By: Condor Ferries on 05/06/2013

Explore UKs countryside

Watership Down Off Road Trail- Cycling

The Watership Down Off Road Trail is an exhilarating cycle trail for experienced cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. The circular route spans across 17 invigorating miles of breathtaking Hampshire countryside, 9 of which are off road.

The route, which begins and ends in the Anchor Road Car Park, is a challenging ride through the landscape of Ladle Hill and Watership Down, where Richard Adams set his enchanting children's book of the same name. The North Hampshire Downs scenery is magnificent, and the undulating terrain captures its beauty perfectly.

Particular highlights include the Hill Fort viewed from Ladle Hill and the challenging off road climb along the ridge of Watership Down. If you fancy a rest, there is an excellent viewpoint at Whitehill on the Overton to Kingsclere Road. A number of reputable Public Houses are also available en route.

The Viking Coastal Trail - Cycling

The Viking Coastal Trail is a 32-mile voyage of discovery into Britain's rich and vibrant past. The route is perfect for experienced riders and novices alike, and the long circular route around the Isle of Thanet peninsular is an inspiring trip for children too.

The coastal section from Pegwell Bay to Reculver boasts incredible scenery of sandy beaches and chalk cliffs. It is from these waters that the Vikings first took to our shores, and the inland return loop bares evidence of this today.

Dotted along the quiet picturesque lanes are some pretty Kentish villages with ancient churches and a Minster Abbey dating back to the year 670; one of Britain's oldest inhabited buildings.

Minnis Bay is also very popular with swimmers, sailors and windsurfers, with Westgate-on-Sea providing perfect beaches and rock pools for the "little ones".


The Blackwater Valley Off Road Trail - Cycling

The Blackwater Valley Off Road Trail is a beautiful 23-mile stretch of pathway following the course of the River Blackwater from its source in Rowhill Nature Reserve to Swallowfield, where it meets the River Whitewater and blends from the Broadwater into the River Loddon and beyond.

This hidden Hampshire gem passes through mysterious woodlands and lush meadows of the surrounding parks and nature reserves being developed by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership. This is a fantastic location for children to explore, and there is a range of flora and fauna to view as you make your way downriver.


Ellisfield Off Road Trail - Cycling

Ellisfield Off Road Trail is a family friendly 13-mile trail. The route is largely off road and uses tracks through the woodland and fields of mid-Hampshire. The journey begins in the car park beside the pond in Church Lane (1 mile south of Basingstoke) and meanders its way through farms and villages to Norton's Wood and beyond.

Particular places of interest are the Moundsmere Manor house and the Fox Inn based in Ellisfield. Here you can quench your thirst with a range of regional ales and relax in the outside garden. The surrounding area is also home to snowdrop and blueberry woods.


The A272 from Uckfield to Stockbridge - Driving 

The A272 from Uckfield to Stockbridge is a wonderful 85-mile cross-country driving route steeped in rich history and the incredible natural beauty of South East England.

The fascinating journey begins east of the River Ouse in the heart of the Sussex Weald, and navigates its way through a number of valleys and rivers to a peak of 600 feet, before tumbling finally into Winchester.

Along the route is Sheffield Park Gardens, with the renowned Bluebell Railway nearby, and Jack and Jill, the two windmills high on the South Downs. Thereafter, follow the River Rother along the A272, with its wide and sumptuous bends sweeping through quiet villages and towns with Bronze and Iron Age sites such as the Buster Iron Age Farm.

The trip reaches its dramatic climax in city of Winchester, the old Roman town and capital of Wessex. The grand cathedral, Bishop's Palace and medieval streets make this a natural place to stop and soak up the culture and rest in one of the many pubs and restaurants in the city centre.

However, the fun can continue on the B3049, climbing over the downs from the Itchen to the Test valleys and into Stockbridge. These country roads offer some of the most thrilling driving conditions in the UK.


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