MattC2789 wrote:2. I'm thinking I will make Cardiff Wales my destination before I turn around and take a different route back. I would like to stop at Bath and Stonehenge on my way there but am seriously considering dropping Stonehenge because the general consensus seems to be it is overrated.
I like Stonehenge, and not only will I suggest that you go see it, if that's the part of the UK you decide to tour, but stop at some other prehistoric sites in the area: Avebury stone circle, West Kennet Long Barrow, and associated sites. Avebury is a village in the middle of a stone circle. While the circle is not in itself as impressive as Stonehenge, it is somewhat older, and you can walk amongst the stones and get some lunch in Avebury. Google the Long Barrow and see if it interests you. There's plenty of information about the sites on the internet.
I think that you deserve a warning about Sustrans routes. They aren't all nice rail-to-trail conversions that go straight across the country. Sustrans prioritse by off-road and quiet roads. But off roads routes tend to be of poorer quality in the UK, and furthermore, they are guarded by anti-motorcyle barriers that can be difficult to navigate with a loaded touring bike. In some places, they are very nice routes indeed, but in others, they are circuitous, poorly maintained, poorly sign-posted, and hard to navigate. They are *not* how I would choose to travel if I were planning on 80 miles per day on a tour.MattC2789 wrote:4. The Sustrans site seems like a great resource and I will spend some time heavily researching the best route and places to stay/camp along the way. My only concern is that even with a printed map I may very easily get lost on the back country roads. Might have to bring a GPS or just a good old fashioned compass and road map.
Try http://www.cyclestreets.net/ instead.
And the Highway Code https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code is worth a look. The General rules, and rules for cyclists will be the most relevant.
Last, but not least, stores (usually referred to as shops or supermarkets) are not typically open for the long hours that they are in the USA. Large supermarkets may open early and stay open late on weekedays, but many shops close early on Saturday and only open short hours on Sunday, if at all. You may find that nothing is open at your destination after 5:00 pm, or that nothing is open at all on Sunday, so be prepared to carry a couple of meals worth of food, or at least emergency supplies, and buy before stopping, especially if you plan to stay in a small village.