Top cycling routes for the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 09:53 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:17 15 April 2016
Don your cycle helmet and hit some of the finest cycle routes the country has to offer, right here on our doorstep in the Cotswolds
Summer is surely the perfect time to pump up the tyres, check the brakes and venture forth on two wheels to explore the beauty of the Cotswolds. Indeed, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network (NCN); a series of safe, traffic-free paths and quiet on-road cycling and walking routes throughout the whole of Britain. And what’s more, the Cotswolds boast a fantastic array of cycling rides suitable for all ages and abilities.
So, why not pick one of the following routes, pack a picnic, charge up the phone and start exploring this beautiful part of the country. Oh, and don’t forget your helmet!
At just under 9 miles each way, this section of National Route 45 takes you from near the Abbey in Cirencester to the pretty Cotswold town of Cricklade. Quiet roads take cyclists past Siddington and onto South Cerney, but from here onwards it’s traffic-free path through Cotswold Water Park, before arriving in Cricklade.
This 11.5-mile route, half of the Cotswold Line, runs between Honeybourne and Moreton-in-Marsh and has train stations at either end - ideal for those who would prefer to cycle one way. Whilst a little hilly, the route is particularly picturesque taking cyclists past Chipping Campden, Broad Campden and then on to Draycott and Aston Magna. From here there are excellent views across the valley before a steady descent to Moreton-in-Marsh.
Using National Route 57, this ride transports you from the bustle of Witney to the beautiful quiet lanes of the Windrush Valley. En route to the market town of Northleach, cyclists pass the ruined priory of Minster Lovell and the National Trust’s stunning Sherbourne Estate.
Beginning in Stonehouse in the Stroud Valley, this delightful 6.5 mile, traffic-free route follows the line of the old Midland railway and provides wonderful views of the Cotswolds to the east. It’s never far from water, periodically joining the River Frome, the disused Stroudwater Canal and the Nailsworth Stream. Watermills and other interesting buildings can be seen along the route.
This section of National Route 442 travels from Moreton-in-Marsh through the pretty village of Kingham and onto Charlbury. The route splits into westbound and eastbound braids. Westbound is easier and uses a very picturesque lane on the north side of the valley through Fawler. The routes rejoin at the crossroads by Ashford Bridge. A steep climb leads to East End with its Roman Villa before arriving at Hanborough village.
National Route 24 runs through the most southerly part of the Cotswolds from Dundas Aqueduct, just outside Bath, to Frome. Cyclists will pass Radstock, set in some of the most beautiful Somerset countryside, and where the fascinating history of mining and life in the North Somerset Coalfields can be discovered.