Ancient lanes and old main roads

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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TrevA
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby TrevA » 6 Mar 2020, 3:58pm

millimole wrote:
The A46 (now defacto motorway between Leicester and Newark) between Widmerpool and Bingham appears to have a gated service road - I keep meaning to try it, and then between Bingham and Newark the old A46 is a good quieter route.

I believe that parts of the previous A1 around Peterborough are now cycle-friendly.

These roads are certainly worth knowing about, and it would be a good idea to have them documented. The devil is often being able to access the 'good' road without having to use the 'bad'


Next to the new A46, north of Widmerpool, there is a bridlepath between Kinoulton and Owthorpe, but part of it is unsurfaced, so it’s a bit of a slog. From Owthorpe going north, the old main road is still there, apart from the bit between Cotgrave and Stragglethorpe is missing (buried under the new road). You can divert either via Cotgrave or Cropwell Bishop to Stragglethorpe. From Stragglethorpe to Bingham, the old road is still there and a lovely quiet cycle. The road from Bingham to near Car Colston is still there but is used by local traffic. North of Car Colston, the old road has been turned into a cyclepath as far as Red Lodge, then it disappears under the new road, but they have built a bridlepath on the north side of the new road, to Flintham, where the old road reappears and can be cycled all the way to Farndon and Newark.

I do many of my local rides on the Old Fosse Way, as I only live about 300 yards from it at Bingham. It’s much more cycle friendly than it used to be and the junctions on the adjacent new road are graded, which means you just cycle over or under It. We used to have to wait minutes for a gap in the traffic, when crossing the old A46 between East Bridgford and Car Colston.

Years ago, we used to cycle on the Old Fosse Way from Sharnford, south of Leicester all the way to Halford, on the edge of the Cotswolds, when going on hostel weekends.
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Bsteel
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Bsteel » 6 Mar 2020, 5:37pm

mjr wrote:The maps don't find everything, such as the Swaffham-Shipdham road isn't there and only part of Banbury Lane (from Northampton) is, although being a named route on the 1920s map hints at it.


I wasn't aware of the Swaffham one, can you point me at any references ?

millimole
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby millimole » 6 Mar 2020, 6:32pm

TrevA wrote:]
Next to the new A46, north of Widmerpool, there is a bridlepath between Kinoulton and Owthorpe, but part of it is unsurfaced, so it’s a bit of a slog. From Owthorpe going north, the old main road is still there, apart from the bit between Cotgrave and Stragglethorpe is missing (buried under the new road). You can divert either via Cotgrave or Cropwell Bishop to Stragglethorpe. From Stragglethorpe to Bingham, the old road is still there and a lovely quiet cycle. The road from Bingham to near Car Colston is still there but is used by local traffic. North of Car Colston, the old road has been turned into a cyclepath as far as Red Lodge, then it disappears under the new road, but they have built a bridlepath on the north side of the new road, to Flintham, where the old road reappears and can be cycled all the way to Farndon and Newark.

I do many of my local rides on the Old Fosse Way, as I only live about 300 yards from it at Bingham. It’s much more cycle friendly than it used to be and the junctions on the adjacent new road are graded, which means you just cycle over or under It. We used to have to wait minutes for a gap in the traffic, when crossing the old A46 between East Bridgford and Car Colston.

Years ago, we used to cycle on the Old Fosse Way from Sharnford, south of Leicester all the way to Halford, on the edge of the Cotswolds, when going on hostel weekends.


Thanks for that clarification - the unsurfaced bridleway must be what I'm seeing when I make my regular car trips from Leicester to Bingham.

We used to live on the Fosse Way in Farndon - it's astonishing how the by-pass has transformed the area.

Cycling south down the old Fosse Way from just south of Sharnford is still a joy, as it's straight and generally lightly trafficked - at least as far as I've followed it!
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mjr
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby mjr » 6 Mar 2020, 6:42pm

Bsteel wrote:
mjr wrote:The maps don't find everything, such as the Swaffham-Shipdham road isn't there and only part of Banbury Lane (from Northampton) is, although being a named route on the 1920s map hints at it.


