Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

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Reigncloud
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Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby Reigncloud » 20 Mar 2012, 2:10pm

Last Easter a colleague and I did the South Downs Way over 2 days, which was fantastic. This year we were planning on maybe taking on the North Downs Way, but I hear that this isn't fully cycle-able - is that correct? If so, does anyone know of another 2 day (about 100 miles) mostly off-road ride that we could try? Don't' mind if we need to travel to get to it (we're south of London).

Many thanks in advance!

iviehoff
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby iviehoff » 20 Mar 2012, 4:16pm

Icknield Way/Ridgeway Some of the Ridgeway in the Chilterns is footpath, but there is the Icknield way which is parallel. You can put together a long distance route. South of the Thames most of the Ridgeway is byway, I think you can ride from Streatley to Avebury more or less off-road. And once you are at Avebury, there's loads more tracks in Wiltshire, even when the army stop you riding on some.

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Si
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby Si » 20 Mar 2012, 4:26pm

Jack Mytton Way, mostly in Shropshire, is a little known but very nice long distance path. It can even be linked up with some bridleways and paths to get you from the wilds of the Welsh borders all the way to the centre of Birmingham to catch a train home.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mytton_Way

iviehoff
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby iviehoff » 20 Mar 2012, 5:19pm

Si wrote:Jack Mytton Way, mostly in Shropshire, is a little known but very nice long distance path.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mytton_Way

Whilst there are a lot of wonderful tracks around that part of the world, personally I tend to avoid anything labelled (only) as Jack Mytton Way, especially where it is singletrack bridleway rather than green road. I have had too many bad experiences on it, muddy, unrideable, poorly waymarked - once dragging my bike across some steep, exposed, muddy, unscenic turnip field particularly remains etched on my memory. Jack Mytton was a noted local scoundrel, and as a result I think he became the subject of tall tales in the region. I think some of this spirit remains in the designation of this route. I look at the route on the map, and think, why didn't they go that way, it would have been nicer.

I recall someone writing up a trip they did starting with the Elan reservoirs track from Teifi Pools to the Claerwen dam, and joining it up into a 2-day route to Birmingham with further extended tracks. It may be on CGOAB. You can look at maps of mid-Wales/Shropshire and devise long-distance meanders, mostly off road. But you'll have a long train journey to get there.

kuba
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby kuba » 20 Mar 2012, 5:46pm

It's four days rather than two, but Peter Quaife's route may suit you: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... 51824&v=2p

I have no first hand experience but plan to cycle this route later this year, so let us know how you get on :D

takeonafrica
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby takeonafrica » 20 Mar 2012, 11:48pm

I´ve not done the [url]Trans-Cambrian[/url] in Wales yet, but it's 100miles off-road. Could be perfect.
http://imba.org.uk/where-to-ride/trans-cambrian-way/

Last Easter I rode from Uxbridge to the Quantocks in a couple of days. Mostly offroad. Started on quiet roads and bridlesways, then took up the Ridgeway from Goring to Avebury, then the Kennet and Avon canal path and picked up the cycle path between Bath and Bristol...
http://helenstakeon.com/uk-weekends/cycle-across-the-south-of-england/
Really enjoyed the ride, but it depends on what sort of off-roading you like. It was fairly flat. If you like mountains, head to Wales!
http://www.helenstakeon.com
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Si
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby Si » 21 Mar 2012, 3:32pm

iviehoff wrote:
Si wrote:Jack Mytton Way, mostly in Shropshire, is a little known but very nice long distance path.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mytton_Way

Whilst there are a lot of wonderful tracks around that part of the world, personally I tend to avoid anything labelled (only) as Jack Mytton Way, especially where it is singletrack bridleway rather than green road. I have had too many bad experiences on it, muddy, unrideable, poorly waymarked - once dragging my bike across some steep, exposed, muddy, unscenic turnip field particularly remains etched on my memory. Jack Mytton was a noted local scoundrel, and as a result I think he became the subject of tall tales in the region. I think some of this spirit remains in the designation of this route. I look at the route on the map, and think, why didn't they go that way, it would have been nicer.



the bit by Wenlock Edge can certainly get horsed but overall I've never found the route too bad on the whole. Yep, there is mud about, but it's England and it's off road....comes with the territory. As for navigation, well that's part of the fun off road for me, stuff with a sign post at every corner feels too much like sustrans paths to me. I guess it just depends on what kind of off road you like. And a bit of mud is certainly preferable to breaking your neck on wet greasy chalk :twisted:

Reigncloud
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby Reigncloud » 22 Mar 2012, 10:40am

Many thanks for all the responses. Will run these past my riding buddy and see what we come up with. Cheers!

simonhill
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby simonhill » 22 Mar 2012, 12:57pm

Peddars Way, from Hunstanton to Thetford. Pretty flat, but varied scenery mainly on open and forested heathland. Easy 2 days.

Some canals make good off road riding. The Kennet and Avon is worth a look.

I rode the Ridgeway a few years ago from A4 near Avebury to end of bridleway section (Goring?). It was in June and horribly muddy. Derailleur deep in places. The farmers use it and show(ed) little respect.

iviehoff
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby iviehoff » 22 Mar 2012, 5:17pm

simonhill wrote:Peddars Way, from Hunstanton to Thetford. Pretty flat, but varied scenery mainly on open and forested heathland. Easy 2 days.I rode the Ridgeway a few years ago from A4 near Avebury to end of bridleway section (Goring?). It was in June and horribly muddy. Derailleur deep in places. The farmers use it and show(ed) little respect.

Yes the ridgeway can be horribly if the weather has been wet, which means all winter most years. It was fine last mid-October, despite recent light rain, because of the dry few weeks up to that point. It does tend to have a lot of poorly drained puddle depressions, which take a lot of drying out after the winter. I was riding on similar tracks in Wiltshire 10 days ago, and they were mostly fairly dry, but there were also some lake-like puddles. If the weather carries on dry as it has been, I reckon it might be pretty good fairly soon.

The northern half of Peddars Way can also be very sticky, its over similar chalky clay to the Ridgeway for the northern half, it is the southern half that is sandy heath. Castle Acre is a lovely place.

iviehoff
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby iviehoff » 23 Mar 2012, 8:43am

Si wrote:the bit by Wenlock Edge can certainly get horsed but overall I've never found the route too bad on the whole. Yep, there is mud about, but it's England and it's off road....comes with the territory.

Just remembered, that bit by Wenlock edge was where I had to carry the bike over my shoulder and wade ankle deep through liquid mud for a few hundred yards. Good thing only had a day-pack on the bike and not touring kit. There really isn't any need to submit oneself to unrideably muddy tracks in Shropshire, there's plenty of good ones.

IcknieldWay
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Re: Long distance off-road tour England or Wales?

Postby IcknieldWay » 21 Apr 2012, 9:43pm

The Icknield Way trail still exists. It is a riders route from Buckinghamshire through to the Norfolk boarders where it links with the Peddars Way. The trail follows and is coincident at places with the Icknield Way Path, the walkers route. I have collected all the old information on a new website Icknield Way Trail. Now progressively seeking to refresh and the update material. The route in Bedfordshire exists and is signed and way marked. Hertfordshire looks OK. Buckinghamshire have revised the published route. Got to check out Cambs, Essex & Suffolk. Route is on Byways, bridleways and where necessary roads. Generally unsurfaced, except on roads.