This is an ideal sunny weekend ride to the coast - starting at Reading, which of course has frequent trains from London and elsewhere. Undulating rural roads, quite taxing on occasion, make up the greatest part of the route to Winchester. Look out for steam trains in New Alresford, terminus of the Watercress Line. There's an outstanding traffic-free section at Winchester, skirting St Catherine's Hill on the line of the old road, then crossing the imposing brick Hockley Viaduct. The mainland route ends in Southampton, but you can take the ferry to Cowes to discover the superb second act, a railway path across the heart of the Isle of Wight.