With an abundance of quiet country lanes and bridleways, the Cotswolds is the perfect destination for cyclists. Although most routes may include a short stretch on a main road or an uphill burst, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views wherever you go. Cycling is a great way to explore the picturesque villages that make up the area, and provides the perfect excuse to indulge in a guilt-free drink and bite to eat in one of the many pubs that line the way.
The Infant Thames
Starting at Kemble train station, this easy bike ride takes you through the sleepy Cotswold villages of Ewen, Somerford Keynes, Shorncote – believed to be the smallest village in Gloucestershire – and Siddington. You’ll also cycle into the Cotswold Water Park, which makes the perfect place to stop for a picnic, swim or even windsurf if you’re feeling up to it! As the name suggests, this route takes you close to the source of the River Thames, as well as some cracking pubs including the charming Wild Duck, at Ewen.
Even if it’s your first visit to the Cotswolds, chances are you’ve heard the stories about how ridiculously beautiful the twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are. This route offers the perfect opportunity to see exactly what all the fuss is about! Winding through the scenic village of Bourton-on-the-Water, through The Slaughters and beyond, this one-mile ride showcases some of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds.
If you’re just passing through, this short three-hour ride can easily be fitted into a weekend break. Hire bikes from the starting point of Bibury Trout Farm, then follow the route through the scenic villages of Chedworth and Coln St Dennis. At the latter, make sure you stop for a break at St John the Great church. The views from this Norman church, across the water meadows and towards the River Coln, are truly idyllic and one of the area’s best kept secrets!
This easy nine-mile cycle is a great option for couples who are all about balance; balancing out the effort of the ride with plenty of foodie pit shops that is! The route takes you out of Kingham, through the villages of Bledington, Upper and Lower Oddington and Adlestrop, and past some of the best pubs the area has to offer. The King’s Head in Bledington, set on a tranquil village green, is definitely worth stopping for – even if it’s just for the quintessentially English, country village scenery.
Wichcombe, the start and end point for your ride, is the kind of unspoilt, honey-hued market town you hope to discover when exploring the Cotswolds. If you’re in the area visiting Sudeley Castle, do try and get out to see more of the area on your bike. The route passes through beautiful, sleepy villages, home to ancient churches and grand manor houses, which would otherwise lay undiscovered to the typical day-tripper. Reward yourself after the 28-mile cycle, with a drink at the welcoming Lion Inn.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.