Great morning for a ride – just KES and me this time; slightly misty, dry, and cool. Early start at around 6.15am to get petrol and head on out to Bath before rush hour really gets going.
Anyway, up the A419 to Cirencester; KES was a bit lively around the 70mph mark so had to fight hard to keep the speed legal. Off towards Tesco for petrol. Then headed out on the A429 to Tetbury making sure not to turn left at the A429 to Malmesbury junction (it is sign posted left and straight on to M4 and Bristol); keep straight ahead to Tetbury on the A435. There are some great swooping bends along this stretch road, but watch out for the numerous farm and side turnings as they can come up on you quite unexpectedly.
Once in Tetbury, KES burbled through at a nice steady pace following signs for the M4 which is easily and obviously marked. This road heads out to Westonbirt Arboretum which is a great for looking at trees, and the occasional concert we saw Scouting For Girls there a couple of years ago where I found out that Posh girls go like the clappers!
Tetbury is a quaint Cotswold market town; full of the typical types of shops to be found at such a country town. Many of the buildings are made from traditional Cotswold stone and I think it will be a place to visit for a cuppa tea one Sunday afternoon, especially in Summer when it is warmer.
Leaving Tetbury, on the A433 (which is also the Bath Road by strange coincidence) you will eventually come to a T junction. Taking a left turn, and watching the dip for hidden vehicles, follow the signs to the M4.
At the M4 roundabout I sat in the left lane as I was going straight over to Bath. On the other side is a dual carriageway so be wary of other vehicles turning off with you.
Onto the A46, this is the last 10 miles into Bath. No sense in rushing, sit behind the car in front and zip along at a steady 50mph or so. Down the hill, stick to the left lane (be aware of the speed camera as you drop down this hill sometimes there is also a Police speed check here too), and at the roundabout I turned left along London Road to the centre of Bath.
Now, this road at weekends and rush hours can be congested. So, do it early. Or come in via Lansdown road, which back on the A46, make a right turn at the only roundabout between the M4 and Bath; then turn left and follow your nose.
Meanwhile, back in Bath, I headed for the city centre, bus station and railway station. There are plenty of spaces in the city centre to park your bike (or car if you are in one, but it is expensive).
Bath is a great place to visit and look around; there is a lot of history here what with the Roman Baths and the Abbey to spend some time at. There is also a fine selection of eateries for all budgets. Bath can be busy with tourists at most times of the year so be patient and make sure you speak slowly and loudly to them!
Heading home, I followed the signs to Chippenham which took me along the A4 through Box.
At Chippenham it is a matter of following signs now for the M4 and Cirencester; then for me, once on the outskirts of Malmesbury, I take the B4040 back to Cricklade.
The first part of the ride I enjoyed most; getting round Chippenham I dont find that inspiring but it is a still a reasonable journey home which also has the added advantage of avoiding the M4. Bath was easy to get round, but as with Cheltenham, the one way system can catch you out but never mind, if you go wrong you do get to see more of this rather ancient and pleasant city!
For the route planner – I entered, Cirencester, Tetbury, Bath, Chippenham, Malmesbury, Cricklade. Total journey of approx 82 miles. Time to do – as long as you like!