Cycling close to The Old Shed Charlbury

Country lanes, traffic-free tracks and beautiful scenery make The Old Shed an ideal location for a cycling break. We have listed three of the most common routes below, perhaps start, stop for a break or finish at The Old Shed for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.

Cotswold Line Cycle Route: Charlbury to Oxford

Following the railway to the dreaming spires:

The Cotswold Line Cycle Route is a long-distance cycle route running in parallel with Charlbury's railway - so you can go as far as you like, then take the train back. This ride follows the Evenlode Valley downstream to the university city of Oxford. You can see a dedicated map and route description at the Cotswold Cycling website (showing an alternative route from Charlbury to East End).

  1. Start in the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown. Cycle down Church Street in the direction of Witney, and continue to follow the road as it becomes Park Street.

  2. After around 500m, turn right down the lane to Cornbury Park, crossing the railway and the river. Before the main gates, turn left on the permissive path. Follow the fence line to a gate, then manoeuvre your bike through, and follow the tarmacked drive past the Southill Business Park to the main road. (Confident cyclists on road bikes may prefer to follow the busy B4022 instead, as shown on the map on the Cotswold Cycling website, but do take care - this is a very busy road with blind bends.)

  3. Turn right uphill on the main road to Finstock. As the village begins, turn left. Continue downhill to the Plough Inn - an excellent, cyclist-friendly pub with real ale and cider.

  4. By the Plough, turn left, then left at the next crossroads after a mile, taking an enjoyable downhill on very quiet roads.

  5. At the crossroads at the bottom of the valley, continue straight on (signposted East End) and haul yourself up the steep hill. At the top of the hill you'll enter East End, where the historically curious can lock their bike and take a walk down a track to the left to the North Leigh Roman Villa. Continue through East End, passing a wood on the left, to a T junction.

  6. At the T junction turn left, then immediately left again on the cycle path along the A4095. Follow the cycle path into the village of Long Hanborough. There are several pubs, a cycle repair shop, and a Co-op here for provisions.

  7. At Hanborough station, you can choose to take the train back to Charlbury, or continue cycling onto Oxford. If you continue cycling, you'll need to join the busy A4095 for half a mile - take care.

  8. After you have left Long Hanborough, take the second rural road to the right, signposted Cassington. Follow this quiet road south, crossing a railway bridge.

  9. Turn left at the next T-junction and follow the road (which can be busy in rush hour) to the pleasant village of Yarnton. Continue through Yarnton to the A44.

  10. At the roundabout in Yarnton, turn right on the cycle track. From here, follow the National Cycle Network Route 5 signs to Oxford. These will take you along the road, down onto the canal towpath, and then into Oxford on back streets. (Alternatively, you can follow the canal towpath all the way.) The railway station is well signposted in Oxford for your return journey!

Cotswold Line Cycle Route: Charlbury to Moreton

Into the heart of the Cotswolds by bike:

 

The Cotswold Line Cycle Route is a long-distance cycle route running in parallel with Charlbury's railway - so you can go as far as you like, then take the train back. This ride heads into the Cotswolds through picturesque villages and along country lanes. You can see a dedicated map and route description at the Cotswold Cycling website.

  1. Start in the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown. Follow the one-way system along Sheep Street (signposted Hixet Wood), then take the first left past the Catholic and Methodist churches, and left again towards the Playing Close. Here, by the Co-op, turn right uphill.

  2. At the crossroads, turn right, then shortly afterwards left (signposted Ditchley). Follow the road out of Charlbury along a gentle uphill.

  3. At the gate of Ditchley Park, turn left along the Salt Way, a slightly bumpy traffic-free 'restricted byway'. Continue along here, as the surface becomes better, to a crossroads with a B road.

  4. Go straight across, and cycle along the undulating road through the village of Taston (take care: gravel on road). Bear right at the headless cross in the village centre, then turn left by the grassy island in the road. Continue out of the village, passing a barn conversion on the left, to Spelsbury.

  5. At Spelsbury, go straight on and follow the road towards Chadlington. You'll pass a turn to the hamlet of Dean on the right - the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron!

  6. In Chadlington, turn right by the cycle-friendly Cafe de la Poste (excellent refreshments available). Pass the deli and butchers, then turn left, descending rapidly to the Tite Inn (currently closed). Haul yourself uphill to the A361.

  7. Head straight across the main road (slight left-then-right dogleg) and follow the quiet lane. Ignore the first turning, and the private drive into the Sarsden Estate (where controversial News International boss Rebekah Brooks lives), and turn left at a crossroads towards Sarsden.

  8. Follow this lovely, quiet road for almost two miles to a T-junction. At the T-junction, turn right, continuing for a short way to a junction with a B road.

  9. Take the B road left (beware traffic), passing the farm belonging to ex-Blur bassist Alex James. At the next junction, you can continue left towards Kingham Station for a return train to Charlbury, or turn right to continue cycling into the village of Kingham.

