Cycling in the Cotswolds
21 half and full-day cycle routes, and a 4-day 200km Tour of the Cotswolds
By Chiz Dakin
Guidebook of 21 half and full-day cycle routes, and one 4-day 200km tour of the Cotswolds. All the routes described are suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes, and most routes have an on-road alternative. The Cotswolds boasts cycle-friendly lanes, rolling countryside, canal paths and bridleways perfect for exploration by bike.
Seasonsroutes are best ridden in dry conditions (usually mid-spring to mid-autumn); winter/prolonged wet conditions can get make them very boggy/flooded
CentresStratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour, Burford-on-the-Water, Winchcombe, Cirencester, Fairford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Cheltenham, Stroud, Malmesbury, Bradford-onAvon/Bath
Difficultyroutes are graded moderate to challenging, although very short off-road sections may be challenging at all grades for those new to off-road riding; mountain bikes are recommended, but alternatives are given for road bikes wherever possible; basic level of fitness required for all routes, more for longer/multiday routes
Must Seeold-world charm, local honey-coloured limestone, thatched roofs and half-timbered buildings in impossibly pretty villages; wide variety of history from neolithic through Roman times to Middle Ages, long barrows, wool towns and ancient markets; Two Tunnels cycle route and a 4-day tour of whole area
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Chiz Dakin's cycle touring adventures almost happened by accident, when after a local photography trip by bike she realised that she'd done 50 miles in a single day with a reasonably heavy load. This led to the disconnected logic that if she could do that once, she was now ready to tackle multi-day cycle touring, and two weeks later set out on the Land's End to John o' Groats route.
Since then she's done several other multi-day trips including a pioneering Welsh coast cycle route (600 miles and 16km of ascent) but still maintains that you don't need to be seriously fit or fast to enjoy long multi-day routes. (She certainly makes no claim to being either!) She has also recently won an award for her photography.
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