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England: Bath & the Cotswolds

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The charming Cotswolds unfold before you on this UK cycling holiday, as you spin from bucolic countryside to the Georgian jewel of Bath.

Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 42|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

10-day Bike Vacation + Air Package

$5,745

7-day Bike Vacation Only

$4,695

Per person, double occupancy

England: Bath & the Cotswolds

The charming Cotswolds of your imagination come to life before your eyes on this UK cycling holiday. You’ll pedal along tranquil country lanes, viewing the woodlands, sheep-dotted pastures, and agricultural fields of the Windrush Valley, pausing to explore market towns, tiny hamlets, and thatched-cottage villages. Contrast these discoveries with visits to the splendid Hidcote Gardens, magnificent Blenheim Palace, and the Georgian jewel of Bath. You’ll also touch the region’s ancient roots as you cycle the 2,000-year-old Fosse Way, explore the Roman ruins of Bath. Lunch at a local pub, daily English breakfasts, and overnights at small country estates round out your authentic experience of this wonderful corner of England.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills, mainly on quiet country roads. Our VBT van support is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Ideal for enthusiastic beginners to experienced cyclists.

  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 42|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Enter the world of Downton Abbey in Bampton, its stand-in on the beloved PBS series.
  • Explore the gardens and state rooms of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Cycle through a classic English countryside of sheep-dotted pastures, woodlands, market towns, tiny hamlets, and thatched-cottage villages.
  • Experience the charms of Bourton-on-the-Water, called the “Venice of the Cotswolds” for its graceful arched stone bridges.
  • Marvel at the artistry of Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens.
  • Probe the region’s Roman heritage on a 2,000-year-old cycling route and end at the ancient ruins in Bath.
  • Fuel up each morning with a hearty English breakfast.

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May72º/49º

Jun79º/56º

Jul79º/59º

Aug81º/61º

Sep75º/55º

Oct63º/47º

Average
Precipitation:

May2.8 in

Jun2.5 in

Jul1.5 in

Aug2.6 in

Sep2.2 in

Oct2.7 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Oxford and one night in Bristol in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in small country estates Check Check
10 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Fri, May 14 to Sun, May 23 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for England. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at London Heathrow Airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall.

Once you have cleared customs, a VBT representative holding a VBT sign meets you and assists you with your transfer by taxi (of approximately one hour and 15 minutes) to your centrally located hotel in Oxford. The meeting location will depend on your arrival terminal:
Heathrow Terminal 2: Currency Exchange Kiosk (Travelex)
Heathrow Terminal 3: WHSmith Store, located on the right-hand side of the arrivals gate
Heathrow Terminal 4: Costa Coffee Shop
Heathrow Terminal 5: Costa Coffee Shop

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our transfer company know by calling Airport Pickups London +44 20 8688 7744. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

The rest of the day is free to explore this heralded university town and dine on your own, using the VBT City Information as your guide.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early in the day, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.
Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in before the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

Accommodation: voco Oxford Spires Hotel, Oxford

There’ll be time to relax or explore Oxford after breakfast this morning. After checking out, you can store your luggage at the hotel’s reception desk as you will not leave Oxford until after lunch. Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own before meeting your VBT representative, as the next scheduled meal is dinner. Meet your VBT representative in the hotel lobby at 1:00 p.m. Please ensure you are dressed ready to start cycling. You may change into your biking gear in the hotel’s public restrooms.

Take a short support vehicle shuttle to the village of Bampton, the start of your cycling adventure. After a safety and bike-fitting session, enjoy a pleasant pedal through the countryside to Bampton. This charming village will seem familiar to Downton Abbey fans: it doubled as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton in the beloved PBS series. Continue cycling through small hamlets and past tree-lined fields into Burford, your home for the next two nights.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 km (12 miles)
Afternoon
Bampton to Burford: 19 km (12 miles)

What to Expect: Cycle along mainly flat quiet country lanes, with a gradual incline into Burford.

