Stratford-upon-Avon easy loop, Warwickshire by Pashley Cycles
Pashley Cycles takes us on a short picturesque loop — including a large section riding along an old railway path — from its home town of Stratford-upon-Avon to picturesque Welford-on-Avon.
This route makes for a lovely Sunday ride with lunch midway in Welford-on-Avon, and a cheeky cream tea (or cold beer) by the riverside in Stratford-upon-Avon on your return.
Starting at the Swan’s Nest Lane carpark by the river, it takes you on a short ride through the town centre for a quick peak at Shakespeare’s birthplace, then past the iconic Royal Shakespeare Theatre and historic Holy Trinity Church. You are then guided to a traffic-free path that connects to the Stratford Greenway. The Greenway is a single track railway built in the 1859 by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway. It was closed in 1976 and is now a cycling and walking trail that takes you out in to the beautiful Warwickshire countryside.
There are two routes you can follow along the Greenway to Welford-on-Avon. This one is a slightly shorter option that avoids the hill climb and less cycling with the traffic.
For your Sunday lunch, there are two great pubs in Welford you can choose from. The route directs you to the Shakespeare Inn, which is a lovely little local with a pub garden. There is also the Bell Inn, which is located two minutes further up the High Street.
On your return after lunch, you will head back to join the Greenway. When you reach the end of the Greenway, you will go on to a small section of main road and will then be directed on to a cycle path just before the roundabout (the entrance to the path is a little hidden between bushes). You can choose to ride the full stretch of this cycle path back to your starting point, but the set route offers you the chance to drop down and cycle along the river where you will get a great view of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
For your treat at the end of the ride, the Riverside Tea Garden has great cakes, and equally The Bear Pub across the road has a great selection of real ales. If you fancy a quick little trip out on to the river too, rowing boats are available to hire nearby from Avon Boating.
Please note: you will come across gates along the Greenway at the Seven Meadows and Milcotecar parks. If you struggle to get your bicycle through these, there are boxed pathways for horses constructed adjacent to the gates over which a bicycle can be lifted.