19th March, 2014
Last week we hosted a group of 11 journalists from around the globe on our Shakespeare's Way Cycling Holiday. We were delighted that representatives from many highly respected broadsheets and magazines chose to attend - including The New York Post, The Daily Telegraph, National Geographic Traveler, Canadian Living, The Times of India, Het Niewsblad, Het Laatste Nieuws, Pasar, Bicycling Magazine, The Daily Beast & The Sun - and what a group they were!
We really enjoyed getting to know everyone, and with some big personalities in the group, it was a real hoot from start to finish. Everyone agreed at the end that they had never been on a press trip where the group bonded so well - of course we put this down to the cycling (!) From our experience though, even grumpy teenagers seem to perk up and get along better once they're astride their bike with the wind in their hair ;)
Our Shakespeare's Way cycling trip can actually be done over 7 days (for the more ambitious cyclist) or 10 days (for the more leisurely cyclist).
Our journalists did an condensed version of the route (hopping in a van at various points to speed things along), and cycled it in reverse, so starting in Stratford-upon-Avon and finishing in London. As with all our tours, we offer great flexibility - so you too can customise the itinerary if you would like to, adding in or removing elements as you wish.
As well as some stunning cycling through a real variety of English landscape and city-scape along our favourite pick of quiet lanes, little-known backroads, riverside paths and secret alleyways, there were many attractions to take in and pit stops en route...
Day 1 featured a cycle tour around Stratford-upon-Avon taking in Shakespeare's birthplace, a tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and dinner at the >fantastic Arden Hotel
Day 2 began with a ride and private tour around the Pashley Cycle Factory, a cycle through the Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Daylesford Organic for lunch, followed by a tour of Blenheim Palace and a cycle into Oxford
Day 3 started with a bike tour of Oxford, a cycle through (or should we say down!) the Chiltern Hills, lunch at Heston Blumenthal's pub The Hind's Head in Bray, a bike ride along the Thames and concluded with an evening performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre in Kingston
Day 4 consisted of a cycle from Putney Bridge to Tower Bridge - a fantastic way to enter London - lunch at the cool cycling cafe Look Mum No Hands!, an exclusive tour of the Lee Valley VeloPark and a session in the velodrome, and dinner at the famous Forman's salmon restaurant in Hackney Wick
Day 5 rounded off the trip with a visit to Southbank and a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
We have collated all the photos taken by ourselves and the journalists into an album on Facebook - click here to see them!
Posted by: Iona Carter