ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

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Bryn
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ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by Bryn » Mon May 22, 2017 12:40 pm

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images showing us just how good they’ve got it abroad when it comes to motorcycling, it’s all too easy to forget about what we’ve got in our own back gardens. Admittedly, ABR is almost entirely based on providing you with inspiration on where in the world you should ride, and our Facebook page is full of epic photos from around the world, but recently I wanted to take some time to really appreciate the fantastic locations we have right here.
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With that in mind, we’ve set about creating a series of routes that take in the most visually beautiful areas of the UK, providing you with an itinerary so that you can make the most of your ride. In this issue, we headed to the Cotswolds, the UK’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to take in the wonderful roads, views and culture. The Cotswolds is world renowned for its pretty towns and villages, with the buildings made from distinctive honey-coloured limestone, and the rolling hills that are contained within the boundaries have been inspiring writers, poets and composers for centuries.

This route has been designed to be doable in a single day, making it perfect for when you come to the weekend and fancy going on a ride that's a bit different from your usual route. With this in mind, there are certain areas of the Cotswolds that we haven't shown any love to, and if you've got more than a day spare I'd fully recommend diverting away from the route when you see something that piques your interest. In particular I'd fully recommend heading south from Cirencester until you reach Bath, visit the beautiful spa town and then head north towards Wotton Under Edge where you can join us again by Cheltenham.

The route proposed is 142 miles long, and should keep you occupied for a full day while you also get some off-bike time exploring on your feet.

Burton Dassett Hills
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OK, while they’re not actually in the Cotswolds, it’d be criminal for me not to include these beautiful hills in this route. Being just a short ride away from junction 12 of the M40, this is a great start and finish point for many. With a height of 203m (eerily 666ft), Burton Dassett Hills rise abruptly from the relatively flat land below, allowing for spectacular views on a sunny day. Soak them in, then mount your steed for the ride that awaits.

Sun Rising Hill

There are a number of hills in the Cotswolds that feature brilliantly fun, almost hairpin bends, and the first you come across will be Sun Rising Hill. OK, it’s no Alpine pass, but it’ll certainly have you smiling. Sun Rising Hill is next to Edgehill, the site of the infamous first battle of the First English Civil War in 1642. Locals claim to occasionally hear spectral battle noises, and ghostly apparitions in the shape of soldiers have also been sighted.

Rollright Stones
I’m fascinated by relics of times gone by, and the standing stones of Rollright are fascinating to visit. Comprised of three ancient monuments, The Whispering Knights, the King’s Stone and the King’s Men, the Rollright Stones were apparently constructed some 5,000 years ago. With all three sites easily reachable via a very short stroll from the road, they’re well worth a quick stop.

Burford and Cirencester
Two delightful Cotswold settlements, the second of which, Cirencester, was founded in Roman times under the name Corinium Dobunnorum. Take some time to marvel in the wonderful architecture as our routes takes you through their hearts.

Chedworth Roman Villa
You’ll need to take a small diversion of a few minutes from our route between Cirencester and Colesbourne to visit this Roman Villa that dates back to the second century. Considering the age of the place, what remains is in incredible condition, and it’s all displayed brilliantly. You’ll not want to stop for too long, but Chedworth Roman Villa is well worth your time.

Cleeve Hill
As you ride out of Cheltenham, heading north, you’ll start to ascend Cleeve Hill. As you get higher and higher, the views over Cheltenham and Gloucester open out, and as you rise further still you’ll be treated to a world class view of the Malvern Hills in the distance. Hop off the bike and take a short walk to the summit of the hill, and on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with a view that stretches over 90 miles.

Sudeley Castle

Shortly after ascending Cleeve Hill, you’ll ride through Winchcombe and see signs for Sudeley Castle. If you’re making good time, take a diversion to see the beautiful and fascinating castle. Throughout the grounds you’ll find many exhibits containing relics from Roman times to present day. Interestingly, Sudeley Castle is the only privately owned castle in England to have a queen buried on its grounds. Katherin Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s wives is entombed in the 15th century church here.

