National Cycle Route 45
This is the complete route for Sustrans Route 45 of the National Cycle Network. The route is also known as the Mercian Way and runs from Chester to Salisbury through Shropshire and Worcestershire.
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The first section runs from Chester to Whitchurch, passing the Shropshire Union Canal, Peckforton Castle and Peckforton Hills, Bickerton Hill and Maiden Castle and the lovely Comber Mere on the way.
The next runs to the historic town of Shrewsbury passing Moreton Corbet Castle and Haughmond Hill as you go.
You continue past the iconic Wrekin hill before heading to the towns of Telford and Bridgnorth. Near here you'll pass the pretty Chelmarsh Reservoir and enjoy a riverside stretch through Severn Valley Country Park.
The route continues south to the woodland trails in the Wyre Forest near the towns of Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport.
The route goes on to visit Droitwich Spa, Worcester,Tewkesbury and Gloucester. You then head through the Cotswolds, passing Stroud, Minchinhampton, the Source of the Thames near Kemble, Cirencester, South Cerney, Cricklade and the Cotswold Water Park where there's a series of lakes to cycle around.
The next stage runs through Swindon passing Coate Water Country Park, Barbury Castle Country Park and the fascinating Avebury Stones.
The final section runs through Pewsey and Amesbury before finishing in Salisbury where there's a famous cathedral and the nearby Stonehenge to visit.
Cycle Routes on the National Cycle route 45
- Whitchurch to Chester - This route starts by the railway station in Whitchurch and follows the trail through Shropshire and into Cheshire
- Oswestry to Whitchurch - This route starts in Oswestry near the Welsh border and follows signed regional cycle routes and NCN route 45 to Whitchurch via Ellesmere
- Shrewsbury to Whitchurch - This route starts in Shrewsbury by the Kingsland Bridge on the River Severn, first following National Cycle Route 81 and then the trail to Whitchurch in North Shropshire.
Aside from the start which follows the River Severn along the Shropshire Way the route is mainly on quiet country roads
- Shrewsbury to Telford - Follow National Cycle routes 81, 45 and 55 through Shropshire on this pleasant ride
- Kidderminster to Bridgnorth - This route follows National Cycle routes 54 and 45 from Worcestershire into Shropshire
- Worcester to Droitwich Spa - This lovely short route follows the trail from Worcester to Droitwich Spa
- Gloucester to Tewkesbury - This route follows the trail through the Vale of Gloucester.
- Stroud to Gloucester - Follow National Cycle routes 45 and 41 from Stroud to Gloucester on this fairly easy route
- Cirencester to Stroud - Follow National Cycle routes 48 and 45 through the beautiful Cotswolds region on this attractive route which takes you close to the source of the River Thames
- Swindon to Cirencester - This route follows the trail from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire taking you through a lovely part of the Cotswolds
- Salisbury to Swindon - This ride takes you through the heart of Wiltshire along the trail with the famous Stonehenge as a major route highlight