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ENGLAND, UK:ENGLAND

Cycling the Cotswolds: The Essence of England

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #3670RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Participants are required to bring and wear a bicycle helmet while biking each day.

Itinerary for Aug 9 — Aug 20, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, August 09 - Overnight Flight
In Transit Overnight: Board an overnight flight.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Bowling Green Road
Thatcham, RG14 5NU UK:England
phone: +44 01635 871555
web: http://www.regencyparkhotel.co.uk/

Room amenities: Hypo-allergenic pillows and duvets, LCD TV, ironing station, room fridge, hospitality tray, WiFi, in-room safe.

Facility amenities: Room Service, business center, laundry & dry cleaning services, fitness center, spa pool, steam room, sauna, indoor swimming pool and spa offering a wide range of treatments and products.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, August 10 - Arrive in London / Transfer to Thatcham / Orienta...
Arrive in London / Transfer to Thatcham / Orientation / Bike Fitting / Welcome Dinner

Note: Biking distance: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Please note that daily biking distances are approximate and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.

Arrive To: London Heathrow Airport.

Morning: We proceed to Thatcham by motorcoach where, upon arrival, we check into our hotel.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Thatcham. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Following the orientation, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.

The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to settle into and relax or explore independently.

Dinner: The group meets for the welcome dinner in the hotel dining room. Daily dinners consist of three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée and dessert plus water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or take a stroll. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Regency Park Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
41 Charnham Street
Hungerford, RG17 0EL UK:England
phone: +44 01488 682512
web: http://www.thebearhotelhungerford.com

Room amenities: TV, WiFi, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and mineral water

Facility amenities: Restaurant & bar, small garden and island by the river

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Monday, August 11 - Safety & Corner System Lecture / Bicycle along Ke...
Safety & Corner System Lecture / Bicycle along Kennet & Avon Canal / Bicycle to Newbury / Bicycle to Hungerford / Group Introductions

Note: Biking distance: 13 miles

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices and hot beverages.

Morning: Attend a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT Corner System.

Then, mount those bicycles for the first cycle of the program. Our ride takes us along the Kennet & Avon Canal to the market town of Newbury, where we'll stop for coffee and independent exploration. The canal, which was completed in 1810, links London and Bristol by connecting the Kennet and Avon Rivers.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice. Weather permitting, we enjoy the outdoors and picnic en route. If the skies look ominous, time to take shelter en route at a local pub.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling. Upon arrival in Hungerford, there will be ample time to explore this quaint town known for its antique shops.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: After dinner, we’ll have group introductions.

Lodging: The Bear Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Beanacre Road (A350)
Beanacre, SN12 7PU UK:England
phone: +44 01225 703700
web: http://www.beechfieldhouse.co.uk/

Room amenities: Digital widescreen LCD TV, hairdryer, complimentary magic potions in the bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities, free WiFi.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, spa, outdoor pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Tuesday, August 12 - Kennet & Avon Canal Lecture / Bicycle to Crofton...
Kennet & Avon Canal Lecture / Bicycle to Crofton Pumping Station / Devizes Wharf / Caen Hill / Bicycle to Beanacre

Note: Biking distance: 33 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We leave the county of Berkshire via two-wheeler and enter the county of Wiltshire. Bicycling west, we avoid most of the hills that are characteristic of the chalk downland. Every so often we encounter the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Great Western Railway Line, competitors at one time for transporting goods between London and Bristol. En route, we stop for coffee and tea before attending a lecture on "The Rise and Fall of the Kennet & Avon Canal."

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice at a local pub en route.

