Cheltenham was where I fell in love with cycling. Riding out into the Cotswolds via Cleeve Hill was a weekly ritual that never tired. There is endless potential for cycle routes in Cheltenham and here are some of my highlights.
The Cheltenham Blitz Cycle Route
This was one of my first ever rides in Cheltenham and whenever I only had an hour or two to spare it was my go to. Cleeve Hill is one of two major climbs out of Cheltenham and it’s deceptively steep most ways up (unless you come from Winchcombe).
The rest of this Cheltenham cycle route is casual so put in the energy on Cleeve and enjoy yourself coming down and looping round North. The route also goes through the Cheltenham racecourse where you can pick up some real pace on long stretches of traffic-free tarmac.
Through the Malvern Hills
I experienced this road cycling route on a cold November’s morning having never ridden over 50 miles before. Trusting my club mates that it was a relaxed ride, I soon started to understand I was going to battle a fierce set of climbs on the Malvern Hills followed by cramps in every leg muscle imaginable.
Assuming you’re more seasoned than I was, having only cycled for 2 months back in 2016, you’ll find a cyclist’s haven in the hills and surrounding roads that lead you to them.
Bourton-on-the-Water Cycle Out
Despite my memories of getting lost and getting caught short on fuel, this Cheltenham cycle route to Bourton-on-the-Water is scenic and takes you through the edges of the Cotswolds.
Hilly, green and all things good. Bourton is as picturesque as they come in the Cotswolds where you’ll be able to sit by the water with a flat white. The roads are quiet and rolling with two tough climbs, Cleeve (5.4% average gradient) and Winchcombe (8.4% average gradient).
Cycle Routes Near Cheltenham
Cirencester to Oxford Cycle Loop
80 miles to Oxford and back is worth the ride out. This one does start in Cirencester, up the road from Cheltenham and if you want to push yourself you can incorporate the short ride to the starting point.
You’ll skim the Southern Cotswold region whilst heading back towards Lechlade. There are some favourable flats to sit in the sweet spot at, and plenty of places at the midway point in Oxford for coffee or more. Maybe pass by the Peloton Espresso cafe?
Gloucester Cathedral to Slimbridge
You shouldn’t have difficulty finding this starting point… Starting from Gloucester Cathedral, this route takes you close to the River Severn and up through Stonehouse for a calm and relatively flat 30 miles.
Have any other Cheltenham cycle routes you’d recommend? Whether flat, hilly, short or long, we’re always on the hunt for the best routes and rides across the UK.
If you have a worthy collection of your own routes local to your area, we’d love to hear from you and give you the chance to be featured + receive an Amazon voucher. Get in touch with us here.