Gosport Hidden History Bike Ride: a self-led cycling route
Gosport has always had high levels of cycling – we are in the top 10 UK cycling towns with cycle rates over 5 times the national average. Lockdown has led to a national resurgence in cycling with up to 300% increase in cycling levels in some areas. There is global shortage of bikes and parts for repairs as demand outstrips supply.
When we were only allowed out once a day for exercise close to home, many more people rediscovered the joy of being on two wheels. For the local cafe’s and takeaways who were able to stay open during lockdown the majority of customers were walkers and cyclists.
So this year, we are combining bikes and heritage with the Hidden History self-led cycle ride which has been produced for Heritage Open Days by the Veteran Cycle Club.
About the Ride: This 20 mile circular self-guided cycle route takes in over 30 historical features – some surviving and others lost to progress. From medieval moorings and Napoleonic forts to Modernist architecture, let your imagination go and enjoy the views and as you explore the beautiful and often underrated and overlooked Gosport peninsula.
Ride at your own pace. The ride can be started from anywhere on the route and you can do it in a day or break it down into smaller chunks. Gosport is flat and easy cycling, sometimes you may get a head wind or a tail wind but like being at sea it’s all part of the adventure! Why not take your time and stop for lunch and /or a coffee and cake or ice cream stop along the way.
The route was put together by local history and cycling enthusiast David Palk of the Hampshire Veteran Cycle Club this route is based a popular ride which David usually hosts annually. Members from across Southern England come to enjoy a day out and are always amazed at the great cycling routes and heritage Gosport has to offer. To find out more about the Veteran Cycle Club (VCC) see their website https://v-cc.org.uk/
A downloadable guide is available on the weblink and printed copies can be collected from the Gosport Tourist Information Centre, by the bus station at the harbour.
The route is on a mix of public roads and cycleways. Some of the features are best seen from cycleways, where they are available. Some cycle routes are shared use, other sections are segregated and both types can get very busy, especially at weekends.
Courteous Cycling: Please be considerate of other road and cycle path users. Pick safe places to stop and don’t block other people when your looking at the hidden history. Ride according to the conditions, slow down when it’s busy on cycleways and let people know you are there by saying ‘excuse me’ or dinging your bike bell.
N.B. Consider people with visual and hearing impairments who may not see or hear a bike coming.
Layers and Lights – Be Prepared: We’ve had a long hot summer and as we come into the autumn it’s easy to get caught out as the weather gets cooler and the light fades faster and earlier. Lights can be handy for tree lined leafy lanes like Shoot lane where it can seem quite dark even in daylight.
Food & Drink: There are lots of cafe’s, refreshments stops and around the route.
Loos: There are Public toilets along the route at Lee-On-Solent, Stokes Bay and by the Gosport Ferry
N.B. Check opening times, things may be subject to local Covid-19 restrictions and changes
You can choose to complete the route in parts or do it all at once! Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. We advise you to ensure that your bike is in good order before you set out, that you are wearing clothing appropriate for activity and weather, and that you take hydration with you.
Click here for a Google Maps view of the route.
There is a good downloadable cycle map produced by My Journey Hampshire https://myjourneyhampshire.com/traffic-and-travel-info/local-maps/ PDF of MAP
The online Open Street map is a nice clear map and it has a cycle route layer – good for reference. It is also the most up to date and only one which shows Daedalus Drive. It works well viewed on a mobile phone although is not easily printable.
Veteran Cycle Club – Hampshire Branch
Gosport Borough Council – Cycling https://www.gosport.gov.uk/article/1664/Cycling-in-Gosport
My Journey Hampshire https://myjourneyhampshire.com