Accommodation: The Lamb Inn, Burford
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cycle the breathtaking Windrush Valley today, crossing the river and traversing the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Ride through the sylvan Wychwood Forest to the village of Leafield and the charming market town of Charlbury. The centerpiece of the day is your visit to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 2,000-acre estate features beautifully manicured grounds laid out by one of England’s—and history’s—great landscape designers, Capability Brown. All pathways lead to the resplendent palace, where you have free time for lunch and an included visit of the state rooms and the Churchill exhibition. You may also enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds. After a rewarding visit, ride or shuttle back to Burford.

Dinner is on your own tonight. Burford has several options for a fine meal.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 67km (10 – 41 miles)
Morning
Burford to Charlbury: 16 km (10 miles)
OR
Burford to Blenheim Palace: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Blenheim Palace to Burford: 32 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is more undulating than yesterday’s but again follows quiet country lanes. As you cycle the picturesque Windrush Valley, enjoy views of dry-stone walls, pastures, and agricultural fields along the roadside. Pass the great woodlands of Wychwood Forest before coasting into the small market town of Charlbury. Continue on to the breathtaking Blenheim Palace, the mid-point of the day, and enjoy the impeccably designed landscape as you explore the grounds and estate rooms. The afternoon route departs Blenheim and traces lovely country lanes to the thatched-cottage village of Minster Lovell. Continue along the Windrush Valley back into Burford.

Accommodation: The Lamb Inn, Burford
Included Meals: Breakfast

More of the stunning Windrush Valley unfolds before you today, a picture-perfect canvas of the Cotswolds. By day’s end, you will understand why our trip leaders call this peaceful region “happy valley.” The Windrush was named for the way its namesake river winds through the rushes, or the tall grasses along the waterway’s banks. Enjoy a spin through the historic Sherborne Estate, part of England’s only remaining 17th-century deer course, created for sport by one John “Crump” Dutton.

Your route continues to one of the Cotswolds’ treasures: Bourton-on-the-Water. This quaint village is sometimes called the “Venice of the Cotswolds” for the graceful arched stone bridges that cross the River Windrush in town. There’ll be time to explore its many charms and have lunch on your own or even seek out a famous cream tea.

Later, cycle to the old mill town, Lower Slaughter. The handsome sandstone manor houses and churches recall a stately era of lords and ladies. It is pure pleasure to take a slow pedal through these quintessential English villages. After time here, you may shuttle to your next hotel in Moreton-on-Marsh, or enjoy a longer riding day through more beautiful countryside, where you may visit the renowned Daylesford Organic, one of the UK’s most sustainable organic working farms. This evening, share your discoveries with fellow travelers over dinner at the hotel.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 56 km (17 – 35 miles)
Morning
Burford to Bourton-on-the-Water: 27 km (17 miles)
Afternoon
Bourton-on-the-Water to Moreton-in-Marsh: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: The route begins along the Windrush Valley, passing through the small hamlets of Little Barrington and Windrush. The day’s main hill climb leads up to Clapton-on-the-Hill. Then it’s a lovely downhill coast to Bourton-on-the-Water. Park your bike and enjoy a stroll around this pretty town with its many bridges and shops. Continue along more rolling countryside into the scenic village of Lower Slaughter. The day’s longer option leads to the hamlets of Lower Swell and Upper Swell through pastures dotted with sheep.

Accommodation: The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, set out into the magnificent hedge- and tree-lined country lanes of the North Cotswolds. Gentle hills surround you as you make your way to the small market town of Chipping Campden, home to the Cotswold “Olimpicks” and honey-hued limestone buildings. Browse its Market Hall and central High Street before continuing your ride to the American-inspired Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens. Its colorful and intricately designed outdoor “rooms” are full of surprises.

After, you may ride or shuttle up to Broadway Tower, where, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with extensive views of the surrounding countryside. Lady Coventry of Worcester had this Gothic folly built at 1,204 feet (367 meters) above sea level strictly for her pleasure. The views take in 16 counties and stretch all the way to Wales on a clear day.

Inspired by this beguiling canvas, you continue your ride through the lavender fields at Snowshill and on to the tiny hamlet of Kineton for lunch at a local pub. Formerly owned by Corpus Christi College, The Halfway Inn creates the best homemade burgers in the Cotswolds and is well known for its great atmosphere and variety of pub dogs. After lunch, you may ride or shuttle back to the hotel.

