Wandering In Wiltshire

Starting at the Pewsey Downs Car Park just north of Alton Priors this route is a combination of rolling hills, flat canal side riding, swooping downhills and a couple of testingly steep climbs. The route generally utilises quiet lanes and ‘B’ roads however there is a seven mile stretch along the busier A4, fortunately it’s pretty wide with some shared cycle / pathway for much of the stretch. This route will allow you to explore the magnificent Caen Hill locks near to Devizes and also historic Laycock Abbey and the Fox Talbot museum in Laycock village. There is also the opportunity to spot a few white horses carved in to the hillsides which the area is famous for.

Route description

After leaving the car park and a short trip south of just under a mile to Alton Priors the route turns west and shortly leads in to the Kennet and Avon canal wharf side in Devizes where there are plenty of places to find refreshment as well as the Wadworth Brewery visitor centre to explore if you have the time.

After leaving Devizes the route turns slightly north through Rowde, but before you go too far from Devizes a slight detour on to the Caen Hill locks is worth a visit. From Rowde the route continues westward on quiet lanes until it hits the outskirts of Melksham.

After leaving Melksham the road now takes a northerly turn and heads straight up to Lacock which is a little over the halfway point in the ride. In Lacock we would thoroughly recommend spending some time at both the Abbey and the adjacent Fox Talbot museum, especially if you’re interested in photography and its history. This may also be a good opportunity to stop for some refreshment as the tougher part of the ride is about to start.

About a mile after leaving Lacock the first of the testing hills starts on Mons Lane, but the local scenery is truly stunning and makes the climb well worth the effort. From here the route then takes an undulating profile as it travels through Sandy Lane, Whetham, and Mile Elm before joining the A4 at Quemerford.

Whilst the A4 is quite a busy road the majority of its length has a shared footpath / cyclepath that can be used to avoid the traffic, and shortly after leaving Quemerford keep a look out on the right at Cherhill for another white horse chalk carving. The A4 now rises consistently for a few miles as it passes through Beckhampton and West Kennett where the route turns off the A4 through East Kennett and Boreham before returning to the start point.

 

Start Point – Pewsey Downs car park

Distance – 39.2 miles /49.4 km

Elevation Gain -1856ft / 391.3m

 

Places Of Interest:

  • Alton Barnes White Horse – at the start point.
  • Wadworth Brewery visitor centre – at the 8 mile point.
  • Caen Hill locks – at the 9 mile point.
  • National Trust Lacock Abbey & Fox Talbot Museum – at the 20 mile point
  • National Trust Calstone & Cherhill Downs – at the 31 mile point.

 

Refreshment Stops:

  • Numerous shops & cafes in Devizes – at the 8 mile point.
  • The George & Dragon in Rowde – at the 10.5 mile point.
  • The Bell Inn in LacockĀ  – at the 19.5 mile point
  • Numerous shops & cafes in Lacock at the 20 mile point
  • The George Inn in Sandy Lane – at the 24 mile point.
  • Waggon & Horses in Beckhampton – at the 34 mile point.
  • Most villages along the route have a shop and / or pub.

 

Local Bicycle Shops

  • Bikes and Boards – 121 Southbroom Rd, Devizes SN10 1LY, Telephone: 01380 729621
  • Finely Tuned Ride – Urchfont Garage, Urchfont, Devizes SN10 4QH, Telephone: 07810 300 367
  • Melksham Cycle Centre – 67 Bath Rd, Melksham SN12 8AD, Telephone: 01225 709878

 

Closest Railway Station(s)

  • Pewsey – approx 1.5 miles from the start.
  • Melksham – approx 1.25 miles from the route at the 15 mile point.

Ride with GPS Link – https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32351125

GPX file direct download – Click Here

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