I wasn't aware of the Swaffham one, can you point me at any references ?

It's roughly the western half of https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/ ... 384/0.7900
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Bsteel
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Bsteel » 6 Mar 2020, 7:02pm

mjr wrote:It's roughly the western half of https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/ ... 384/0.7900


Thanks for that, I was just curious about whether there had been an old drove type road that had disappeared.

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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby mjr » 6 Mar 2020, 7:25pm

Bsteel wrote:
mjr wrote:It's roughly the western half of https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/ ... 384/0.7900


Thanks for that, I was just curious about whether there had been an old drove type road that had disappeared.

The nearest of those are Shouldham Lane and Fincham Drove, but both are unpaved.
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TrevA
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby TrevA » 6 Mar 2020, 10:56pm

millimole wrote:
TrevA wrote:]
Next to the new A46, north of Widmerpool, there is a bridlepath between Kinoulton and Owthorpe, but part of it is unsurfaced, so it’s a bit of a slog. From Owthorpe going north, the old main road is still there, apart from the bit between Cotgrave and Stragglethorpe is missing (buried under the new road). You can divert either via Cotgrave or Cropwell Bishop to Stragglethorpe. From Stragglethorpe to Bingham, the old road is still there and a lovely quiet cycle. The road from Bingham to near Car Colston is still there but is used by local traffic. North of Car Colston, the old road has been turned into a cyclepath as far as Red Lodge, then it disappears under the new road, but they have built a bridlepath on the north side of the new road, to Flintham, where the old road reappears and can be cycled all the way to Farndon and Newark.

I do many of my local rides on the Old Fosse Way, as I only live about 300 yards from it at Bingham. It’s much more cycle friendly than it used to be and the junctions on the adjacent new road are graded, which means you just cycle over or under It. We used to have to wait minutes for a gap in the traffic, when crossing the old A46 between East Bridgford and Car Colston.

Years ago, we used to cycle on the Old Fosse Way from Sharnford, south of Leicester all the way to Halford, on the edge of the Cotswolds, when going on hostel weekends.


Thanks for that clarification - the unsurfaced bridleway must be what I'm seeing when I make my regular car trips from Leicester to Bingham.

We used to live on the Fosse Way in Farndon - it's astonishing how the by-pass has transformed the area.

Cycling south down the old Fosse Way from just south of Sharnford is still a joy, as it's straight and generally lightly trafficked - at least as far as I've followed it!


I think the unsurfaced bit north of Kinoulton is only about half a mile, but when we tried it, it was quite muddy, so we didn’t bother. It’s more enjoyable to drop down Kinoulton hill into the Vale of Belvoir, cycle through to Cropwell Bishop and rejoin the Old Fosse at Cropwell Butler.
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foxyrider
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby foxyrider » 7 Mar 2020, 4:41pm

The A38 between Almondbury and south Gloucester is generally pretty quiet, there is a marked cycle lane for most of the length and its generally a wide road. The M5 has taken almost all the through traffic away so its modtly a few trucks going to Sharpness docks.

On the other side of the Severn the A48 between Chepstow and the A40 just shy of Gloucester is similarly quiet although it is a bit narrower and lacks cycle provision. Again, its the M5 which has quieted this route.

If you are just looking for old routes though, there are all manner of Roman and Psalter routes across the south Pennines and whilst some are quite busy main roads, most are much quieter, indeed, on weekdays even the Snake Pass has a low traffic count.

There are a number of pre toll or bypassed toll roads too, the old Sheffield road out of Baslow up to Big Moor is still open as a bridleway and although not surfaced much beyond Baslow village is potentially rideable on the right bike - dropping down being the better direction in this respect. Closer to Sheffield is Houndkirk carriage road, a restricted byway which we used to finish club runs with 40 years ago! There are also a number of 'Dukes Drives' in the area, some are now adopted roads like at Calver Sough, but many more of these carriage roads are available to two wheels as bridleways.

