Day 1: Oxford
Arrive in Oxford and check into your hotel located in the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city and stroll through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Take in the museums, galleries, and libraries galore, and perhaps a concert or play. Discover the little tea rooms and fine restaurants, the unique shops and back streets and the river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights.
Overnight in Oxford.
Day 2: Oxford – An Oxfordshire Village (33 miles/53 km)
Your host will meet you this morning with your bikes and run through your itinerary before your cycling journey begins. You leave Oxford on a traffic-free route as you head towards the Cotswold village of Woodstock. Here is the world heritage site of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill and now home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough.
Back in the saddle, you can then explore classic Cotswolds country - twisting lanes leading through pretty villages; tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers; ancient woodlands and wonderful views. Your welcoming inn tonight overlooks a village green.
Day 3: An Oxfordshire Village – Stratford on Avon (32 miles/51 km)
Today's route leads you through a string of Cotswold stone hamlets and villages and to the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh where the Roman Fosse Way now defines the high street. There are plenty of cozy pubs for a lunch stop and the renowned gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate for inspiration.
From here it's a freewheel down the scarp slope of the Cotswolds and along an old railway track into Stratford on Avon. This famous old market town, needs little introduction as the birthplace of William Shakespeare and you can visit all the bard's houses in Stratford if you wish to pedal on. Your overnight stay is in the heart of the town with all its half-timbered buildings.
Overnight in Statford on Avon.
Day 4: Stratford on Avon – Chipping Campden (30 miles/48 km)
Enjoy the level ride this morning to the chocolate box village of Broadway perhaps allowing a detour to the medieval and cozy Fleece Inn. This afternoon is truly wonderful even though you encounter the main hill of the tour as you ride through sheep clad hills to the delightful village of Snowshill. Here you can visit the manor house and the stunning fields of lavender whilst looking forward to a refreshment stop near the Broadway Tower with breathtaking views over 12 counties on a clear day. The gem of the Cotswolds, the 14th century honey-colored stone buildings of Chipping Campden is where you will stay the night.
Overnight in Chipping Campden.
Day 5: Chipping Campden – Burford (32 miles/51 km)
You will experience the classic wolds and valleys of the Cotsowlds area today taking in a string of notable towns and villages. Visit Stow on the Wold, known for its antique shops now and as a woolen town formerly before discovering the idyllic hamlets of the Slaughters and joining the Windrush valley at Bourton on Water. This valley leads you through unspoiled villages to Burford, one of England's prettiest small medieval towns with beautiful Cotswold architecture and a high street to savor. Stay overnight here and explore the Windrush water meadows if you wish.
Overnight in Burford.
Day 6: Burford – Ewen* (36 miles/58 km)
Pedal through a timeless landscape today that is utterly charming. Rejoin the Windrush river and pause for a coffee in Northleach. Then explore the tiny Coln river; it bears a Roman villa at Chedworth and a series of tiny crossings before arriving in Bibury, famous for its weavers' cottages. The Cotswold capital of Cirencester features next - important since Roman times and still a delight today. Your overnight stay is in the peaceful hamlet of Ewen a few miles further on where the inn dates back to the 16th Century.
Overnight in Ewen.*
*If you choose the Classic hotels in Category B, you will stay in Ewen this night. If you choose the Luxury hotels in Category A, you will stay in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of historic Cirencester.
Day 7: Ewen – Lacock (38 miles/61 km)
Still in the idyllic Cotswold landscape of quiet lanes, pretty farms and peaceful villages, there are some interesting places to stop by today. At Highgrove you can take a thirst quencher or coffee at Prince Charles's farm whilst in Tetbury there's plenty to explore in this lovely old wool market town. If trees are your thing you can make a short detour to the world renowned and spectacular National Arboretum at Westonbirt. There is also a wonderful pottery and close by a stunning private garden where we may be able to arrange a visit.
The most remarkable find of the day maybe Lacock where you will spend the next two nights. Dating back to the 13th Century, this charming rural village with a medieval abbey remains untouched by modern development.
Overnight in Lacock.
Day 8: Lacock – Bath – Lacock (33 miles/53 km)
This is a great ride to the world heritage site of Bath known for its Georgian architecture and its Roman connections. Discover the Roman baths, a fine collection of museums, cobbled courtyards, historic tea rooms and the abbey. Leave Bath along a magnificent canal and take in yet another characterful town at Bradford on Avon. Here there is a short climb as you head back to Lacock. Truly a day to remember!
Overnight in Lacock.
Day 9: Lacock – A Wiltshire Village (38 miles/61 km)
Your last day of cycling leads you away from the Cotswolds and takes in the dramatic flight of canal locks at Caen Hill. Wide vistas and a rural landscape follow before giving way to the cozy hamlets and villages of the picturesque Avon valley. This peaceful scene leads you to within earshot of Stonehenge and your final night's stay.
Overnight in Salisbury.
Day 10: Tour Stonehenge and Depart
This morning your personal guide will collect you from your accommodation and give you a tour of the world heritage site at Stonehenge. A prehistoric monument without parallel, its site and surroundings pose a number of questions. What a dramatic end to your historic ride through England! We will bid you farewell by transferring you to Salisbury station.