Any Advice, Cycling & camping along the River Severn?

hazcycle

New Member
Thinking of cycling to Swansea, from Gloucester. by the River Severn...Question is...Can one cycle road free this way and is there any tent camping, places along the way?
Google maps just showing across country :sad:
Any info, be wonderful, thank you:smile:
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Visit cycle.travel and it will find the best route for you. Have a good ride.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Cycle travel also has a camping search.

As for motor-free (which is I assume what you want, rather than trails), it's about half and half with quiet roads on c.t's current default. The main problem is getting out of Gloucestershire! Once you reach Newport area, more cycleways are available. A shorter/faster route is via Kentchurch and mostly Route 46 but it's more back roads than cycleway and I suspect busier (as cycle travel factors that in).
 

Aravis

Here for the ride.
Location
Gloucester
Hang on a minute..........!?!

I could certainly help with photographs at the start of the trip. In fact I'd be delighted to do so.

Heading south from Gloucester keep to the left of the river, and cross the Aust suspension bridge when you get that far. All the online route planners will suggest this I'm sure.

The Gloucester-Sharpness canal is about 16 miles long and gives a viable off-road route out of Gloucester. I've ridden the whole length and I think it's permissible, but the online route planners seem to prefer to put you on the roads, many of which are part of the NCN. Using a combination of both you can get to Aust having barely put a wheel on a busy road.

Things are also quite good between Chepstow and Newport. I don't think there's so much scope for off-roading but the A48 is almost completely avoidable. Beyond Caldicot there's a network of very quiet minor roads near the coast taking you most of the way to Newport.

It's well worth using the transporter bridge to cross the Usk in Newport if you can, but you'll need to research opening times.

You can judge whether I've lived up to @Heltor Chasca's billing. :unsure:
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The Gloucester-Sharpness canal is about 16 miles long and gives a viable off-road route out of Gloucester. I've ridden the whole length and I think it's permissible, but the online route planners seem to prefer to put you on the roads, many of which are part of the NCN.
The towpath is not marked on OSM as cycleable north of Saul Junction, or the last 500m into Sharpness, plus it's tagged as unsurfaced, so few route planners will use it. Is it cycleable? Is it hard surface?
 
It's all cycleable permission-wise, but much of it is unimproved, including the final stretch into Sharpness. It's a broader towpath than (say) the Llangollen or the Macclesfield and there tends to be a worn groove for bikes, which makes it tolerable on a hybrid or anything sturdier. You do see a fair number of afternoon leisure riders and MTB riders, even on the unimproved sections.

I'd generally choose to use NCN 41 when it dives off on parallel lanes, not least because the lanes are really lovely. The Purton Hulks are worth a detour though.
 

Siimo

New Member
I've done most of this in two separate trips (Bristol to Cardiff and Bristol to Gloucester) in the last 12 months. I second that 41 is your best route coming south - other than the Severn Way which is legally only a footpath, there are at times no other roads or trails closer to the river. A couple of small undulations that might require dropping gears but no serious hills. There was very little traffic even on a hot Friday afternoon in school holidays, apart from in the opposite direction through Slimbridge around 5pm as the WWT site closed- although I would hope that birdwatchers aren't likely to be bullying drivers. The canal section was not great for pace on 700c 38 hybrid tyres and I was glad to be back on the roads on the other side. If time there is also a historically important castle at Berkeley and a lovely village at Frampton on Severn. I would also recommend a detour to Severn Beach - you have to come nearly this far to avoid a busy road to join the old Severn Bridge anyway, and it's worth going onto the promenade.

The only downside to 41 is how little of the river you actually get to see - there is probably only the above section and a little bit near Gloucester in which the route is actually next to the water. Crossing the bridge is quite an experience - you can also cross the motorway footbridge and use the services on the English side should you need to. NCN 4 between Crick and Newport is not particularly interesting - flat and featureless, and with some pretty rough gravel surfaces. The transporter bridge makes its last crossing around 4.30pm - I made the last crossing and was let on for free, it's only £1 otherwise! If you do miss it it is not too big a detour to use the fixed bridge in the town centre.

If you are following NCN4 it takes you around Cardiff to the north through Caerphilly, whereas to go through the capital you should follow 88 until it abruptly ends at the suburbs. You can then go through another couple of miles of parks and cycle tracks but will have to use roads to link up with some shared use into the city centre. I went straight down Greenway Rd and New Rd which wasn't too bad but parallel side roads are available. It would be fair to say that Cardiff is not anywhere near the top of any best cycling infrastructure table.
 
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