Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Honey-coloured thatched cottages
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Highlights

  • Pedal through the quintessential Cotswold countryside, a jewel of England
  • Observe changing light reflect off honey-coloured cottages and green hills
  • Experience delicious gourmet food in cosy local pubs and restaurants
  • Wander through the exceptional gardens at Sezincote and Stanway

This short cycling break in the Cotswolds takes you down quiet country routes and hedgerowed lanes and past honey-coloured stone houses and gloriously blossoming and colourful gardens. This quintessentially picture perfect area has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Stay in the thriving market town of Moreton-on-Marsh, cycle through the Brailes an area mentioned in the Domesday Book, glide through Upper and Lower Slaughter as you see the countryside of Warwickshire. 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.

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&Bs and Guest Houses in the town.  A couple of examples are Treetops and Acacia Guest House.


DAY 2: Cycle loop through the Brailes

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.


Cycle: 27 miles


Overnight: Moreton-on-Marsh


DAY 3: Cycle to Broadway via Upper & Lower Slaughter

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 to 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.


Cycle: 23 miles


Overnight: Broadway. You will be staying at one of the many accommodations in the village.  A couple of examples are Cowley House and Olive Branch.


DAY 4: Broadway loop via Stanway House & Gardens

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 worthy of a stop 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.


There is also an optional longer cycle through Stratford-upon-Avon available for those who are interested.


Cycle: 29 miles


Overnight: Broadway


DAY 5: 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

Your 5 day, 4 night self-guided cycling tour includes 4 nights in B&B's or guest houses. All accommodations are hand-picked to assure a warm welcome great locations.


Alternative 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 3 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).

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.


Baggage Transfer

When you are cycling between accommodations on Day 3 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-in-Marsh train station. The journey takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.



Please note if you are riding your own bike you have the
choice of either cycling the 10 miles back to Moreton-in-Marsh at the end of the tour or, if you would
prefer, for an additional cost we can arrange for your bikes to
be transferred by our bike couriers.


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 inclines and declines at times, some of which are quite steep, but short. Most of the cycling on this tour is along quiet country lanes 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 Meteor 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 electric bikes for hire, which provides 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-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

  • 4 Nights accommodation in a hand-picked guest house and B&B
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • One baggage transfer from Moreton-on-Marsh to Broadway
  • Transfer from Broadway to Moreton-on-Marsh on Day 5
  • 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-on-Marsh
  • Lunches and dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Entrance to attractions
  • 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 inclines and declines which at times are quite steep but short. 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 walk?

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.


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