Mark National Bike Week from 30 May to 5 June 2021 and travel all around Britain on a new 2,000 mile loop – The Cathedrals Cycle Route. The route around 42 Church of England Cathedrals across the UK, including Winchester Cathedral, has been designed by Shaun Culter, a keen cyclist himself, to help people transition out of lockdown with opportunities for short cycles between cathedrals.
The route is an excellent way to explore our stunning English countryside – although if you would prefer a shorter route there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy part of the trail through Hampshire’s countryside or take on one of the many other cycle routes for all ages and abilities!
If you are arriving on leg 24 of the route, from Portsmouth to Winchester, you will enter the district through Wickham. This charming village combines ancient history with stunning countryside making it a beautiful place to cycle through. Be sure to stop at Lilly’s Coffee House or the Wickham Coffee House for some light refreshments and some much earned cake. If you are feeling a little hungrier there are a great range of eateries to fill you up before you set off on your journey again. Why not stop at Greens Restaurant and Bar, Kurtis of Wickham or The Square Cow for a delicious meal.
If you travel through Wickham and then decided a meal is just what you need stop at The Black Dog in Waltham Chase. Enjoy traditional foods and a relaxed atmosphere – perfect for those who have taken on this challenge.
Travel a little further on and you will come to the vibrant and historic market town of Bishop’s Waltham. Set in the glorious Hampshire countryside, and with a foot in the South Downs National Park this is a stunning place to park your bike and explore. Stop at Josie’s for breakfast all day or The Anvil Tearooms for the perfect piece of cake before you continue on. Bishop’s Waltham has an abundance of restaurants and pubs to choose from, why not enjoy a traditional Italian meal at Piccola Roma or enjoy some pub classics at The Crown Inn or the Barley Corn Inn?
As you journey closer to the city centre you will pass through Colden Common, with The Corner Bike Repair Shop should you need it, and Twyford with the Bean Below Café – perfect for a cup of tea before that final push to Winchester Cathedral.
Winchester city centre is known as a foodie haven with everything your taste-buds could want. Check out the pubs and restaurants on offer, or stop for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake at the Theatre Royal Café Bar.
Winchester also has some helpful cycling shops that might come in handy during your visit. Make a stop at Hargroves Cycles, Bespoke Biking, Cytronex, Peter Hansford Cycles or Bikex for all your cycling needs.
Any cyclists visit to Winchester wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Handle Bar Café, located along one of the popular cycling routes in the city – The Viaduct Way. The Handle Bar Café is also home to The Bike Shed Fix-it Station which has 24/7 access to bike tools and a pump should you need it.
Travelling further along the route, heading out of Winchester toward Salisbury, there is still time for some last minute refreshments. Make a pit stop in Compton and visit the Coach and Horses, stop in Shawford at The Bridge, or park your bike in Otterbourne and enjoy a last minute drink or meal at The Old Forge or The White Horse.
To launch the The Cathedrals Cycle Route, a small group of cyclist will set off from Newcastle Cathedral at the beginning of Bike Week, reaching Winchester Cathedral on leg 24 (Portmouth to Winchester) and leg 25 (Winchester to Salisbury) of the route. The relay cyclists will transport a specially commissioned baton which will be passed to different groups of cyclists at each cathedral. The relay event will raise money for Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to help improve people’s wellbeing through the charity’s community cycling clubs, activities and projects across the UK.
Explore some of the great cycling routes in the district including the King Alfred’s Way Cycle Route, officially beginning at the Westgate Museum at the top of Winchester high street and connecting four of England’s treasured National Trails – North Downs Way, South Downs Way, Ridgeway and Thames Path to create a loop around historic Wessex, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Alfred the Great.
Immerse yourself in the unforgettable landscape of the South Downs National Park and cycle the South Downs Way. Perfect for long distance mountain biking, the route will challenge you along rolling hills and rugged terrain, but the breath-taking views will make every push of the pedals worth it.