Woodchester An unfinished Mansion
There can't be many rides that take you past an unfinished mansion, the Woodchester ride does exactly that. Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished, Gothic revival mansion house in Woodchester Park near Nympsfield in Woodchester, it was formerly known as Spring Park. It is an unfinished masterpiece. Building started about 1857, but stopped in the mid-1860s so floors and ceilings are missing, walls not plastered and windows unglazed. All the secrets of the construction of the Mansion are visible - something visitors will never see in another country house.
The ride itself apart from going past and through the grounds of Woodchester Mansion, takes in some of the stunning surroundings of the Cotswolds. Passing through Selsley, Rodbourgh and Minchinhampton Commons with views over to Wales the river severn being clearly visible on all but the worst days. Along with the scenery the ride boast some sweet descents as well as some exceptional single track. The descents include the legendary Ladder which takes the direct route down the hillside where the road twists round, meaning you can quite easily beat the car that overtook you at the top of the hill to the bottom. The singletrack that runs alongside the B4066 is especially fun off camber with steep descents between trees before popping out onto Selsley Common for some open ground to be covered the views and bomb holes makes this part interesting.
As this ride is in the step sided valleys end of the Cotswolds the ride is one of those where you are ether climbing up the valley or dropping down the side of it. As they say what goes up must come down and each climb is rewarded with a descent that makes you glad you made the effort to get to the top.
As this is a Wednesday night ride it starts and therefore ends at a pub. In this case it's the Kings Head at Kingscourt, parking and even driving to the pub can be interesting. The pub is situated up narrow streets with little parking, so you may want to park somewhere else on the route and stop on the way past.