with tips for cycling & hiking
This is a forestry site, just up the road from Devizes and where you had the plush facilities of Devizes, you are back to basics here, toilet facilities but no showers but do not let that put you off. This is a superb site in the glorious Savernake forest.
There are some pleasant cycle rides in the forest, along the Grand Avenue for instance but we are going to be a bit more adventurous.
To start the route you need to head in the opposite direction to where you came in, head towards the car park and bear left. basically you want to pick up the A4, which is about 1/2 mile away.
When you reach the A4, turn left and head downhill, past the hospital for about 1/2 mile.
This is quite a busy road so take care and if you go past the bridge then you have gone too far.
This is the bridge over the old railway line from Swindon to Marlborough.
You can not get down onto the path at this bridge. You need to turn right just before the bridge and head down and you will see the entrance to the path on your left.
The bridge over the A4, you start your ride just down from the bridge.
The ride is then an easy 10 mile ride, offroad, through very pleasant countryside until you reach Chiseldon and for part of its route it follows the A340 but far enough away, not to be disturbed by it.
You can then continue for another couple miles to the Coates Water Park.
On the return, you have a choice, you can return the same way.
Or on the other side of Chiseldon there is a car park, turn right here and follow the road past New Farm. (If you do not go to the Water Park then the turning will be on you left at the car park)
This road then leads into the old ridgeway, continue along this for about a couple of miles until you come to a road and then turn left and head towards Barbury Castle.
Be warned this is very steep so this is where your bike gets its name of a 'pushbike' but the views from the top are spectacular.
There are public conveniences here and it is a great picnic spot.
Barbury castle is an old iron age fortress and though perhaps not so large and as spectacular as Maiden Castle, Dorchester, in Dorset.I
It nevertheless is impressive,so make sure you look back and view it from a distance.
Continue along the by way, and you will be pleased to know that you have done the difficult bit, until you reach the road at 'Old Eagle'.
Here you turn right and descend into Marlborough where it would be a good idea to take afternoon tea or a pint before you head back up the A346 to the campssite.
This is only a short section and you can walk the uphill part.