Distance: 3 miles Difficulty: Easy
This is a lovely easy bike ride that would be suited to a family bike ride. It can be tackled either way as there is a car park each end, or very easily as a return leg. Pretty much all on cycle routes as well. It follows the River Itchen so it is DEAD flat. What you waiting for?
Start the bike ride in Mount Pleasant Ind. Park, you can park a car there for free any day, but do watch out when Southampton FC are playing as it can get busy. The route follows the national cycle way 23. Head towards the river and when you get there head left and then run parallel to the railway line. My kids love seeing the various trains speed by, and if you are lucky you can see a steam train come through.
Head up the hill and bear right. After about 100m you will see the wonderful pub “The Junction” run by Dawn and her team. This pub offers great food, great ales (always 8 on the go) and a great beer garden which you can leave your bike in whilst you sit in the sunshine.
Cycle the road now to Cobden Bridge and cross over the river. On the other side head back dowen a hill on your bike and follow the cycle way through Riverside Park. This is a lovely route. There is so much going on here. Kite flying, football, model trains, tennis, and loads of bike riders.
When you get to the road, go careful, cross over and then follow the river again. This part of the river is shallow and absolutely gorgeous. Eventually you will get to a bridge which you can pass under. The road above is the A27, keep following the river until you reach one of the best carvery pubs in this area, “The White Swan”. The rear garden backs onto the river and my kids absolutely love the airplanes that are coming in and out of nearby Southampton Airport.
As I say this is a very easy ride, but a great ride for your kids to get into. Either make it one way, or head back and re-trace your steps.