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1

Oxford to Charlbury

Oxford is the start of the Cotswold Line railway, and the start of our route to Worcester. Private estates (such as Blenheim Palace) and the rarely bridged River Thames make it difficult to head north from the city without hitting busy roads.

The final Cotswold Line Cycle Route envisages a new roadside cycle path to make this easier, but for now, head north from the railway station car park, following signs to the canal towpath. Leave the towpath at the first road bridge, turning right onto Walton Well Road, and you’ll join Walton Street – aka National Cycle Network route 5. Turn left and follow the route; but after two miles, when NCN 5 leaves the main Woodstock Road, carry on along Woodstock Road to the next roundabout.

Here, take the cycle path along the A40 towards Eynsham and Witney. This five-mile plod may not be too inspiring, but it’s safe and efficient. At Eynsham, cross onto the north side when the signs for Witney tell you to, but then take the next road north – Cuckoo Lane. Congratulations: you’re in the countryside at last.

From here, the route follows quiet lanes towards Charlbury. The lane on the north side of the Evenlode Valley, after crossing the railway at Ashford Mill, is particularly delightful. After Fawler, take the next left down to the B-road, and turn right along the private Cornbury Park drive after crossing the railway again. The Cornbury estate has generously given permission for cyclists to use this and the footpath that skirts the deer park, which makes for a memorable entrance to Charlbury.

Charlbury itself is a pretty Cotswold town with four good pubs and a couple of handy shops; plus, of course, a railway station on the Cotswold Line. It’s also the home of cycle.travel. Wave at us as you pass through!

Bike shops

Campsites

Charlbury

Chipping Norton

Farmoor

Oxford

Woodstock

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
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Hotels

from £95The Swan Inn

Ascot under Wychwood

Begbroke, Nr Kidlington

Bladon

Carlyon Bay

Chadlington

Charlbury

from £2000The Bell Inn
from £90The Bull Inn

Chipping Norton

from £85Heythrop Park
from £95The Fox
from £2000The Salford Inn

Dean

Eynsham

Farmoor

from £2000Lane House B&B

Farmoor, Oxford

Hampton Poyle

from £2000Bell at Hampton

Kidlington

from £75The Bell

Minster Lovell

Oxford

from £64Abodes B&B
from £70Browns
from £2000Browns
from £250Castle Mews
from £2000Cotswold House
from £67Diana's B&B
from £98Ethos Hotel
from £94Ethos Hotel
from £34Eynsham Hall
from £2000Five Mile Oxford
from £60Happylodge
from £130Harcourt Place
from £112Henry's
from £2000Hill Farm
from £175Jericho Street
from £85Lane House
from £90Moon House
from £109Newton House
from £70Noa Residence
from £84Parklands
from £79Parklands
from £50The Chequers
from £2000The Chequers Inn
from £82The Galaxie
from £169The Old Bank
from £70The Terrace
from £2000Tower House
from £63Tree Hotel
from £0Victor House
from £18YHA Oxford
from £16YHA Oxford

Oxford, Oxfordshire

Salford

Stonesfield Oxford

Witney

from £80Bird in Hand
from £45Eynsham Hall
from £63Eynsham Hall

Woodstock

2

Charlbury to Moreton-in-Marsh

The route out of Charlbury is a little circuitous, but follows the quietest and most attractive lanes in this corner of the Cotswolds. The track from the Ditchley Park gates is rough and requires care on a road bike.

After Spelsbury, note (but don’t take) the turn to the village of Dean on the right. This is the home of local MP David Cameron; Jeremy Clarkson is building a new house in the next village, Chadlington; Rebekah and Charlie Brooks live on the Sarsden Estate, a mile further on, and cheese-making pop star Alex James’ farm is just after that. Yes, this is the heartland of the ‘Chipping Norton Set’, but fortunately the roads aren’t too infested with 4x4s and black Audis. In fact, once you’ve tackled the climb out of Chadlington, the road past Sarsden is beautifully quiet.

Kingham is the next station on the line. The village regularly features in lists of the most desirable place to live, and its two gastropubs cater for well-heeled locals. (The Kingham Plough has a milk vending machine around the back!) The ultimate foodie experience, though, is Daylesford Organic, the super-chic farm shop on the lane out of the village.

An unsurfaced bridleway (can be muddy in winter) leads to Adlestrop, immortalised in Edward Thomas’ poem about the Cotswold Line and rural railways in general:

Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

Trains no longer draw up here – the station is long closed. But the old nameboard has been preserved and now adorns the bus stop.

A quiet lane follows the valley from here to Moreton-in-Marsh. At Moreton, the main A44 heads into the picturesque town centre. If you’re heading straight for the station, you can turn just before the railway bridge onto a tarmac footpath crossing the meadows.

