Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Touring newby!!

Helen1Helen1 Posts: 20
edited August 2008 in Tour & expedition
I'm off to visit family in Somerset - I live in Bucks. Have decided to take 3 days or so to get there. I'm thinking of cycling from Gt Missenden to Reading - my commute, and picking up the Kennet cycle path to Newbury. I've been pouring over maps etc. Does anyone know what the a30 is like - will it be deeply unpleasant to cycle on ....?
Would appreciate any thoughts on the route. The a303 is definitely a non starter - way too busy....!

Thanks guys.


  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Why not just continue on the towpath or pick up the National Cycle Network route 4 which runs in parallel (well sort of) with the Kennet to Westbury and then cut down towards Wells?

    Oh and if you have a bike that will cope with off-road you could consider picking up the Ridgeway at Goring and following it to Avebury.
  • Helen1Helen1 Posts: 20
    Thanks for that - I'll be on a road bike so really couldn't go off road. I'll check out ncn 4.
  • bofbof Posts: 372
    I have cycled to Somerset from London.
    Approx route
    Marlow, Sonning Common, Goring (big hill at Streatley), Hermitage, Hungerford, Bedwyn Pewsey, Westbury, Mells, Wells, Taunton. A few miles on a quiet bit of the A4 before Hungerford, but otherwise pleasant B/bigger unclassified roads with short links on lesser A roads.
    I did it in a very long day!
    The artist formally known as boring old fart
  • Helen1Helen1 Posts: 20
    How many miles was that bof?
  • mandiemandie Posts: 218
    If I am planning an A-B trip that I haven't done before I plan it using major roads, as if I was going to drive it, and draw that on a road atlas. then look for 'B' and and unclassified roads that run parallel to the route that I first planned. Then I look for what might be interesting detours along the way.
    We\'ll kick against the darkness \'till it bleeds daylight
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    I was on the Wendover to Great Bedwyn section of bof's route at the weekend, from there we went via Marlborough and Devizes to Bath. Apart from the the pig of a hill bof mentions coming out of Streatly it was a very pleasant, reasonably quiet and easyride. We did ride the towpath between Newbury and Kintbury (lovely pub on the canal) but there was a road alternative.
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    andymiller wrote:
    Oh and if you have a bike that will cope with off-road you could consider picking up the Ridgeway at Goring and following it to Avebury.

    The other half of our group did the Ridgeway from Goring to Marlborough on Saturday, on a wet and windy day the path was a b....r and only suitably for mudlarks. But it was great aparently in the afternoon when the sun came out.
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    I would go across the Vale of the White horse and cross the downs further west. Draw a line through Watlington, Didcot to Wantage and use the minor roads to there. Wantage to Lambourn(B4001), Lambourn to Ramsbury, Ramsbury along the river to Marlborough.
    Marlborough, Manton, Clatford, Lockeridge, Alton Priors.
    Alton Priors, Allington, Horton, Coate, Devises.
    Devises to Bath on the Kennet and Avon towpath (metaled) . The next bit depends where in Somerset you are going.
    The climbs out of Wantage and Lambourn are long but a lot less steep than Streatley. As you get to the top of the B4001 out of Lambourn dont miss the right turn to take you over the M4 at Membury.
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • Helen1Helen1 Posts: 20
    Thanks for all that - I'm ending in Chaffcombe - little village near Chard.
    I have a relative in Newbury that I'm swinging by to see and a bed for the night in Bath!
    I've worked out my mileage is 49 miles on the first day, 55 miles on the 2nd and 62 miles on the 3rd. However, that's using Mandie's approach. Total mileage is very do-able.
    Ordered a Carradice roll bag and barley bag - going to travel light.
    Dead excited about it actually.....! Ditching the racing and tt'ing was definitely the right thing to do - cycling for the sake of it - is the way to go!
    Roll on September....!
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    From Newbury I'd go Kintbury, Hungerford Chilton Foliat then shadow the river to Marlborough. Have fun.
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    I'm probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs but the Ordinance Survey maps now have the National Cycle Routes as green dotted lines which makes it much harder to get lost.

    We followed the 4 & 45 much of the way and the route from Great Bedwyn to Marlborough through the Savernake Forest was very pleasant on a hot afternoon.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    If your going via Newbury, and very nice it is too :wink: as suggested by Wooliferkins Hungerford is a good target, you want to head out on Pound Street west (very near the station) and follow that out, not long after it becomes Enborne road, and carry on following that and it will take you through Hungerford Common, and on into Hungerford.

    There are some very very very nice quiet roads tuther side of Hungerford - enjoy!

    Be interested to hear how you get on with your route, am hoping to try something similarish, as in B&B touring for a weekend to start with, and have 2 Ortlieb's on their way!

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
Sign In or Register to comment.