Updated: Jan 22
How many miles to cycle the outskirts of Portsmouth (The Island)? Approximately 13! Slightly fewer miles than we had estimated.
The weather man may have predicted very low temperatures, but the sun was shining and the kids were desperate to get out on their bikes again!...so we chose a leisurely cycle in Portsmouth.
We started at Hilsea Lido, free and unlimited parking here is a bonus, although there is a 2m height barrier. A cycle track continues here from further north in the city.
The majority of our route was on designated cycle paths, along the Hilsea shoreline towards the Mountbatten Centre, then cut through a large alleyway into Stamshaw. This is where the first part of our journey entered on to the (quiet) roads without a bike route.
Once off of the few main roads, our journey headed out past a play park and under a subway which led us through the ferry port.
Cycling out past the Unicorn Gate, we were then being directed towards Commercial Road and along the bus route, we continued down Queen Street, close to the Historic Dockyard.
Before long, we had passed the Wightlink Ferryport, the hot walls and sat for a short while near to The Clarence pub. (Just under 5 miles at this point)
The promenade along Southsea Beach was filled with people enjoying the winter sunshine, and blowing away the cobwebs. But the cycle lane was pretty much empty!
The green lane took us along the beach (heading from this direction, the lane crosses over the road by South Parade Pier and then back again by Canoe Lake)
Pressing on with our cycling adventure, it took us through Eastney, Bransbury Park and over to St James Hospital. Along Locksway Road, is where we found the bus route/cycle lane back towards the sea. We thought it would be along the shoreline by the Thatched House pub but there is no cycling allowed on this pathway now.
So far, we were all still going strong.....and then we picked up a puncture!!!
Thankfully, we'd packed the tools for the job and were soon on our way again.
Onwards, heading North on the Eastern Road, through Anchorage Park and into Foxes Forest. This is where the trail got muddy, for about a mile and half! Over the bridge and into the car park.
This route follows designated cycle lanes, which for the majority are clearly signposted or marked on the road. It is mainly off of the roads, heavily used by other vehicles and safe for adults and children, and all areas can be accessed by the public. The trail around Portsmouth is flat, with little incline and good for a leisurely cycle.