Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Cycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds
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Highlights

  • Pedal through the quintessential Cotswold countryside, a jewel of England
  • Observe the changing light reflect off honey-coloured cottages and green hills
  • Explore Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s birthplace
  • Experience delicious gourmet food in cosy local pubs and restaurants
  • Wander through the diverse gardens at Sezincote and Stanway

Follow cycle routes through quintessentially perfect Cotswold countryside and villages, such as Chipping Camden and Upper Slaughter. Honey-coloured stone houses, hedgerowed 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.
With only one change of accommodation on this tour you can unpack and relax.

Some of the images above courtesy of www.cotswolds.com

Day 1: Arrive in 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.


For dinner tonight there are plenty of restaurants from which to choose.


Overnight: Moreton-on-Marsh - you will be staying in one of the many B&B's and Guest Houses in town. A couple of examples are: Treetops Guesthouse Acacia Guesthouse


Day 2: Cycle loop through Chipping Norton - 29 miles

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 motte 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.


Overnight: Moreton-on-Marsh


Day 3: Cycle loop through the Brailes - 27 miles

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.


Overnight: Moreton-on-Marsh


Day 4: Cycle to Broadway via Upper & Lower Slaughter - 23 miles

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 within 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 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.


Overnight: Broadway - you will be staying in one of the many Guest Houses or B&B's in the village. A couple of examples are: Cowley HouseOlive Branch


Day 5: Cycle loop through Stratford-upon-Avon - 43 miles or 23 miles

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 book shops, or have lunch in a tea room or local pub. You may also take the bus into Stratford-upon-Avon if you wish.


Overnight: Broadway


Day 6: Broadway loop via Stanway House & Gardens - 29 miles

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.


Overnight: Broadway


Day 7: Onward travel

A transfer will be provided back to Moreton-on-Marsh train station, from where you may complete your onward journey. If you are renting a bike it will be collected from your accommodation. If you have your own bike and have driven to the start point you will need to cycle back to Moreton-on-Marsh on this final morning. It is 9 miles on the main road and slightly further if you wish to cycle along quieter and more scenic roads.


Accommodation

We take great pride in carefully selecting the accommodations to ensure you enjoy every minute of your stay. We
work with B&B’s, Guest Houses, country hotels and charming inns
which are normally of 3 or 4 star standard with ensuite bathrooms.


Alternate accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo travellers are also welcome to travel on this tour for an additional fee.


Meals

Breakfast is included at your B&B or guesthouse each morning. The accommodations offer cooked breakfasts. Packed lunches can either made by your accommodation (if you ask the night before) or there are plenty of local shops from which you can buy sandwiches. Also you will be cycling through many small villages and towns so there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and have lunch at local cafés or pubs. As your accommodation is located in or very close to town there will be plenty of restaurants to choose from for dinner.


Baggage Transfer

When you are cycling between accommodations on Day 4 your main bag will be transferred. We ask that you limit your luggage for transfer to one bag of up to 20kg.


Transfers

A taxi transfer from Broadway at the end of the tour is included to Moreton-on-Marsh train station. The journey takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic. However if you have parked in Moreton-on-Marsh and have your own bike you will need to cycle back here (approximately 9 miles).

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Transfers

A taxi transfer from Broadway at the end of the tour is included to Moreton-on-Marsh train station.   The journey takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.


Grade & Terrain

You will need to have a fairly good fitness level to fully enjoy this trip. Although the Cotswolds generally is not very hilly there will be some gentle inclines and declines at times. Most of the cycling on this tour is along quiet country roads and through rural and very pretty countryside, towns and villages. At times (but only for very short rides) you will have to ride along main roads in order to link the routes, or perhaps access another smaller road.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Bike Hire

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. Full-aluminium and good-quality hybrid bikes are available and the bike will be delivered to you.  The bike will be a Ridgeback Velocity Hybrid. Full details about the bike will be in your information pack. All rentals include a helmet, combination lock, a pump, a pannier with spare inner tube, tyre levers, and a handlebar bag.


There are also a small number of electic bikes for hire, which provide a power assisted ride. For more information on Ebikes please click here.


Please note that if you do want to rent a bike you need to provide us with your height so that we can make sure that the bike is going to be a good fit.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Getting to/from Moreton-on-Marsh

The best way of getting to Moreton-on-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 train to London Paddington and from here a train to Moreton-on 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-on-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, Dublin, Shannon and many European and international destinations.