This evening is free for you to explore Moreton-in-Marsh and try one of its restaurants.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 64 km (12 – 40 miles)
Morning
Moreton-in-Marsh to Hidcote Gardens: 19 km (12 miles)
OR
Moreton-in-Marsh to Kineton: 41 km (26 miles)
Afternoon
Kineton to Moreton-in-Marsh: 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect: The first section of today’s ride is slightly undulating along lovely tree- and hedge-lined country lanes, passing through pretty hamlets. Stop in Chipping Campden to explore ancient High Street and the Market Hall. You pass over the railway line on the outskirts of Chipping Campden, then cycle uphill towards Hidcote Gardens. Park your bike by the entrance and enjoy a visit. You can shuttle or cycle to Broadway Tower; the ride is 5.5 miles (8.9 km) with a long steady uphill climb. After you take in the 360-degree views, the route leads through beautiful countryside down a long, steady hill to the tiny village of Kineton, where a well-deserved pub lunch awaits. From here, either shuttle or ride through undulating country lanes back to the hotel.

Accommodation: The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Shuttle this morning for about an hour through the stunning English countryside to the small hamlet of Westonbirt. From here, you cycle along the Fosse Way, a 2,000-year-old Roman route linking Exeter and Lincoln. Remarkable for ancient engineering, the road never veers more than six miles (10 km) from a straight line for its full distance of 182 miles (293 km). You, however, will ride just a fraction of this historic pathway, eventually leaving it to follow a road into the heart of Bath, the elegant Georgian jewel of England. You approach the city via the 200-year old Kennet and Avon Canal, lined with beautifully painted narrow boats.

Rendezvous with your trip leaders at the Holburne Museum. The rest of the day is free to enjoy lunch and the many sights of this beautiful city, including the unmissable Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, the King’s Circus, Jane Austen’s House, and Bath Abbey. Bath also boasts many boutique shops and opportunities to join locals for English afternoon tea. Try one of the many local restaurants for dinner tonight.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 km (21 miles)
Morning
Westonbirt to Bath: 34 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is relatively flat, with just three short uphill sections and a long downhill to join the canal. The route along the Fosse Way is very straight. Cycle along quiet lanes through beautiful countryside, a bit less sedate in feel to the northern Cotswolds but nonetheless beautiful. Upon reaching the canal, you follow a car-free towpath of compact gravel. Pass through one of the canal tunnels before arriving at the Holburne Museum. In keeping with local etiquette, please walk your bike through Sydney Gardens to the museum.

Accommodation: Francis Hotel, Bath
Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning’s ride leads out of Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal, over the magnificent Dundus and Avoncliff aqueducts which were built to traverse the valley in 1800. Follow the river valley to the old wool town of Bradford-on-Avon, where you might stop for an early coffee or tea at one of the many cafés. Shuttle to lunch from here or continue riding to Lacock as the Cotswold Hills and Mendip Hills mark your progress along the way.

Enjoy plentiful options for lunch in Lacock. A village wholly owned by the National Trust, it was recently featured in both the Downton Abbey and Harry Potter films. Complete with a 13th-century Abbey, the village will surely charm and delight historians and gastronomes alike. Take the return shuttle to Bath or continue riding through the countryside to rejoin the canal system leading into the city. This afternoon, there’ll be free time to continue your exploration of Bath or just to relax and reflect on your week. This evening, recount your memorable journey over a festive farewell dinner.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 61 km (10 – 38 miles)
Morning
Bath to Bradford-on-Avon: 16 km (10 miles)
OR
Bath to Lacock: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Lacock to Bath: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: The beginning and end of today’s ride features gentle terrain along the car-free canal system in and out of Bath. The remaining miles are more undulating and explore the scenic Cotswold countryside through small hamlets and historic villages. Enjoy the tranquility of this scenic region on your final cycling day. Again, please follow local etiquette and walk your bike through Sydney Gardens to the museum on your return to Bath.

