The Cotswolds is a large, high lying geographical area where the source of the River Thames can be found. The area stretches between Stratford-upon-Avon in the north, Oxford in the east, Bath in the south and Bristol in the west. Cycling can be hard on its steep country lanes, but you'll always be rewarded for your climbing with amazing views and great scenery on the way. The area has reasonably easy access from London and Birmingham, making it an ideal area for a long weekend or mini break.
Bainton Bikes in Oxford are the true experts of cycling in the northern and eastern Cotswolds and have something on offer for everyone. Whether you are after an afternoon or day of cycling in glorious Oxford or want to head from this famous city into the hills on a self-guided journey or fully guided cycling holiday package, Bainton Bikes should be your first point of call!
Our own expertise lies in cycling in the southern Cotswolds between Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol. Here you'll find some world-class flat cycling options, with breath-taking scenery. The Avon & Kennet Canal Route is on its very best between Bradford on Avon and Bath, allowing you to take in the beautiful hilly Cotswolds without having to take in any climbing. In 2013, the Two Tunnels Greenway opened, featuring England's longest cycle path in a railway tunnel, exactly one mile long! In combination with the Canal Route, this now allows you to cycle an attractive day circuit from either Bath or Bradford on Avon, extremely suitable for family cycling with children. Most of this route is traffic-free!
Another traffic-free family cycling gold winner is the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, again allowing you to take in the hilly Cotswolds without any serious climbing. This 14 miles long cycle path was the first long-distance traffic-free cycle path in the country, initially built by dedicated environmental campaigners from Bristol. Work started back in 1979 and in 1986 the route was entirely open. The path was the very first milestone of the Sustrans charity, who is responsible for the development of Britain's National Cycle Network. A great stop on the way is the Avon Valley Railway, with Bitton's heritage railway station, popular with steam railways buffs, retirees and children alike. Another highlight is cycling in the Staple Hill Tunnel and the gradual descent into bustling Bristol.
Our Cycling in The Cotswolds route contains the following:
Route: Devizes - Bradford on Avon - Bath (via Avon & Kennet Canal route and Two Tunnels Greenway) - Bristol
Total distance: 46 miles (74 km); cycle paths: 85%, quiet roads: 15%, roads with regular flow or possibly fast moving traffic: 0%, busy main roads with adjacent footpath: 0%
Grading: All routes suitable for younger children.
Highlights: Avon & Kennet Canal Route, Caen Hill Locks & aqueducts, historic Bradford on avon, City of Bath, Two Tunnels Greenway, Bristol and Bath Railway Path, Cotswolds countryside, Avon Valley heritage railway, cycling into Bristol
Our Cycling in The Cotswolds route is part of our London-Land's End Cycle Route Book. This guide book provides great value for money, includes GPS-tracks and features many more regions other than just The Cotswolds!