Broadway Loop Cycle via Stratford-upon-Avon (Long)
Macs Adventure Geverifieerde partner Keuze ontdekkingsreizigers
Quiet Cotswolds' RoadsFoto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
There are a few different options today; we have prepared a long and a short cycle route. The long route will take you into Stratford-upon-Avon to discover the home of William Shakespeare. If you prefer the short ride, you can take a bus to visit Stratford-upon-Avon in the afternoon. Alternatively, you can take a rest day today to relax in Broadway – there are worse places to spend a day sampling the shops, cafes and local walks!
Today starts with a tough climb out of Willersey that seems to get ever-steeper as you near the top, but once there you can expect gorgeous views on your left. You are right on the northern-most edge of the Cotswolds here, and after a few days where the horizon has always been blocked by the next row of hills, it suddenly feels like you can see forever as you gaze out from a lofty vantage point across the flat agricultural plains of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
As you near Stratford-upon-Avon you leave the Cotswolds behind; the cycling becomes flatter, the architecturally-magnificent grand Manor Houses less frequent, and the vine-covered, honey-coloured cottages disappear altogether, but there are new delights to be found; row-boats and narrow-boats drift along the River Avon, the Tudor House-lined streets of Stratford are bustling and energetic, and there are many Shakespeare-themed delights to discover.
Once all 'Shakespeared out', you can begin pedalling back to Broadway; it's a gentle start on a dedicated bridleway that was previously a railway. It soon becomes hillier and the charming villages come flooding back, and you'll know you're back in the Cotswolds.
Tip van de auteur
This route take place mostly on rural roads. Drivers are generally used to seeing cyclists so are courteous, passing slowly and giving plenty of room. Be sure that your cycling is predictable with no erratic motions, and whenever you are changing roads, communicate that with hand signals.
There are some testing uphills and thrilling descents today, where it is tempting to let loose of the brakes and fly down; on these country roads however, it is important to cycle expecting the unexpected and adjust your speed appropriately, so whether there is a pothole or an escaping sheep you have enough time to slow down.
There are a few sections on busier roads but these are always fairly short. Before turning onto a busy road, it is advisable to consult the map and read the turn-by-turn directions, so you know where you are turning off and don’t have to stop on the edge to check.
Today the route crosses railway tracks. When crossing it is important you slow down and ride perpendicular (at right angles) to the railway tracks so there is no risk of your wheel slipping down a hole. If you don’t feel confident, don’t worry about getting off and walking over.
Tips en hints
Points of Interest
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
This 500-year old cottage is where William Shakespeare courted Anne Hathaway, his bride-to-be. The history of this thatched Wattle and Daub (black and white) Tudor cottage has been retained with the original furniture of the time still in place. You can also explore the 9 acres of romantic gardens that envelop the property.
More information available here: https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit/anne-hathaways-cottage/
This is the house where Shakespeare was born and grew up, including the first 5 years of his marriage with Anne Hathaway. Today the house appears plain and fairly unimpressive but in the 16th century it would have been considered a splendid property; indeed, it is the largest house on Henley Street. Today it is a museum and has been restored to how it might have looked.
More information available here: https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit/shakespeares-birthplace/
You will pedal out of Stratford on ‘The Greenway’ which is a dedicated bridlepath shared by cyclists, horse riders and walkers. But this flat route was originally a railway; built in 1859 by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, this was Stratford’s link to the south-west. The cycle route still uses some of the railway infrastructure such as bridges across the River Avon, and some of the old train carriages have been converted into cafes.
More information available here: http://countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk/2012/02/09/cycling/
Food and Drink
You will find a pub where you can eat and drink in most of the villages that you pass through today, but perhaps the best place to stop for lunch is in Stratford-upon-Avon as you will probably arrive around midday, and there is a wide selection available.
Alternatively, there is also a great pub with lots of history and character in Bretforton which has won the Country Pub of the Year in 2016.
0.00km – Start by standing beside the war memorial facing the road, and TURN RIGHT to head uphill and through most of Broadway's cafes and restaurants. After 450 metres TURN LEFT at the roundabout to take the first exit.
1.70km - At the big roundabout CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON taking the second exit towards Willersey.
2.90km – As the road makes a sweeping left-hand turn in Willersey, and with the Methodist Church on your right, TURN RIGHT to pass through the 7.5 tonne restriction signs. There is a long, steep hill which makes it a tough start to the morning.
4.20km – At the crossroads at the top of the hill, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross the road and head towards Chipping Campden and Mickleton. There are beautiful views stretching out on your left before you enter a peaceful wooded section.
5.40km – As the woodland on your right clears, TURN LEFT onto a long straight section of road.
6.40km – At the crossroads TURN RIGHT to go steeply downhill past the 7.5 tonne restriction signs. Continue through Chipping Campden ignoring all side roads.
8.40km – After passing through much of Chipping Campden including the grand church (St James' Church) on your right, TURN RIGHT onto the one-way road called Cidermill Lane. After 200 metres, with the church directly ahead, TURN LEFT. At both junctions follow signs to Ebrington, Paxford and Shipston-on-Stour.
9.40km – After passing residential area on your left, TURN LEFT to head on a slight uphill towards Ebrington.
11.00km – As the road curves right, TURN LEFT passing through the national speed limit signs ‘a black diagonal stripe on a white circle’ following signs to Hidcote Boyce and Hidcote Bartrim,
11.60km – At the crossroads CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross the road and head towards the grassy hill ahead. After 1km of climbing BEAR RIGHT to follow the sign towards Ilmington and continue heading uphill along a hedge-lined lane.
