Picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon combines theatre, museums and architecture to give a unique insight into Shakespeare’s life.
Travel bucket list idea:
Cycle the Cotswolds Line
The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)
This relatively new trail, developed by local cyclists, follows the route of the Cotswolds Line railway – meaning you can cycle as far as you like, and then conveniently hop on the train back.
The route cobbles together quiet, back-country lanes with off-road stretches, taking you through 75 traffic-light, scenic miles of idyllic countryside, with stops in pretty Cotswold villages including Moreton-in-the-Marsh and Kingham.
Getting there & doing it
The trail runs from Oxford to Worcester, alongside the railway line. There are stations at regular intervals along the cycling route, meaning you can get on or get off as you wish. The full route can be printed or downloaded from the Cycle.travel website.
Cotswolds Country Cycles offer self-led guided tours and can help with bike hire.
If you don’t want to do the whole 75-mile trail (allow 2 days), Sustrans website has a 43-mile route through the best part (it takes about 3.5 hours). Or for something even shorter, try the 8-mile route between Moreton-in-Marsh and Kingham is easy, flat and takes in the pretty villages of Evenlode and Adlestrop. It includes a lovely stretch of bridleway that snakes past a cricket pitch and through gently wooded countryside.
About halfway along the trail, so good for a stop-over, the Plough at Kingham is a fine gastropub-with-rooms. There are seven cosy bedrooms above the pub if you want to stay the night.
When to do it
The trail can be cycled all year round, but try to avoid the the high summer months (July to August) – even the country lanes become heavy with traffic.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
One of England’s most beautiful regions – a patchwork landscape of idyllic countryside, postcard-perfect villages and cosy historic boutique hotels.
One of Britain’s most beautiful and historic cities, graced by heartstopping architecture and home to the world’s second-oldest university.