Brampton Valley Way bike ride (any bike)

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Road Cycling

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32 miles

5-6 hours

This gentle bike ride is 32 miles long, a completely off road there-and-back ride on a gritted path with level terrrain suitable for any bike at any time of year. There are no steep climbs and a brisk pace is possible, although sadly the local side roads and bridle routes do not facilitate a circular route you will enjoy splendid views of open farmland sheltered from the wind for the majority of the trip. Our journey will take us from the Windhover public house at the edge of Northampton onto the former railway and alongside the Northampton & Lamport Steam Railway. The path leads north into Leicestershire to the town of Market Harborough where we will stop for a warming drink, and a deserved break, before the return journey.

The Brampton Valley Way follows the route of the former Northampton to Market Harborough Railway, which was closed in 1981 and is now managed by Northamptonshire County Council as a linear country park. A single gravel surface dirt track from Boughton Crossing to Little Bowden provides recreation for cyclists and walkers. The way also forms an offroad section of the Sunstrans National Cycle Network, Route 6.

There are two former railway tunnels on the route at Kelmarsh (294m long) and at Oxendon (422m long). The tunnels are unlit and so can be quite an experience to travel through; cyclists will need lights on their bike or a head torch. The surface inside the tunnel is not level and has several large potholes to catch the unwary.


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