ITINERARIES 2016PLEASE NOTE; THESE ITINERARIES ARE ‘A WORK IN PROGRESS’AND EVERY DETAIL HAS NOT BEEN FINALISED AT THIS STAGE. SOME ALTERATIONS MAY BE NECESSARY AS WE COMPLETE OUR RECCE VISITS. ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WILL BE UPDATED ON THE NEWS PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE. ANY FEATURES OMITTED WILL BE REPLACED BY SOMETHING OF SIMILAR QUALITY.
ALL PRICES ARE PER CAR i.e. 2 people sharing.
The Cotswolds Tour – Sunday April 3rd
The route for the 2016 Cotswolds Tour is similar to last year, but completely reversed with some of the more obvious locations omitted in favour of more ‘off the beaten track’ villages and roads. All the major features are retained; Bourton in the Water for coffee, Blenheim Palace for lunch and The Motor Heritage Centre at Gaydon to finish. This means you can spend as much time at Blenheim or Gaydon as you prefer. The start will be from the Alveston Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon, where accommodation can be arranged for the night before.
The route soon takes us in to quiet bye-ways passing over Lark Stoke Hill with its views of the surrounding countryside on our way to Chipping Campden. We then detour via the Broadway Tower with its superb panoramic views over the Vale of Evesham before meandering across country to the pretty village of Bourton on the Water for coffee.
We then head south before looping around to another typical Cotswold village, Burford and then a short ‘B’ road run to the magnificent Blenheim Palace for lunch.
After lunch we head east and then north through a maize of pleasant country lanes, taking to the higher ground wherever possible to get the best views of the surrounding rolling countryside. Our final run takes us across the busy M40 to the Country Park near Burton Dasset before following the main road to the fascinating Gaydon Heritage Centre where you can spend the remainder of the afternoon. It is only a short run back to Stratford for those staying at the hotel or continuing with the ‘Cymru’ tour tomorrow.
Cotswold Tour – Sunday Only, NO accommodation £59 per car
For accommodation contact organisers: 07795 204533
Cotswold and Cymru Tour - April 3-8th
DAY ONE – AS ABOVE
DAY TWO. Monday 4th
Today we leave Stratford heading west. First we take the country roads via Bidford on Avon before joining the main road to by-pass Worcester. After this short stretch of dual carriageway it is back onto ‘B’ roads as we follow the Severn Valley north. We pass through Wyn Forest and then follow the Severn Valley Steam Railway to Bridgnorth where we will stop at the station for lunch.
From Bridgnorth we head west and across Wanlock Edge into the surprisingly rugged countryside of Shropshire. We pass through Church Stretton and climb over the spectacular Long Mynd looking down into the deep valleys at the side of the road. We then make the long descent to the Welsh Border looking over the flatter land to the Welsh Mountains in the distance. As we head north we pass through Montgomery and into the mountains to the beautiful Lake Vrynwy and our hotel of that name, which is our base for the rest of the tour.
DAY THREE Tuesday 5th
This morning we head south through Newtown and down the main (but twisty) road to Llandrindod Wells and onto Llanwrtyd Wells before continuing further west into the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. We take a winding road through the forest which provides stunning views over Lyn Brianne and then continue via the daunting ‘Devil’s Staircase’ with its 1 in 4 climbs, and complete an almost circular route back to the picturesque Elan Valley. After a stop for tea near the reservoir dam, more quiet roads through forests and valleys bring us back to Lake Vrynwy.
DAY FOUR Wednesday 6th
We are off to the seaside! Well in that general direction. First we cross Lake Vrynwy and head into the forest and our first taste of ‘Hellfire Pass’ or ‘Bwlch y Groes’. This awesome minor road was used for testing early Austin and Triumph cars. We then head south to some to breathtaking views around Lyn Clywedog and a stop for coffee at the Red Kite Kiosk overlooking the dam. Some good driving roads then take us further west with the Snowdon range of mountains ahead. After passing through Machynlleth we follow one of Wales’ famous little railways, the Tallylyn, almost down to the coast. We descend to the lovely Afon Mawddach estuary and then turn inland with fabulous views of the mountains ahead. We follow the road around the estuary stopping for lunch in Barmouth. A short run north then brings us to the spectacular Harlech Castle, The return route takes us through more stunning scenery on our way back to the hotel via Bala Lake.
DAY FIVE Thursday 7th
The Grand Finale – a longer day but we have saved some of the best driving to the end. First we head north travelling along the edge of the Berwyn mountains and down into Bala, but this time we continue north to the main A5 road. We then follow the A5 to the picture postcard scenery of Betws y Coed and Swallow Falls where we stop for coffee.
