Route 45

Route Details

  • From - to: Chester to Salisbury
  • Distance: 270 miles
  • Terrain: A mixture of on-road and traffic free paths

Route Description

The full route travels 270 miles from Chester to Salisbury and takes you via Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Worcester, Gloucester, Stroud, Cirencester and Swindon. 

Through Wiltshire, National Route 45 links Swindon to Salisbury via the World Heritage site at Avebury and crosses the North Wessex Downs and Salisbury Plain. North of Swindon Route 45 traverses the Cotswold Water Park on bridleways (which can be muddy in wet weather), to swing across the high plateau of the Cotswold Hills to the ancient Roman town of Cirencester.  After this it travels down the escarpment to Nailsworth and via traffic free railway paths and canal towpaths to Stroud and Eastington before joining Route 41 at Saul on the Sharpness Canal.

The section of Route 45 between Worcester and Droitwich is very popular and follows some quiet lanes and the towpath of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal to link Worcester and Droitwich on the eastern side. This section is only 10 miles and flat, making it perfect for the inexperienced rider. For the return journey Route 46 provides an on-road alternative to the western side, leaving Worcester at the racecourse and following a similar line to the Droitwich Canal.

After Droitwich the route continues on to Stourport-on-Severn, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch and then Chester.

Things to see and do

  • Cotswold Water Park is an area of 40 square miles between Swindon and Cirencester with 150 lakes and a wide variety of leisure activities.

Related maps

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.

Route diversion 

Essential maintenance and surfacing work will be taking place on this route between Coate Water Park and Chiseldon for four weeks (between 19/02/2018 - 19/03/2018). A signed diversion route will be in place. 

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

National Route 45 of the NCN links Chester with Salisbury via Whitchurch, Ironbridge, Bridgnorth, Droitwich Spa, Worcester, Gloucester, Cirencester and Swindon.