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Wessex Self-Guided

Wessex Self-Guided

Flag great britain Great Britain

  • Region Region West of England
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 7 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

189 Miles
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 32 mi
0 300 mi
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 460 mi
0 4000 mi

Extended Route

260 Miles
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 43 mi
0 300 mi
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 592 mi
0 4000 mi
April - October from
£750
Next Steps

Summary

The Wessex self-guided cycle tour explores the Wessex way cycle route including counties 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 out from the beautiful city of Bath, you head first along the traffic-free Two Tunnels NCN route, the head east through the village of Hinton Charterhouse. From there you ride through the picturesque Longleat Estate before arriving in Heytesbury. The next morning your ride takes you through the valley of the River Wylye, passing through countless quaint villages, before arriving in the historic Salisbury for a two-night stopover. There are various great loop options available here, but you may want to take time to visit Salisbury Cathedral or nearby Stonehenge.

From Salisbury you head toward Amesbury, where you can stop for a bite to eat. You then ride north, continuing to follow the River Avon through a series of villages to Upavon, where you bear west, bypassing Pewsey and following a series of quiet country lanes to Devizes, for another two night stopover. Again, there are several loop options available from here, with varying difficulty. Potential stops can include the ancient site of Avebury, Marlborough and the Kennet and Avon Canals. Your final ride from Devizes takes you west, where you have a couple of options in getting back to Bath for your final night.

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

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast

  • Pre-trip planner

  • All routing, maps, cue sheets and gpx tracks

  • Emergency telephone support

  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

  • Regional Handbook

Extras

  • Bike rental

  • Luggage Transfers

  • Evening meals

Costs

  • Core Tour Cost
    £750

  • Luggage Transfers
    £295 (for two people)

  • Hybrid bicycle rental
    £145

  • Road bicycle rental
    £235

  • Single Supplement
    £250

Day 1

Arrive Bath After arriving in Bath and checking into your accommodation, you can go and collect your rental bicycle, explore the town and/or go for a short warm up ride to check out the bike and equipment.

2

Bath to Heytesbury 58km / +782m You leave Bath along the traffic-free Two Tunnels NCN route which exits the city to the south. At Wellow you pedal east through the village of Hinton Charterhouse to visit Farleigh Hungerford Castle. Turning south you ride through Rode, and on through Dilton Marsh and Corsley, entering the Longleat Estate from the north. Riding through the estate, you can stop to take a tour of Longleat House. . Leaving the estate you continue through the villages of Crockerton, Sutton Veny and Tytherington to finish in Heytesbury.

Bath Haytesbury elv

3

Heytesbury to Salisbury 31km / +166m (L) Backtracking from Longbridge Deverill, you ride through Longleat Estate, stopping to visit the magnificent Longleat House if you wish. Leaving Longleat you skirt around the southern outskirts of Warminster to meet the valley of the River Wylye at Tytherington. The ride down the beautiful valley takes you through a series of picture postcard villages that line the river – thatched cottages, ancient coaching inns and medieval churches are everywhere. Arriving at Wilton, you may choose to visit Wilton House before heading for Salisbury with its magnificent Cathedral and its ancient market place.

Haytesbury to Salisbury elv

4

Salisbury Loop 54km / +523m (L, S) The loop is a ride to the west of Salisbury visiting Old Wardour Castle and the villages of Tisbury, Donhead St Andrew, Barwick St John and Bishopstone. You may also want to use the day for a visit to Stonehenge (there are buses to Stonehenge from Salisbury with the entrance fee included in the ticket) and / or Salisbury Cathrdral.

Salisbury Loop elv

5

Salisbury to Devizes 58km / +425m (S) Leaving Salisbury to the north, you can take a short detour to Old Sarum before continuing along the valley of the River Avon to Amesbury, close to Stonehenge.There is the option of an out-and-back ride from Amesbury to Stonehenge on backroads (mostly) with a short off-road section. On arrival at the visitor centre you will lock your bikes and make your way to Stonehenge on foot or by the shuttle bus. (Note that it will be wise to book in advance if you plan to visit the monument). You then return to Amesbury by retracing your outward route. From Amesbury you ride north, continuing to follow the River Avon through a series of villages to Upavon, where you bear west, bypassing Pewsey and following a series of quiet country lanes to Devizes.

