The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Cotswolds on Two Wheels (2023)

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Cotswolds on Two Wheels

Are you a cycling enthusiast? Do you want to explore the stunning region of the Cotswolds in England?

If your answer is yes to both, then a cycling holiday in the Cotswolds is calling your name!

With breathtaking countryside views and challenging routes for experienced riders, this destination is perfect for anyone looking for a cycling adventure.

Saddle up and get ready to explore the Cotswolds on two wheels!

Cycle Friendly

England is a very welcoming and friendly country for cyclists, with a growing network of cycle routes and initiatives aimed at promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport.

Many towns and cities in England have developed dedicated cycle routes and facilities, such as cycle lanes, cycle parking, and bike-sharing schemes, to make it easier for people to cycle around urban areas.

In the countryside, there are many scenic cycle routes that take in the beautiful landscapes and historic landmarks of England, including the Cotswolds, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales.

Many of these routes are well-signposted and offer bike hire, accommodation, and rest stops, to make cycling more accessible and enjoyable for visitors.

Cycle Tourism

In recent years, there has also been a growing interest in cycling tourism in England, with many businesses and attractions catering specifically to cyclists.

For example, there are several cycle-friendly accommodation options, such as bed and breakfasts and self-catering cottages, that offer secure bike storage and other facilities for cyclists.

Many tourist attractions, such as stately homes and gardens, also offer bike-friendly facilities, such as bike racks and repair kits.

Overall, England is a very welcoming and friendly country for cyclists, with a range of facilities and initiatives aimed at promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport, as well as a popular leisure activity.

Cotswolds On Two Wheels

two wheels

For those looking for an easy-going adventure, the Cotswold Way is a must-try. This 51-mile trail takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the Cotswolds, including rural villages and rolling hills. The surface is mostly paved and smooth, so it’s suitable for all levels of cyclist.

You can cycle through the scenic market town of Chipping Campden and take a hilltop detour that offers stunning views of the region. The Cotswold Way is a perfect route if you want to take your time and enjoy the scenery.

For more experienced riders looking for a challenge, the Cotswold Hills offer a great opportunity to test your limits and there are plenty of steep climbs and winding roads that provide an interesting challenge.

Some popular routes include Snowshill and Painswick Beacon – both offering spectacular views along the way.

The Snowshill route will take you on a challenging climb that rewards you with breathtaking views of the countryside.

The Painswick Beacon route is a challenging 9-mile ride with stunning panoramas from the top. If you’re up for it, these routes will definitely give you an adrenaline rush!

The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is another ideal destination for cyclists. Known as the “Venice of Cotswolds,” this charming village offers a plethora of cycling trails for all levels of riders.

You can explore the tranquil River Windrush and scenic countryside as you cycle along the back roads. Stop for a drink at a village pub, visit the Cotswold Motoring Museum or the Chocolate factory with your family or friends.

Bike Hire

If you fancy exploring the Cotswolds on a hybrid bike or an electric bike, there are plenty of cycle hire options available in the region.

Some of the most popular places to hire bikes in the Cotswolds include:

  1. Far Peak Cycle Hire: near Northleach, Far Peak Cycle Hire offers a range of bikes for hire, including hybrids, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, e-bikes, trailers, and tag-a-longs. Delivery options are also available within a 10-mile radius.
  2. Hartwells Cotswold Cycle Hire: Based in Bourton-on-the-Water, Hartwells Cotswold Cycle Hire offers a range of bikes for hire, including hybrids, mountain bikes, and tandems. Route maps and advice on places to visit are provided free of charge.
  3. Cotswold Electric Bike Tours: Based in Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswold Electric Bike Tours offers guided tours of the region on electric bikes. The tours take in some of the Cotswolds’ most stunning scenery and historic landmarks.
  4. Pedalabikeaway: Located in the Forest of Dean, just a short drive from the Cotswolds, Pedalabikeaway offers a range of bikes for hire, including mountain bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes. The centre also offers guided rides and skills courses.
  5. Cotswold Cycles: Based in Chipping Norton, Cotswold Cycles offers a range of bikes for hire, including hybrids, mountain bikes, and road bikes. The centre also offers bike repairs and servicing.

Most hire companies offer delivery and collection services at your accommodation. A guided cycling tour is another great way to explore the region.

You can join a group or book a private tour with a local guide who will take you on the best cycling routes in the Cotswolds.

