Amy

Cycle through 5,000 years of history – Wiltshire Cycleway

Mibby23 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Cycle through 5,000 years of history – Wiltshire Cycleway

Bike Touring Collection by Amy

7

Tours

20:09 h

194 mi

9,200 ft

Ride by mystical stone circles dating back over 5,000 years, marvel at 17th-century manor houses built on the wealth of the wool trade, visit Roman battlefields and magnificent medieval castles – Wiltshire’s unique history makes for an incredible adventure by bike.

This Collection reveals the very best of this historic county in seven stages, each between 21.2 to 35.2 miles (34.2 - 56.6 km) long. You could complete the 192 mile (309 km) route in fewer days by combining the stages together, but I recommend taking your time to visit some of the sites along the way.

As long as you have an average fitness level, the Wiltshire Cycleway is a great adventure for all. In total, you will climb 9,022 feet (2,750 m) through the rolling countryside, with no more than 1,640 feet (500 m) elevation gain in one day.

You can also enjoy the adventure with your whole family, although very little of the route is completely traffic-free so your children should be confident on minor roads.

Any bike is suitable for this ride, whether you prefer chunkier tread or slick road tyres. However, if you have thin tyres, you may want to avoid the Fosse Way or be prepared to push.

This route takes you on a magical journey to some of the UK’s most incredible sites. You can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Stonehenge, the crumbling walls of Old Wardour Castle, the world’s oldest clock at Salisbury Cathedral, Stourhead House, and more.

Of course, no bike tour is complete without plenty of snack breaks and pit stops along the way. Farm shops brimming with local produce, friendly pubs, ice cream shops, great coffee and excellent restaurants will keep you fuelled as you ride.

Following mostly country lanes, you will discover the county from its backroads. Peaceful countryside scenes await as you wind through the green landscape passing animals grazing in paddocks, tractors ploughing fields, and undulating grassy hills. You may even spot some more unusual wildlife as you cycle through the grounds of Longleat.

Built on the wealth of the wool trade in centuries gone by, Wiltshire’s towns and villages are a delight to explore. This Collection will take you to Salisbury, Marlborough and Bradford on Avon as well as chocolate-box Cotswold villages such as Biddestone and Castle Combe.

As the route is circular, you can begin at any point, but it’s best ridden in an anti-clockwise direction. The official start and endpoint is the charming town of Westbury, which is where this Collection kicks off.

With direct train connections with Cardiff, Worcester, London, Plymouth and Portsmouth, Westbury is convenient to reach by rail. Look out for the white chalk horse carved on the hillside as you approach – your first taste of the wonderful county of Wiltshire!

For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/live/departures/westbury

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    03:06
    28.5 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the magnificent Longleat Estate to the Jane Austen-esque Stourhead Head house, stage 1 takes you on a rural journey through centuries of history.

    Today you’ll ride 23.9 miles (38.5 …

    by
    Amy
  • Difficult
    03:40
    37.2 mi
    10.1 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 2 runs 22.7 miles (36.6 km) through rural Wiltshire to the historic city of Salisbury. The tracks and quiet lanes are ideal to explore the idyllic countryside from your …

    by
    Amy
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  • Intermediate
    02:22
    21.2 mi
    8.9 mph
    975 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Exploring traces of ancient human settlements and learning about the mysteries of the earliest humans, stage 3 is a fascinating day in the saddle.

    Today, you have the chance to …

    by
    Amy
  • Intermediate
    03:00
    29.0 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Tranquil nature, vast open grassland and thick ancient forests await on stage 4 as you ride 27.4 miles (44.2 km) through Wiltshire’s rural heart from Haxton to Ramsbury.

    Before leaving …

    by
    Amy
  • Difficult
    03:04
    27.9 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From thriving high streets to Iron Age forts and horse chalk hill figures, stage five is a varied ride from Ramsbury to Royal Wootton Bassett.

    With 1,607 feet (490 metres) …

    by
    Amy
  • Intermediate
    02:49
    28.6 mi
    10.2 mph
    975 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From strategic Roman roads to magnificent abbeys and chocolate-box villages, stage 6 reveals more of Wiltshire’s delights. Today you will cover 28.5 miles (46 km) from Royal Wootton Bassett to …

    by
    Amy
  • Difficult
    02:07
    21.3 mi
    10.1 mph
    925 ft
    975 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Your final day of riding the Wiltshire Cycleway takes you 24.4 miles (39.3 km) from Corsham to Westbury.

    You can expect to sample regional produce at farm shops, roam the …

    by
    Amy

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    194 mi
  • Duration
    20:09 h
  • Elevation
    9,200 ft

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Amy

Cycle through 5,000 years of history – Wiltshire Cycleway