General overview of route (please click ‘Download Trail here’ at the bottom of the page for full direction details and distances before setting out):
1. For a long time Shipston-on-Stour was an important centre for sheep sales. Today it is a vibrant market town full of independent shops and cafes.
2. From Shipston-on-Stour High Street follow the National Cycle Network Route 5 signs towards Banbury. The mainly on-road trail takes in the hamlets of Barcheston and Stourton.
3. Continue through Sutton-under-Brailes to Lower Brailes.
4. ‘Brailes’ is recorded in the Domesday book as the most valuable manor in Warwickshire. This prosperity continued, later reflected in St George’s Church, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Feldon’. Also note the Catholic chapel of St Peter and St Paul.
5. In Upper Brailes the Castle Hill mound was probably constructed with a timber tower on top in the 12th century by the Earl of Warwick.
6. On the longer route extension you can take in the Norman village of Whichford, cycle over Traitor’s Ford and catch your breath at the top of the hills before returning to the main circuit at Lower Brailes.