Squires and Spires with John Bennett

Join contributor John Bennett on a tour across England and take in breathtaking views of open plains, woodlands, and countryside.

This collection of rides ends across the way in Wales where you’ll tackle the epic Devil’s Staircase with it’s 15% average gradient, putting your legs to the test.

You can find all these rides under NEW in the FulGaz App.

PLAIN SAILING

There aren’t many rides on Fulgaz where the road signs warn of unexploded ordinance and tanks crossing but this is one of them! This ride traverses the normally out-of-bounds military zone of Salisbury Plain on one of its rare open days. See the landscape and mock-up settlements where the British army trains for its operations. A strange, eerie atmosphere prevails on this most unusual ride through desolate but beautiful countryside. You will be glad to see the signs welcoming you back to normal civilization by the end of this ride with a difference!

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28.1km
DISTANCE
0:54:57
DURATION
218m
ELEVATION

CRANBORNE CHASE

A scenic ride through the pretty countryside of the Cranborne Chase, former royal hunting grounds. Some lumpy bits as well as well earned downhill segments on a glorious Spring morning!

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32.3km
DISTANCE
1:04:25
DURATION
305m
ELEVATION

BRINGTON IT ON

A short ride through the sleepy Northamptonshire countryside. The ride starts at the pretty village of Guilsborough and journeys through honey coloured stone villages past Great Brington, the local church of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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10.96km
DISTANCE
0:21:20
DURATION
155m
ELEVATION

SPIRES AND SQUIRES

A tour of rural Northamptonshire, a county renowned for its grand stately homes and tall graceful church spires is a must for all lovers of the quintessential English landscape. This ride passes through the graceful parkland of Cottesbrooke Hall, before returning via Naseby, a place forever linked with the decisive eponymous battle of the seven year English Civil war. There are no major climbs on this ride but the terrain is definitely undulating.

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40.44km
DISTANCE
1:24:47
DURATION
597m
ELEVATION

KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY

The outwardly sleepy countryside of Northamptonshire conceals a dark secret at its heart. As we pass through the quiet honey coloured stone village of Ashby St Ledgers note the timber framed gatehouse. This picturesque building is where the conspirators behind the Gunpowder Plot met to hatch the act of treason, which had it succeeded would have blown up Parliament. Elsewhere, our ride takes in the famed parkland, cosy churches and stately homes of this corner of England known, not without good reason, as the “Shire of Squires and Spires.

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31.86km
DISTANCE
1:07:59
DURATION
388m
ELEVATION

NORTHERN NEW FOREST

A gentle ride through the northern New Forest taking in all of the national park’s various habitats; woodland; heath; lawns with of course abundant wildlife. Here ponies, large-horned cattle, donkeys, and deer share the road and in many cases believe they have the right of way!

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25.42km
DISTANCE
0:51:56
DURATION
271m
ELEVATION

DEVIL'S STAIRCASE (OC-93)

Featuring in the epic 300km Dragon Ride Devil Sportive, this short route tackles the fearsome Devil’s Staircase, with its 15% average gradient (including stretches of 25%) at the head of the remote Abergwesyn pass. The further down the pass you go the more impenetrable the route out appears until the corkscrew ramp offers the only way out. Finally, the ride finishes with a death defying descent to the headwaters of Llyn Brianne. Official Climbs #93.

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12.19km
DISTANCE
0:31:54
DURATION
292m
ELEVATION