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Alton Water cycle route - WillCycle
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Alton Water cycle route

Alton Water overall route rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Alton Water itself is a reservoir in Suffolk, just south of Ipswitch. This traffic-free cycle route guide is for the route that encircles the reservoir. Depending on the season, and the maintenance schedule, parts of the route may be somewhat overgrown.

An initial art of the route is along a quiet lane. If I was cycling with especially younger kids, I’d let them ride along the pavement there. Soon the route becomes completely traffic-free, but around halfway along it crosses a bridge.

Again, there is a pavement for kids to use, and the road shouldn’t be overly busy. Almost immediately after the bridge the route becomes completely traffic-free again.

Surface on the Alton Water trail

For most of the route, the surface is self-compacting gravel. It’s an easy-enough surface to ride on with most bikes, but can get bumpy in places. After rain, expect muddy puddles in places.


You can use any kind of bike, but skinny-wheeled road bikes riders will find it a rather bumpy ride.


There are toilets by the café at the start, but not anywhere else. There are also no other refreshment stops along the entire route.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Points of Interest

Harkstead beach is nearby.

Routes in Suffolk


There are no barriers along this route. Much of the route is used by Bike Active to deliver disabled-friendly cycling activities.

Bike Hire

You can hire bicycles from Alton Water Cycle Hire, situated in the watersports centre.

Paying the rent

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Forecast for the Alton Water trail

What the Alton Water trail looks like

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Getting there

Sadly, there’s no railway station very close, so I expect most people will drive to this route. The route starts and ends at the café next to the public car park.

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes that can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below).

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