Bourton on the Water
No ride through the Cotswolds would be complete without some fish and chips in Bourton on the Water. You’ll no doubt be feeling peckish by the time you ride through this stunning Cotswold village, so park up with the rest of the bikers (there’s always loads) and grab yourself some well-earned grub. A favourite of mine is Windrush Fish and Chips, it’s a bit pricey (nearly £20 for two cod and chips and two cans of pop), but I haven’t had fish and chips this good outside of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Fish Hill and Broadway Tower
As we near the end of our route it’s almost as if we’ve saved the best for last. Fish Hill is as close as you’ll get to a mountain pass in central England. Heading out of Broadway you take the last exit on the roundabout and begin your approach to the hill. The road opens up into two lanes for those going up hill, and you’ll soon enter a series of wide-open, sweeping bends that were seemingly made for bikers. It’s a shame that the police don’t agree, as they’re often waiting on the first corner for over-enthusiastic motorists, so bear that in mind and ride sensibly. At the top of the hill, turn right and make your way to Broadway Tower, which you will have seen standing pretty for a few miles now. From the top of this elegant folly you’ll have epic views across England, being able to see into 16 counties.

Green lanes
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If you’ve ever been to the ABR Midlands Rally you’ll know that the Cotswolds is home to a plethora of easy-going green lanes that add an element of adventure to the picturesque countryside. Before you head off on your ride, grab yourself an OS map (OL45) for the area and plot out a few of the green lanes. Most are easily doable on big adventure bikes, but make sure you ride within your limit.

If you'd like to ride this route, we've plotted it out so that you can download it and stick it in your SatNav. Simply right click on the attachments below called 'Cotswold Route.gpx' and choose 'Save Link As', once you've saved it to your computer load it into your SatNav as per the manufacturers instructions and get riding!
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Brenhden
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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by Brenhden » Mon May 22, 2017 1:02 pm

Awesome thanks for sharing this (thumbs)
And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

Honda CRF250 Rally.
🇬🇧🇫🇷🇧🇪🇱🇺🇪🇸🇬🇷🇩🇪

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by boboneleg » Mon May 22, 2017 2:39 pm

I stopped at the Rollright Stones early in the morning last summer, twas a bit spooky there all by myself :unsure:

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by dodursley » Wed May 24, 2017 7:52 pm

Some interesting locations in Gloucestershire in our club challenges last year & this year, see our section website
Getting Stoned in Glos https://sites.google.com/site/vmccsc/news
& last year Gloucestershire and Cotswold Edge https://sites.google.com/site/vmccsc/calendar (bottom of web page)
Next year will be an Armistice challenge WW1/2 relevant locations, sorting it out at the moment, plenty of airfields, the Green defence line, thankful villages, VC graves, aircraft and munition factories.

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by dodursley » Thu May 09, 2019 9:11 am

This year's club challenge is Roman(ing) around Gloucestershire.
A selection of Roman related locations and roads, some from pre-roman times and still in use, see map.
Details https://sites.google.com/site/vmccsc/news
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Bryn
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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by Bryn » Thu May 09, 2019 10:49 am

dodursley wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:11 am
This year's club challenge is Roman(ing) around Gloucestershire.
A selection of Roman related locations and roads, some from pre-roman times and still in use, see map.
Details https://sites.google.com/site/vmccsc/news
Roman Glos map.jpg
That looks like fun, might have to join in with that.

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Cotswold Discovery Route

Post by Hugh » Fri May 10, 2019 11:13 am

Greetings Dodursley,

Thank you so much for the information links, I have taken the liberty of downloading two of your club's routes for future reference.

Who ever produced the events certainly put a lot of effort into their research, so a big thank you to them too.

TTFN

Hugh.

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