King Alfred Way

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  • i did think about this place, but the local youths were swimming 2 kms north of that, just after the small pedestrian bridge after turning left off the road
    51°08'25.2"N 1°48'39.8"W

  • Awesome, thanks all.

    Re. trail condition: picture shows the worst we saw. Otherwise dry, definitely no #shitfromabutt


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  • Anyone done this recently or planning to?

  • Was going to use this as a shakedown for some Scotland camp kit but given how shit my organisation is we'll end up in Scotland before doing this. Was going to go to Reading on Fri night and then ride it over a weekend with the grrl.

  • I did the 2/3rds from south of Reading to Winchester anti clockwise 2 weeks ago. Was dry even in the shady bits then and would be drier now. I wanted to avoid the South Downs and Surrey Hills part cos I thought they would be less smooth and flat.

  • I was on the Winchester, towards Petersfield part over the weekend, it was dry and dusty for the most part, really nice conditions right now.

  • Cool. I think I'm going to do it next Thursday starting from Reading. Early start and back by Saturday night

  • @Saffronspokes and I did it a month ago over three days

  • Hi,
    I am a complete noob/beginner in MTB bike-packing trip, especially done in UK weather but I have done some of these in Italy during summer.
    In preparation for a wild trip to North Africa next Summer (Covid permitting), I would love to complete the KAW (clockwise or anticlkw).
    I am planning to have a go in the Early May Bank Holiday (02/05), preferably taking Friday 29/03 off and completing in 3 days + travel time as I am based in the West Midlands.
    The plan is to eat on the way and sleep in a tent (both are new to me as I did use a sleeping bag and a bivvy before).
    Any sparring partner interested?

    In the meantime, I am testing my setup which is coming up very nicely (saddlebag and toptube are not yet installed and lights might be upgraded sooner or later).


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  • Nice and adventurous setup ! Clockwise has the steepest gradients.

  • Cool. I think I'm going to do it next Thursday starting from Reading. Early start and back by Saturday night

    Quoting me, from ^

    Started early, but was slow and not feeling it. Anticlockwise from Reading. Decided up on the White Horse to bail. So descended back down into Newbury then along the canal back to Reading. Was much more enjoyable once the pressure was off.

  • Good, anticlock from Reading could be an option by train from Brum.

  • train station puts you 1 minute from the route. I might be up for the trip by then, otherwise happy to accompany you for a bit of it :)

  • Ok! I will keep you posted. Thanks

  • How hard did the rider on 33’s find it…?

    Hoping to do this towards end of August and that’s max tyre size I’ll be able to go upto….am I setting myself up for 3 days of hell?

  • The south downs way will be shit. As long as you get thought that you'll be fine

    I did this in a day last weekend https://bikepacking.com/routes/downs-ove­rnighter/ and it was like a mini King Alfred's Way if anyone wants a shorter version

  • We only had one punture (tubed). I would say tyre diameter is only part of the challenge, if you are comfortable with 33s offroad you should be fine. Grass covered rutted sections or as fredtc says, ripply dry ones on the Downs might require more focus, but 3 full days is enjoyable.

  • A bunch of us did it last year, all on 35s - the maximum size we could fit on our normal commuting bikes. Here's a pic of my set-up. Was fine for the majority of the route. A few hike-a-bike sections where it was rocky and steep, and some slow going sandy parts, all mostly between Farnham and Winchester. But, most of it is perfectly doable.


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  • Okay great thanks all, confidence restored!

  • The south downs way will be shit

    The SDW is always shit, no matter what tyres you have. Most overrated bit of cycling in the UK.

    I did PAW on 35s last year and it was fine. It definitely helps if you have some experience riding offroad on skinnier tyres and they can even be a bonus if you get typical British summer SFAB!

  • Most overrated bit of cycling in the UK

    Box Hill is ready to fight you.

  • Might drop you a PM on this, but how long did it take you? Ride time and/or elapsed time.

  • At least Box Hill is over with quickly. SDW keeps on being shit. Hours and hours of it!

  • Also keen to know how long this took you, think it would be a bit of a stretch for me in a single day. Do have a mate who lives in Worthing though so could break it up there.

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King Alfred Way

Posted by Avatar for Thrasher @Thrasher

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