Cotswolds Cycle Routes, Hire & Events

 

Explore the spectacular Cotswolds by bicycle

One of the Cotswolds greatest secrets is how good the area is for off-road cycling. The network of good tracks designated as byways and bridleways makes off-road cycling one of the best ways to discover the area. You can cover a fair bit of ground in a ride and still find the secret places inaccessible to cars.  Please note that footpaths are not open to cyclists only bridleways and byways.

Cotswold cycle routes

From Kemble Station, near Cirencester

The Infant Thames (10 miles)
An easy ride through quiet villages into the Cotswold Water Park, passing country pubs, parks.
Passes close to the source of the magnificent River Thames.

Trains, Boats & Planes (16 miles)
This easy 16-mile ride takes you to one of the wonders of the canal-building age – the Sapperton Tunnel.

Tetbury & Westonbirt (20 or 30 miles)
Medium or hard ride through Cotswold villages, past churches and pubs, visiting the old market town of Tetbury.
An additional loop visits the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum. .

From Kingham Station, West Oxfordshire

Sarsden Circuit (6.5 miles)
An easy ride through the Evenlode Valley passing quiet Cotswold border country villages, churches and pubs.
A short climb into Churchill.

Bruern to Foxholes Nature Reserve (14 miles)
A delightful short tour through Cotswold border villages, passing the site of an ancient abbey, and visiting Foxhills Nature Reserve famed for its spectacular spring bluebells, abundant birdlife and fabulous fungi. Quiet lanes and few gradients.

Charlbury and Wychwood Forest (16 miles)
A medium distance ride on quiet lanes passing through the ancient Wychwood Forest area and past a restored Cotswold sheepwash. Catch the train back or return via Chadlington.

Moreton-in-Marsh and the Rollright Stones (28 miles or 19 miles if return from Moreton to Kemble by train)
A great route up over Chastleton Barrow passing Chastleton House then the Rollright Stones.
Catch the train back or return gently along the Evenlode Valley visiting Evenlode and Adlestrop. A few climbs.

Ancient Stones & Old Manors (19 miles)
A chance to visit both Chastleton House, the Rollright Stones and drop in on Chipping Norton.
Great views from Kingham Hill and Chastleton Camp – but that means a few climbs!

Burford & The Windrush Valley (26 miles)
A classic Cotswolds tour across wold and along valley. Explore Widford Church and the histories of the Fettiplaces,
the Mitford Sisters, and the Levellers! Some steady climbs, great views and well deserved descents.

Bourton, Bulls & Beer (26 miles)
An interesting day ride visiting the Cotswold Farm Park via Bourton-on-the Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds.
There are plenty of pubs and features on route including the Donnington Brewery. Mostly quiet lanes but some hills.

Wildlife, Hillforts & Halls (39 miles)
A long day ride for the cycling enthusiast, up and over the Evenlode Valley passing historic houses and villages and dropping into the Windrush Valley to visit Cotswold Wildlife Park. Quiet country lanes but some climbs along the way.

From Winchcombe

These routes areavailable to download as GPS Exchange Format files or view online via Outdoor Active using the “View route” links below.

Cleeve Cloud (12.5 miles, 435m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Winchcombe via Cleeve Hill, Nottingham Hill and Prescott

Guiting Loop (15.5 miles, 512m ascent) [View Route]
Circular route from Winchcombe via Sudeley and Guiting Power

West Wood (18 miles, 547m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Winchcombe via Sudley, Charlton Abbots, Sevenhampton and Hawling

Dirtybridge and back (20.5 miles, 560m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Winchcombe past Hailes Abbey ruins, Snowshill, Stanton, Stanway and Didbrook .

From Wotton Under Edge, near Tetbury and Stroud

These routes areavailable to download as GPS Exchange Format files or view online via Outdoor Active using the “View route” links below.

