Relocation to Wiltshire or Berkshire and cycling

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Chris Jefferies, Jun 2, 2003.

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  1. Hi all,

    My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    come from the flat lands of East Anglia :-(

    I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    spot of canoeing.

    Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
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  2. Tony Hogarty

    Tony Hogarty Guest

    Chris Jefferies wrote:

    >
    > Hi all,
    >
    > My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    > criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    > come from the flat lands of East Anglia :-(
    >
    > I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    > motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    > spot of canoeing.
    >
    > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Chris

    What about North of Reading area say around Nettlebed - you'll have the Chilterns on your doorstep
    for some good cycling?
    --
    Regards

    Tony Hogarty (take out garbage to reply)
     
  3. In news:[email protected], Chris Jefferies
    <[email protected]> typed:

    > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?
    >

    Think about the description of the area - Chiltern Hills and Thames Valleys
    :) You will have no shortage of good places to ride or run there. I will
    admit though I'm not really a sporty type, but know the rural areas of
    S.Oxon well for various other reasons to do with a mis-spent youth ;)

    There is *loads* of good open space around Reading for various kinds of malarkey. I quite like the
    S.Oxon area (it is also up the road from where I live!) Have a look at an OS map of the area, or one
    of the free GIS applications such as multimap.

    Alex
     
  4. Guy Chapman

    Guy Chapman Guest

    "Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    > motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    > spot of canoeing.

    Reading has the Thames, with a thriving canoeing and rowing scene, as well as the Kennet and the
    Kennet & Avon Canal. North of Reading you get South Oxfordshire which is superb cycle country, there
    are several MTB groups in the area (Reading CTC and the Rats spring to mind). I can quite see why
    you wouldn't wnt to live in Reading, but there are some very nice places locally - some more
    expensive than others of course.

    > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?

    Heh! Well, I work within commuting distance of Reading, if you see what I mean :)

    What it's like is the national centre for traffic paralysis, combined with a roads department
    staffed by TRL rejects (think bypass which goes through the middle of the town instead of bypassing
    it, and has every on-ramp on a bend with a hill so you can't see anything in your mirrors).

    But it's not all bad. Only most of it.
     
  5. In message <[email protected]>, Guy Chapman
    <[email protected]> writes
    >"Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >> I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    >> motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    >> spot of canoeing.
    >

    Join us in wonderful Crowthorne, resplendent home of the Transport Research Laboratory, Broadmoor
    Hospital and Wellington College! Don't know which has the most nutters. ;-)

    Seriously, we're just down the road from Swinley Forest, an excellent MTB venue. See www.gorrick.com
    for information about permits and competitions. The Forest is also first class for running with a
    major orienteering competition being held there recently. There are 4 strong running clubs fairly
    close by (Finchcoasters (Wokingham & Crowthorne), Sandhurst Joggers, Bracknell Forest Runners and
    Windle Valley Runners (Windlesham, Lightwater & Camberley)). West of Crowthorne is very rural with
    plenty of running on footpaths and cycling on quiet roads.

    Berkshire is very narrow at this point so it's easy to ride into Hampshire and Oxfordshire or head
    West into West Berkshire.

    The main disadvantage here is perhaps Swinley Forest itself with the neighbouring firing ranges for
    Sandhurst. This somewhat limits your options if you want to go East or South East - by road you're
    forced to circumnavigate the Forest.

    There's a railway line that runs from Guildford through Farnborough and Wokingham to Reading with
    several other stops on the way, including Blackwater, Sandhurst and Crowthorne although not all
    trains stop at all stations. There's also a line from London through Ascot, Bracknell and Wokingham
    to Reading.

    Best of luck.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  6. Thanks for the help chaps.

    It's given me some good points/places to think about.

    - Chris
     
  7. Rancidpants

    Rancidpants Guest

    "Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    > criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    > come from the flat lands of East Anglia :-(
    >
    > I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    > motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    > spot of canoeing.
    >
    > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Chris
    Chris, if you want to move to Devizes, that really is deepest darkest rural Wiltshire, and not
    exactly easy to get to Reading on, but probably not too bad on a motorbike. I live in Chippenham
    which is about 8 miles away and has good access to the M4. Reading is a 60 mile journey.

    As far as cycling goes, it depends what sort of riding you want to do. There are loads of hilly road
    rides around there, and plenty of winding quiet country lanes, and delightful pubs along the way.
    There is not much off roading to be done in the immediate vicinity as far as I can tell, although if
    you are willing to travel for an hour or so then you have the Mendips, the Forest of Dean, Cheddar
    Gorge, and the Quantocks, and probably a whole lot more.

    I go road cycling on my own, never bother driving anywhere, and there are plenty of routes, flat,
    hilly, quiet, busy, you name it. For off road I go in a group and go further afield.