Accommodation: Francis Hotel, Bath
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, check out of the hotel, say goodbye to your trip leaders, and transfer approximately 50 minutes to Bristol. Please note that hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m. You may leave your bags with reception while you explore.

Bristol is steeped in English and world history. John Cabot set sail from here in 1497 and discovered the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Despite its inland harbor location, Bristol was one of the world’s greatest ports in the 17th and 18th centuries.

When trade declined, the burgeoning city became noted for its engineering prowess. It was soon synonymous with its famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a titan of the Industrial Revolution. The city is a living history of his accomplishments. He designed the magnificent Temple Meads Railway Station and the steamship, SS Great Britain, the first iron-hulled, screw-propelled steamship to cross the Atlantic. His Clifton Suspension Bridge is a symbol of the city.

Bristol today is modern, vibrant, and attractive, home to richly varied architecture. Fine old churches, elegant Georgian terraces and crescents (especially in the Clifton suburb), and imposing Victorian public buildings all grace its cityscape. Strap on your walking shoes and stroll Gloucester Road, said to be Europe’s longest stretch of independent shops. Sample a buffet of international cuisine at the St. Nicholas Market. And perhaps grab a pint at a pub along the city’s shop-lined Floating Harbor. One of the best ways to take it all in is via the Open Top sightseeing bus.

Accommodation: Hotel du Vin Bristol, Bristol
Included Meals: Breakfast

Early this morning*, transfer to London Heathrow Airport for your departing flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time**.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Sun, May 16 to Sat, May 22 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Meet your fellow travelers and VBT trip leaders at 1:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Oxford Hotel (Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PS, Tel +44 1865 324 324). You will have a chance to change into your biking gear in the hotel’s public restrooms. Please note: Plan to eat lunch or a snack on your own beforehand, as the next scheduled meal is dinner.

If your arrival is delayed, please contact our hotel in Oxford to advise staff, and they will pass your message along to your VBT trip leaders. VBT highly recommends flying to England at least one day before the tour begins. This allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin sightseeing and biking.

Take a short support vehicle shuttle to the village of Bampton, the start of your cycling adventure. After a safety and bike-fitting session, enjoy a pleasant pedal through the countryside to Bampton. This charming village will seem familiar to Downton Abbey fans: it doubled as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton in the beloved PBS series. Continue cycling through small hamlets and past tree-lined fields into Burford, your home for the next two nights.

Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 km (12 miles)
Afternoon
Bampton to Burford: 19 km (12 miles)

What to Expect: Cycle along mainly flat quiet country lanes, with a gradual incline into Burford.

Accommodation: The Lamb Inn, Burford
Included Meals: Dinner

Cycle the breathtaking Windrush Valley today, crossing the river and traversing the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Ride through the sylvan Wychwood Forest to the village of Leafield and the charming market town of Charlbury. The centerpiece of the day is your visit to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 2,000-acre estate features beautifully manicured grounds laid out by one of England’s—and history’s—great landscape designers, Capability Brown. All pathways lead to the resplendent palace, where you have free time for lunch and an included visit of the state rooms and the Churchill exhibition. You may also enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds. After a rewarding visit, ride or shuttle back to Burford.

Dinner is on your own tonight. Burford has several options for a fine meal.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 67km (10 – 41 miles)
Morning
Burford to Charlbury: 16 km (10 miles)
OR
Burford to Blenheim Palace: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Blenheim Palace to Burford: 32 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is more undulating than yesterday’s but again follows quiet country lanes. As you cycle the picturesque Windrush Valley, enjoy views of dry-stone walls, pastures, and agricultural fields along the roadside. Pass the great woodlands of Wychwood Forest before coasting into the small market town of Charlbury. Continue on to the breathtaking Blenheim Palace, the mid-point of the day, and enjoy the impeccably designed landscape as you explore the grounds and estate rooms. The afternoon route departs Blenheim and traces lovely country lanes to the thatched-cottage village of Minster Lovell. Continue along the Windrush Valley back into Burford.

