Stage 3: The Ridgeway to Riseley — King Alfred's Way
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Bike Touring Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
Includes a segment in which cycling is forbidden
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
September 4, 2020
Completing the Ridgeway on the northern end of the King Alfred's Way before passing through Reading, Stage 3 feels like a ride of two halves. Chalky and grassy bridleways and byways turn into mucky tracks on the Thames Path, and from our once remote journey you now pass through the delightful villages of Berkshire into central Reading and out along the canal path.
The stage starts at the Court Hill Centre, just south of Wantage and on the well-signed Ridgeway trail. You'll continue to follow this for the first third of the stage, enjoying rocky, chalky doubletrack and grassy fields until the descent to Goring on Thames.
Here you'll pick up another long distance bridleway, the Thames Path, which is a lot hiller than you might expect for a dirt trail following the river! Some of these inclines are steep, but at least there's steps to help you if you need them.
Riding towards Reading, you'll pass through Mapledurham on a mixture of lanes and bridleways past a dairy farm, before rejoining the Thames in Caversham on the edge of Reading.
With great signage and cycleways, the passage through the city of Reading is easier than you might expect. You'll follow the river before riding through The Oracle shopping centre, to join alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal out of the city to the south.
After crossing over the M5, the lane to Three Mile Cross delivers you to a magnificent byway that runs alongside a busy main road, but sheltered in the trees you'd hardly know it.
The stage ends at Riseley, Berkshire, where you'll find a pub and shop, plus a couple of local B&Bs.
September 19, 2020