Road Safety

Road safety in the Cotswolds is good, but like in any rural area, there are some challenges that cyclists and motorists should know. The roads in the Cotswolds are narrow and winding, with many single-track lanes and blind corners.

This can make it difficult for motorists to see cyclists, and for cyclists to navigate the roads safely.

Speed Limits

The speed limits on Cotswold roads vary depending on the type of road and the local regulations. The speed limit on single-carriageway roads in the Cotswolds is 60 mph, unless otherwise indicated by road signs.

However, there are many narrow lanes and residential areas where the speed limit may be lower, such as 30 mph or 40 mph.

To help improve road safety in the Cotswolds, many local authorities have implemented traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, chicanes, and road narrowing.

Cycle Laws in England

In England, cyclists are generally not allowed to ride on motorways, which are high-speed roads reserved for motorized vehicles only.

Motorways are marked with blue signs with white lettering and are designated with an “M” followed by a number (e.g. M1, M25).

In addition, cyclists are not allowed to ride on most footpaths, which are reserved for pedestrians only. Footpaths are marked with signs that show a pedestrian symbol and the words “No Cycling” or “Footpath Only”. Cycling on a footpath is considered a criminal offense.

However, there are many other types of roads and paths in England that are open to cyclists, including public carriageways (roads), public bridleways, restricted byways, byways open to all traffic, cycle tracks, and many public paths.

Cyclists are also allowed to ride on most minor roads and residential streets, as long as they follow the rules of the road and take care to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

Farm Traffic

Farm traffic is a common sight on the roads in the Cotswolds, particularly during harvest season when tractors and other farm vehicles are busy moving crops and equipment between fields.

This can sometimes cause delays and congestion on the roads, and it is important for cyclists to be careful near these vehicles because the vehicle’s cab is high with blind spots.

To help improve road safety and reduce the impact of farm traffic on other road users, many farms in the Cotswolds have implemented traffic management plans.

These plans may include measures such as using designated routes for farm vehicles, reducing the speed of farm traffic on the roads, and using escort vehicles to help guide and manage traffic.

Local authorities have helped improve road safety for farm traffic, such as widening roads at pinch points, installing passing places, and providing clear signage to help guide road users.

The Cotswolds is a region that’s can be explored on two wheels, with its quaint villages and historic landmarks offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.


There are many bike-friendly places to stay in the Cotswolds, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages with many offering secure bike storage, bike washing facilities, and other amenities to make your cycling holiday as enjoyable as possible.

Some popular bike-friendly places to stay in the Cotswolds include:

  1. The Painswick Hotel: This luxury hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds offers secure bike storage, bike washing facilities, and a range of cycling routes and maps to help you explore the area.
  2. The Old Manse Hotel: This charming bed and breakfast in Bourton-on-the-Water offers secure bike storage, a drying room for wet cycling gear, and a range of cycling routes and maps.
  3. The Crown and Trumpet Inn: This historic inn in Broadway offers secure bike storage, a drying room for wet cycling gear, and a range of cycling routes and maps.
  4. The Old School House: This self-catering cottage in Stow-on-the-Wold offers secure bike storage, a bike washing area, and a range of cycling routes and maps.
  5. The Wheatsheaf Inn: This stylish inn in Northleach offers secure bike storage, a bike washing area, and a range of cycling routes and maps.
cycle holiday

Overall, there are many bike-friendly places to stay in the Cotswolds, with a range of options to suit all budgets and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast, you will find the perfect accommodation for your cycling holiday in this beautiful region of England.

By taking a two wheels cycling holiday in the Cotswolds, you can immerse yourself in this history and experience the region’s unique character and charm.

The Cotswolds is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves to cycle. With its picturesque scenery and challenging routes, it’s no wonder why this area attracts tourists from all over the world.

From the easy-going Cotswold Way to the challenging Snowshill and Painswick Beacon routes, there’s something for everyone.

So grab your helmet, hit the pedals, and discover the Cotswolds on two wheels!

Enchantment Awaits
Enchantment Awaits

The Cotswolds region is home to many charming villages and towns, churches, historic landmarks, outdoor activities, in a beautiful part of England. After visiting the region many times, we created the website dedicated to helping others plan their own trips to the Cotswolds.

Quick guides: Compton Abdale: A Village With Great Walks To Explore, , Daglingworth: A Peaceful Village With Traditional CharmBagendon: A Quaint Village in the Cotswolds, and Avening: Stunning Views Across Rolling Hills


The photos in this post may or may not accurately reflect the places named.

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