Accommodation: The Lamb Inn, Burford
Included Meals: Breakfast

More of the stunning Windrush Valley unfolds before you today, a picture-perfect canvas of the Cotswolds. By day’s end, you will understand why our trip leaders call this peaceful region “happy valley.” The Windrush was named for the way its namesake river winds through the rushes, or the tall grasses along the waterway’s banks. Enjoy a spin through the historic Sherborne Estate, part of England’s only remaining 17th-century deer course, created for sport by one John “Crump” Dutton.

Your route continues to one of the Cotswolds’ treasures: Bourton-on-the-Water. This quaint village is sometimes called the “Venice of the Cotswolds” for the graceful arched stone bridges that cross the River Windrush in town. There’ll be time to explore its many charms and have lunch on your own or even seek out a famous cream tea.

Later, cycle to the old mill town, Lower Slaughter. The handsome sandstone manor houses and churches recall a stately era of lords and ladies. It is pure pleasure to take a slow pedal through these quintessential English villages. After time here, you may shuttle to your next hotel in Moreton-on-Marsh, or enjoy a longer riding day through more beautiful countryside, where you may visit the renowned Daylesford Organic, one of the UK’s most sustainable organic working farms. This evening, share your discoveries with fellow travelers over dinner at the hotel.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 56 km (17 – 35 miles)
Morning
Burford to Bourton-on-the-Water: 27 km (17 miles)
Afternoon
Bourton-on-the-Water to Moreton-in-Marsh: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: The route begins along the Windrush Valley, passing through the small hamlets of Little Barrington and Windrush. The day’s main hill climb leads up to Clapton-on-the-Hill. Then it’s a lovely downhill coast to Bourton-on-the-Water. Park your bike and enjoy a stroll around this pretty town with its many bridges and shops. Continue along more rolling countryside into the scenic village of Lower Slaughter. The day’s longer option leads to the hamlets of Lower Swell and Upper Swell through pastures dotted with sheep.

Accommodation: The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, set out into the magnificent hedge- and tree-lined country lanes of the North Cotswolds. Gentle hills surround you as you make your way to the small market town of Chipping Campden, home to the Cotswold “Olimpicks” and honey-hued limestone buildings. Browse its Market Hall and central High Street before continuing your ride to the American-inspired Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens. Its colorful and intricately designed outdoor “rooms” are full of surprises.

After, you may ride or shuttle up to Broadway Tower, where, on a clear day, you will be rewarded with extensive views of the surrounding countryside. Lady Coventry of Worcester had this Gothic folly built at 1,204 feet (367 meters) above sea level strictly for her pleasure. The views take in 16 counties and stretch all the way to Wales on a clear day.

Inspired by this beguiling canvas, you continue your ride through the lavender fields at Snowshill and on to the tiny hamlet of Kineton for lunch at a local pub. Formerly owned by Corpus Christi College, The Halfway Inn creates the best homemade burgers in the Cotswolds and is well known for its great atmosphere and variety of pub dogs. After lunch, you may ride or shuttle back to the hotel.

This evening is free for you to explore Moreton-in-Marsh and try one of its restaurants.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 19 – 64 km (12 – 40 miles)
Morning
Moreton-in-Marsh to Hidcote Gardens: 19 km (12 miles)
OR
Moreton-in-Marsh to Kineton: 41 km (26 miles)
Afternoon
Kineton to Moreton-in-Marsh: 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect: The first section of today’s ride is slightly undulating along lovely tree- and hedge-lined country lanes, passing through pretty hamlets. Stop in Chipping Campden to explore ancient High Street and the Market Hall. You pass over the railway line on the outskirts of Chipping Campden, then cycle uphill towards Hidcote Gardens. Park your bike by the entrance and enjoy a visit. You can shuttle or cycle to Broadway Tower; the ride is 5.5 miles (8.9 km) with a long steady uphill climb. After you take in the 360-degree views, the route leads through beautiful countryside down a long, steady hill to the tiny village of Kineton, where a well-deserved pub lunch awaits. From here, either shuttle or ride through undulating country lanes back to the hotel.