Salisbury Devizes elv

6

Devizes Loop 61km / +498m (L, S) For most, the main focus of interest on today’s ride is the ancient site of Avebury, to the northeast of Devizes. You leave Devizes by backtracking on the previous day’s ride into Devizes as far as the village of Beechingstoke, before turing east to ancient Pewsey (look for the statue of King Alfred). Turning north you ride to historic Marlborough (look for the Marlborough White Horse above the town, Marlborough School, alma mater of the Duchess of Cambridge, and the wide expanse of the Market Place.Riding west from Marlborough you climb, drop and then cross the main A4 to the village of Avebury, where you can wander amongst the stone circles and visit the Alexander Keiller Museum to learn about the excavation of this remarkable site.Leaving Avebury, you return to Devizes passing by the Alton Barnes White Horse (watch for hang gliders) and following the path of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Devizes Loop elv

7

Devizes to Bath 42km / +365m (L, S) You leave Devizes following the Kennet and Avon Canal west to the Caen Hiil flight of locks. The 29 locks have an impressive rise of 237 feet in 2 miles. Continuing west you reach the canal side village of Semington where you have a route decision. 1) continue along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Bradford-on-Avon an on into Bath 2) or turn north through bustling Melksham and continue to the village of Lacock to visit Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum (Fox Talbot is credited as being the father of photography). Continue north through picture postcard Biddestone and Castle Combe(setting for the original Dr Doolittle film) before turning south again and dropping steeply to meet the Kennet and Avon Canal at Batheaston, just to the east of Bath.

Devizes to Bath elv

Route Map

Essentials

Accommodation

The standard accommodations for this region's self-guided itineraries are guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Generally, these have between 4 and 10 guest rooms and the owners/providers live on the premises. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room), and the room facilities usually include a television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a communal reading / television lounge. Small family run hotels are also used in a few locations. The providers are excellent sources of local information.

Breakfast is always included. Most guesthouses do not offer an evening meal.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our guesthouses in this region include;

Getting there-

The most convenient international airports are Bristol Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Gatwick Airport is a bit further away and less convenient than Heathrow, but still doable.

From Bristol Airport the Bristol International Flyer is a regular shuttle bus that stops at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and terminates at Bristol Bus Station, with a journey time of around 25 minutes.

From Bristol Temple Meads First Great Western operates regular trains to Bath Spa – journey time around 15 minutes.

From Bristol Bus Station Firstgroup run regular buses to Bath Spa Bus Station – journey time around 45 minutes.

It is also possible to take a taxi from Bristol Airport directly to Bath – the journey takes around 40 minutes and costs about 40 pounds.

From London Heathrow Airport, National Express runs a direct bus service to Bath Spa Station.

Alternatively Railair operates a regular bus shuttle from Heathrow to Reading Station from where you can take a First Great Western train to Bath Spa.

Otherwise from Heathrow take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington Station (15 mins) and take a First Great Western train from Paddington to Bath Spa.

From Gatwick Airport, take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria Station (30 mins). Then either take a National Express bus from Victoria Coach Station (5 mins walk from Victoria Rail Station) to Bath, or take a London Bus or the Underground to Paddington Station and take a First Great Western train to Bath.

On arrival in Bath, it is easiest to take a taxi to your accommodation.

The UK is well known for the variability of its weather – from day to day, season to season, year to year and place to place. Its position in the mid-latitude westerly wind belt on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with its relatively warm waters, yet close to the continental influences of mainland Europe, plays a major role in this. Changes in topography and land use over relatively short distances, together with a long coastline and numerous islands, all add to the variety of weather. In general, places in the east and south of the UK tend to be drier, warmer, sunnier and less windy than those further west and north. Also, these favourable weather conditions usually occur more often in the spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

England weather is very changeable and unpredictable, but generally summers are warm and winters are cold, and temperatures are milder than those on the continent. Temperatures do not usually drop below 32°F (0°C) in winter, and in summer they hardly reach 90°F (32°C). July and August are the warmest months, while January and February is the coldest time of year. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but late winter/early spring (February to March) is the driest period.

Fixed Costs

£750 per person sharing, to include;

  • 7 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-Trip Information Booklet and Planner
  • On call telephone support
  • All mapping, routes and cue sheets with gpx tracks
  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

Optional costs

Luggage Transfers

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 295 (147.50 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 295 + 20= 315 (105 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 295 + 20 + 20 = 335 (84 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider

Bicycle Rental

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid

Bike Code : TKH

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 5 frame sizes
  • FX Alpha Gold Aluminium
  • FX Alloy fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame

Bike Code : TKW

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 3 frame sizes;
  • Alpha Silver Aluminium
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Trek 1.5 Road Bicycle

Bike Code : TKR

Upgrade rental bicycle.

  • 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
  • Alpha White Aluminium
  • Trek Carbon fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Trek 1.5 Road Bicycle
Fitted withRear rack; bottle cage
Equipment providedSeat pack; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle
Core Tour Cost £750
Luggage Transfers £295 (for two people)
Hybrid Bike Rental £145
Road Bike Rental £235
Single Supplement £250

Photos

Next Steps

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