A Local Sustrans Route
On returning home from a cycle ride recently, I stopped to have a chat with a neighbour. He asked me where I’d been and I replied that I had ridden along the NCN 5 from Kidmore End to the Blue Tin Shop in Ipsden and back. Having never heard of it, he asked what NCN 5 was and I had to explain to him that it was part of the National Sustrans Network. I was amazed that he did not know of Sustrans so I presume that a lot of other people are unaware that they are within minutes of one of the routes.
Sustrans is a charity that, since its foundation in 1995 has achieved great things by creating a UK-wide network of quiet cycling and walking routes that now total over 14,700 miles. These routes are generally well signed with a white arrow and bicycle on a blue background and/or a white number in a red square.
The nearest of these routes is designated NCN (National Cycle Network) 5. This route runs from the River Thames in Reading through Wallingford, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Stafford eventually finishing at Holyhead on Anglesey.
Starting from the pond in Kidmore End, as I did, follow Wood Lane to Gallowstree Common to the junction with Horsepond Road. Turn right here and then almost immediately turn left in to Wyfold Road, continue on until the junction with Wyfold Lane where it becomes Busgrove Lane. Busgrove Lane will take you up to Stoke Row almost opposite the Cherry Tree pub. Turn left and continue along the High Street, maybe pausing for a coffee at the newly refurbished shop/café, until the turning on the left to Checkendon, which you take. A few hundred yards along this road take the first turning on the right continuing past the Black Horse pub, where you might want to pause for a pint.
About a mile past the Black Horse is a sharp turning left leading to Garson’s Hill and the Blue Tin Farm Shop. A little way past the Farm Shop you come to the top of Garson’s Hill. The view from here, looking towards Wallingford, is a just reward for your efforts as the route to here has been mainly uphill.
If anyone who cares to sample this small section (approximately 5.5 miles) of NCN 5 has any problems following the signage please let me know – phone 0118 972 2620 or email email@example.com.
For further information about Sustrans please visit www.sustrans.org.uk .