Imagine Cotswold valleys at their most beautiful and chocolate box villages at their most glorious and you have this tour in a nutshell. Add a touch of Roman influence - at Cirencester and relaxing two night stays in the heart of both Burford and Bibury - and you know you've hit a winner.

Follow the Thames meadows out of Oxford and ride tiny lanes and gentle bridleways along the Windrush and Coln valleys. Enjoy an 18th century working wool mill, tiny farm shops and babbling brooks. These are the valleys of delight.



Holiday details

Price

Classic

from £1,220 per person

Luxury

from £1,715 per person

Based on two people sharing a room

What’s included?

There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard

Duration

6 nights

Start & Finish

Starts Sundays and is circular from Oxford

Hotels

Classic

Small hand picked hotels and inns in central locations

Luxury

A historic 5 star hotel and 3 luxury boutique hotels

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 (3) More info...

Electric bikes

Available

Mileage

3 days of cycling with two further days of optional cycling 15 - 26 miles (24 - 42 km) per day. Additional daily mileages available

Terrain

Mostly flat with a few slopes

Traffic-free

More than half, very low traffic on the rest

Options

  • Fly fishing on Day Five
  • Additional nights in Oxford




Itinerary day-by-day


Classic & Luxury

  1. 1. Day one

    Oxford

    Arrive in Oxford on Sunday and check into your hotel located close to the heart of the city. Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today by following our largely traffic free tour for an insider’s guide to Oxford. 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.

  2. 2. Day two

    Oxford to Burford

    Your host will meet you at your hotel, brief you and transfer you to our bike base. You will then leave Oxford by riding along the peaceful and very rural Thames meadows into the Cotswolds. Explore the old woollen town of Witney and discover the beautiful valley of the River Windrush. Nestled here is a string of romantic villages like Minster Lovell bearing ancient honey coloured stone buildings and thatched village pubs. Burford too, where you will stay for the next two nights, has changed little over the centuries and it's bustling high street is one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds.

    26 miles (42 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    Burford to Bourton on Water & back

    Today you have a choice of relaxing in Burford or taking the circular ride which leads you further into the Windrush valley through classic Cotswolds country. There are tiny bridges crossing gurgling rivers and twisting lanes leading through scenic hamlets to Bourton. This ever so pretty village has the Windrush flowing right through its heart and if you want to see the even more beautiful then pedal on to the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter before returning to Burford.

    Optional 20 or 26 miles (32 or 58 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Burford to Bibury

    This is another wonderful ride through timeless countryside into the Coln valley. Explore the town of Northleach with its interesting history and mechanical music museum, and Chedworth village with its Roman villa. Enjoy the great views, ancient woodlands and the pretty folds and villages of the tiny River Coln. Your next two nights are in Bibury which William Morris described as the most beautiful village in England.

    19 miles (31 km)

  5. 5. Day five

    Bibury to Lechlade & back

    You might like a day out of the saddle to soak up the atmosphere in Bibury. But if you are keen to explore there's quite a ride ahead. The little Leach valley and its woods provide much of the route which takes in a working weaving mill, the Old Salt Way and thatched cottages with cosy village pubs. Enjoy too the market town of Lechlade where boats on the Thames can go no further and where you will wish to linger in antique stalls and tea shops before returning to Bibury.

    Optional 18, 27 or 31 miles (29, 43 or 50 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    Bibury to Cirencester & Oxford

    Amble along the Coln valley this morning before heading to Cirencester through the quiet villages of the Ampney Brook. Once a key town of Roman Britain, Cirencester is today the capital of the Cotswolds with a bustling high street and characterful craft workshops. We will meet you here late afternoon and transfer you back to Oxford and to your hotel. How glorious are these varied Cotswold valleys!

    16 miles (26 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Explore Oxford and Depart

    Take time to explore all that Oxford has to offer on foot and depart at leisure.