Cycle Surrey Hills on Sunday 19th September

The Bookham & Horsley Rotary Club would like to invite you to register for an exciting new event: Cycle Surrey Hills on Sunday 19th September. This new event offers 3 ride options from 17 to 51 miles, suitable for families with teenagers up to more experienced cyclists. They all start/finish at St Theresa’s School in Effingham and follow quiet roads wherever possible. This new event is managed by Bookham & Horsley Rotary Club and all proceeds go towards the fantastic work of Princess Alice Hospice, which serves our local area. We hope to see you on 19th September – but hurry, registration is restricted to 250 riders! All event, route and registration details are here:


Thanks for reading and best wishes,


President, Bookham & Horsley Rotary Club


Club Centenary Event – Sunday 5 September 2021


Do come and support our illustrious club by getting together for a party to celebrate the fact that in 1921 – exactly 100 years ago – the people in this picture started cycling together. This led to the creation of the Woking Section of the Windsor, Eton and Slough Section of the Metropolitan District Association of the Cyclists’ Touring Club. That, believe it or not, is US! Or at least us in a rather modified version..

We would love as many members of the club, whichever section you ride with – or even if you’re not currently riding with any group, or if you used to but don’t anymore – to get together for a summer party. It’ll be an afternoon tea party with cakes and other delicious comestibles plus a nice cup or three of tea of course. (By the way, plus fours are not obligatory dress.)

Location: MCafe at Manns of Cranleigh, 101-105, High St Cranleigh, GU6 8AY. (This will be a private event for WSCC).

Tine:  2pm-4pm

We hope you’ll ride here with your group but coming by car is fine. Bring your partner too if you like.

Tickets will be £10 per person, purchased in advance. Please either transfer the money direct to our bank account if you have the details or contact Roy Wigmore who will be able to give you our bank details.


Contact Mark Waters for more information.

Spain: South to North the Roman Way


Event date and time: Thursday 1 July at 4pm (BST – British Summer Time)

‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ scoffs John Cleese in the Monty Python sketch. Plenty, discover Paul and son Joseph, who cycle from Cadiz to Santiago along the Roman Via Augusta and Via de la Plata.

They marvel at the Roman remains in Seville, Merida and Caceres, ask themselves why Bobby Charlton’s name is next to Spain’s greatest bullfighter and classical guitarist in a Jerez sherry cellar and why General Franco has disappeared from Plaza Mayor in Salamanca.

Join them as they uncover fascinating bits of history along this little-known route through Spain.

Please note – there is no replay available.

Register Now – Limited Spaces

The Kennet and Avon Canal

Since our magazine was discontinued a few years ago very few people have written about their rides or tours, which seems a pity. So here’s a mainly photographic account of a ride a bit outside our area.

The weather forecast for Saturday, 26th June was a bit better than for the Sunday, so I decided to use the train to extend my exploration of the K&A. In a couple of rides in recent years I had ridden it between Reading and Great Bedwyn. The 8:46 from Woking whisked me to Andover in 40 minutes, whence I rode north through Charlton and Wildhern on pleasant lanes to Upton in the Bourne valley, which then took me up to the escarpment for the fast descent to Great Bedwyn, where the community cafe provided coffee and cake.

After a couple of miles of towpath you see Crofton Engine House on the hillside to your right and Wilton Water on your left. The beam engines pump water from this reservoir into the canal. It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, though, because the summit pound of the canal starts about a mile further west, after five more locks. The engineer, the great John Rennie, had to take water from where it was available to where it was needed, which is why the engine house is up the hillside. The water is conveyed by a very gradually descending leat to enter the canal at the eastern end of the summit pound. Nowadays electric pumps are used except when the steam engines are fired up to entertain the public. The top of the Crofton chimney is just visible in this view:

Remains of an overbridge formerly carrying the railway from Andover via Ludgershall to Marlborough:

Crofton leat entering the summit pound next to its eastern lock:

The Bruce Tunnel (500 yards long) marks the transition from the Kennet river basin to the Avon basin, but not the Avon which gives the canal its name:

It is the Salisbury Avon which flows through Pewsey, the next town. The K&A Canal does not enter the basin of the Bath and Bristol Avon until Devizes, where it descends the most impressive lock staircase at Caen Hill, which we visited during the WSCC stay at Sutton Benger in May 2018.

The village of Wootton Rivers, a couple of miles beyond the tunnel, provided lunch, at The Royal Oak:

I continued along the towpath, past Pewsey, to Honeystreet, near Alton Barnes (with its white horse), where we cycled in May 2018:

This completed my towpath ride and I headed back on NCN 4 through Woodborough to Pewsey, up the hill (past my second White Horse of the day) to return to Andover via Everleigh, Ludgershall, Appleshaw and Penton Mewsey.

It was lovely to traverse the broad landscapes of Hampshire and Wiltshire, with their delightful villages with both timber framed and brick and flint thatched cottages. I was using 35mm touring tyres; something a bit fatter and knobblier would have better for the 13 miles of towpath but would have been a bit of a drag on the majority of miles (a bit over 40) on road. I may offer something similar as a SADI train-assisted ride a bit later this year.