    As a general point if moving to Wiltshire you may find the local "dopey" sounding accent
    rather annoying.

    Luke
     
  8. J

    J Guest

    RancidPants wrote:
    > "Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>Hi all,
    >>
    >>My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    >>criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    >>come from the flat lands of East Anglia :-(
    >>
    >>I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading to commute (by
    >>motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the canal for a
    >>spot of canoeing.
    >>
    >>Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    >>distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?
    >>
    I live in Reading and found the "Mountain Biking Guide - Wiltshire" from,
    http://www.ernest-press.co.uk/, good, though I haven't found an equivalent book for berkshire.

    I'd second the south oxfordshire suggestion, but the main problem with the Reading area for off road
    riding is that you have quite a trek to get to the trails, and the exorbitant traffic levels don't
    make that fun.

    John
     
  9. Al_mossah

    Al_mossah Guest

    As Luke says, lots of country lanes and pubs around Chippenham. There's off-road opportunities on
    the byways between there and Devizes around Roundway Hill. There are lots of bridlepaths around
    which can be linked by a few bits of road to produce reasonable circular routes. Chippenham is on
    the SUSTRANS route to Avebury via the old Calne railway track. They're just building the link to
    Lacock (several excellent pubs) along the old Wilts and Berks Canal towpath.

    Chippenham is only 40mins or so by train from Reading. FGW do carry bikes. Leaving bikes at
    Chippenham Railway station is OK-ish, especially if you come from the south side where you can leave
    them under cover on the old platform.

    Wow, sounds a great place to live.

    Peter.

    "RancidPants" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Hi all,
    > >
    > > My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    > > criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    > > come from the flat
    lands of
    > > East Anglia :-(
    > >
    > > I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from
    Reading to
    > > commute (by motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some
    hills
    > > nearby. It's also on the canal for a spot of canoeing.
    > >
    > > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea
    of
    > > what it's like down there?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > >
    > > Chris
    > Chris, if you want to move to Devizes, that really is deepest darkest rural Wiltshire, and not
    > exactly easy to get to Reading on, but probably not too bad on a motorbike. I live in Chippenham
    > which is about 8 miles away and has good access to the M4. Reading is a 60 mile journey.
    >
    > As far as cycling goes, it depends what sort of riding you want to do. There are loads of hilly
    > road rides around there, and plenty of winding quiet country lanes, and delightful pubs along the
    > way. There is not much off roading to be done in the immediate vicinity as far as I can tell,
    > although if you are willing to travel for an hour or so then you have the Mendips, the Forest of
    > Dean, Cheddar Gorge, and the Quantocks, and probably a whole lot more.
    >
    > I go road cycling on my own, never bother driving anywhere, and there are plenty of routes, flat,
    > hilly, quiet, busy, you name it. For off road I go in a group and go further afield.
    >
    > As a general point if moving to Wiltshire you may find the local "dopey" sounding accent rather
    > annoying.
    >
    > Luke
     
  10. Jon Hall

    Jon Hall Guest

    > I'd second the south oxfordshire suggestion, but the main problem with the Reading area for off
    > road riding is that you have quite a trek to get to the trails, and the exorbitant traffic levels
    > don't make that fun.
    >
    > John

    It's not THAT far... you just need to hop over Caversham bridge, then either turn left at the church
    by the Griffin pub, or take the bridleway to Tokers Green, and you're out in the open. I live in
    West Reading and it's no more than a couple of miles to the first bridleways, and from there you've
    got lots of trails in the Woodcote/Goring/Checkendon areas easily accessible. I even go out off-road
    before work quite often.

    Another option if you're further west in the town is the Calcot to Pangbourne bridleway, or if
    you're on the East side there's the Thames path out to Sonning then climb up the bridleways from
    there and head towards Henley or North West towards Checkendon.

    The riding north of Reading is a lot better than a lot of people realise. Okay, it's not the Peak
    District, but it's there on the doorstep.
     
  11. Thanks again for all your replies.

    It's going to be a tough one :)

    - Chris.

    "Chris Jefferies" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Hi all,
    >
    > My company might be moving to Reading, which means I'll probably have to relocate. One of the
    > criteria for moving will be a good selection of MTB/Running trails with some hills ( I currently
    > come from the flat lands
    of
    > East Anglia :-(
    >
    > I was looking at Devizes in Wiltshire as it's about 1hr away from Reading
    to
    > commute (by motorcycle, not bicycle!) but looks like it's got some hills nearby. It's also on the
    > canal for a spot of canoeing.
    >
    > Are there any sporty types out there that live/ride in that area (or anywhere within commuting
    > distance of Reading) that can give me an idea of what it's like down there?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Chris
     
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