"It was like being in a different country each day" is how one described their Wild King Alfred's Way.
Still one of the must-do off-road epics - King Alfred's Way is something else.
Full credit to Cycling UK who designed this most spectacular circular route "Immerse yourself in 10,000 years of history by riding this 350km loop around historic Wessex, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Alfred the Great. The route starts and ends in Winchester - ancient capital of England - where King Alfred is buried, and connects iconic monuments including Old Sarum, Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle, Iron Age hill forts, Farnham Castle, and Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals" Cycling UK
Wow! What an amazing adventure. As keen cyclists (and historians) KAW was a must ride 😁 The Wild Cycles organisation was first rate and their team were impeccable guides and hosts...camp set up was brilliant and a real treat to arrive to... (JY)
An Epic Adventure indeed! What a trip - so many memories created and a new-found love of the bumpy stuff from this committed roadie! Wild Cycles are fantastic hosts...(JF)
Gorgeous countryside, smooth organisation, fabulous bikes - it was a brilliant weekend. (ST)
There are two remaining dates in 2023. If you are thinking of tacking an epic ride - over 4 days - covering some of the most spectacular scenery and English countryside - there a few spaces left on:
For details and to book your place head to https://www.wildcycles.co.uk/king-alfreds-way
Soak up the scenes on a journey through time on the fully-supported and provisioned Wild King Alfred's Way Adventure. Wild Cycles will take care of the hassle and treat you to an unforgettable adventure including 3 nights in our hand-picked and fully-equipped campsites with showers, loos and washing facilities.
A flavour of what to expect
Day 1 - From Winchester to All Cannings; 58 miles, 2,975 ft climbing
Meet & greet is at Winchester Station car park where we’ll relieve you of the gear you won’t be carrying on the ride. Hit the Roman road at the castle’s Westgate for a day on rural roads and ancient tracks used by the King’s subjects 1,000s of years ago. Swing by the 2,500-year-old ramparts of Old Sarum, one of the most important historic sites in southern England.
Next up is the world’s richest prehistoric landscape - Stonehenge. Soak up ancient vibes by the the ultra-famous ring of stones dating back to c. 2500 BC. Push north along tracks before you hit the stark, yet beautiful Salisbury Plains. Be sure to refuel and fill-up with fluids at Amesbury – your last pit stop before the plaaaainnnns.
Day 2: All Cannings to Goring (North Moreton). 56 miles, 3,050 ft climbing
Day 2 is mainly on the Ridgeway - England’s oldest road which passes a jaw-dropping array of super-significant Neolithic and historic sites and far-reaching views (see our journal entry on the Ridgeway). After the climb up to Tan Hill, you'll cross over the River Kennet into Avebury with its picture-perfect thatched cottages and the spectacular Avebury Stone Circle. Pause here as a short distance away you'll find Silbury Hill and West Kennet barrow - a Neolithic tomb dating back to c. 3650 BC.
The eerily, atmospheric Wayland’s Smithy is en yer route. Legend has it that Wayland - Saxon god of metalworking ran his workshop from here! The Neolithic long barrow featuring giant stones by its entrance was an active burial ground around 3,500 BC. Don't miss the spectacular Uffington White Horse - a giant 110m hillside Celtic carving which dates back to Bronze-Iron Age.
Day 3 - From Goring to Dockenfield: 62 miles, 2,375 ft climbing
Rejoin King Alfred;s Way at the pretty riverside village of Goring-on-Thames, cross over the river in this twee village with its weirs, locks, riverside pubs and cafés. Drop onto the Thames Path - it's just so purty along here ... as the routes meanders along riverside trails and into Reading, a surprisingly cycle-friendly city.
Wind on through pristine estates leading to the Cistercian monastery at Waverley Abbey, through Farnham Heath Nature Reserve on gravel paths and onto quiet Surrey lanes.
Now in the company of the Wey River follow a short detour to a gem of a campsite for your 3rd and final night!
Day 4: Dockenfiled to Winchester: 61 miles, 4,125 ft climbing
An early visual treat along the River Wey are the Fernsham Great Ponds. and then the totally other-wordly bridleway which winds its way (steeply!) around and up the Devil’s Punchbowl loop. Pause at the top to soak up the spectacular views. from on high.
Soon the King Alfred’s Way merges with the South Downs Way with its characteristic chalky, roller coastery landscape.
The last few miles feature Plague Pits between the walls of Catherine’s Hill and the River Itchen. You'll be relieved to see Winchester’s wharf area with its old warehouses, the restored City Mill and Wolvesey Castle.
Swing into the High Street with its stunning Georgian and Victorian features where you'll be welcomed by the familiar sight of an old friend - The Great King Alfred!
That's King Alfred's Way - done and dusted!!!
Celebrate in the company of a King! Wild Cycles will be there to congratulate you after your epic journey and reunite you with your belongings back at Winchester Station!!!