Accommodation: The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Shuttle this morning for about an hour through the stunning English countryside to the small hamlet of Westonbirt. From here, you cycle along the Fosse Way, a 2,000-year-old Roman route linking Exeter and Lincoln. Remarkable for ancient engineering, the road never veers more than six miles (10 km) from a straight line for its full distance of 182 miles (293 km). You, however, will ride just a fraction of this historic pathway, eventually leaving it to follow a road into the heart of Bath, the elegant Georgian jewel of England. You approach the city via the 200-year old Kennet and Avon Canal, lined with beautifully painted narrow boats.

Rendezvous with your trip leaders at the Holburne Museum. The rest of the day is free to enjoy lunch and the many sights of this beautiful city, including the unmissable Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, the King’s Circus, Jane Austen’s House, and Bath Abbey. Bath also boasts many boutique shops and opportunities to join locals for English afternoon tea. Try one of the many local restaurants for dinner tonight.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 34 km (21 miles)
Morning
Westonbirt to Bath: 34 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s route is relatively flat, with just three short uphill sections and a long downhill to join the canal. The route along the Fosse Way is very straight. Cycle along quiet lanes through beautiful countryside, a bit less sedate in feel to the northern Cotswolds but nonetheless beautiful. Upon reaching the canal, you follow a car-free towpath of compact gravel. Pass through one of the canal tunnels before arriving at the Holburne Museum. In keeping with local etiquette, please walk your bike through Sydney Gardens to the museum.

Accommodation: Francis Hotel, Bath
Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning’s ride leads out of Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal, over the magnificent Dundus and Avoncliff aqueducts which were built to traverse the valley in 1800. Follow the river valley to the old wool town of Bradford-on-Avon, where you might stop for an early coffee or tea at one of the many cafés. Shuttle to lunch from here or continue riding to Lacock as the Cotswold Hills and Mendip Hills mark your progress along the way.

Enjoy plentiful options for lunch in Lacock. A village wholly owned by the National Trust, it was recently featured in both the Downton Abbey and Harry Potter films. Complete with a 13th-century Abbey, the village will surely charm and delight historians and gastronomes alike. Take the return shuttle to Bath or continue riding through the countryside to rejoin the canal system leading into the city. This afternoon, there’ll be free time to continue your exploration of Bath or just to relax and reflect on your week. This evening, recount your memorable journey over a festive farewell dinner.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 61 km (10 – 38 miles)
Morning
Bath to Bradford-on-Avon: 16 km (10 miles)
OR
Bath to Lacock: 34 km (21 miles)
Afternoon
Lacock to Bath: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: The beginning and end of today’s ride features gentle terrain along the car-free canal system in and out of Bath. The remaining miles are more undulating and explore the scenic Cotswold countryside through small hamlets and historic villages. Enjoy the tranquility of this scenic region on your final cycling day. Again, please follow local etiquette and walk your bike through Sydney Gardens to the museum on your return to Bath.

Accommodation: Francis Hotel, Bath
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Your tour ends after breakfast today. The hotel will help arrange a taxi to the train station, where you can catch service to Paddington Station in London.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Henley on Thames

2 Nights From $495 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Hotel du Vin Henley-on-Thames or The Red Lion Hotel, Henley-on-Thames
  • Daily English breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Depart home for England. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at London Heathrow Airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill out a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed in the customs area. Make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you as you enter the arrival hall.

Once you have cleared customs, a VBT representative holding a VBT sign meets you and assists you with your transfer by taxi (of approximately one hour) to your centrally located hotel in Henley-on-Thames. The meeting location will depend on your arrival terminal:
Heathrow Terminal 2: Currency Exchange Kiosk (Travelex)
Heathrow Terminal 3: WHSmith Store, located on the right-hand side of the arrivals gate
Heathrow Terminal 4: Costa Coffee Shop
Heathrow Terminal 5: Costa Coffee Shop

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our transfer company know by calling Airport Pickups London +44 20 8688 7744. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

The rest of the day is free to explore the charms of Henley-on-Thames and dine on your own, using your VBT City Information as your guide.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. If you arrive early, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in before the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

Accommodation: Hotel du Vin Henley-on-Thames or The Red Lion Hotel, Henley-on-Thames

Today, explore Henley-on-Thames, a 13th-century civil parish and one of the most beautiful towns in England. Spread along a scenic stretch of the River Thames, Henley lies within the embrace of a beautiful Chiltern landscape of wooded hills and green fields. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the very heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall, and market square. You have ample time during your stay to take it all in and to browse the many boutiques.

