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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 May 9 — May 20, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, May 09 - Departure
In Transit: Overnight flight to Heathrow Airport.

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, May 10 - Arrival Heathrow Airport/ Coach to Thatcham/ Bike...
Arrival Heathrow Airport/ Coach to Thatcham/ Bike Fitting & Testing/ Welcome Dinner

Note: Biking Distance - No biking. Please note that daily biking distances may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.

Morning: Arrival at London Heathrow Airport and transfer by coach to Thatcham, a small village east of Newbury. Check-into hotel and deposit luggage.

Lunch: Free to explore local fare independently.

Afternoon: Once bicycles have been assigned, time to demonstrate your biking skills to assure that you are ready for your adventure. The balance of the afternoon is free for relaxation.

Dinner: Meet your fellow participants at the welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.

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, May 11 - Safety & Corner System Lecture/ Kennet & Avon Can...
Safety & Corner System Lecture/ Kennet & Avon Canal/ Bicycle through Newbury onto Hungerford

Breakfast: After fueling up over a traditional English breakfast, listen carefully to lectures on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. Start thinking about biking on the LEFT side of the road!

Morning: 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: 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 and 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, May 12 - Kennet & Avon Canal Lecture/ Crofton Pumping Stat...
Kennet & Avon Canal Lecture/ Crofton Pumping Station/ Devizes Wharf/ Caen Hill

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: En route at local pub.

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.

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, May 13 - Corsham/ Lacock Village & Abbey/ Fox-Talbot Museu...
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

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

Lunch: En route at local pub.

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.

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, May 14 - Medieval Wool Trade/ Bradford-on-Avon Guided Walk...
Medieval Wool Trade/ Bradford-on-Avon Guided Walk & Independent Exploration

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: Sample local fare on your own en route.

Afternoon: Explore the charming Bradford-on-Avon independently before joining the group to return by bicycle along the Kennett & Avon Canal to Bath.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

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, May 15 - Guided Walk of 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: Sample local fare on your own in Bath.

Afternoon: Seize the remainder of the day in Bath on your own! You are free to tour the Roman Baths, visit museums and gardens or simply relax over tea at The Pump Room.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

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, May 16 - Bristol & Bath Railway Path/ SS Great Britain Lec...
Bristol & Bath Railway Path/ SS Great Britain Lecture/ Clifton Suspension Bridge

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: Sample local fare on your own en route.

Afternoon: Continue 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.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

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, May 17 - Lecture on Medical Work of Edward Jenner/ Slimbri...
Lecture on Medical Work of Edward Jenner/ Slimbridge Wilfowl & Wetland Trust/ Gloucester Cathedral

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: Sample local fare en route.

Afternoon: Follow the towpath of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal 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

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, May 18 - Gloucester City & Docks Guided Walk/ "Ferry" Acro...
Gloucester City & Docks Guided Walk/ "Ferry" Across Canal/ Beckford Silk

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Join a historian for guided walk of the old city of Gloucester and the docks. There will be free time to explore the town and sights before departing for Tewkesbury, site of one of the best-preserved abbeys in England.

Lunch: Sample local fare en route.

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.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant.

Evening: 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.

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, May 19 - Guided Walk of Stratford/ Back Stage Tour of Roy...
Guided Walk of Stratford/ Back Stage Tour of Royal Shakespeare Theatre/ Farewell Dinner

Note: Biking Distance - No biking.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Board an early coach 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: Sample local fare independently.

Afternoon: Independent exploration of the town prior to joining your fellow cyclists for a farewell dinner.

Dinner: Hotel restaurant

Lodging: Best Western Grosvenor Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Twelve: Wednesday, May 20 - Departure
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Board an early coach transfer to London Heathrow Airport. 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
7 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips

Ratings

4
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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