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6 beautiful cycling routes in The Cotswolds

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The Cotswolds are the perfect place to hop on a bike and explore nature's boundless beauty. With miles of quiet country lanes and bridleways which lead into quaint towns and villages, it’s not only safe to ride in The Cotswolds but each ride is rewarded with amazing views of England's most beautiful countryside.

While a cycling trip in The Cotswolds might not be on the cards for everyone right now, there's no harm in planning for spring and summer! Whether you are a keen cyclist, excited to hit the hills of The Cotswolds or a first-timer touring cyclist who’d prefer a leisurely ride, we have the perfect route for you.

Burford Circular Ride East

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Explore the East Cotswolds by taking the Burford Circular Ride East, winding through quiet lanes and picturesque hamlets.

Start off in Burford, one of the prettiest towns in The Cotswolds. Filled with old stone houses, Burford is admired for its 17th and 18th century architecture which make it a wonderful spot to explore just on its own. Once you’re ready, hit the 33-mile route which follows the Windrush Valley along country roads. Take in the rural views and along the route you'll pass sites such as Blenheim Palace, Eynsham Park, North Leigh Roman Villa and many more.

Download the Burford Circular Ride East map here.

Berkeley Circular Ride

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This route starts off in the town of Berkeley, where you can admire the centre-piece 12th-century castle of Berkeley, the oldest inhabited castle in England.

The route then winds its way through 33 miles of tranquility, through many small Cotswold villages and towns including Slimbridge which is known for its Wildfowl and Wetland Trust Reserve on the banks of the Severn Estuary. Other points of interest include the Tynedale Monument, the National Trust’s Newark Park and Coaley picnic site and viewpoint, the perfect place for a break and to take in the breathtaking views over the River Severn and beyond.

Download the Berkeley Circular Ride map here.

Bourton-on-the-Water Circular Ride

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This 26-mile circular route takes you not only through the scenic village of Bourton-on-the-Water but also through the two villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter, the epitome of idyllic, Cotswold charm. Straddling the banks of the River Eye, the two villages have remained completely unchanged for over a century with no building work taking place at all since 1906.

This ride is best suited to experienced riders but the challenging route is rewarded with stunning views and showcases some of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds.

Check out details of the route here.

Cirencester Circular Ride

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The perfect route for anyone looking for an easy ride through The Cotswolds. Mainly flat, explore the South Cotswolds countryside while also passing through the Cotswold Water Park and Fairford.

Cirencester is a thriving market town, known as ‘The Capital of the Cotswolds’. Due to this, it has a wonderful variety of shops, restaurants and cafes to eat at or to pick up supplies. Not far from Cirencester is the Cotswold Water Park which dominates the South Cotswolds, offering an incredible resource for leisure, sports, walks and even an inland beach around 150 lakes. The route also goes to Fairford and then continues back to Cirencester via Quenington, Ampney Crucis, Barnsley and Baunton with lovely views all the way.

Download the Cirenchester Circular Ride map here.

Winchcombe Circular Ride

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This circular route is a pleasant ride through a number of villages in the North Cotswold district. Winchcombe is an unspoilt golden-coloured market town set above the River Isbourne with quintessential cottages, independent shops, pubs and tea rooms.

A must-see spot along the route is Sudeley Castle with its 1,000 years of royal history. It's also worth keeping an eye out for the steam train which travels along the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway which runs through the local area. This bike ride is truly an escape to Olde England!

Download the Winchcombe Circular Ride map here.

Cotswold Line National Cycle Route

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Cycle as far as you like and then hop on the train home. That’s the concept behind the Cotswold Line Cycle Route, a ride following the scenic Cotswold Line railway from Oxford to Worcester through Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Campden and Evesham.

The route is a great option for beginners, touring the fine Cotswold scenery without the extreme hills further south. Hills are unavoidable but these are manageable and there are plenty of cafés and pubs en route to rest. At 77 miles, this route is perfectly-suited for a weekend cycling break.

Discover more of the route here.

Cycling Businesses in The Cotswolds to help you out along the way...

Hire bikes with Bainton Bikes

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With 12 locations for bike hire across The Cotswolds, Bainton Bikes is a popular choice for hiring bikes if you don't have your own. They have a huge range of bikes available, suitable for all designated pathways, roads and trails throughout the area, and for the little ones they have children’s bikes, baby seats, tag alongs and trailers available to rent as well.

Find out more here.

Hire bikes with TY Cycles

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TY Cycles is a small but strong family run business founded in 2010 by brothers Tom & Rob Yeatman. As a small business, TY Cycles focus on the service side of the industry offering bike servicing, repairs and bike hire. If you're a little intimidated by The Cotswolds' rolling hills, they rent out electric bikes to make those hill climbs a piece of cake!

Find out more here.

Stop for supplies, a service and coffee at Ride 24/7

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Ride 24/7 is a father and son run cycle shop for every kind of cyclist. Based in Cirencester, Ride 24/7 stock all the latest bikes, from balance bikes to top of the range competition racing bikes while also offering some tasty brewed coffee! Stop here for all your bike-related needs and they have a fully equipped workshop if you're in need of a service or repairs.

Find out more here.

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