The Itchen Valley between Alresford and Winchester is a beautiful peaceful countryside route along quiet lanes. This ride uses the little-known cycle route through subways and paths over Junction 9 of the M3 – not as scary as it sounds, but there’s one bit where Highways England ask you to dismount and walk your bike along the pavement across the motorway bridge. Avington Park is a scenic spot to stop for a snack. On your way back, the old railway line is a disused section of the old “Watercress Line” railway which used to connect Alton to Winchester. It’s now part of the Watercress Way: see thewatercressway.org.uk for details. The detour route takes you up some hills where you’ll get panoramic views across the valley.
Start: River Park, Park Avenue exit.
Distance: Main route 10 miles (16km). Optional detour adds another
7 miles (11km) and two more hills.
Terrain: A few hills. The route is mostly on quiet roads and tarmac
cycle routes, with one offroad section on old railway line (can be avoided).
Busier roads on the first bit out of town and on the B3047 returning.
Download printable route map here.