Known the world over for its famous annual Royal Regatta, Henley attracts some of the world’s finest rowers. Learn more about the town’s sporting heritage at the award-winning River and Rowing Museum, ceremoniously opened by Queen Elizabeth II herself in 1998. Stroll along the beautiful Thames path national trail as boats and swans drift along the calm waters. Many buildings will seem familiar to fans of the TV series Midsomer Murders. Your hotel can help you arrange a location tour of some iconic filming locations. Henley-on-Thames offers lovely pubs, numerous cafés, and great restaurants to keep you refreshed.

Accommodation: Hotel du Vin Henley-on-Thames or The Red Lion Hotel, Henley-on-Thames
Included Meals: Breakfast

Check out of your hotel, meet your driver in the hotel reception area at 10:00 a.m., and shuttle to Oxford (about 45 minutes). After checking into your Oxford hotel, the remainder of the day is free.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. If you arrive early in the day, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Oxford is undoubtedly England’s most recognizable city outside of London, famous the world over for its prestigious University, the oldest in the English-speaking world. Wander the network of cobbled lanes lined with noble buildings spanning some 800 years. Ascend St. Martin’s Tower, also called “CarfaxTower,” for sweeping views of the city’s rooftops and soaring spires. Visit some of the college buildings, such as Christ Church College where you’ll find the Tudor dining hall, which provided inspiration for the Great Hall at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. A tour of Oxford’s castle will unveil stories of the last 1,000 years. For a taste of more recent history, browse the stalls of the historic Covered Market, open since 1774.

VBT Air Package guests will arrive throughout the day.

Accommodation: voco Oxford Spires Hotel, Oxford
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Post-Trip Extension - Cheltenham

2 Nights From $495 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Hotel du Vin Cheltenham, Cheltenham
  • Daily English breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

After a relaxing breakfast, join the VBT transfer at 10:00 a.m. for the drive to Cheltenham (approximately 1 hour). Please note that hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m. You may leave your bags with reception while you explore. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations.

Situated at the Cotswolds’ edge, Cheltenham is beloved by locals and visitors as an inland spa resort. Its handsome Regency architecture, broad avenues, and fine parks lend the city an elegant air that belies its humble beginnings as a modest market town. King George III traveled here in 1788 to treat his infirmities, setting into motion a building boom of Regency houses and a rush of nobility eager to take the curative waters. Thus, “Cheltenham Spa” was born. Today, it remains one of the most fashionable health resorts in the country.

There are several sites where you can take the medicinal waters during your stay. The classical, colonnaded Pittville Pump Room, with its aqua-green dome rising above the lakes of Pittville Park, draws visitors who have a taste for history. It was the last of the spa buildings built in Cheltenham—and the largest. You can still drink from its original pump, which draws England’s only natural alkaline water from the springs below.

To take in the refined ambiance of Cheltenham, stroll the Promenade, lined with fine Regency terraces and the Neptune Fountain. In the posh Montpellier district, browse small boutiques and stop by one of many wine bars and restaurants. English composer Gustav Holst was born here; his childhood home is the Holst Birthplace Museum, where you can see the piano on which he composed The Planets. The musician is immortalized atop a beautiful fountain in the Montpellier Gardens.

Tonight, stop in for a pint at one of the many pubs and chic restaurants, all within walking distance of your centrally located hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel du Vin Cheltenham, Cheltenham
Included Meals: Breakfast

You may wish to venture a little farther afield today. Perhaps enjoy a nostalgic train journey on the volunteer-operated Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. The 28-mile (45.1 km) round-trip operates steam and heritage diesel trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. Just sit back and relax as you take in lovely views of sleepy hamlets and villages and enjoy outstanding vistas of the Malvern Hills and beyond.

Accommodation: Hotel du Vin Cheltenham, Cheltenham
Included Meals: Breakfast

Early this morning*, transfer to London Heathrow Airport for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated transfer time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $745

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $545

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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