You can find further information about train times and schedules on the National Rail website.


It is also possible to drive to Moreton-on-Marsh. On street parking is available however there is no secure parking. 

Getting to/from Moreton-in-Marsh

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 train 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, Dublin, Shannon and many European and international destinations.


You can find further information about train times and schedules on the National Rail website.


It is also possible to drive to Moreton-in-Marsh. On street parking is available however there is no secure parking. 


Included

  • 6 Nights accommodation in a hand-picked guest house and B&B
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • One baggage transfer from Moreton-in-Marsh to Broadway
  • Transfer from Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh on Day 7
  • A detailed information pack, route notes and map
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem

Excluded

  • Travel to/from Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Lunches and dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Bus to and from Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Solo supplement
  • Bike hire
  • Extra nights

We are often asked the following questions hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How fit do I need to be?

You will need to have a fairly good fitness level to fully enjoy this trip. Although the Cotswolds generally is not very hilly there will be some gentle inclines and declines at times. Most of the cycling on this tour is along quiet country roads and through rural and very pretty countryside, towns and villages.

If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your cycle. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Cotswolds are extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need normal cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers and some warmer cycling clothes, a full detailed kit list will be included in your info pack. 

When is the best time of year?

We offer this trip between the beginning of April and the end of October. In our opinion there is no bad time for walking in the Cotswolds but would especially recommend the spring and autumn for the colours and it will be less busy during these months.

What is the best way to get to/from the start and end point?

We recommend you travel by train to Moreton-in-Marsh, which is 1h30 from London Paddington. If you are driving we recommend leaving your car in Moreton-in-Marsh where on street parking is available. More information on train times and schedules is available on the National Rail website. 

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, Dublin, Shannon and many European and international destinations.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureCycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds
 
4.5

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (4)
  • Fun (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (4)

Reviewed by 4 customers

Displaying reviews 1-4

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5.0

Nice discovering of a charming region

By Michèle et Nicolas

from Geneva

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Great Accommodations
  • Possibility to adapt the daily journeys
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Discovering a region
    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure Cycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds:

    We made up our mind about our trip very late, but Macs Adventure managed to organize it within very few time. Bravo!

     
    4.0

    A great tour of the Cotswolds, I can recommend it.

    By Liddy

    from Suffolk

    About Me Occasional Traveller, Pensioner Cyclists, Some Disabilities, Still Want A Challenge

    Pros

    • Didn't Get Lost
    • Exhilarating Downhills
    • Fun
    • Quiet Lanes
    • Soon Off The Beaten Track
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Hotel Parking
    • Problem Finding Bb
    • Problems Finding Hotel

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Cycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds:

    The route guides were excellent apart from they didn't include how to locate our accommodation at both places we stayed, ie arriving by car at The Redesdale Arms the car park is accessed via Hospital Rd behind the hotel. In Broadway our instructions didn't correspond with where we were staying. No phone number given for the B&B in Broadway, we had to rely on locals to give us directions.

     
    4.0

    A great experience

    By Tomsy

    from NZ

    About Me Avid Adventurer, Occasional Traveller, World Traveller

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Poor Accommodations

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure Cycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds:

    Over all a great experience but though the accommodation was very good in Moreton in Marsh the accommodation in Broadway was too far out of town after a days riding it was a reasonable walk or you had to ride your bike again, a bit of a nuisance!! Also the instructions for the directions were lacking and in some cases just plain incorrect requiring other methods to be employed and on one occasion caused us to get a little lost and riding a few extra Kilometres.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Rolling Countryside

    By Retirees

    from London

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Great Bike Hire
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday

      Comments about macs adventure Cycling in the Heart of the Cotswolds:

      Excellent bike hire (even offers a breakdown service). Great accommodation in two lovely places (Moreton-in-Marsh and Broadway).
      The cycle routes enabled us to see a lot of the rolling countryside, yellow stone villages and little market towns that the Cotswolds are famous for. Had to deal with some challenging hills but also enjoyed some great downhill runs, like the bit from Snowshill to Broadway.
      Found Stratford-on-Avon a little too busy for our liking. The route out of the town along 'The Greenway' (a dismantled railway) was wonderful for escaping the thronging tourists to return to the peaceful Warwickshire countryside.

      Displaying reviews 1-4

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