The Rural South 300km

Saturday 29th June 2024. 6am start from Beech Hill (near Reading). 

A beautiful ride exploring quiet roads through Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey – truly the Rural South. 

The ride

This is a scenic but quite hilly ride (height gain is around 3500m). With some tweaks to the route and controls for 2024, it heads out over the Berkshire/Hampshire Downs for breakfast in Alresford, before turning south to the edge of Portsmouth, into the South Downs to East Meon. From there it’s east through the Downs, and up to Kirdford. Then it’s north around the Surrey Hills over the Devils Punchbowl and west across to Selborne. Finally it’s onto Old Alresford before heading around the southeast side of Basingstoke, and home.

Just confirm that there is no mechanical support on the ride, and no roadside event signage.

Entries
Please use the on-line entry on the AUK site: here Although this uses PayPal, you don’t actually need a PayPal account to enter. It will be possible to enter on the day, but there will be a late-entry fee for this, and I cannot guarantee that I will have sufficient Brevet Cards available. 

Practicalities

Getting to the start: Beech Hill village is south of Reading. Leave M4 at J11, and follow A33 Basingstoke. Straight across first traffic-light junction, keep in right-hand lane and shortly right at traffic lights. Immediately left at mini-rbt. Towards the end of Grazeley village turn left for Beech Hill. Continue along this road until the crossroads next to the church, where straight across to village hall on left. You can also download instructions from your starting point to Beech Hill using the link on the AUK page above. The postcode for the village hall for satnavs is RG7 2BE. 

Parking: cars can be parked at the start location.  Please park tidily and remember that local residents will likely still be asleep when you arrive, and quite possibly leave!

Rail services: Reading station is an 11km ride from the start, albeit requiring some fiddly navigation around the town centre one-way system. While Mortimer station is closer to the start (4.6km), services on the line are not early enough for the start. Due to on-going engineering works to Reading station and its vicinity, it is worth checking for changes on the national rail website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Where to stay: the nearest Travelodge is at Reading M4 services, 8km away. There’s a Premier Inn 4.5km away (Old Bell Inn). There are plenty of hotels at various prices in Reading see hotels. Please note that unfortunately it is not possible sleep overnight at the hall or hall car park.

Route files for 2023 event (files for 2024 to follow)

GPS route (in zip file)

Route sheet (in zip file)

Rider info (in zip file)

Comments

New 2024 rider notes, gpx and route sheet to be posted in June. The ones above are for the old route.

Any queries, please email me, Ian Doyle, at: offroad@readingctc.co.uk