Total tour distance: 90 miles
Daily tour distance: 30 miles
Difficulty: 40 / 100
Bicycle Beano cycling holidays are a fine blend of delicious vegetarian cuisine, friendly groups, and brilliant cycling on the idyllic country lanes of Wales, the Welsh Borders and the South and West of England.
Each year we run a handful of carefully-crafted holidays. We take over a country house or a residential centre, fillit with 20-30 guests, and organise scenic day rides with a variety of shortcuts and detours to suit a wide range of cycling abilities.
The Cotswolds - we love it. Quiet lanes, bubbling rivers, rolling green hills, the warm, golden stone of the villages, and the big, big Cotswold sky. We lived here for years and we're delighted to have the chance to share some of our favourite parts of it with you.
Following the format of our successful Somerset Beanos, this is a Weekday Beano - a midweek break starting on Monday evening and finishing after breakfast on Friday morning. In between, you get three full days of riding in some of the best cycling country Britain has to offer.
On our rides we'll find a lost medieval village where only the church still stands, its walls adorned with 14th-century paintings and its flagstones hiding a mosaic. We'll trace the routes of sheep drovers' tracks and Roman roads, stopping at a Roman villa and passing the woods where descendants of ancient Roman snails still thrive. We'll spot the remains of World War II airfields and pass through the villages where the limestone was quarried to build much of Oxford University. We'll visit a market town that inspired a location (and a pub!) in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and another where the final act of the English Civil War took place. We'll follow the rivers Windrush, Coln and Eye as we keep an eye out for wild birds and wildflowers. At the end of each day we return to base for tea and home-made cakes.
The rides are mainly on quiet country lanes, with a few optional easy offroad sections. This part of the Cotswolds mostly has gently rolling hills, though there will be the occasional steeper climb and even a few flat bits. The main route each day will be 30-35 miles, but there are shortcuts and detours so you can make it shorter or much longer. There's no pressure to keep to a set speed or time.
[Photo courtesy of Visit England]