Great West Way & Cotswolds Ride
Cycle along the Kennet and Avon Canal, Bath and the South Cotswolds
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
The River Avon, Bath, and the Cotswolds. Three beacons of quintessential Englishness. The Avon River has been at the heart of English life in the south for centuries, leading to the establishment of great cities such as Bristol, and of course, Bath, whose very name indicates its long and rich history.On this trip we cycle along the Kennet and Avon Canal, built over 200 years ago to provide safe and efficient travel between London and Bath.We also cycle along part of the Great West Way®, a tourism route that joins up many of England’s iconic destinations and attractions along a corridor west of London through to Bristol, based on one of the first Great Roads commissioned by the Kings of England. Though far from flat, the Cotswolds offer a wonderful mix of beautiful villages, little changed for years, verdant countryside and of course some fantastic authentic pubs.The breadth of history, landscapes and cultures packed into this week shows just how much you can see when you know where you are going, or in this case, are with someone who does!
* All breakfasts
* All accommodation
* Luggage transfers throughout week
Starting from Newbury railway station, we get on our bikes and head out into
Starting from Newbury railway station, we get on our bikes and head out into the countryside. Before long we join the path along the Kennet and Avon canal, for so long a vital artery for trade.After a tranquil stretch by the water, we take the beautifully named Honey street and join the quiet roads in the surrounding areas. Lunch is taken by the canal in an old pub at Crofton before finishing the ride and heading to our hotel for the night via Avebury and its huge stone circle, where unlike Stonehenge you can get up close and personal with the 40-tonne monoliths!*Accommodation*: Hotel
Today we make our way back to the canal l for a wonderful ride, down the Caen
flight. The name given to 22 consecutive locks over a one-mile stretch, a
real feat of engineering.
Of the many characteristic features of the UK canal system, locks are perhaps the most ingenious. Today we make our way back to the canal l for a wonderful ride, starting down the Caen flight. The name given to 22 consecutive locks over a one-mile stretch, a real feat of engineering. We bike alongside the boats, stopping at the pubs and soaking up the atmosphere as the landscape slowly passes by. Keeping with the theme of impressively engineered constructions, we pass over the majestic Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts before finishing the ride for the day in Bath. Though we stay a little outside the city, we should have time to explore. Among the many highlights are the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and Jane Austen’s house. Overall, the going is flat, despite all the locks, though there is one climb at the end of the day worth noting, just over 1km at an average of 6%, perfectly manageable when taken at a modest pace.*Accommodation*: Hotel
We ride all the way into Bristol via a disused railway line. Rest assured the
line has been well adapted for cyclists, so leaves on the line will not be an
We ride all the way into Bristol via a disused railway line. Rest assured the line has been well adapted for cyclists, so leaves on the line will not be an issue. After a short sharp climb early on we will set our sights on Bristol, which as anyone who has visited will know is not flat. Much of the day will be relatively gentle with one short last blast up as we approach the city itself. Once there we can visit some of the historical sites, maybe a craft brewery or go on the Banksy trail. There is also the option to extend the ride through newly renovated railway tunnels and a loop back via the Kennet and Avon Canal.*Accommodation*: Hotel
Fittingly we head out of Bath via a 2000-year-old Roman Road, heading up the
hill to the Cotswolds to enjoy an atmospheric ride through the countryside
Heading up the hill from Bath we depart the Great West Way® and head to the Cotswolds. The ride is shorter than the previous day, and lunch will be taken in Tetbury, near Prince Charles’ house and gardens at Highgrove. There is also the option to visit the national arboretum at Westonbirt before arriving at our hotel for the night on the side of the beautiful Minchinhampton Common.*Accommodation*: Hotel
We head into the Cotswolds on our longest ride of the week for a delightful
jaunt through countryside worthy of any postcard.
We head into the Cotswolds on our longest ride of the week for a delightful jaunt through countryside worthy of any postcard. On our route we discover gorgeously traditional villages, including the world-famous Bibury, one of the many local villages to be mentioned in the Doomsday Book. We stop for lunch and a drink in the wonderful Bell at Sapperton, known for its fantastic food and drink selection. We return to the hotel for the night our final meal together in the hotel, the Bear of Rodborough. *Accommodation*: Hotel
After breakfast we head to Kemble station for on-going travel or take guests
back to Newbury railways station to collect cars.
After breakfast we head to Kemble station for on-going travel or take guests back to Newbury railways station to collect cars.