Stroud to Nailsworth Cycle Track

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The cycle track between Nailsworth and Stroud is well used by walkers, joggers and cyclists alike and recently all the rough bits (eg most of it) were resurfaced with an experimental surface made largely from old car tyres.

Cycle track near nailsworth
Cycle track near Nailsworth – May 2024

Previously it was a mud bath in the winter which stopped a lot of people from using it.

For those not in the know, the track uses the route of the old Midland Railway (it was mostly the GWR in these parts) that went between Nailsworth and Stonehouse with a branch off to Stroud.

The car park at Egypt Mill was the railway goods yard, while the station is hidden from view and is higher up the bank (now a private residence).

The steam train that used it was known as the Dudbridge Donkey.

The Nailsworth to Stroud cycle route is all through trees, so if you walk rather than cycle you will hear lots of bird song depending on the time of year. You tend to miss that on a bicycle due to the wind noise.

I use the cycle track often as the A46 between Nailsworth and Stroud has some dangerous sections such as between Rooksmoor and Lightpill that you’d be nuts to cycle on, especially during the rush hour.

So, now the new surface has had a year to bed in what’s it like to cycle on?

It’s really good, you pretty much glide along it. I’ve read comments from joggers saying it’s good to run on as well, presumably due to it’s rubbery build.

Cycling from Dudbridge to Nailsworth is slightly up hill. Not a steep hill, but it’s easier to cycle in the other direction.

If you factor in all the hassle of traffic jams and parking in town (Nailsworth or Stroud) cycling journey time isn’t much longer than using a car plus you get to ride in a great scenic woodland setting which you just don’t get on the A46.

In terms of time, I can get from Nailsworth to the cycle racks at Stroud railway station in under 25 minutes. The cycle parking at Stroud station is pretty good as it’s a proper covered one and has CCTV.

There’s also lots of places to lock a bike up in Stroud along King Street and up the high street.

If you’re going in the other direction, there are a couple of places to lock a bike up in Nailsworth town centre such as outside the library.

An Update November 2023

A play area for children has been built near the development at Rooksmoor Mills. This is more or less next to the little off road cycle area. Its made from timber and has slides and swings etc along with insect hotels. Lots of people are using it so it’s good.

The new surface of the track has been in place a couple of years now and its become very bumpy for bicycles. A number of tree roots growing under it have also created lots of ridges like little speed humps.

For a typical family bike ride or walk it’s not a problem. For a regular cycle commute it’s too bumpy.

Its also acquired a few huge potholes that are easy to hit when it’s dark and they’re pretty jarring on a bicycle. I assume SDC are responsible for it as I believe they own it.

The endless rain we’re having this year (2023) has made the whole thing a miserable experience, especially if you have a typical mountain bike without mudguards. All the leaves on it have become waterlogged sludge. You can feel them adding drag as you ride through it.

There’s not one single street lamp between Nailsworth and Stroud. As it’s all under tree cover it’s much darker than the road is at night.

If the weathers good it’s great, if it rains everyday it’s a dirt track.

Egypt Mill have blocked off the handy access to it from their car park, so you have to take a loop around the back road. It’s signposted.

Update March 2024

The section between Nailsworth and Dudbridge has had most of the mud removed and some potholes filled in so it’s now not so bad.

The section between Dudbridge and Lightpill is still very muddy when wet and a huge 10ft+ long puddle forms just as you get to Stroud causing big problems for walkers without wellies as all around it is very slippery boggy mud.

Big puddles on the Stroud to Nailsworth cycle track
Flooding on the cycle track

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