Wilt thou come?

Fol­low our route through the English coun­try­side

Cyclist - - Wiltshire -

To down­load this route go to cy­clist.co.uk/51wilt­shire. From Horn­ing­sham, head to­wards Hin­don and Chilmark. Turn right to Tis­bury. From here you will go through War­dour, Don­head St An­drew, Don­head St Mary and Cann Com­mon to Zig Zag Hill. Af­ter the sum­mit, turn left and de­scend to Don­head Hol­low. Head to Bow­er­chalke, Strat­ford Tony and Nether­hamp­ton, where a right takes you into Sal­is­bury via Harn­ham. Fol­low the River Avon to Camp Hill, then go through Wil­ton and South New­ton to fol­low the river val­ley through Wy­lye, Stock­ton and Sut­ton Veny. Cross the A350 at Sut­ton End, head into the Lon­gleat For­est and back to Horn­ing­sham.

Horn­ing­sham

Sut­ton Veny

Dis­tance El­e­va­tion Camp Hill

Bor­dered by six other coun­ties in the south of Eng­land – Dorset, Som­er­set, Hamp­shire, Glouces­ter­shire, Ox­ford­shire and Berk­shire – Wilt­shire is a bu­colic mix­ture of farm­land, pretty vil­lages and ar­eas of his­toric sig­nif­i­cance, Stone­henge be­ing its most fa­mous.

While our route won’t take us di­rectly past the 5,000-year-old land­mark, we will see Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral, plus skirt the edge of Sal­is­bury Plain, where the Bri­tish Army spends its days teach­ing re­cruits how to blow things up.

Wilt­shire’s high­est point is just 295m above sea level, but while we’re un­likely to suf­fer alti­tude sick­ness that’s not to say it will be easy. The route pro­file looks like the sil­hou­ette of a pine for­est, al­though the first few kilo­me­tres from our start in Horn­ing­sham come eas­ily enough as we bar­rel through the vil­lages of Maiden Bradley and Kingston Dev­er­ill.

It’s not long be­fore we’re mak­ing hasty shifts to the small chain­ring as we be­gin the first char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally short, sharp ramp of the day.

We’re un­likely to suf­fer alti­tude sick­ness, but that’s not to say this ride is go­ing to be easy

Thank­fully the sum­mer sun is shin­ing brightly and it’s al­ready get­ting warm.

We’re sur­rounded by pris­tine fields, neatly bor­dered and combed to per­fec­tion by the farmer’s trac­tor. Crops sway gen­tly in the light breeze as we as­cend and fields laid to grass are dot­ted pret­tily with oc­ca­sional patches of bright red pop­pies. It’s quintessen­tially English coun­try­side at its best.

A brief spell on the busy A350 in­ter­rupts the tran­quil­lity so we up the tempo to get it over with as quickly as pos­si­ble. Thank­fully it’s short-lived and we’re soon back on quiet lanes head­ing to­wards Hin­don and Fonthill Gif­ford. Wilt­shire, it seems, en­joys an eso­teric vil­lage nam­ing her­itage, and part of the fun of the route is gath­er­ing up all the pe­cu­liar place names.

First feed

We barely have 25km un­der our belts as we de­scend into the pic­turesque vil­lage of Tis­bury when David, al­most apolo­get­i­cally, says there’s a cafe we sim­ply must stop at. It’s only about an

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