13.50km – After passing through a short wooded section, BEAR RIGHT to continue on the same road and head slowly downhill. Continue for 2.6km.
16.00km – After a steep 14% downhill into Ilmington TURN LEFT onto Back Street, heading towards Admington and Mickleton passing the church on your right. After 700 metres as you reach a T-junction TURN RIGHT. After 200 metres, at the next T-junction TURN LEFT to follow the sign to Stratford, 7 miles away, and enjoy a fairly flat section of cycling.
19.40km – TURN RIGHT following the sign to Crimscote. There is a sticker informing you that you are joining Cycle Route S1.
22.00km – After entering Crimscote, BEAR RIGHT at the junction, following the sign to Newbold and Shipston to head uphill. Ignore the left turn of Cycle Route S1.
22.60km – After passing a grand house on your left, TURN LEFT and then immediately TURN LEFT to continue across two bridges over small streams.
23.20km – At the staggered crossroads with the hotel driveway and bus stop directly ahead, TURN LEFT onto the A3400 towards Alderminster. This section of road is slightly busier so ride carefully.
25.00km – Shortly after passing the old schoolhouse and church, TURN RIGHT onto New Road following the sign to Loxley.
27.70km – When you come to the A422, TURN LEFT towards Stratford. After 400 metres TURN RIGHT towards Loxley, to immediately continue through national speed limit signs. Continue for 2.9km ignoring all side roads and passing through Loxley.
30.70km – After a short, sharp 10% downhill, TURN LEFT at the T-junction. Continue straight for 5.7km ignoring all side roads.
36.40km – At the T-junction, TURN LEFT onto the B4086 towards Stratford, ½ a mile away. After 300 metres, TURN LEFT and cross into the second (right-hand) lane. After 100 metres, go all the way around the roundabout to take the third exit which continues onto a bridge over the River Avon.
37.10km – After crossing the bridge and passing traffic lights, TURN LEFT and then immediately TURN LEFT following signs to Town Centre. Continue along Bridge Street towards the Market Hall with a clock, wind-vain and compass on the tower.
37.40km – At the roundabout, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, taking the 2nd exit and passing the Market Hall on your right. After 200 metres, at the traffic lights TURN LEFT, passing the clocktower on your left. Be sure to admire all the Black-and-White Tudor buildings.
38.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through the traffic lights and then immediately TURN LEFT towards the roundabouts. After 200 metres, ignoring the left turn just before the roundabout, enter the roundabout and TURN LEFT towards the traffic lights and passing under the footbridge.
38.60km – At the next roundabout CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, taking the third exit to pass into the car park for ‘The Greenway’. After the slight downhill out of the car park, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over the crossroads to pass the train on your right.
42.40km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through the car park and across the road to resume the cycle path again.
45.80km – After passing a gate on the cycle path TURN RIGHT following the sign to Long Marston to pass the Railway Cottage on your left. After 300 metres TURN LEFT at the T-junction.
48.50km – At the crossroads with the stone wall and gates on your left, TURN RIGHT towards Broad Marston and Pebworth to immediately cross under the overhead lines. After 1km ignore the left turn to Mickleton and BEAR RIGHT as it crosses under the railway bridge.
51.00km – Having passed football fields and a basketball court on your left, and with a pub on your right, TURN LEFT towards Honeybourne and Evesham.
54.20km – Having continued straight through Honeybourne and passed under two railway bridges, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads, to remain on cycle routes 41 and 442.
54.90km – After passing the village green on your left TURN LEFT towards Badsey, 4 miles away.
56.40km – At the crossroads TURN RIGHT onto the B4035 towards Badsey and Evesham. You will immediately pass the Parish noticeboard and bus stop on your left.
57.50km – Shortly after passing the petrol station TURN LEFT onto Main Street following the sign to Bretforton Village Centre. After 100 metres BEAR RIGHT to continue towards the church and car park. After another 100 metres once you reach the church TURN LEFT onto a narrow road between cottages. There is an old pub in this Square with lots of character and voted the Best Country Pub in 2016.
57.80km – After crossing the bridge TURN RIGHT at the T-junction. After 600 metres, TURN LEFT at the T-junction to pass immediately through the 50mph speed signs. Continue towards Evesham for 3.4km ignoring all side roads.
60.20km – At the junction with the telephone box on the corner, TURN LEFT towards Village Centre and Post Office.
60.80km – Shortly after passing a church and pub on your left TURN LEFT onto School Lane. After 200 metres TURN RIGHT at the T-junction onto Willersey Road. At both junctions follow signs to Wickhamford and Broadway.
61.70km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring the right-hand turn to Wickhamford and Broadway.
62.80km – BEAR RIGHT towards Willersey and Broadway ignoring the 41 and 442 cycle routes that turn left.
66.50km – Shortly after passing the sports field and playpark on your right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the roundabout. After 500 metres you will join the road that you left earlier on this ride. BEAR RIGHT to stay on the road and continue towards Broadway.
68.00km – At the big roundabout CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to take the second exit and continue towards Broadway.
69.30 – At the mini-roundabout, TURN RIGHT to take the second exit and continue downhill for 500 metres to finish at the war memorial.
All normal cycle equipment and outdoor gear is required, including a helmet, gloves and a wind-break layer. Even if it doesn’t appear necessary ensure you bring enough warm and waterproof clothes as weather conditions can change quickly.
Padded shorts are recommended, as saddle pain takes the fun away very quickly!
This route is mostly on rural roads so be sure to bring a bottle of water and a snack in case you find yourself a long way from the shops.
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