I guess it depends where you want to go with this, for example, the old road between Chippenham and Calne is to the north of the modern A4 and can be ridden for most of its length. Why do these roads 'die', well often like in this instance, wealthy landowners built a new road (often called New Road!) to grab some money from the passing traffic. If you look at road/lane names you can often pick out the old routes. Particularly at the south end, between Bristol and Gloucester there are miriad Gloucester and Bristol roads, some prefixed with 'Old', running almost parallel to each other and taking in small towns like Berkeley and Thornbury - i'm sure there's a similar pattern in other areas.
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 7 Mar 2020, 6:18pm

foxyrider wrote:If you are just looking for old routes though, there are all manner of Roman and Psalter routes across the south Pennines and whilst some are quite busy main roads, most are much quieter, indeed, on weekdays even the Snake Pass has a low traffic count.


(Slightly off-topic but...) I was amazed, when first feeding the traffic counts into cycle.travel, how quiet the A640 across the South Pennines is. The amount of traffic would be low for a rural B road. I've never cycled it but am tempted to...
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Bmblbzzz » 8 Mar 2020, 3:37pm

foxyrider wrote:The A38 between Almondbury and south Gloucester is generally pretty quiet, there is a marked cycle lane for most of the length and its generally a wide road. The M5 has taken almost all the through traffic away so its modtly a few trucks going to Sharpness docks.

On the other side of the Severn the A48 between Chepstow and the A40 just shy of Gloucester is similarly quiet although it is a bit narrower and lacks cycle provision. Again, its the M5 which has quieted this route.

This is an interesting example of how people's perceptions differ. I agree with you about the A38 - I'll happily ride it all the way up to Worcester - but have found the A48 too busy (and as you say, narrow) to be enjoyable. To an extent this might be down to time of day / day of week.

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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby RickH » 8 Mar 2020, 3:46pm

Jack Thurston's "Lost Lanes" books (currently 3 volumes - South East, West Country & Wales) may provide some useful info. You can look at samples of the Kindle versions to get an idea. I don't know if any more areas are planned.

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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby JakobW » 9 Mar 2020, 8:16am

RickH wrote:Jack Thurston's "Lost Lanes" books (currently 3 volumes - South East, West Country & Wales) may provide some useful info. You can look at samples of the Kindle versions to get an idea. I don't know if any more areas are planned.


I believe he's just finishing up a 'Lost Lanes North' book, though exactly what that's going to cover I'm not sure. Either way, like all the other books, I'm sure it will be lovely and a suitable spur to touring daydreams.

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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby mjr » 9 Mar 2020, 9:14am

RickH wrote:Jack Thurston's "Lost Lanes" books (currently 3 volumes - South East, West Country & Wales) may provide some useful info. You can look at samples of the Kindle versions to get an idea. I don't know if any more areas are planned.

From what I've seen, they're good books with day trips around quiet lanes but not really about place-to-place old lanes. They also don't cover much of the country.
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Sweep » 9 Mar 2020, 9:24am

JakobW wrote:I believe he's just finishing up a 'Lost Lanes North' book, though exactly what that's going to cover I'm not sure. Either way, like all the other books, I'm sure it will be lovely and a suitable spur to touring daydreams.

Tend to avoid books of planned rides for various reasons but that sounds interesting. Will keep a look out. Folks feel free to nudge it/me when it appears.
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RickH
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby RickH » 9 Mar 2020, 11:40am

Sweep wrote:
JakobW wrote:I believe he's just finishing up a 'Lost Lanes North' book, though exactly what that's going to cover I'm not sure. Either way, like all the other books, I'm sure it will be lovely and a suitable spur to touring daydreams.

Tend to avoid books of planned rides for various reasons but that sounds interesting. Will keep a look out. Folks feel free to nudge it/me when it appears.

Even if you don't want to do the planned routes they may provide a source of "I hadn't thought of going that way" moments. :D