North Wessex Downs to Salisbury

  • 94 miles/151km
  • Challenging

This is a lovely circular ride on quiet country lanes and cycle paths through the North Wessex Downs, over Salisbury Plain and through the Test Valley. At 94 miles, it’s ideal for a two-day trip with an overnight stop in Salisbury.

We started in Kintbury, which is easily accessible by train from Reading. Travelling in an anti-clockwise direction, we passed through: Hungerford, Great Bedwyn, Amesbury, Salisbury, Mottisfont, Stockbridge, Andover, Faccombe and back to Kintbury.

Some of the route passes through areas of outstanding beauty; it’s also fairly undulating. In fact, the route climbs up to Walbury Hill, the highest point in the South East of England – which is why I’ve designated this ride as challenging. It certainly was for me!

Kintbury to Salisbury

46 miles/74km

From Kintbury, follow NCN route 4 heading west. You’ll cycle through Hungerford and Great Bedwyn; soon after, turn left onto NCN route 20 which passes through Collingbourne Ducis to Everleigh. Here, you’ll head south on NCN 45 through Amesbury and on to Salisbury. We stayed at the Premier Inn which was right on NCN route 24,

Salisbury to Andover

31 miles/50km

There’s a small climb out of Salisbury on NCN route 24 but it flattens out as you pass through Alderbury, West Dean and Lockerley. From Mottisfont Lane, after crossing the River Test, look out for a shared path on the left – this is NCN route 246. This is a very pretty stretch (much of it traffic-free) in the Test Valley; after Leckford, the route follows quiet roads to Andover.

Andover to Kintbury

17miles/27km

NCN route 246 continues all the way from Andover to Kiintbury. There’s a pretty long climb up to Faccombe and beyond to Walbury Hill, the highest point in the South East of England. Then it’s all downhill to Kintbury; the Dundas Arms by the station is a good place for a restorative pint.