Starting our circular route from the regency town of Cheltenham Spa we navigate through the busy town centre, home to many great cafes (see our recommended list below), heading out to the villages of Prestbury and Southam.
At this point if you’re looking for an alternate hilly option continue along the B4632 and take the climb up Cleeve Hill, descending into the Anglo Saxon town of Winchcombe and re-joining the route at Gretton.
Alternatively at Southam, take a left towards the large vilage of Bishops Cleeve along Station Road and then Cleeve Road into the pretty village of Gotherington. Here it’s right onto Gretton Road passing the famous Prescott Speed Hill Climb and into the village of Gretton, continuing until you reach the B4078. It’s then left, descending to the crossroads of the B4077 and heading straight ahead until we turn right towards Wormington.
We follow the quiet Meadow Lane until we reach the B4632 where we turn left and continue until reaching the village known as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’, Broadway. With it’s quaint honey bricked lined streets, manicured village green and chic shops and cafes (be sure to visit Leaf & Bean) it’s well worth a short pitstop.
Next it’s up the famous Snowshill climb which featured as a King of the Mountain stage from the Tour of Britian back in 2012. At the top you’re rewarded with spectacular views out across the Cotswolds and towards Bredon Hill. If you’re cycling during the summer months there’s the Cotswold Lavender cafe very close by. Also worthy of a detour is the spectacular Broadway Tower folly where you can see 11 counties on a good day and is also home to the popular Morris & Brown cafe.
Next we pass the Cotswold Farm Park before turning left and then eventually crossing the B4077 with a short climb through ‘The Warren’, until we reach the busy A424. Here we turn right along the busy A424, passing the excellent Cotswold Food Store and continuing on a short while before turning off right and descending into the villages of Upper Swell and Lower Swell.
Staying south we then pass through Upper and Lower Slaughter, with the latter being tipped as the most idyllic and picture postcard Cotswold village there is – with it’s honey stoned cottages and the River Eye we can certainly see why!
Leaving the tourists behind we join Buckle Street where it’s north back in the direction of the Cotswold Farm Park, crossing the B4068, before turning left to the village of Guiting Power. Here you’ll find the popular cycle stop of The Old Post Office, serving up delicious cake and coffee!
From Guiting Power it’s west towards the quaint village of Hawling, before navigating through to Brockhampton and Sevenhampton. Then south to Syreford and Whittington before joining the busy A40 / London Road and descending back into Cheltenham Spa, past Dowdeswell Reservoir and through Charlton Kings.