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Wessex Self-Guided Tour (7 Nights)

Tour code: WOESG7A

Tour Overview

The Wessex tour explores the counties of Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire and the biking routes showcase a tremendous variety of spectacular landscapes. The limestone hills, gorges and caves of the Mendips, the low-lying meadows and moors of the Somerset Levels, the beautiful valley of the River Wylye, the vast expanse of Salisbury Plain, the tranquil beauty of the Vale of Pewsey and the sweeping Marlborough Downs are each explored in turn.

In addition to the beauty of the landscape, the region is rich in history, legend and folklore. The prehistoric sites of Stonehenge and Avebury are in Wiltshire, while Camelot, the legendary court of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was sited close to Glastonbury in Somerset. Amongst the numerous architectural treasures are the cathedrals of Wells and Salisbury, Longleat House, Wilton House and Lacock Abbey. Wiltshire is also particularly renowned for the frequency of UFO sightings and the appearances of crop circles.

Starting from Bath, the first biking leg follows the Kennet and Avon Canal Cycleway to the historic town of Bradford-on-Avon (home to Moulton folding bicycles if you are interested!). At Bradford you leave the canal and navigate through country lanes to Longleat Estate, where you can visit the magnificent house and gardens of the Marquis of Bath. Close by is Warminster, where you stop for two nights. The loop ride from the town takes you to Stourhead and back via the Deverills. From Warminster you ride south along the pastoral Wylye Valley to Wilton and Salisbury before turning north to visit Stonehenge. North of Amesbury you ride through the wide and beautiful expanse of Salisbury Plain for another two night halt at the market town of Devizes. The loop route takes you to Marlborough and to pre-historic Avebury. From Devizes the final leg takes you west to Lacock and along the Kennet and Avon Canal back to Bath.

An alternative (more challenging) option for the first two days allows you to visit Cheddar Gorge and Wells, with its marvellous cathedral. You first cycle west on the Bristol – Bath Rail Trail along the River Avon to Saltford before turning south into the Mendips and the Cheddar Gorge en route to Wells for a two night stopover. From Wells there is a climb to the Somerset-Wiltshire border and a ride through Longleat Estate on the way to Warminster.

For information on the en route scenery and attractions see the Regional Details page.
The itinerary follows routes D, E, F, G, H and I
The tour is rated A* – click here for tour rating description.

Ten highlights

  • The Kennet and Avon Canal cycleway
  • Bradford-on Avon Tithe Barn
  • Stourhead House and Gardens
  • Longleat House and Estate
  • The beautiful Wylye Valley and its picture postcard villages
  • Wilton House
  • Salisbury Cathedral
  • Stonehenge
  • The stone circles at Avebury
  • Lacock Village and Lacock Abbey

Gallery

  • Somerset Ride
  • Wells Cathedral
  • Wessex Road
  • Wiltshire Chalk Horse
  • Wookey Hole
 

Options

  • To lengthen the tour, consider spending an extra night or two in the lovely city of Bath.
  • To visit Wells (Wells Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace) and Cheddar Gorge, you can substitute routes A and C for routes D and E. This turns the itinerary from rating A to rating B, and will add an additional luggage transfer.

Notes

Outline Itinerary

Day Itinerary Start Finish Route options
En Route
1 arrive at BATH      
2 route D^* Bath Warminster    
Kennet and Avon Canal Path; Bradford-on-Avon; Longleat House; Shearwater
3 route E Warminster Warminster    
Stourhead; The Deverills; Mere
4 route F^ Warminster Amesbury    
Wylye Valley; Wilton House; Salisbury Cathedral; Woodhenge; Stonehenge
5 route G Amesbury Devizes    
Salisbury Plain; Vale of Pewsey; Pewsey White Horse
6 route H Devizes Devizes  
Avebury; Marlborough; Savernake Forest
7 route I Devizes Bath    
Kennet and Avon Canal Path; Lacock Abbey; Bathhampton
8 depart from BATH        

Tour Costs

Costs in Sterling Pounds
basic cost per person sharing
685
single accommodation supplement (if applicable)
225
Optional Costs
bicycle rental
Trek Hybrid
95
pannier rental per pair
FREE
luggage transfers
shared charge for group
265
additional charge per rider
15

Click here for more details on what's included in the costs above.

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