Bike shops

Moreton in Marsh

Campsites

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
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Hotels

from £95The Swan Inn

Ascot under Wychwood

Bledington Stow on the Wold

Blockley

from £118Stepping Stones

Blockley

from £125Courtyard House
from £49Crown Inn
from £162Glebe Cottage
from £90Middle Rose

Blockley Glos.

from £173Clouds Hill

Bourton-on-the-Hill

from £78The Stables

Broad Campden

Burford

Chadlington

Charingworth

Charlbury

from £2000The Bell Inn
from £90The Bull Inn

Chiping Campden

from £45Volunteer Inn

Chipping Campden

from £115Badgers Hall
from £204Campden Barn
from £288Hartfield
from £112Hookes House
from £191Orchard House
from £50Red Lion Inn
from £130The Kings Hotel
from £199Thornton

Chipping Norton

from £85Heythrop Park
from £2000The Forge B&B
from £95The Fox
from £2000The Lamb Inn
from £2000The Salford Inn

Church Enstone Nr. Chipping Norton

from £107Jubliee Cottage

Dean

Ebrington

from £65Gilberts
from £103The Granary X

Gloucester

Gloucestershire

Icomb Stow-on-the-Wold

from £170Jay Barn
from £94The Drey
from £71The Oaks II
from £112The Warren

Kingham

from £107Badger Cottage
from £123Bluewood Lodges

Longborough

Mickleton

from £180Greyrick House

Mickleton

from £102Norton Grounds
from £44Willann

Milton-under-Wychwood Nr. Chipping Norton

from £122The Coach House

Moreton in Marsh

from £80The Bell Inn
from £192Cotswold Grey
from £60The Swan Inn
from £70The Swan Inn

Moreton in Marsh

Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire

Moreton-in-Marsh

from £2000The Bell Inn
from £227The Red House

Oxford

from £34Eynsham Hall

Paxford

from £229Walnut Cottage

Paxford Nr Chipping Campden

from £139The Old Chapel

Salford

Shipton under Wychwood

from £80The Lamb Inn

Shipton-under-Wychwood Chipping Norton

Shipton-under-Wychwood

from £109The Coach House

Shipton-under-Wychwood, Chipping Norton

Stonesfield Oxford

Stow on the Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold

from £106Amber Cottage
from £225Old Forge Barn

Stretton-on-Fosse

Todenham

from £80The Cottage

Todenham Nr. Moreton-in-Marsh

Upper Oddington (Near Stow on the Wold)

Westington Chipping Campden

from £144Rose Cottage

Witney

from £80Bird in Hand
from £63Eynsham Hall
from £45Eynsham Hall
3

Moreton-in-Marsh to Evesham

For the most part, the Cotswold Line Cycle Route does a neat job of avoiding hills. But you can’t cross the Cotswolds without a bit of climbing – and it’s in this section that you’ll encounter them.

A narrow footpath from Moreton-in-Marsh station car park leads out onto the main Fosse Way. Cross this onto a country lane signposted to Batsford village (doglegging very slightly right then left), and the first climb begins. Batsford is a few yards off the route, but this ridiculously pretty estate village is worth the detour.

The route winds around the hills to Broad Campden, where a lovely narrow lane emerges by the friendly Bakers Arms – a proper country pub. Chipping Campden, a mile further on, is one of the tourist hotspots of the Cotswolds and an excellent place for lunch if you didn’t succumb at the Bakers Arms. The almost cathedral-like church, built on the proceeds of the wool industry, is certainly worth a visit.

The gruelling Dovers Hill, just beyond Chipping Campden, is one of the most famous cycling hill climbs in Britain… and that’s exactly why the Cotswold Line Cycle Route doesn’t follow it. Instead, it follows a hidden, traffic-free lane along the top of the escarpment, before descending to Mickleton on a slightly more forgiving road. Enjoy the descent, but don’t forget to stop at the junction at the bottom!

Quiet lanes parallel the railway line to Honeybourne, where there’s another railway station. From here, the route is briefly unsignposted to Evesham.

The roads and gravel tracks through the Vale of Evesham pass numerous fruit farms and greenhouses. Take care at the crossing of the busy A46 before entering Evesham on residential roads. The route doesn’t go through Evesham town centre, but instead heads south on back streets from the suburb of Bengeworth; the signs resume at the southern edge of town. However, you can follow the main road across the river from Bengeworth for the town and its station.

