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Bristol to Bournemouth in February 2024

Monday 26 February
by DavidM
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Two dayer from Bristol Temple Meads to Bournemouth in February 2024.

Day One a good cycle route out of Bristol towards the Mendips and down a ferocious hill into Wells, but the quiet road (NCN3) between Wells and Glastonbury was under nearly a foot of flood water for nearly a mile after Launcherley where it crossed the levels - as we'd got that far and the road was dead straight, we just went gingerly through it, hoping that there were no hidden dips (there weren't).  Then south to the rolling hills round Cadbury Camp, down to Sherborne, and into the Helyar Arms in East Coker to dry feet and warm up.  Great pub.

Day Two soft rain as we started south down the beautiful Frome Valley, with some lovely cycle track stages, round Poundbury and into Dorchester for coffees, east with the Frome again to Moreton, and then south across the heath and dry valleys to Lulworth.  At the coast we were faced with cold heavy rain and a fierce headwind, so buckled down over the Lulworth Range Road to Corfe, across the nature reserves to Studland and ultimately the chain ferry to Bournemouth, where we thawed out in the Starbucks in the Station, dripping gently whilst awaiting the train to London.

 A great two-day trip at about 120 miles, with lovely cycling and scenery and a succession of beautiful towns and villages, but we were chancing our arm touring it in February and didn't quite get away with it - first the flooding in Somerset, and then the sharp change in the weather which meant the coastal stretch from Lulworth to Bournemouth turned into an endurance race against hypothermia even with high end winter cycling kit.