North Cotswolds

The North Cotswolds are beautiful. Period. Starting north of Cheltenham and finishing south of Stratford it straddles approximately 35 miles top to bottom and encompasses some of the most beautiful towns and villages in the UK. Here cycling is popular, and the number of cycling clubs befits an area of such beauty.
I was lucky enough to grow up around these parts, and while Malvern was my home, we frequented the north Cotswolds with regularity and 4 times a year would travel through on our way to my mother’s parents in Welwyn Garden City, often stopping off at the farm shops around Evesham to buy asparagus, strawberry’s, raspberry’s or whatever was in season to take down as a gift for putting up with 4 noisy children for a few hours. It was during these times that I got to see Pershore, Broadway and Chipping Norton, and if the roads were bad we ventured along the back roads that took us to Chipping Campden, Burford and Stow.
BroadwayTowerintheCotswolds -

The roads undulate and occasionally take you by surprise; in the market garden of England you have Fish Hill, a winding never ending hill that takes you up to Broadway Tower, and if your going the other way it pushes you forever downwards towards the Lygon Arms, Broadways most famous hotel. Testament to its unrealised danger is that there is an escape lane half way down! But for cyclists this is what it is all about; the feeling of your heart rate increasing, becoming breathless, your legs starting to burn and your calf muscles beginning to twitch! Getting to the top of Fish hill, stopping in the market square in Chipping Norton or having a well earned rest in the centre of Winchcombe, I can guarantee you either an amazing view (Broadway), fantastic architecture (Winchcombe) or both (Chipping Norton). You will not be disappointed. But don’t take my word for it; of the many cycling clubs that are available we found Cycle Evesham Vale: a relatively new club, founded in 2015 but with a ethos that focuses on helping others enjoy the Evesham’s surrounding countryside. This is definitely a club run by the members for the enjoyment of all, irrespective of age or standard. Their website states:

‘Welcome to our website dedicated to help making the Vale of Evesham the best place to cycle for all people. All good ideas start with a good cuppa and something cyclists love more than anything else is a good coffee.’

A cycle club that knows the value of good tea and coffee gets my vote any day! The website has loads of useful information and what I really love is that they give you lots of useful links to other organisations. They are really here to help inform. You can sign up for their newsletter and I have no doubt the members would be more than happy to point you in the right direction based of your standard of riding. I can thoroughly recommend North Cotswolds as a place to go for one or a few days. There is some great cycling to be had, and hopefully we will meet each other going in opposite directions and acknowledge each other with a welcoming nod of the head!

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