Bike shops

Evesham

Moreton in Marsh

Campsites

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
Campsite app · Help archies

Hotels

Bledington Stow on the Wold

Blockley

from £118Stepping Stones

Blockley

from £125Courtyard House
from £49Crown Inn
from £162Glebe Cottage
from £90Middle Rose

Blockley Glos.

from £173Clouds Hill

Bourton-on-the-Hill

from £78The Stables

Bretforton

from £234The Byre
from £159The Dairy
from £169The Hayloft

Broad Campden

Broadway

from £125Broadway Hotel

Broadway

from £2000Abbots Grange
from £104Box Cottage
from £102Cowley House
from £135Cruck Cottage
from £185East House
from £205East House
from £110No.10 Broadway
from £210Old Sheepcote
from £120Russell's
from £90The Willows
from £336Weavers Cottage

Broadway, Worcestershire

Charingworth

Chiping Campden

from £45Volunteer Inn

Chipping Campden

from £115Badgers Hall
from £204Campden Barn
from £288Hartfield
from £112Hookes House
from £121Milliners Barn
from £191Orchard House
from £50Red Lion Inn
from £130The Kings Hotel
from £199Thornton

Chipping Norton

Dumbleton

Ebrington

from £65Gilberts
from £103The Granary X

Evesham

from £119Dumbleton Hall
from £75Evesham Hotel
from £50The Royal Oak
from £119The Wood Norton

Evesham Worcestershire

from £70Evesham Hotel

Fladbury

Gloucester

Gloucestershire

Icomb Stow-on-the-Wold

from £170Jay Barn
from £94The Drey
from £71The Oaks II
from £112The Warren

Kingham

from £107Badger Cottage
from £123Bluewood Lodges

Longborough

Mickleton

from £180Greyrick House

Mickleton

from £102Norton Grounds
from £44Willann

Moreton in Marsh

from £80The Bell Inn
from £192Cotswold Grey
from £70The Swan Inn
from £60The Swan Inn

Moreton in Marsh

Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire

Moreton-in-Marsh

from £2000The Bell Inn
from £227The Red House

Murcot

from £76Shire Cottage

North Littleton

North Littleton Evesham

Nr. Broadway

from £81Cotswold View

Offenham

Paxford

from £229Walnut Cottage

Paxford Nr Chipping Campden

from £139The Old Chapel

Pershore

South Littleton

Stow on the Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold

from £106Amber Cottage
from £225Old Forge Barn

Stretton-on-Fosse

Todenham

from £80The Cottage

Todenham Nr. Moreton-in-Marsh

Upper Oddington (Near Stow on the Wold)

Westington Chipping Campden

from £144Rose Cottage

Weston Subedge Chipping Campden

from £111Barndown

Weston Subedge

from £81Field House
from £54Seagrave Arms

Weston-Sub-Edge

from £155Gravel Cottage

Wickhamford

from £74The Granary

Worcestershire

from £125Abbots Grange
4

Evesham to Worcester

After a brief spell beside the A46, the Cotswold Line Cycle Route follows a rural road around the bottom of Bredon Hill, via the attractive village of Elmley Castle. The descent back to the River Avon at Pershore is enjoyable, and this market town – much quieter since the main road was routed away – has good pubs and an interesting abbey.

It’s just ten miles from here to Worcester, almost all on rural lanes. Inevitably there’s a modest climb out of the town, but it’s easy going after that. The entrance to the Faithful City follows a traffic-free ‘Pedway’, then skirts around the canal basin before arriving on the riverside. The final section, on the River Severn promenade, is glorious. Continue past the cathedral until you reach the cafés at Worcester Bridge. And from here, of course, you can get the train home!

Bike shops

Campsites

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
Campsite app · Help archies

Hotels

Broadway

from £125Broadway Hotel

Broadway

from £2000Abbots Grange
from £104Box Cottage
from £102Cowley House
from £135Cruck Cottage
from £185East House
from £110No.10 Broadway
from £210Old Sheepcote
from £120Russell's
from £90The Willows
from £336Weavers Cottage

Callow End Worcester

from £125Glebe Cottage

Dumbleton

Eckington

from £139Eckington Manor

Evesham

from £119Dumbleton Hall
from £75Evesham Hotel
from £50The Royal Oak
from £119The Wood Norton

Evesham Worcestershire

from £70Evesham Hotel

Fladbury

Murcot

from £76Shire Cottage

North Littleton

North Littleton Evesham

Nr. Broadway

from £81Cotswold View

Offenham

Pershore

from £65Amerie Barn

Pershore, Worcester

South Littleton

Stoulton

from £91Brambles

Stoulton Nr. Malvern

from £122Hawthorn Lodge

Wickhamford

from £74The Granary

Worcester

from £44Fownes Hotel
from £98Fownes Hotel
from £65Henwick House
from £40Henwick House
from £35Osborne House

Worcester, England

Worcestershire

from £125Abbots Grange
from £39The Crown