Circular via Tyley Bottom, Ozleworth and Newark Park (9 miles longer route,  443m ascent) [View route]
Circular route Wotton-under-Edge via North Nibley and beyond, including off-road.
It is worth a detour into Breakheart Quarry, where there is a cycle track around the estate (very challenging).

Circular via North Nibley (7 miles shorter route,  302m ascent) [View route]
Circular route Wotton-under-Edge via North Nibley, including off-road .
It is worth a detour into Breakheart Quarry, where there is a cycle track around the estate (very challenging).

Circular via Bradley Green, North Nibley and Stinchcombe – all on-road (11 miles, 364m ascent) [View route]
This 11 Mile all on-road ride starts Wotton-under-Edge, and visits Bradley Green, North Nibley and Stinchcombe.
Some stretches of this route are on the busy B4060.

Circular via Ozleworth, Alderley, Kilcott, Tresham and Hillesley (14 miles longer route, 512m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Wotton-under-Edge via Wortley, Alderley, Tresham and Ozleworth. Includes off-road.
Some great climbs, descents and views here.

Circular via Wortley, Alderley, Tresham and Ozleworth (10 miles shorter route, 415m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Wotton-under-Edge via Wortley, Alderley, Tresham and Ozleworth. Includes off-road.
Some great climbs, descents and views here

Circular via Wortley, Newark Park and Tor Hill (7 miles, 262m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Wotton-under-Edge via Wortley, Hillmill Lane, Newark Park (ascent), Tor Hill (descent).
Includes off-road.

Circular via Blackquarries Hill (ascent), Tor Hill (descent) (4 miles shorter route, 189m ascent) [View route]
Circular route from Wotton-under-Edge  with a climb up Blackquarries Hill on road and descent on the off-road section of Tor Hill, returning to Wotton. .

Cotswold Cycle Way

These routes are currently only available as GPS files which can be downloaded for use with GPX viewer apps.

Chipping Campden to Tetbury (40.36 miles, 794m ascent) [View route]
Linear signposted scenic route from Chipping Campden via Broadway Tower, Snowshill, Brockhampton, Severnhampton, Andoversford, Withington, Colesbourne, Winstone and Cherington to Tetbury.

Kiddington to Minster Lovell (13.65 miles, 290m ascent) [View route]
Linear signposted route from the village of Kiddington near Woodstock via Charlbury and Leafield to the picturesque village of Minster Lovell. Reputedly the region’s most haunted village, Minster Lovell is perhaps best known the ruins of its 15th century hall.

Tewkesbury to Northleach (24.11 miles, 367m ascent)

Tewkesbury to Kiddington (54.46 miles, 883m ascent )

Cotswold Loop (72.91 miles, 1185m ascent).

Other off-road cycling routes

We have devised a series of off-road cycle rides exploring some of the best scenery and countryside of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Chedworth via Withington (12 miles)
One of the Cotswolds greatest secrets is how good the area is for mountain biking. The network of good tracks designated as byways and bridleways makes mountain biking one of the best ways to discover the area.

Brailes Hill and Ascott(15 miles)
This is a ride of tracks and vistas. It takes you around the Vale of Feldon by riding over the Ironstone Hills and around Brailes Hill. The views are great and the tracks are good though largely soft and un-surfaced so it is best ridden in dry or frosty conditions, this is a muddy ride when wet.

Aldsworth and Bibury (upto 21 miles)
This ride is made up of 3 interlocking loops so you can make it as long or as short as you like. It takes you around the good tracks and quiet lanes of the mid-Cotswolds lowlands and cuts down into the stunning lower Coln and Leach valleys.

Northleach and Hazleton (16.5 miles)
This ride takes you around the high wold with its open fields and secret valleys. It also dips down into the upper Leach and Coln valleys giving you both contrasting landscapes and good descents, plus ascents too!

