Cycle route - Kintbury, Hungerford and Great Bedwyn

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 May 2020

The historic town of Hungerford. (c) jirabu/Getty Images

The historic town of Hungerford. (c) jirabu/Getty Images

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Get some fresh air and enjoy a short cycle ride between Kintbury, Hungerford and Great Bedwyn. This route from Colin Wharton explores picturesque Berkshire and Wiltshire countryside.

Kintbury Lock on the Kennet and Avon canal near Newbury. (c) Nickos/Getty Images/iStockphotoKintbury Lock on the Kennet and Avon canal near Newbury. (c) Nickos/Getty Images/iStockphoto

This cycle ride can be made in either direction between Kintbury and Great Bedwyn and can be a linear 10-mile route, in which case you would need to take your bike on the train at either Great Bedwyn or Kintbury, or you could return the way you came, making the ride approximately 20 miles.

A lot of this route passes through the North Wessex Downs – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

1. (SU 38590 67173) Starting from Kintbury Station, follow Station Road south, going over the level crossing, and follow the road uphill as it winds into the centre of Kintbury and crosses the Kennet and Avon Canal. Continue along the High Street until it forms the Hungerford Road and Park Street, following the sign to Hungerford and Cycle Network Four.

Some of the Hungerford Road is busy and the national speed limit applies after Kintbury, so make sure you are visible and positioned sensibly on the road. The route out of Kintbury passes lush hedgerows and trees with the odd glimpse of fields. Passing over a cattle grid you see more open vistas. Eventually, you’ll come to The Downgate pub (SU 34164 68353), which marks the edge of Hungerford, and after crossing another cattle grid you will enter the town.

Once in the town centre you will reach a roundabout. Take the right fork following the sign marked Round Berkshire Cycle Route and the Cycle Route Four symbol.

2. (SU 33789 68513) On your left is the attractive Hungerford Town Hall, which was built in 1870 in Bath stone, and comprises a number of rooms including a Corn Exchange, Town Hall and Magistrates’ Room, and is often used for functions. Hungerford is a small market town that lies close to the Kennet and Avon Canal between Newbury and Marlborough and contains many attractive buildings. During the English Civil War of the 17th century, both parliamentarian and royalist forces were quartered in the town.

Turn left just before the railway bridge and follow Church Street westwards, leaving the town. Follow Smitham Bridge Road and then North Standen Road, going uphill, passing trees and hedgerows and particularly nice views to the right.

3. (SU 30714 66892) Turn right off Standen Road near Trindledown Copse and then right again towards Oakhill Farm, following the Cycle Network Four sign and continue until you reach some houses. At the junction turn left following the Network Four sign to Great Bedwyn and Oak Hill Road, passing hedgerows along either side. You eventually descend and reach Oak Hill Lock. You have now reached the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Continue along the road following the canal and then as the road rises again uphill.

Follow the road as it veers left and then immediately right and as it crosses the canal again.

Follow the the signs to Great Bedwyn with open fields either side of you. The landscape changes again to hedgerows as you start to enter the small Wiltshire village of Great Bedwyn.

4. (SU 27683 64642) Turn left at the junction next to the Three Tuns Pub and follow the Cycle Network Four sign down the High Strreet as it leads into Brook Street, eventually passing the railway station on the left and the end of the cycle ride.

If you want to continue the cycle ride you could take a right turn and follow Church Street just after the Three Tuns Pub and continue to Burbage, or go back the way you came to make the ride longer instead of taking the train from Great Bedwyn.

COMPASS POINTS

Start/finish: Kintbury, Hungerford RG17 9UN.

Map: OS Explorer 158 (Lambourn & Kintbury) and 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)

Distance: 10 miles or 16km (option to extend)

Terrain: Undulating using mainly quiet country lanes and roads. This ride mainly uses parts of section four of the Sustrans National Cycle Network route

Time: 1 to 2 hours

Refreshments: Eateries and pubs en route between Kintbury and Great Bedwyn

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