Route variations

Two cyclists crossing a field with a town in a valley below
Descending Tor Hill, above Wotton-under-Edge


You can of course adapt the 100 mile route as you like – ride shorter sections of it, or start it in Cheltenham, Stroud or anywhere else. The following shortcuts (and others) are all worthwhile options by themselves, but are worth identifying ahead of time even if you’re going for the 100 mile route in case you’re delayed by technical problems or the weather turns.

Nailsworth variation

This removes 20 miles (the tough Horsley/Wotton/Dursley/Coaley section) from the full route, for a total distance of 80.7 miles. In return it adds a pleasant additional descent and a long easy section of off-road shared-user path in the Nailsworth valley to the south of Stroud.

After leaving Avening (step 2 in the route notes) and climbing up to Shipton’s Grave Lane, descend Tetbury Lane (gravel, then tarmac) to Nailsworth rather than dropping west to Barton End. From the centre of the town (spacious mini roundabout) aim towards Stroud (north-west) and very soon pick up the disused rail track bed, National Cycle Route 45. Follow this for just over 3 miles to where 45 splits and take the westward continuation for another 1.4 miles to reach the canal access at Ryeford described at the beginning of stage 5 in the route notes.

Andoversford variation

A cut that removes the entire northern section of the route, also saving about 20 miles (80.1 mile total distance). You lose out on the fine descents across Cleeve Hill and Syreford but there’s still plenty to enjoy.

As you ride into Andoversford (near the start of stage 7 in the route notes) look for a bridleway (clearly signposted) running south, right opposite the primary school. It goes along a pretty drive through Owdeswell Manor, surfaced all the way, and reaches the A436 near Shipton golf course. There, go straight across on the continuation bridleway next to the golf course, and cut to stage 9 in the route notes.

Shortcuts combined

Finally here’s a GPX of the Nailsworth and Andoversford cuts combined, making for a very nice, achievable, 61.6 mile loop with approx 3,800ft of climbing.