No mountains here, just glorious rolling hills (well, cycle up, roll down). With a mild climate, gentle hillsides and that fact that the right pub or tea room seems to pop up at at precisely the right moment, the Cotswolds are great for cyclists and most levels.
The Long Haul
If you're looking for a longer challenge, consider:
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Beauty service has a series of off-road rides exploring some of the best scenery and countryside.
You will need a bike that is sturdy enough to handle off road conditions, a road bike would be unlikely to survive. Please wear a helmet and you may want to consider sunglasses to protect your eyes from insects in the summer. Be aware of changing conditions. Off road riding is much easier in frozen or dry conditions than when there is wet mud, but not necessarily more fun! Riding a bicycle is permitted on public roads (not motorways), byways, restricted byways and bridleways but not footpaths. Rights of access aside, off road cyclists are a relatively recent arrival in the countryside, please be considerate of other users.
The routes can be downloaded from the list below:
Route 1: Chedworth
Route 2: Brailes Hill and Ascott
Route 3: Aldsworth and Bibury
Route 4: Northleach and Hazleton
Route 5: Snowshill and beyond
Route 6: Hawkesbury Westonbirt
The following downloadable routes describe a range of cycle rides which are easily accessible from Kingham rail station, West Oxfordshire, and take in many interesting features and places of the Cotswolds:
Route 1: Sarsden Circuit
Route 2: From Bruern to Foxholes Nature Reserve
Route 3: Charlbury
Route 4: Moreton-in-Marsh
Route 5: Ancient Stones & Old Manors
Route 6: Burford & The Windrush Valley
Route 7: Bourton, Bulls & Beer (click here to download the GPX file)
Route 8: Wildlife, Hillforts & Halls
Cycle routes around Kemble Station, near Cirencester
The following downloadable routes describe a range of cycle rides which are easily accessible from Kemble rail station, near Cirencester, and take in many interesting features and places of interest in the Cotswolds:
The Infant Thames
An easy ride through quiet villages into the Cotswold Water park, passing country pubs, parks and close to the source of the magnificent River Thames.
Trains, Boats & Planes
This easy 16-mile ride takes you to one of the wonders of the canal-building age - the Sapperton Tunnel on the Thames & Severn Canal.
Tetbury & Westonbirt
Medium or hard ride through Cotswold villages, past churches and pubs, visiting the old market town of Tetbury. An additional loop visits the world famous Westonbirt Arboretum.
Electric Bike Tours
For something different - check out: https://www.cotswoldelectricbiketours.co.uk