Cowes-Alum Bay-Shorwell-Cowes 42 miles Road – Isle of Wight
This is another ride that starts from the East Cowes car ferry from Southampton. Use the East Cowes floating bridge to start the ride from West Cowes. The route heads up through Cowes and after about a mile and a half you will start to head out of Cowes towards Porchfield. After five miles you will pass Colemans Farm, a popular farm attraction for families and children, and onto Newtown where you will pass the creek before heading out to Shalfleet. The New Inn, dating from 1743, at Shalfleet is popular for fish dishes, and just a little further on is the Horse and groom public house.
After 13 miles you will reach Yarmouth, famous for it’s Old Gaffers Festival in the first week of June. After 14miles there is the option of a quick detour to Fort Victoria where you will find the Model Railway, Aquarium and several other themed attractions.
At the 21 mile mark you will reach the popular, themed attraction of Alum Bay’s Needles Pleasure Park, with it’s chairlift and famous multi-coloured cliffs. The road climbs to the Needles Battery from here and to a rocket launching test site famous for space exploration testing in the 1950’s. Please note that this road is a bus route and the path to the side (off road) is a footpath. It gets quite steep near the Battery, and even boasts a mini alps style hairpin near the top. The views once you reach the top are excellent, so the effort is well worth it.
You will need to retrace your steps for a few miles before heading out onto Alum Bay Old Road to Freshwater where you will pick up the Military Road after 24 miles. For three miles you follow the Military Road along the white cliffs, down to Compton Bay and onto Brook and Hulverstone where you will find The Sun Inn, cycling friendly and run by cycling locals. From here the rolling country lane takes you through to Shorwell and the beast of a climb that is Shorwell Shute. Not very long but horribly steep at the bottom. Drop down Cheverton Shute, past the old Chalk Pit entrance where the famous ‘Wight Max’ MTB race was held in the mid 1990’s and onto Carisbrooke after about 36 miles.
The road gets a little busier now while you follow the route to the Newport to Cowes cycle track (all tarmac) which in turn will take you back to the floating bridge in West Cowes and the finish of this 42 mile ride.
Start at Cowes Floating Bridge. Follow the route through Cowes and out onto Pallance Road, Rolls Hill Road and onto Colemans Lane
Follow Colemans Lane to Corf Road, turn right for a short dog-leg through Newtown and its creek, then back onto Corf Road to Shalfleet
Follow the A3054 to Yarmouth, take the option of a side trip to Fort Victoria then get back onto A3054 to Freshwater.
Drop down Hallet’s Shute, Hill Lane, Colwell Road to Totland, then start the climb and then descent to Alum Bay and the Needles Battery.
Retrace the route for a few miles then take right turn to Alum Bay Old Road and follow lanes to Freshwater Bay. Climb parallel to Freshwater Golf Course and onto the Military Road.
Follow the Military Road to the Brook turn off on your left, then a right turn to Hulverstone and Mottistone and follow this undulating road to Brighstone.
From Brighstone, keep following the road to Shorwell. At the mini-roundabout just past the Crown Inn, take a left onto Shorwell Shute and follow Bowcombe Road onto Clatterford Road.
At Carisbrooke, go straight across the crossroads, through Gunville, then take a right at the A3054 at Parkhurst Forest, St Mary’s Hospital and onto the Dodnor Industrial estate. The road skirts the edge of the estate and onto Dodnor Lane to the cycle track that will take you through to Arctic Road in Cowes and back to the cycle track to complete your journey.