As beautiful as Bath is, there’s no doubt that exploring it on two wheels gives you a whole new perspective on the city. So ahead of Bike Bath on Sunday 30 June, we take a closer look at some of the top bike rides near Bath. Whether it’s an afternoon pootling along the Kennet & Avon Canal with the kids or an epic 13-mile ride from Bath to Bristol, there should be something here to inspire you! Where will your next two-wheeled adventure take you?
1. The Bristol and Bath Railway Path
The Bristol and Bath Railway Path is a 13-mile, off-road route that starts at Pulteney Bridge and passes through Saltford, Warmley and Mangotsfield before finishing around a mile from the centre of Bristol. Built on the track of the former Midland Railway, it’s a flat, traffic-free cycle path, perfect for family bike rides. A variety of sculptures are dotted along the way (see if you can spot the drinking giant!) and there’s lots of wildlife too, from woodpeckers and cormorants to kingfishers and herons. Plan a pit stop at the old train station in Bitton and check out the working steam engines…and don’t forget, if you’re too tired to cycle back, you can always hop on the train at Temple Meads and take the easy route back to Bath!
2. Kennet and Avon Cycle Route
If you thought the countryside on the Bath and Bristol cycle path was beautiful, wait until you try out the Kennet and Avon Cycle Path. The historic Kennet and Avon canal links the Bristol Channel with the Thames, weaving through some spectacular scenery on its way from Bath to Reading. Our favourite section is the Avon Valley between Bath and Bradford on Avon, a gentle, flat route around nine miles long that follows the towpath past colourful narrowboats, old stone bridges and two impressive limestone aqueducts, Dundas and Avoncliff. Bring a picnic or stop for lunch in the garden at The George Inn at Bathampton or the Cross Guns at Avoncliff; just remember, this is a busy, working canal towpath with lots of people on foot, so watch your speed and take care of the dog walkers!
3. The Two Tunnels
Described by The Independent as, “one of the most scenically varied and sightseeing-rich couple of hours of cycling anywhere in Britain”, the Bath Two Tunnels Circuit is another one of our top bike rides near Bath 2019! A 12.5 mile circular route, it takes in not one but two atmospheric underground tunnels. At just over a mile long, the Combe Down Tunnel is the longer of the two, and currently holds the title of the longest cycling tunnel in the UK. A bonus is the art work, strategically positioned along the length of both tunnels and which include some great audio-visual installations. Check out this great introductory video to both tunnels and get a feel for just what an unique experience it really is. You can start this circular route at various points, but we especially like Bath Spa station or Oldfield Park station, both a short ride from the route. The tunnels themselves are well lit and well surfaced and the circuit conveniently takes you past some great pubs, including The Wheelwrights Arms in Monkton Combe or with a slight detour, The Hope and Anchor in Midford. For more decent pub lunch ideas, check out our handy blog on 6 Country Pubs Near Bath (after all, you’ll definitely have earned it!).
So that’s our top bike rides near Bath 2019! Did yours get a mention? Share with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages, we’d love to hear your suggestions. For more traffic-free and on-road route ideas, check out the National Cycle Network here. Not got a bicycle of your own? You can always pick up a hire bike for the day from one of the many bike rental shops close to Bath; try here for starters, or if you prefer to start your adventure in Bradford on Avon, then The Towpath Trail Hire Centre have a great range available to hire too. Happy biking!