I've had so many people ask what The Trafalgar Way is, and if I'm joining the official ride (their website is here if you're interested) and so I thought I would write a post about all about the following...
1. Why I'm cycling this route.
2. What made me decide to complete this crazy challenge.
3. How I've mapped the route and my plans along the way.
What is The Trafalgar Way?
Lieutenant Lapenotière of HMS Pickle reached Falmouth on November the 4th. He rode the 271 miles “express in a post chaise and four” taking 37 hours and costing £46. He changed horses 21 times along the way and his account of expenses (saved in the Admiralty records) shows where he changed horse and how much it cost at each stop. The route he took was the main Falmouth to London coach road and so each segment was between 10 and 15 miles.
In 2005, this journey was commemorated and plaques were posted along the route at key locations, giving details of the journey and of people in the area who fought with Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Why are you cycling it?
And so, after heading to the DofE Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace in May, I decided to sign up for the DofE Challenge and cycle the route instead, as it would be faster!
(Note use of the word faster, and not fast. I am not a fast cyclist!)
How did you map the route?
It's also a longer ride, and me being me (Little Miss Naval History) wanted to cycle the exact route, photographing each of the plaques as I go.
I used the Ordnance Survey Trafalgar Way Map, produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, showing the old coaching routes and then mapped this (painstakingly) on to OS Maps so that when the time comes I have my route printed out perfectly.
So what is the route?
From Falmouth, it passes through Penryn, Truro, Fraddon, Bodmin, Launceston, Lifton, Bridestowe, Okehampton, Sticklepath, Crockernwell, Tedburn St Mary, Nadderwater, Exeter, Clyst Honiton, Honiton, Wilmington, Kilmington, Axminster, Bridport, Dorchester, Blandford Forum, Woodyates, Salisbury, Andover, Overton, Basingstoke, Hartfordbridge, Camberley, Bagshot, Egham, Staines, Hounslow, Hammersmith, Kensington and finishes at the Admiralty on Whitehall in London.
Though, as it's Trafalgar Day when I finish, I'll then cycle the last 50m or so to Trafalgar Square.
If you want to cycle this too, then email me and I'll send over the .gpx file :)
It is a charity, and it really does help so many young people build their confidence, learn new skills and find a sense of adventure!