Afternoon: Along the way to Beanacre, a number of interesting sites are worthy of our attention. We stop for a visit to some of the important and impressive engineering features of the canal: the Crofton Pumping Station, Devizes Wharf and the Caen Hill Flight of Locks. We continue westward along the canal's towpath until we turn north to Melksham and the village of Beanacre to our Victorian country house hotel.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Beechfield House Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Beanacre Road (A350)
Beanacre, SN12 7PU UK:England
phone: +44 01225 703700
web: http://www.beechfieldhouse.co.uk/

Room amenities: Digital widescreen LCD TV, hairdryer, complimentary magic potions in the bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities, free WiFi.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, spa, outdoor pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Wednesday, August 13 - Bicycle to Corsham / Lacock Village & Abbey / Fox...
Bicycle to Corsham / Lacock Village & Abbey / Fox-Talbot Museum of Photography / Bicycle to Beanacre

Note: Biking distance: 12 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our bicycle route takes us through the picturesque village of Corsham, where the streets are lined with stately Georgian houses.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice at a local pub en route.

Afternoon: There's plenty to see at the National Trust village of Lacock. A visit to the Abbey, exploration of the village as well as the Fox-Talbot Museum of Photography is on the agenda prior to returning to our hotel in Beanacre.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Beechfield House Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Walcot Street
Bath, BA1 5BJ UK:England
phone: +44 01225 463411
web: http://www.placeshilton.com/bath-city

Room amenities: LCD TV, air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, high-speed Internet, alarm radio, hairdryer, iron, complimentary mineral water

Facility amenities: Restaurant & bar, fitness room, business center, free WiFi in public areas

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Thursday, August 14 - Medieval Wool Trade Lecture / Bicycle to Bradford...
Medieval Wool Trade Lecture / Bicycle to Bradford-on-Avon Guided Walk / Bradford-upon-Avon Independent Exploration / Bicycle to Bath

Note: Biking distance: 33 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Following a lecture on the medieval wool trade in the west country, depart for Bradford-on-Avon. On arrival, join a local historian to learn about the past of this delightful old town during a guided walk.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Bradford-upon-Avon. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Bradford-upon-Avon to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Later in the afternoon the group returns by bicycle along the Kennett & Avon Canal to Bath.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hilton Bath City Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Walcot Street
Bath, BA1 5BJ UK:England
phone: +44 01225 463411
web: http://www.placeshilton.com/bath-city

Room amenities: LCD TV, air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, high-speed Internet, alarm radio, hairdryer, iron, complimentary mineral water

Facility amenities: Restaurant & bar, fitness room, business center, free WiFi in public areas

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Friday, August 15 - Bath Guided Walk / Bath Independent Exploration
Note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: The magnificent city of Bath awaits us! Accompany yet another local historian on a walking field trip through Bath to discover some of the city's most impressive sites including the Royal Crescent and the Circus.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Bath. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Bath to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Tour the Roman Baths, visit museums and gardens or simply relax over tea at The Pump Room.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hilton Bath City Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Almondsbury
Bristol, BS32 4TS UK:England
phone: +44 01454 201090
web: http://www.aztechotelbristol.com/

Room amenities: Free WiFi, air conditioning, fresh coffee with milk delivered daily, satellite TV,

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, fitness center, spa, indoor swimming pool, whirlpool and steam room

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Saturday, August 16 - Bristol & Bath Railway Path / Bicycle to Bath Har...
Bristol & Bath Railway Path / Bicycle to Bath Harbour / SS Great Britain Lecture / Clifton Suspension Bridge / Bicycle to Almondsbury

Note: Biking distance: 36 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Pedal along the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, which provides traffic-free and level cycling right into the city center. Upon arrival at Bath Harbour, break for coffee and tea at the Museum of Bath at Work prior to listening in on a lecture on the "SS Great Britain," the first iron transatlantic liner driven by propeller to cross to America. Designed by the great English engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, she is now back from a watery grave in the Falkland Islands to the dry dock in which she was built over 150 years ago.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Continue bicycling along the banks of the River Avon as we pass under the impressive Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was also designed by Brunel. Turn northward into the county of Gloucestershire and eventually reach our dwelling for the night in Almondsbury.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: The Aztec Hotel & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
44 Southgate Street
Gloucester, GL1 2DR UK:England
phone: +44 01452 307000
web: http://www.thenewcountyhotel.co.uk/

