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“Great city, daunting on a bike.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cycle Tours Oxford

Cycle Tours Oxford
Malmaison Hotel | 3 New Rd, Oxford OX1 1NP, England
+44 7908 670105
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Ranked #27 of 68 Activities in Oxford
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Owner description: In the Glorious city of Oxford, the bicycle is a tradition almost as famous as the dreaming spires themselves; so come rain or shine, winter or summer, Cycle Tours Oxford Limited, (Oxford’s Original Bicycle tour company) provide picturesque, eco-friendly, fun, premium guided vintage cycle tours of Oxford’s rich and fascinating history.If that wasn't enough we also provide themed tours to suit all, so why not join us on our Alice Tour, Can you spot the white rabbit and help Alice escape the Queen of Hearts in time to find her way to the ultimate tea party where amazing delights await! or come after dark to uncover some of the mystic mysteries, legends, and tales of vagabonds and murder that the city has to tell. Our tours run twice daily,(10am and 2pm)& (7.30pm for the Twilight tour) meeting outside Baillol college on Broad street, opposite the tourist information centre.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great city, daunting on a bike.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Had a private tour with my wife and daughters (11 & 14). To begin with the guide asked us if we were comfortable on bikes and of course we said yes. However I think he meant would we be comforatble riding bikes in the X Games. The streets were very busy with busses and cars going both direction on the narrow English streets. It was all we could do to keep up the first half hour. The bikes were good quality but had very uncomfortable seats. The tour of the colleges and the town was very interesting but I agree with others that it could have easily been done on foot. The ride through the countryside was beautiful but was mostly on un- improved paths along the canal. Pub visit was very nice but we had to buy our own drinks. The ride back was a mad dash through several miles of residential streets with busy traffic.

I would recomend this tour for someone who is in good shape and is very comfortable riding in city traffic. Oxford is a beautiful place, not to be missed. However I would think twice before doing a bike tour there again. As a point of reference we did another bike tour in Versailles a few days later and had a wonderful, relaxing time.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CycleToursOxford, Manager at Cycle Tours Oxford, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Dear Steve and family,

Please accept my sincere apologies.

I was extremely upset to hear about your recent experience with Cycle Tours Oxford and I am extremely sorry to hear that you did not have a pleasurable experience with us. We always endeavour to provide the best quality service possible and so we are sensitive to criticism but feel happy that we are able to use it to improve the quality of our tours.

Our tours should be conducted to a very specific spec following very specific routes that avoid the congestion of Oxford city centre. During peak tourist times we often hire professional guides to conduct our tours and they are informed of the routes that should be taken. It is troubling to us that you clearly were not taken on the correct route and we have taken measures to ensure that all further tours are conducted to our specifications.

Our bicycle saddles are vintage Brooks Saddles and are renowned as being one of the best quality products on the market. Based on this feedback however, we have purchased a range of different seats to ensure seating options prior to the beginning of a tour. These seats can be quickly fitted and altered to suits customer needs.

Once again I am very sorry to hear that your experience was anything other than pleasurable. In addition to measures taken to ensure this experience is not repeated we would like to offer you and your family another tour whenever you are in Oxford, to be conducted by the managing director herself, free of charge, with different seats and at a pace that is comfortable for you. We will even buy the drinks!

Kind Regards,
Managing Director Cycle Tours Oxford.
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55 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“I would highly recommend this Cycle Tour of Oxford”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We were a family of 4 that join the tour. It was a gorgeous day in Oxford and our guide Darna was brilliant.
The first part of the tour took us to the sights of the city. Dana was extremely knowledgeable and attentive to our needs. She gave us plenty of time for photos etc... We had a refreshment break at the most famous pub in Oxford before heading south where we visited the pretty English village of Binsey and a 12th century church. Along the meadow we saw wild horses and the river Thames was very beautiful.
The tour lasted roughly 2.5 hours long and all in all it was a very fun and interesting trip. It will be an experience that we will remenmber for a long time.

