As the Cotswolds are home to numerous stunning English gardens, we have created this tour to include many of the most renowned. To these we have added the gardens we love and know others find inspirational. Collectively they show a wide range of styles and we are sure you will leave horticulturally touched.

We have designed the tour with very short cycling distances so that you will have plenty of time to enjoy the gardens and landscapes not to mention the wonderful Cotswold villages where you are staying. With very few slopes and a thoroughly leisurely itinerary, there's plenty of time for dreaming...



Holiday details

Price

Classic

from £1,340 per person

Luxury

from £1,920 per person

Based on two people sharing a room. Group rates available for 6 or more people

What’s included?

Entry to all Gardens.  See what’s included as standard

Duration

6 nights

Start & Finish

Starts Saturdays and is circular from Oxford

Hotels

Classic

Two small hotels, a classic inn and a tea room

Luxury

A historic 5 star Oxford hotel, two 4 star hotels and a luxury boutique hotel

Holiday type

Self-guided

This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own.  If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide

Activity level

Gentle cycling (1) More info...

Electric bikes

Available

Mileage

4 days of cycling with 1 further day of optional cycling 7 - 19 miles (11 - 30 km) per day.

Terrain

Mostly flat with the odd slope

Traffic-free

20% very low traffic on the rest

Options

Additional nights in Oxford


Itinerary day-by-day


Classic & Luxury

  1. 1. Day one

    Oxford

    Arrive in Oxford on Saturday and check into your hotel located in the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today and stroll through our hand picked selection of the 3 most stunning college gardens of the University. Surrounded by magnificent buildings and sheltered within historic walls, these gardens are often intimate and set in fine courtyards and quadrangles with mixed and herbaceous borders, immaculate lawns and wonderful old trees. There is of course the occasional curiosity too.

  2. 2. Day two

    Oxford to Woodstock

    Your host will meet you, brief you and transfer you to our bike base before you head for the University Botanic Garden. Founded in the 1620s as a physic garden, it is one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world with one of the most diverse collections of plants totaling 8,000 different plant species. As well as the walled garden, there are glasshouses and grounds leading down to the Cherwell River. Leave Oxford along the pretty Oxford Canal to reach Woodstock with your overnight stay for the next 2 nights in the centre of this unspoilt Cotswolds village.

    13 miles (21 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    Woodstock to Rousham and back

    Not far from Woodstock and along leafy lanes and bike tracks, you will discover the tranquil gardens of Rousham House. Dearly loved by all who pass through them and yet little visited, this is an arcadian architectural landscape that was redesigned by William Kent in the 18th Century. From the stone arched stable block where you enter the gardens, to the rills, rose garden, dovecote and magical river vistas, drama never ceases. This is a place of dreams!

    Optional 12 miles (19 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Woodstock to Moreton in Marsh

    In complete contrast, today is your chance to enjoy grandiose Blenheim Palace and its 2000 acres of Capability Brown landscape. Built in the 18th Century, the palace was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the 12th Duke of Marlborough lives here today. The lakes, water terraces and great arches and vistas provide the formality but then round a corner you can find the tiny bridges of the secret garden and the colourful rose garden. Later in the afternoon you can pedal through Cotswold lanes to reach the village of Charlbury and take a short train hop to the market town of Moreton in Marsh for your overnight stay.

    13 miles (21 km)

  5. 5. Day five

    Moreton in Marsh to Chipping Campden

    Mingle with the locals in Moreton's High street before pedalling off through typical Cotswold villages to find the Arts and Crafts gardens of Hidcote Manor. These are probably the most influential of all English 20th Century gardens and were created in the early 1900s by American Lawrence Johnston. Now owned by the National Trust, the garden has a series of simply inspirational 'rooms' each with their own character. Pause for lunch because across the road, literally, is the equally stunning, privately owned garden of Kiftsgate Court. This too is an Arts and Crafts garden brimming with creativity and charm. Dream on as you freewheel into Chipping Campden, often referred to as the gem of the Cotswolds.

    15 miles (24 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    Chipping Campden to Oxford

    Your penultimate day gives you a wonderful ride down the Cotswold scarp with a visit to Snowshill Manor garden. This is a delightful Arts and Crafts garden, owned by the National Trust with a wide range of ornaments painted in 'Wade blue', a soft powdery colour named after Charles Wade who lived in the Tudor house and created its garden. Wend your way through the village of Broadway and take a short train hop back to Oxford for the final night of your tour.

    18 miles (29 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Depart Oxford

    Depart at leisure.