Snowshill and beyond (12 or 18.5 miles)
This ride shows you some of the Cotswolds many faces. It takes you across the high wold plateau, through the top end of the Upper Dikler Valley and, if you have the energy, down and up the Cotswolds scarp! Be aware, it involves a couple of lengthy arable field crossings. Good riding on a dry summer’s day, but harder work when wet and recently ploughed. Still worth it though!

Hawkesbury via Westonbirt (18 miles)
This ride explores the high wold dip-slope, the rolling hills and valleys around Lower Kilcott and skirts along the top of the scarp. Magnificent! .

Other Routes in and around the Cotswolds

Cycle Hire

Cotswold cycling events

Month Event details
March The Cotswold Cross Sportive – 75km, 55km or 35km on and off-road routes utilising quiet roads, green lanes and bridleways around the valleys and villages of the Cotswold hills south of Cheltenham. The route is suitable for experienced riders of 14 years and over.  Gravel, MTB and cyclo cross bikes are recommended and helmets are compulsory. Not suitable for standard road bikes. You can expect a wide range of riding surfaces as well as plenty of mud if it has rained recently.
April Cotswold Spring Classic Sportive – The Cotswold Spring Classic offers riders three route choices of 54km, 103km and 164km – providing something for everyone. Each route is fully sign-posted and supported with outriders and mechanical cover.
May Beyond Cotswolds Sportive – This event starting and finishing at Cheltenham racecourse will take in lots of the stunning Cotswolds on the route, not an overly tough ride, this sportive is more aimed at a relaxed day in the saddle. Simply choose a distance to ride either a short of 69 km (TBC), A medium route of 104 km (64 Miles) or a Long of 163 km (102 Miles), which ever you decide, you know it will be a great experience in this stunning environment.
May The Cotswolds Beast – A ride of contrasting terrain with rolling terrain to suit the rouleurs at the start of the ride followed by some challenging climbs on the long route to suit the grimpeurs as we return via the Cotswold Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A challenging long route or medium route suitable for most riders.
May Heaven of the South – HOTS is a charity mountain bike event unlike any other. There are two courses – a 75km with approx 5000 feet of climbing, and a 50km with approx 3000 feet of climbing. There are cider stops en route – we wouldn’t want you to get dehydrated, would we? We have a huge, flat campsite with plentiful showers and toilets. On the Saturday evening there is entertainment. And a bar. Run entirely by volunteers, every penny raised over the weekend goes to local charities.
May Cotswold Cogfest – This is a cycle event for everyone; two sportives through beautiful countryside, rides for all the family, and refreshments on site. All aimed at getting all ages and abilities riding around the unique countryside and common land of the Cotswolds
June Mountain Mayhem – Featuring a Le Mans-style dash to the start, the famous 24-hour endurance mountain bike race has taken place in the historic Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire since 2013. With a festival atmosphere (and a reputation for Glastonbury levels of rain and mud) Mountain Mayhem is one of the country’s most fun and free-spirited cycling events. Additional races for kids and a range of exhibitors on site all weekend.
July Broughton Castle Sportive – Organised by local cycling club Banbury Star CC and the local Rotary Club, this sportive is held in what could be the country’s most picturesque starting point for a cycling event: Broughton Castle. The focus of the day is on a 100-mile ride up and down the hills of the north Cotswolds known as ‘The Monster,’ but there are also 50 and 20-mile routes and a family-friendly 5.5 mile fun ride.
August Cotswolds Classic  – All routes will take you through the Cotswolds AONB known for grassland harbour thatched medieval villages, churches and stately homes built of distinctive local yellow limestone and not to mention it’s rolling hills!
September Hell of the North Cotswolds – HONC is a NON COMPETETIVE ON & OFF-ROAD CHALLENGE aimed at experienced riders.It is run under British Cycling Rules & Guidelines & over challenging routes across the hills & valleys of the beautiful Cotswolds, using a combination of roads, tracks & bridleways, with significant off-road sectionsA medal will be awarded to all finishers.