Beacons & Cotswolds Circular

(Self-Guided: 4 Days Cycling, 4 Nights)
Grade 3

Self-guided road cycling holiday tour taking in the Brecon Beacons, the Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds.
Grade 3(Learn more)

Tour Details

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates and Prices

The Beacons and Cotswolds Circular is a great cycling tour, with the challenge of some good climbs, beautiful scenery and wonderful places to stop and admire the views.  The majestic Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons, the idyllic Wye and Usk valleys and the glorious Cotswolds are very different but equally inspiring landscapes.  Historic villages and towns punctuate the route and there are rewarding surprises around most corners.

Overnight stops are situated in four contrasting but interesting and delightful towns; Usk, Hereford, Moreton in Marsh and Cirencester all with plenty of good choices for food and drink.

Highlights

  • Completing the challenge of the highest mountain pass in Wales.
  • The climb up and over The Wyche in the Malvern Hills and the fantastic views east and west.
  • The beauty of the classic Cotswold honey coloured stone villages and the ride down the Windrush valley.
  • Crossing the Severn Bridge by cycle.

 

Day 1

Arrive at your accommodation in Usk. Give yourself time to explore this historic market town.

Day 2 (59.7 miles, Ascent 4,108ft)

A wonderful ride following the Usk upstream through wooded hillsides brings you to Abergavenny, where you can find many cafes and restaurants for a break before the hills to come and your tackling of one of the best bike rides in Britain. After Abergavenny you head into the edge of the Brecon Beacons, skirting around the bottom of Sugar Loaf Mountain, through the magical Vale of Ewyas and then climbing up and over Gospel Pass (2,165 ft) in the Black Mountains. It’s a long but generally steady climb over the highest road pass in Wales, through stunning scenery before the fun descent to the pretty border town of Hay on Wye. As well as the countless book shops that give Hay its fame you’ll be able to choose from a lovely selection of cafes, bakeries and pubs for a much needed break. From Hay you’ll follow the rural lanes in the Wye Valley, with occasional glimpses of the river, until your overnight destination of the cathedral city of Hereford.

Day 3 (68.6 miles, Ascent 4,040 ft)

You head east from Hereford through the rolling hills, apple orchards, hop fields and oast houses of Herefordshire until the climb out of Ledbury affords you glimpses of the glorious Malvern Hills against the skyline. Crossing the ridge at The Wyche you drop down through the regency spa town of Great Malvern into the Severn Valley. After crossing the Severn and the Avon you pass under Bredon Hill and then take the marvellous climb up onto the Cotswolds from Broadway up to Snowshill. The last part of the day is a scenic loop through charming Chipping Campden to your finishing point of the classic Cotswold market town, Moreton in Marsh.

Day 4 (71.8 miles, Ascent 3,732 ft)

Today is almost exclusively rural although there are plenty of villages and small towns along the way to stop at. From Moreton you head east, up the Stour valley and south through the unspoilt North Oxfordshire countryside before skirting the edge of Blenheim Park. Heading into West Oxfordshire you reach the stunning Cotswold gateway town of Burford and up the picturesque Windrush valley. There are a few ups and downs before you pass the old Roman villa at Chedworth and take the old Whiteway down to your overnight stop in Cirencester.

Day 5 (63.9 miles, Ascent 3,652ft)

You start the final day by heading west across the hilly south Cotswolds, passing the Thames Head and reaching the spectacular view from the western Cotswolds Edge across the Severn valley. After dropping steeply down into the valley you head south and cross on the old Severn Bridge to Chepstow. A marvellous cycle through the Monmouthshire countryside from the Wye Valley to the Usk valley brings you back to your finishing point in Usk.

Holidays available from 1 April 2016 to 31 October 2016.

Start day – any day of the week

£465.00 per person* (for 4 nights)

* Based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis. All people and luggage transfer included.

Accommodation will be in selected quality small hotels, bed and breakfasts, guest houses and inns.

Supplements

  • Single person supplement £120.00 per person (for 4 nights)
  • Cycle Hire £75.00
  • Garmin Edge Navigator Hire £75.00
  • Optional extra night in Cirencester £60.00 per person

Included

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Luggage transfer between overnight hotels
  • Car parking
  • Route maps and directions
  • Trip Guide (with food and drink recommendations)
  • Programmed route download for own Garmin Edge navigator
  • 24 hr emergency telephone number

Not included

  • Cycle Hire £75.00
  • Garmin Edge Navigator Hire £75.00
  • Insurance
  • Lunch and evening meal

Booking conditions