DOWNLOAD LIONHEART 100 MILE GPX FILE
The 100 mile route starts in front of Longleat House and meanders through the estate, circling the main house, past the big cats enclosure – Listen out for their morning roar. Riders will have warmed up nicely before enjoying the first hill of the day and exiting out of the Longleat estate. Eyes left on the way up, to catch a glimpse of the safari animals padding about in the field below.
Riders will be directed through the small estate village of Horningsham, turning right towards The Bath Arms and left, up towards Maiden Bradley. A steady climb, skirting Bradley Woods, warming up nicely for a fast descent down Druley Hill and out towards a marshaled crossing at Upton Noble. The picturesque vale of Batcombe beckons, as Riders descend Hincombe Hill. As Riders enter the village of Batcombe, it’s a short right to be rewarded with the first Feed Station of the day at Batcombe Village Hall – mile 18.
Exiting Batcombe, Riders turn right and take a steady climb through Higher Alham, heading west through the country lanes – Chesterblade and South through Stoney Stratton and Evercreech. Riders will head out onto the B3081 for a brief stretch, climbing up towards Milton Clevedon. At Milton Clevedon take a right – views in abundance – a short descent takes Riders down through Lamyatt and on into the town of Bruton, where you will meet the one way system and will be directed on and through the High Street to the second Feed Station at The Unionist Club, Bruton – mile 30.
Climbing out of Bruton on the Brewham Road, Riders will head towards North Brewham, traversing the River Brue and swinging right to South Brewham. Take care when making a sharp right, then left, at speed through this sleepy village. This is preparation territory for the climb ahead. King Alfred’s Tower climb beckons. Prepare your lungs and go steady on the climb out of South Brewham, ready to make your mark on this extra timed section. This is a killer climb, and a treat this year with it’s earlier placement at mile 35; short and sharp, but worth the puff for the fantastic folly at the top. A majestic building drenched in local folklore. We will have a photographer perfectly placed to capture your glory. Any Riders wishing to take in the beauty at a slower pace (walking!!), please stay in single file and give those spinning some space.
Legs and lungs get a chance to recover as Riders meander through Bayley’s Coppice – part of the Stourhead Estate – and on to Kilmington Common, before making a right towards the B3092, and the market town of Mere. Please take CAUTION when exiting right onto this main road; although well signed, with good vision, this is a fast commuter road and busy with National Trust visitors at the weekend. Riders will, almost immediately, take a right turn towards Stourhead and a quick left into Bells Lane and through the former WWII American Airbase – avoiding the busy entrance to Stourhead. A flat two-miler, with a right hand turn downhill towards Gaspar. Take care not to shoot across the quiet crossroads at the bottom of the hill and be sure to indulge in the views of the Stourhead Estate as you cross the bridge towards Penhill. Enjoy pedalling through the pines, making sure that you take a sharp left towards a short, steep climb up Penhill, through Penselwood. It may be of note that Stourhead Estate have kindly repaired good sections of this forest road, however, this is an active forestry area and therefore please be aware of mud and debris.
Heading out of Penselwood towards Coombe Street, Riders drop down to the River valley of the Stour. Enjoy the descent but be aware of the sharp left turn that awaits you. A sharp climb up Penmill Hill is rewarded with a 3 mile breather – a lovely flat section of open road, turning right and ducking under the A303, before spinning into the market town of Mere, where Riders will find the third Feed Station of the day at Yapp Brothers Wine Merchants – mile 48.
Fueled up and raring to go, we have secured Riders a steady climb up White Hill, towards Semley – open countryside and undulating heaven – for a good five miles. Please take caution at mile 53.5, where Riders will pedal out onto a brief section of the A350; following the flow of traffic, before taking the first right for a brief climb into Semley. Rolling North, travelling through Tisbury and picking up the Nadar Valley, Riders experience a fast section through Lower Chicksgrove, Dinton, Bradford St. Martin and Burcombe, arriving in Wilton, where the weary can pop into the fourth and final feed Station at Wilton Community Centre – mile 70 – for a quick bite to eat. With the wind behind you (one can but hope!), Riders have the pleasure of the Wylye Valley ahead of them. Heading West through the villages of Great Wishford, Stockton, Boyton and Tytherington, Riders will reach the end of the valley at Sutton Veny. Head West towards Longbridge Deverill, taking caution at the A350 crossing. Tired legs are almost home, as Riders sweep through Mansford Coppice – on the outer reaches of Longleat Estate – skirting Shearwater Lake; a mile in length and set in a magnificent forest, this lake is a stunner. Heading though the small hamlet of Crockerton, Riders hit the homeward straight. A tree-lined road through Buckler’s Wood, swinging left back towards the village of Horningsham. One last, fast descent with a right into the village and right again at The Bath Arms Public House.
Riders are led back into Longleat to enjoy the most spectacular finish to the 2015 Lionheart – straight down the Longleat Drive, finishing in front of Longleat House. We will be there to congratulate and decorate you with your limited edition Lionheart medal, and encourage you to re-fuel with a complimentary bowl of something hot and tasty.