Room amenities: Tea/coffee making facilities, WiFi, telephone, LCD TV

Facility amenities: Restaurant & bar

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Sunday, August 17 - Bicycle to Berkeley / Medical Work of Edward Jen...
Bicycle to Berkeley / Medical Work of Edward Jenner Lecture / Slimbridge Wilfowl & Wetland Trust / Bicycle to Gloucester Cathedral

Note: Biking distance: 36 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: An early ride takes us along the eastern side of the River Severn, one of Britain's great rivers with a great tidal range creating the Severn Bore, especially on high spring tides, which reaches the city of Gloucester. A pit-stop in Berkeley offers us a glimpse of the 12th-century castle referred to by Shakespeare in "Richard II" and where King Edward II was murdered. Berkeley is also the home of Edward Jenner, who in 1796, discovered the cause and the means of protection against smallpox. At the Jenner Museum, attend a lecture on Jenner's pioneering medical work. Prior to lunch, enjoy an excursion to Wildfowl & Wetlands Center at Slimbridge, home to the largest collection of ducks, geese and swans in the world.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Follow the towpath of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal by bicycle into Gloucester, a 19th-century inland port which is in the midst of being restored and turned into a delightful collection of shops, pubs, museums and of course, a harbor for all sorts of visiting boats and ships. The day would not be complete without a stop at the Gloucester Cathedral before continuing to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: The New County Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Manor House is set in 19 acres of private gardens and woodland with a private lake. The property boasts stunning views of the Vale of Evesham and across to the Cotswolds.

Contact info:
off Main Street
Evesham, WR11 7TS UK:England
phone: +44 01386 881240
web: http://www.dumbletonhall.co.uk/

Room amenities: Complimentary toiletries, WiFi, telephone, TV, hairdryer, radio, hospitality trays

Facility amenities: Restaurant & bar

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Monday, August 18 - Gloucester City & Docks Guided Walk / Gloucester ...
Gloucester City & Docks Guided Walk / Gloucester Independent Exploration / Ferry Across Canal / Bicycle to Dumbleton

Note: Biking distance: 25 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Join a historian for guided walk of the old city of Gloucester and the docks.

Free Morning. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Gloucester to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
,br>Depart by bicycle for Tewkesbury, site of one of the best-preserved abbeys in England.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Brace yourself for a short boat ride across the river. Our bikes get rowed across first and the group packs in for the next load that's paddled across the canal. En route to our next hotel, in the village of Dumbleton in the county of Worcestershire, we'll take an excursion to Beckford Silk to watch the printing of silk scarves and ties. After check-in, feel free to enjoy the hotel's garden or hike through its expansive grounds and countryside.

Upon arrival at the hotel, bid your trusty two-wheeler adieu. Then, feel free to relax in the hotel's garden or enjoy a hike through its expansive grounds and countryside.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Dumbleton Hall Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Warwick Road
Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YT UK:England
phone: +44 01789 269213
web: http://www.bwgh.co.uk/

Room amenities: Satellite LCD TVs, WiFi, Hairdryer, Room Service, Iron

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Lounge, Bar

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact IBT for rates.
Please refer to the OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS section of your preparatory materials for rates.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Eleven: Tuesday, August 19 - Transfer to Stratford-upon-Avon / Guided Walk of ...
Transfer to Stratford-upon-Avon / Guided Walk of Stratford / Back Stage Tour of Royal Shakespeare Theatre / Stratford-upon-Avon Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner

Note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Early in the morning, board a motorcoach to Stratford-upon-Avon. Deposit luggage at hotel before embarking on a guided walk of "Stratford and the Life & Times of William Shakespeare," during which we'll visit many of the significant places associated with the Bard of Avon. A field trip through the Royal Shakespeare Theatre affords us a "behind-the-scenes" look at this world-renowned theatre company.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Stratford-upon-Avon to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant featuring regional cuisine. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western Grosvenor Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Twelve: Wednesday, August 20 - Program Concludes / Departures
Breakfast: Hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfer to London Heathrow Airport for onward travel.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
20 meals: 10 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 10 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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