  10. Pass through Kingham and turn left just after you've left the village. Follow the lane along the Evenlode valley, passing the opulent Daylesford Organic 'farm shop'.

  11. At the main road at the end, go straight across onto a bridleway (warning: bumpy surface; riders of road bikes may prefer to take a short diversion left, then turn right on the next turn). Continue along the bridleway, past the cricket pitch, to the other side of the field. Follow the tree-lined way to Adlestrop Church.

  12. At the church, follow the lane through Adlestrop village, passing the village stores. Turn left at the bus shelter, adorned with the former railway station sign - made famous in Edward Thomas's paean to branch-line Britain, Adlestrop. Bear right at the next turn.

  13. At a T-junction after a mile, turn right towards Evenlode. Continue straight on, through the village, for a distance of three miles.

  14. In Moreton-in-Marsh, you'll meet the A44 road (busy but slow) by the closed Wellington pub. Turn left, then shortly afterwards, turn right on a tarmac footpath across a green open space. Follow this footpath to the railway station bridge. Your train back to Charlbury departs from this side of the bridge!

The Wychwood Loop

Along the Evenlode valley and through the secret forest:

Developed as part of the Cotswold Line Cycle Route, this circular route takes in some of the very best country lanes around Charlbury and offers a terrific day's cycling. You can see a dedicated map and route description at the Cotswold Cycling website.

  1. Start in the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown. Follow the one-way system along Sheep Street (signposted Hixet Wood), then take the first left past the Catholic and Methodist churches, and left again towards the Playing Close. Here, by the Co-op, turn right uphill.

  2. At the crossroads, turn right, then shortly afterwards left (signposted Ditchley). Follow the road out of Charlbury along a gentle uphill.

  3. At the gate of Ditchley Park, turn left along the Salt Way, a slightly bumpy traffic-free 'restricted byway'. Continue along here, as the surface becomes better, to a crossroads with a B road.

  4. Go straight across, and cycle along the undulating road through the village of Taston (take care: gravel on road). Bear right at the headless cross in the village centre, then turn left by the grassy island in the road. Continue out of the village, passing a barn conversion on the left, to Spelsbury.

  5. At Spelsbury, go straight on and follow the road towards Chadlington. You'll pass a turn to the hamlet of Dean on the right - the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron!

  6. In Chadlington, turn right by the cycle-friendly Cafe de la Poste (excellent refreshments available). Pass the deli and butchers, then turn left, descending rapidly to the Tite Inn (currently closed). Haul yourself uphill to the A361.

  7. Head straight across the main road (slight left-then-right dogleg) and follow the quiet lane. Ignore the first turning, and the private drive into the Sarsden Estate (where controversial News International boss Rebekah Brooks lives), and turn left at a crossroads towards Sarsden.

  8. Follow this lovely, quiet road for almost two miles to a T-junction. At the T-junction, turn right, continuing for a short way to a junction with a B road.

  9. Take the B road left (beware traffic), passing the farm belonging to ex-Blur bassist Alex James. Bear left at the next junction, passing Kingham station - offering a route home if you've had enough!

  10. At a junction where the B road makes a sharp right, turn left to Foscot. Take the next left to Foxholes.

  11. Foxholes is a tiny hamlet. Continue roughly straight on, doglegging through the houses, onto a broken-up road (passable for road bikes but with some care). Follow this road as the surface recovers, and continue through the wood to a T-junction.

  12. Turn right and follow the minor road for two miles, ignoring the turn to Milton-under-Wychwood, and passing through farms.

  13. At the Hill Farm crossroads, turn left on a gloriously scenic road halfway up the hillside. Follow this road for two miles, through Upper Milton, and along a tree-lined avenue.

  14. At the A361, go straight across. Turn left at the end of the road, skirting the village of Shipton-under-Wychwood, and continue downhill to the turn for Ascott-under-Wychwood. Turn right and cycle to Ascott.

  15. In Ascott-under-Wychwood, turn right at the junction by the level crossing, and continue steeply uphill to the B road (take care for traffic).

  16. Turn right then immediately left towards Leafield, with excellent views behind you over the Evenlode Valley. After Fairspear Farm, turn left again and cycle into the village, emerging near the newly reopened Fox pub.

  17. At the Fox, turn left, and cycle through Leafield past the church on the right. Turn left towards Chadlington on Hatchings Lane.

  18. Follow this splendid, undulating cycling road down a sharp downhill then up again, with Wychwood Forest and the Cornbury Estate on your right. When the road eventually forks, head right towards Charlbury.

  19. At the main B road, turn right and head downhill into Charlbury, passing the railway station. Watch out for deer darting out from the side of the road!

  20. In Charlbury, turn right halfway up the hill, along Church Lane. At the end of the lane, push your bike through the churchyard. Once out of the churchyard, cycle back up Church Street to return to your start point.