Visited July 2013
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15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A shambles. Dangerous. Bikes not vintage as described. Tour guide nice though.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

We were promised a vintage bike tour but only four of us got vintage bikes and eight got tacky ones and one even got a travel bike! The original lady was trying to guide us to the tour guide but for 20 mins cycled at high speed down one way streets the wrong way and then took us through the high street on the hottest, busiest day of the year!! She got lost to begin with and we went in a big circle! She didn't make sure we could all keep up. She was pretty rude too. When we finally got to the guide we were running an hour late. The guide showed us a few buildings and then took us down the countryside which was lovely. We were treated to some warm fizz. We weren't given cycle helmets which I was so shocked at! Seeing how busy the roads were. On the plus side, along with beautiful countryside the tour guide was good fun.

Visited July 2013
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CycleToursOxford, Manager at Cycle Tours Oxford, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Dear Laura Cawley,

We would like to use this opportunity to apologise for the poor quality of service you felt you received at the beginning of your tour. We take a huge amount of pride in the service we offer and successfully conduct hundreds of tours annually to satisfied customers, as such; we would like to proffer some degree of explanation as to why the beginning of your tour may have seemed somewhat chaotic.

We always endeavour to provide customers with well-maintained vintage Pashley bicycles. During peak seasonal times however, there are occasions (usually only once or twice a year) when our volume of business exceeds our stock of bicycles. It is during these times that we are often compelled to hire additional bicycles feeling that it would be a greater disappointment to not be able to provide a tour than to do so using professionally maintained hired bicycles that are not always of a vintage character. We are passionate about the culture of Oxford and its surrounding countryside feeling it to be an area of unparalleled natural beauty and have always felt this location to be the focal point of our tours.

Oxford is a huge tourist attraction and during peak seasonal times congestion and road closures due to events such as fairs, can, at times, create some difficulties with conducting the start of our tours. We apologise for the inconvenience this caused you and we are always seeking to modify our tours to adapt to the busy summer period as well as working with local authorities to seek to reduce congestion in the city centre.

SAFETY is of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE to us at Cycle Tours Oxford and it is for this reason that we stock cycle helmets for use upon request. Cycle helmets are not a legal requirement in the UK however and it is through our experience that we only provide helmets upon request. We also carry out regular risk assessments of our tours to insure they are safe. All our guides are fully aware of the rules of the roads and are trained in health and safety and all our guides should always make customers aware of this before setting out.

We are shocked at the suggestion of rude behaviour by a member of our staff and shall be investigating this accusation thoroughly. Our tour guides constitute the best trained and most knowledgeable in Oxford, all of whom have had many years’ experience prior to working with us and we are accustomed to compliments on their professionalism and good nature. We can only apologise unreservedly for this and endeavour to ensure this does not happen again.

As a recompense for the bad experience you had, Cycle Tours Oxford would like to offer you dinner for two at one of Oxford's most renowned restaurants. We implore you to contact us as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made for this.

Kind regards,
Managing Director Cycle Tours Oxford
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Good easy afternoon out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I was looking for a cycle tour that would take 2-3 hours as I had a friend visiting for the day, who wanted to do other things as well, and the Inspiring City tour with Alistair served admirably. We started off from Malmaison Hotel and headed out of Oxford City, over to Port Meadow on the Thames, through a strawberry farm in Binsley, Lewis Carroll's Treacle Well, quick stop at The Perch pub, before heading back into the city to stop by a few colleges (St Johns and Balliol), Bodleian etc. Alistair was great at tailoring the tour - and pointed out places that we might want to visit ourselves outside the tour.

The bikes were comfy, and the ride was reasonably easy - mostly flat and downhill, through some nice countryside - and I would be happy to recommend it to anyone who is worried that they might not be fit enough for a 2.5 bike ride. I thought that the bits outside the city centre were the best - the stuff in the city centre would have been better and more easily covered on a walking tour. I'd be interested in doing the other "outside the city" tours with the company and found them pretty reliable and informal.

Was a little disappointed we didnt see more of the spires, and the colleges in the city, but was really pleased otherwise!

Visited July 2013
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fun views of the city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

The weather was beautiful and the bicycles were a great way to see the city. Our guide gave us a lot of inside information about the colleges and lives of students. We were there during exam time and saw graduates "getting trashed" after they completed the exams. We were also taken to see the spots relating to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, including, The Eagle and Child Pub, and the house that Bill Clinton lived in when he was a Rhodes Scholar. Our guide, Matt, told us all the places we could tour free of charge, including Rhodes house, and Christ Church College for worship (since it is the cathedral that serves the city). All in all, it was an excellent tour and a great way to get acclimated to the city.

Visited June 2013
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