An opportunity to explore a little further afield today on our awayday ride starting in Southampton. We were largely following NCN 2 route eastwards but its a very picturesque route with much to see.
The riders were Andy and Ally, Mike, Debbie, Christine and Graham and we all arrived train assisted to Southampton. There we met Graham (2) who had ridden directly as he lives much closer. So seven out in all.
The weather was perfect, with no chance of rain and a light breeze off the sea to alleviate the strong sunshine.We made our way from Southampton central station through the city centre almost entirely on cyclepath, stopping to admire the recently cleaned up Bargate.
Then to Holyrood Church, left in its bombed out condtion from the war, and its Titanic Memorial. A short ride later we started the highest climb on the day, going up over the Itchen Bridge. We stopped at the top to admire the view. From what we could see it appeared there were three cruise ships in dock.
Then from Woolston we joined NCN2 proper, riding past Weston Heights for a short stop at the ruins of Netley Abbey.
Already lunchtime now, so we stopped at the cafe in the Royal Victoria Country Park.
Then on via cycletracks to Hamble-le-Rice and its golden pillar box, dropping down the hill through the village to the harbour, where the Hamble ferry pulled in almost as we got there.
It is astonishing how many bikes a small ferry can squeeze onboard!
On the other side of the river at Warsash we had a bit of offroading in between stretches of quiet lane until reaching the tea stop at Titchfield Haven nature reserve.
Graham (2) left us there to ride home and the rest of the group headed inland via Stubbington for about 5 miles, until we reached the finish at Fareham rail station and the train home.
The mileage from Southampton station to Fareham Station was exactly 20 miles.