The very rural area around the beautiful unspoilt Cotswold villages of Eastleach Martin, Eastleach Turville, Fyfield, Southrop and Filkins is a network of narrow country lanes. With little traffic, they’re ideal for leisurely cycling.
Follow any of the smallest roads on the map below as far as Westwell and Holwell to the north, Hatherop to the west, Filkins, Kencot, Broadwell and Langford to the east, or head south towards the Thames.
The route marked on the map is just one of many options, and especially suitable if you want to hire bikes in Filkins (See below) – or stay at the Thyme hotel and cottages in Southrop, which has hire bikes for guests.
Terrain: easy riding on quiet low-traffic country lanes and not too hilly.
Distance: the route on the map is 12 miles (20 kms) but easily extended or shortened.
Villages built from mellow Cotswold stone, full of listed buildings, from cottages to manor houses and 800-year-old churches; wide, open landscapes, with arable, pasture and wood land; and not least, some really excellent traditional pubs for delicious meals and refreshing drinks en route.
The 16th century Victoria Inn at Eastleach, the busy centre of village life, is one of our favourites for a good lunch on the sunny terrace in summer, or to get cozy by the fire in winter.
The Cotswold Woollen Weavers shop and museum in Filkins is worth a visit (They hire bikes out too. See below.) For 500 years, sheep farming and wool production made the Cotswolds wealthy, and the tradition is preserved in this fascinating place, where old looms are still in use and beautiful textiles and clothing are sold.
Where to stay
For more luxury, the Thyme hotel and cottages in the village of Southrop offers lovely rooms, an outdoor pool, gourmet food, cookery classes, and bikes for hire.
Nearby historic Cotswold towns of Fairford, Lechlade and Burford are great options for town-based stays.
Local bike hire
A few adult bikes at modest prices can be hired in Filkins from Cotswold Woollen Weavers. It’s important to telephone first to check availability: 01367 860660.
The Thyme hotel in Southrop also hires out bikes to guests (See ‘Where to Stay’, above).