OS Explorer map 197 coordinates 1535 for the car park, cafe and bike hire shop. Alton Water bike hire and maps at this website
I’ve been to Alton Water before and hired a bike to go around the lake. Now I’ve got my own MTB and a bike rack I can go when I like which is great because the bike shop and the cafe were closed today.
I did a lap and at point 6 went off onto the road for a bit which avoids some of the up and down bits alongside the lake. Its a tiny diversion and next time I think I’ll just stick to the track. There’s a signpost on the road which leads you back to the lake at point 7, Birchwood.
After my lap of the lake (about 9 miles) I headed left out of Alton Water park for a look at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook.
On the way back to Alton I took a left signposted for Stutton Church hoping this might get me closer to the river. This was a narrow leafy lane and just past the church there’s a public footpath to your left which turns into track and was cyclable all the way to the River Stour. I got some lovely views across to Wrabness and then looking downriver could see Felixstowe port in the distance. Looking back there was a great view of the Royal Hospital School and grounds.
According to the OS map it looks like the track goes all the way along to Shotley Gate. I turned back when it started to narrow but I might go back another day. A lovely hot and sunny 13 mile ride on my now very dusty MTB.