An interesting route starting along the Windrush Valley this is great cycling country taking you through quiet lanes and picturesque hamlets of the East Cotswolds.
Nestling along the slope of the hill down through the trees to the River Windrush, Burford is steeped in history and rich in architectural heritage. Burford is full of Cotswold stone houses with hidden secrets that can be glimpsed through narrow alleyways and courtyards. One of the oldest buildings in Burford is a magnificent church of almost cathedral-like proportions. It was built from around 1175. The town is also a renowned centre for the antiques trade.
The route travels around the Windrush valley through The Barringtons onto Sherbourne which is another estate village largely owned by the National Trust.
Northleach is often a forgotten town however the magnificent church of St Peter and St Paul can claim to be a ‘Cathedral of the Cotswolds. Here is the best of Cotswold stone used to create a fine example of the 15th century Cotswold Perpendicular, with some of the best wool merchant’s brasses in the country. Northleach is also renowned for being a town with a workhouse at one end and a prison at the other. The old prison has a visitor centre where you will find out all you need to know about the Cotswolds and why it is one of the country’s most popular and much loved protected landscapes. In the centre of the town is a museum of mechanical music and a rare treat.
The route winds its way through many small lanes before reaching Bibury. William Morris called Bibury ‘the most beautiful village in England’ and it remains very picturesque today in its riverside setting. The village contains several buildings connected to the wool industry that date back to the 14th century as well as water meadows and trout fisheries that stretch along the Coln river valley.
Coln St Aldwyns is in the quiet valley of the Coln and picturesque landscape of parkland, woods and water meadows.
The route goes onto Westwell, before getting back to Burford.