After coffee things get more dramatic as we drive into the heart of Snowdonia taking the awesome Llanberis Pass down to Caernarfon for lunch. After lunch we head back inland along the flanks of Snowdon and on to Trawsfynydd where we start our last driving ‘adventure’ over the mountains and onto the upper section of the ‘Hellfire Pass’. It is just a short run down Lake Vyrnwy again back to the hotel and the finish.
COTSWOLDS AND CYMRU TOUR 6 NIGHTS - £1675 per car
Download booking form here
THE AUTUMN LAKES TOUR
As much of the 2015 Circuit of Cumbria was run in very poor visibility we think it might be worth using some of the route again in 2016. But, as ever we will try to make it different. Some of the previous route will be reversed and we have added some new sections as well as a completely new day in the South Lakes/Furness Penninsula. We will also be using a new hotel for the first time, The Old England, right on the shores of Windermere.
DINNER, OLD ENGLAND
DAY 1 Friday 14th
A mixture of the 2015 route in the heart of the Lake District with a new ‘twist’. First we leave the The Old England Hotel and take the minor road to Crook. We then head north towards Kirkstone Pass with the Lakes Mountains ahead. We don’t go over the pass this time though as we turn back down to the shores of Windermere. We then go through Ambleside to one of the most photographed places in the Lakes, Tarn Hows with the backdrop of Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam. We will stop for a coffee on the edge of the lake before turning back to the narrow lanes of Great Langdale where we drive right to the foot of the jagged Langdale Pikes. As we climb out of the valley upto the lonely Blea Tarn we get wonderful views of the head of the valley and the mountains behind.
The first ‘challenge’ of the day is the almost impossible hairpin turn onto the Wrynose Pass road. The second challenge is the pass itself. It is more of a steady straight climb though than the sister pass of Hardkott with its many hairpin bends. We descend to Cockley Beck and this time turn left into the Duddon Valley rather than tackle the second pass. We continue down the picturesque wooded valley all the way to the market town of Broughton for lunch.
After lunch we turn back into the mountains and run along the flanks of Coniston Old Man with views of the Duddon Estuary, before we drop down to the shores of Coniston Water. We head south along the lake and then turn across country through some little lanes on our way to the fabulous Lakeland Motor Museum for a tea halt.
The return run takes us over Gummers How which gives us views down the length of Windermere.
DAY 2 Saturday 15th
Today’s route is a reverse of the first part of last year’s Circuit of Cumbria and takes us through the Lyth Valley before reaching the seaside at Arnside, with lovely views over the Kent Estuary to the Lakes Mountains. From Arnside we go across country to Kirkby Lonsdale for a coffee stop in the town square.
After coffee we head north through the lanes to the very picturesque Killington Lake with the Howgills in the background. We pass through the Lune Gorge with the Howgills on the opposite side and on through Tebay. As we cross the hills we look down on the Eden Valley with the Pennines behind before we pass through Kirkby Stephen and then climb the flanks of the Pennines towards Tan Hill. However we don’t go as far as Britain’s highest pub this time but turn across to Stainmore where we can once again look down over the fantastic view of the Eden valley. We will stop for a late lunch/afternoon tea at a castle just outside Brough.
From Brough we head west through quiet lanes and cross the busy A66 onto the Warcop Army ranges before passing through the old county town of Appleby. We then head south through the Eden Valley and across to Shap, where we take this spectacular main road over the fells to Kendal. All that remains is a run through the country lanes around Kendal back to the Windermere.
DAY 3 Sunday 16th
A new route – the Bay Watch Tour! First we take the ferry across the lake just down the road from our hotel. The route now takes us through ‘Beatrix Potter Country’ and past the pretty Esthwaite Water before a loop through the extensive Grizedale Forest on our way to Hawkshead, and a coffee stop on the east side of Coniston Water at Brantwood House.
From coffee we head south all the way down the lake. At the southern end we cross Friday’s route and head for the Duddon Estuary again. From Duddon Bridge we take the Corney Fell road but only for a short distance before we turn back towards the main road with wonderful views of the estuary ahead. Once on the main road we return to Duddon Bridge and this time head down the Furness Penninsula. We follow the coast down almost to Barrow in Furness before taking some very minor roads that cut across to the atmospheric ruins of Furness Abbey where we can have lunch.
From Cartmel the final run takes us back into the hills where our cross country route takes us down the hairpin bends of ‘Tow Tops’ and through the lanes to Windermere.
3 DAYS 4 NIGHTS £899 per car (2 people) (Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun)
3 DAYS 3 NIGHTS £749 per car (Fri/Sat/Sun)