Codenamed Fosse2 for its route broadly following the Roman Fosse Way, this long NCN route may never be finished in its entirety. But there's enough classic country touring en route that we thought it merited inclusion.
From Newark, new cycle paths following the upgraded A46 provide easy cycling towards Stilton cheese country, though exasperatingly there's a bit too much gravel and not enough tarmac. The route through Leicestershire's Wreake Valley is a real highlight, and the entrance to Leicester itself a very enjoyable ride following the River Soar.
There are no more signs from here to Southam in Warwickshire, but you can follow the planned route before a rather circuituous set of lanes lead you into the Cotswolds. The gems of this tourist area are studded along the old Fosse – Moreton, Stow, Bourton, Northleach, Cirencester – and the cycle route visits them all.
The last NCN signs direct you along a new traffic-free route, following the old railway trackbed, into Tetbury – a well-to-do market town, full of old coaching inns and the excellent Veloton bike café.
There’s no easy way out of Tetbury save for the main road, but from here, you can trace country lanes towards the quieter but no less interesting town of Malmesbury. After this you pick up the Fosse Way itself (now mostly deserted of traffic) for the last leg into Bath.
If you have a gravel bike or something similarly sturdy, you could replan the route to take in more of the original Fosse, which is still rideable as an unsurfaced byway in many places.
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