Mainland Routes from
Club Member Steve Langford
IN A HARD DAYS RIDE
Just how far can you ride in a day, or ,
more to the point, how much quality riding can you pack into those daylight hours?
Ever dream't of tackling empty roads that roll and twist around the woods and
fields, through villages time forgot, pulling over to admire that stunning view
from the top of some lonely down, visit a place of interest or sip a cool drink
and stomach a tasty snack in a welcoming pub along the way? Too much to ask for?
I havent found so. A careful study of a good road map, with the aid of a
detailed O.S. map for your chosen area, add some ideas taken from T.V.s
Nick Knowles of Ridge Riders and other slots, such as Country
and Coastal Ways, will soon inspire you. Another good reference is the Telegraphs
publication Great Drives.
Motorways and primary routes? Only when
I have to. B roads and unclassified are the ones I aim for; even if they take
longer, they soon reward you with plenty of interest. So where are all these gems
of tarmac? Not far - just a hop across the Solent and within a seventy mile radius,
most of what I have mentioned can be easily found.
a short hop on the A337 from Lymington to Brockenhurst and turn off North West
through the forest road known as Ornamental Drive to Boldrewood. Whatever the
season, the trees offer a pretty picture.
your way to Kings Somborne, North of Romsey on the A3057, and take the windy
road east to Ashley and on past wooded fields to a vantage point known as Farley
Mount. Walk the last few hundred metres to the tower and see if you can spot your
an eight mile lively sprint north west from Stockbridge to the A338 via Danebury
Hill and Grately to stretch your chain?
north of Stockbridge take the B3048 to Wherwell, on to Hurstbourne Tarrant, an
anti-clockwise scenic village route around Andover laden with pubs and English
roses. Cross the A343 and on to Upton and Vernham Dean (more pubs), turn left
and rise clockwise over Tidcombe Down, stopping along the way to view half the
nation. Down to Marton and on to take stock of the Windmill Pub. From Marlborough,
head north west past Rockley, fall over the Ridgeway toward Broad Hinton, turn
left onto the A4361 to Avebury, check out the Red Lion for fellow bikers or bear
left past the stones to East Kennet. Head south and up through the cutting of
Milk Hill to Alton Barnes and Honey Street, visiting the Barge Inn on the canal
for a tranquil lunch waterside, watching narrow boats and ducks drift by, or study
the photos of their local crop circles in the back room
Salisbury, get to Wilton and west on the A30 for three miles. Turn right onto
the B3089 to Dinton; -as you arrive in Dinton, turn right for Wylye up a narrow
lane, peeping over the hedges on your right. Turn right again for Wylye at the
next turn, which is difficult to see if clear to your left, up over the downs
crossing an old Roman road overllooking the Plain. Cross the railway and turn
left at Wylye, under the A303, pass Bapton and Stockton, turn right at the rail
bridge and cottage to Codford St. Mary. Cross the A36, then right, heading north
for Chilterne through the twisties; turn right (east), on B390 straight and fast
to Shrewton. Turn right and east onto A360 & A344 and take a coffee break
at Stonehenge (free bike park).
From Stonehenge continue east on A303 to Amesbury and left at the roundabout onto
the A345, heading north for six miles, and turn right for Netheravon, over the
stream and cross Haxton Down (watch for aircraft) to Everleigh, right then left
across th A342 heading North West on a switchback ride to the Vale of Pewsey.
Check out the Wansdyke Hills in front of you just before you tumble down ito Pewsey.
you are in Newbury, catch the B4494 north for ten
miles to Wantage and feel like a pilot as you descend the last mile. Head west
on the B4507 and run around the Lambourn Downs; watch out for race horses training
and try the pub in Ashbury for lunch.
Ringwood and Shaftsbury is the seemingly endless
B3081, snaking its way over the amazing Cranbourne Chase. Ever changing views
on this fine, brisk, high rise route, but take care at Zig Zag Hill near Shaftsbury
with its lock to lock turns on a steep slope. Once in shaftsbury park up near
the Tourist Board Office and stroll round to Golden Hill and Catheral Walk. Head
south on the A350 and at Blandford Forum use the B3082 to find the Badbury Rings.
Spot the Needles from here.
On the A32 find the big white pub
just north of the watercress beds at Warnford. Opposite you will find a narrow
lane rising to the south east to Old Winchester Hill. Take in the views either
side of this road leading up to this old settlement of our ancestors, and then
realise this is only eight miles from Portsmouth. Now run down into East Meon
for a snack in the pub beside the River Meon. As you face the well preserved Norman
church, turn right, heading east for half a mile, left into Lower Bordean Road
and cross the A272 into narrow Colemore Road, on through High Cross and turn right
at the give way. Tumble down and around scenic Stoner Hill and into Petersfield.
At the roundabout go left, over the railway and clockwise around the town for
Portsmouth signs. Look for the B2146 on your left to South Harting, continuing
south to join the B2147 for Emsworth, the twistiest of runs for home.
Petworth, head south on the A285, twist through Duncton and up the tree
covered rise, stopping near the top for a car park on your right. How far can
you see from here? Follow the A285 south and a mile past Upwaltham turn right
for Goodwood Races. Pass Selhurst Park, look south to see the sea at Bognor. At
Goodwood races turn left and south, pass Goodwood Park on your left until you
reach a roundabout. On your left is the Rolls Royce factory, but here you turn
right for Mid Lavant on a parallel run to the Goodwood race circuit. At the Mini
roundabout at Mid Lavant turn right, heading north on the A286 (Midhurst Road),
but after one mile bear left onto the B2141 and enjoy the steady rise over the
downs to South Harting, then left on the B2146 to Petersfield. Find Sheet and
use the B2070 to Liss and turn left on B3006 to Chawton. Join the fun and rush
on the A339 for Basingstoke, but just before the M3 underpass turn left on the
B3046 to Alresford. Turn right then left under the rail bridge, still on the B3046
to Cheriton. Take the right ford, cross the A272 onto Beauworth, plus one mile
and try the Mill Barrow Pub for lunch and guess the depth of the well in the lounge.
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