Road bike (Cyclocross?) around £1,500

Hi everyone, new member but long-time lurker, hope you're all well.

Got around £1,500 to throw at a road/commuter bike (only a 2.5 mile work commute, all tarmac) but there's some nice rural areas near me with woodland trails and gravel paths that would be good to have a blast through and it's leaning me towards a cyclocross bike - must admit the term cyclocross / adventure bike / gravel bike is quite novel and confusing to me.

I'm a bit of a beginner cyclist really but would like something above entry level but not bank-breakable. I'm 6ft 3 so would need an XL frame. Ideally carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, a mate suggested Shimano 105 but I don't know how crucial that is...

Any advice would be much appreciated. I quite like the Ribble CGR (https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-sl/) but the wait times are pretty lengthy and I ideally want to get it in the next couple of weeks. Plus it's £1800 which is a stretch.

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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