to 28th September

On this tour we use a mix of guesthouses and small hotels. 
Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.



Day 1 - 3: Redesdale Arms Hotel


BroadwayTheOliveBranch1 BroadwayTheOliveBranch2 BroadwayTheOliveBranch3

Day 4 - 6: The Olive Branch

How to get to the start point in Moreton-on-Marsh: 

The closest airport is Birmingham West Midlands airport. 
The best way of getting to Moreton-in-Marsh is by train. There is a direct train from London Paddington Station which takes about one and a half hours. If you fly into London Heathrow, you can then take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and from here a train to Moreton-in Marsh.

You may fly into any of the other London Airports, such as London Gatwick, make your way by bus or train into central London and then to London Paddington.

It is also possible to fly into Birmingham Airport when travelling to Moreton-in-Marsh with a journey time under 3 hours by public transport. Birmingham has flights from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Jersey, Isle of Man, Inverness, Dundee, Derry, Belfast, and Dublin, Shannon and many European and international destinations. You can find further information about train times and schedules on the National Rail. It is also possible to drive to Moreton-in-Marsh. On street parking is available however there is no secure parking.

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

Tour map

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)

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)

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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