Cycle Across Wessex

A challenge.  Linking (some of) our branches.

The event will take place as two separate stages: Bath to Salisbury, Monday 11th June, and Salisbury to Southampton, on Tuesday 12th June.
Participants are welcome to undertake either, or both, stages and supporters are welcome to join us at any of the venues or staging points to be announced.

This page is constantly being updated. Please check back for latest details.

The idea was prompted by the Hayling Cycle Ride organisation with whom Chris has previously cycled through France and Holland on sponsored rides. Each year they also provide a two day "Channel to Channel" ride from Bristol to Hayling Island overnighting at Salisbury.

With Barrett's Wessex branches now in Bath and Salisbury, a cycle ride to link these cities and the home base in Southampton looks like a possible project that could potentially raise awareness and sponsorship funds.

Chris has previously cycled through France, Holland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Peru and Myanmar on cycle challenges but health issues have recently led to his abandoning his normal bike (hopefully temporarily) for a power assisted electric bike which would be unsuitable for the more exotic challenges but would accommodate this suggestion.

It is not intended as a race but a leisurely cycle.

Starting at Prior Park Garden Centre, where Barrett's Bath hold their drop-in sessions, via Salisbury to end at Haskins Garden Centre at Swaythling, where Barrett's Wessex hold their Southampton drop-in sessions, the total distance is around 70 miles in total tackled over two days - though participants could choose just to join us for one of the days.
Most of the route is along quiet roads or cycle paths but there may be a few short stretches of main road.


Day 1 Bath to Salisbury: 
There are a couple of short steep uphill sections at the beginning of the route but thereafter it is mainly a gentle descent. We will also cycle through the two tunnels as we exit Bath. Cyclists may wish to carry lights. The tunnel is only dimly lit and has a tranquil atmosphere.

Presently the route looks like this (but may be adapted):

A GPS file may be downloaded at the foot of this page.

Departing Prior Park garden Centre, the venue of Barrett's Bath drop-ins a few minutes from Bath Spa station, about 11:00 am, we shall stop in Warminster for a lunch break around 1:00pm. Suitably refreshed, we'll press on to Wilton House Garden Centre, where we have previously had a couple of Barrett's Salisbury drop-in events, hoping to arrive about 3:30pm. It is then a further 5 miles cycle to Salisbury railway station.

Our route out of Bath passes through Combe Down Tunnel, the UK's longest cycling and walking tunnel. It’s hard to appreciate how special this 1,672 metre (just over one mile) tunnel is until you’ve ridden through it. The low roof is kept in semi-darkness so resident bats aren’t disturbed and, coupled with the musical art installation, it creates a wonderfully atmospheric effect.

(Photo and text courtesy of Sustrans)  

Day 2 Salisbury to Southampton:
We'll depart Salisbury Station about 11:00am and cycle to Haskins garden centre, Swaythling, where we hold our Southampton Drop-ins, probably stopping for lunch in Romsey about 1:00pm and arriving at the garden centre around 3:00pm.
Haskins garden centre is 2 miles (10 minute cycle) from Southampton Airport Parkway station (with trains to Salisbury and Bath).

A GPS file may be downloaded at the foot of this page.

Prior Park garden Centre is 5 minutes from Bath Spa station with direct trains to Salisbury and Southampton. Anyone is welcome to an extra-ordinary drop-in to see us off.

We shall be stopping here for lunch. Details to follow. Anyone is welcome to meet us.

Wilton House Garden Centre is about 5 miles from Salisbury Station with trains to and from Bath and Southampton. Anyone is welcome to attend an extra-ordinary drop in event to see us arrive.
Overnight accommodation in Salisbury needs to be arranged if required. More details to follow.
Anyone is welcome to see us off from the Station on day 2.

We shall be stopping here for lunch. Details to follow. Anyone is welcome to meet us.

Haskins garden centre is where we hold our monthly Southampton drop in events and 10 mins cycle from Southampton Airport Parkway station. Anyone is welcome to attend an extra-ordinary drop in event to see us arrive.

Bicycles can normally be carried free on trains.

Contact Chris via Please indicate whether you would be interested in the whole route or a part and any preference as to days. Or any suggestions.

If there are only one or two of us, we will play some of it by ear.
If there are a number of interested parties, it may require initial reconnoitring of the route and affect planning for overnight accommodation. A support vehicle may also then be required.
Chris Robinson,
17 Jan 2018, 08:18
Chris Robinson,
17 Jan 2018, 08:18