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Explore the Cotswold lanes with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of Cycling in the Cotswolds
21 Nov 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
1st Published
31 Mar 2014
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Cycling in the Cotswolds

by Chiz Dakin
Book published by Cicerone Press

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.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
Weight: 230g

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Buy individual routes

Buy your choice of routes or chapters to read online, on your mobile device or to download as a PDF to print or read. Browse Routes


The Cotswolds is home to pretty honey-hued stone villages set in a landscape of rolling countryside. The dramatic 100-mile limestone escarpment offers breathtaking views, while the network of quiet lanes, cycle-friendly canal paths, tracks and bridleways is perfect for exploration on a bicycle.

All the routes described here are suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes and graded from easy through to challenging, with information on surface, distance and ascent as well as those all-important en route cafés and pubs. Where the main cycle route described goes off-road, and on-road alternative is described for almost every ride. Some exciting off-road sections are included for those with mountain biking skills.

Comprehensive lists of recommended gear and local cycle shops are included, as well as advice on repair, first aid and pre-ride checks.

This is your ideal guide to exploring the lanes and tracks of the Cotswolds AONB, whatever your level or skill or style of bike.

  • 21 varied half and full-day routes across the AONB
  • exciting off-road sections for those with mountain biking skills
  • on-road alternatives for almost every route
  • 4-day (200km) tour taking in the highlights of the area
  • free GPX tracks downloadable for all routes when you buy the book
  • Seasons
    routes are best ridden in dry conditions (usually mid-spring to mid-autumn); winter/prolonged wet conditions can get make them very boggy/flooded
  • Centres
    Stratford-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
  • Difficulty
    routes 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 See
    old-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
We do not yet have any updates available for this book

We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


Wildlife, plants and flowers
Art, culture and local festivities
Food and drink
Getting around
When to go
What to wear
What to take
Waymarking and access
Cycling efficiently
How hard are the routes?
Using this guide
Route 1 Shipston-on-Stour Loop via Brailes Hill
Route 2 Shipston-on-Stour Loop via Halford
Route 3 Shipton-under-Wychwood Loop via Wychwood
Route 4 Bourton-on-the-Water Loop via the Slaughters
Route 5 Alderton via Broadway
Route 6 Bradford-on-Avon via Bath Two Tunnels
Route 7 Bourton-on-the-Water Loop via Great Barrington
Route 8 Kemble via Cotswold Water Park
Route 9 Kingham Loop via Bruern Abbey
Route 10 Batheaston Sting
Route 11 Stratford Greenway Loop via Mickleton
Route 12 Cirencester Loop via Ampney Crucis
Route 13 Filkins Loop via Bibury
Route 14 Fairford Loop via Bibury
Route 15 Frampton Cotterell Loop via Wickwar
Route 16 Stonehouse Loop via Slimbridge
Route 17 Stow Loop via Blockley
Route 18 Burford Loop via Northleach
Route 19 Stroud Loop via Chavenage House
Route 20 Cheltenham Loop via Cleeve Hill
Route 21 Malmesbury Loop via Tetbury
Route 22 Around the Cotswolds
Day 1 Stroud to Winchcombe
Day 2 Winchcombe to Stow-on-the-Wold
Day 3 Stow-on-the-Wold to Cirencester
Day 4 Cirencester to Stroud
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Cycle hire and cycle shops
Appendix C Cycles and trains
Appendix D First aid for bike and rider
Appendix E Other useful information
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