Easy flat short ride
The Cotswold Water Park is the United Kingdom's largest lake system, straddling the Wiltshire–Gloucestershire border, northwest of Cricklade and south of Cirencester. The lakes were created in the second half of the 20th century by extraction of gravel, filled naturally after they began to be worked out in the early 1970s.
It is not a water fun park, as the name might suggest. It is a significant area for wildlife and particularly for wintering and breeding birds. The local Wildlife Trusts are involved in partnership with the Cotswold Water Park Trust in working with local communities and organisations in the area. The Cotswold Water Park Trust is an environmental charity working to improve all 40 square miles for people and wildlife. The lake area is very varied and encompasses a wide variety of recreational activities including sailing and fishing.
In between all the lakes is a network of byways, bridleways and footpaths linking the surrounding villages.
This is a ride I do quite a lot as it my local ride, it's nothing special in terms of technicality, but you can hammer round it in 50 minutes and there are three pubs, a chip shop and a curry house at end.
Starting from the village of South Cerney, exiting the village past the sailing club before meandering around Cleveland lakes. Made up gravel paths are rideable in all but the worst winters when the aleks forget where they are supposed to tend and escape over the trails.
The lakes are full of wildlife, so at a gentle pootle it makes for a nice ride in the country. The return leg to the village is via the disused railway line, a wide gravel track that is pretty much straight all the way back..
|Starting location||South Cerney village|
|Pubs, cafes||The George, The Elliot Arms, The Royal Oak, South Cerney Tandoori, South Cerney Fish & Chips, Co-Op, Post Office|
|Route||View route on Strava|