~ It's majestic ~
A group of adventurers were out on the fabulous King Alfred's Way recently and we’ve assembled a few of their great pics which they took along the way. These pretty much capture the essence and beauty of the remarkable and varied landscape of the route and should give you a good idea of what to expect en-route.
We were blessed with great company and super-bright-sunny days. We’ll keep it brief and let the images do the talking.
59m, 3,050 ft climbing, ~ 7 hrs riding
We set off from King Alfred’s statue not knowing what to expect as we rolled through the streets of Winchester. The first 4-5 miles felt very normal until we hit the city limits and emerged into the countryside. Wide open landscapes of hills and farmland stretched out before us. It seemed that we timed the trip to perfection with the leaves turning green and blossoming for the first time after a long cold, winter. The weather was perfect, we'd lucked out and enjoyed some of the UK's finest bone-dry gravel as we bombed down bridleways, through farmland, skirted passed Salisbury and on to the Old Sarum Hill Fort. We stopped for lunch in Amesbury before the route got too remote again. We bypassed Stonehenge which we could see in the distance. After which the route snaked over the top of the Salisbury Plains - providing spectacular, far-reaching views across the landscape. With the weather and all - it felt like we were riding through the Serengeti at times! The earth was cracked, dry and rutted in places which made the going very tough art times. But the views over the old military training grounds made every drop of sweat worth it. We rolled into camp around 6pm after a long days’ ride, where cold beers, a few alpacas and our campsite awaited us.
DAY 1 PROFILE
52m, 2,800 ft climbing, ~7 hrs riding
A cold night meant a slow start in the morning. We were quickly woken by the beauty of the Vale of Pewsey which surrounded us. We climbed up to Avebury with it's famous Stone Circle followed by a sharp climb up onto the Ridgeway. Here rutted chalk single-track proved challenging and technical as we pushed forward into a strong headwind which lashed directly at us on the exposed ridge.
We enjoyed the cool breeze and expansive views over England from our vantage point and relished in the smooth grassy descents. A day packed with Neolithic sites, Wayland’s Smithy and the Uffington white horse and Wayland's Smithy were the icing on the cake of another fabulous day out on the trails.
DAY 2 PROFILE
64m, 2,700 ft climbing, ~ 7-8 hrs riding
10 countries in a day! It felt like we'd crossed several borders today as we negotiated more types of terrain than we could count. Our third day took us through pretty Thames-side villages and our first large city – Reading. We were pleasantly surprised at how the route negotiated the bustling heart of this city. Paths and canals escorted us through and out into the countryside once more where we enjoyed leafy alleys and open landscapes once more. Nothing could have prepared us for the sandy pits near Farnham and the rocky Devil’s Punchbowl climb as we neared the end point. At some points it felt like we were riding in the south of Spain or Majorca. The combination of sun, smell of pine trees and sand combined drained our strength - but all was worth it for the cold beer at the finish.
DAY 3 PROFILE
63 m, 3,800 ft climbing, ~6-7 hrs riding
Today was the day for climbers as we tackled the saw-tooth climbing profile. The South Downs Way roller-coaster would take us to the finish in Winchester. Epic, lung-bursting climbs, bright, yellow rapeseed fields and blue sky saw us through to the end.
A little worse for wear than when we started, we celebrated and reminisced about an epic 4 days of riding, taking us through the heart of England on some of the most remote trails any of us had ever experienced.
DAY 4 PROFILE
Photo credits and thanks to:
Mark James, Jonathan Heard, Guillermo Balbastre,
Xavier Aguilo, Morgan Brown and Nick Butterfield
For more details about the route and all the highlights along the Way - see our