Following on from our last article on the cycle policies of the Great Western and London Midland railways here’s a couple of suggestions for using their trains to explore quiet country lanes further away from Worcester.
Worcester to Oxford
The Cotswold Line Cycle Route (NCN 442) is the latest local addition to the 15,000 mile long National Cycle Network being developed by the national cycle charity Sustrans www.sustrans.org.uk .
It’s a 75 mile route between Worcester and Oxford that roughly follows the main Worcester to London Paddington line operated by Great Western Railway.
Apart from a 6 mile stretch between Evesham and Honeybourne the route is already fully signed. It passes close to every railway station between Worcester and Oxford. The latter makes it an ideal route for combining a bike and train journey to cover the whole route over a couple of days or for completing sections over a few months.
Full details and downloadable maps are available from the Cotswold Cycling website www.cotswoldcycling.com
Worcester to Droitwich
Sustrans also have two signed routes between Worcester and Droitwich. NCN 45 heads north along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and then uses quiet lanes into Droitwich. NCN 46 takes a more westerly route through the racecourse and Claines.
You may want to join the two to form a 16 mile round trip, but if that’s too far you can use London Midland trains from (or back to) Foregate or Shrub Hill stations to create two great one way cycle routes, both about 8 miles long.
Worcestershire County Council has produced excellent maps of the first 20 miles of the Cotswold Line Route between Worcester and Evesham and the two routes between Worcester and Droitwich. Free printed copies are available at County Hall and may be available in local Tourist Information Centres and some of the independent cycle shops.
Along with the County’s increasing range of cycle maps they’re also available to download from the cycling section of their website www.worcestershire.gov.uk