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Vibrant cities & emerald hills – The West Country Way

Radu Micu (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Vibrant cities & emerald hills – The West Country Way

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

4-7

days

3-5 h

/ day

222 mi

11,300 ft

11,325 ft

Peaceful hedge-lined country lanes winding deep into rural Somerset and Devonshire, sweeping moors stretching across the horizon, and cosy pubs serving local ales and fresh fish – cycling the West Country Way from Bristol to Bude is a wild adventure.

This Collection showcases the best corners of South-West England in seven stages. You will cycle 219 miles (353 km) along beautiful lanes and traffic-free paths that take you through wooded countryside and emerald hills dotted with historic villages. Canal paths are the closest you will find to gravel on your journey, so any road bike is suitable.

Covering between 19 miles (32 km) and 43 miles (69 km), each route in this Collection is suitable for all levels of riders. If you enjoy longer days in the saddle, you can easily combine the routes together. You will finish each stage in a town or village with plenty of accommodation options to ensure you are well-rested for your adventure.

Although you will pass through the picturesque Mendip Hills, most of the climbs are manageable and large sections follow flat canal paths: you will ascend 3450 meters (11,318 feet) over seven days. With komoot in your pocket and signposts in both directions, you will also find the route easy to follow.

Starting in Bristol, a colourful city with a thriving cultural scene, you will mostly follow the National Cycle Network Route 3 as it leads through quirky villages and towns like Glastonbury with historical abbeys and Wells with its intricate gothic cathedral. After crossing the majestic Mendips, you will cross into Exmoor National Park with its misty moors and moody landscapes. Here, you can enjoy spectacular starry nights far away from civilization.

Your adventure will not only take you through gorgeous scenery inland but also dramatic coastal landscapes. Devon is known for its stretches of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and pretty fishing villages. With Roman ruins, medieval manor houses, and industrial relics, you will also be fascinated by the region’s rich history.

To reach the start of your adventure, you can easily take the train to Bristol as the city has regular direct connections cities across the UK. In Bristol, you find will a huge range of accommodation, ranging from youth hostels to five-star hotels.

For more information about the West Country Way, visit: sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/west-country-way-bristol-to-bude
For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/destinations/trains-to-bristol

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    03:33
    33.1 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,050 ft
    1,975 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Glistening lakes, rivers winding through dramatic limestone hills, and villages stuck in time – on your first day cycling the West Country Way you will journey deep into the region’s history and nature.

    Stage one begins in the creative city of Bristol. Known for its buzzing arts and culture scene, passionate locals, and nonconforming spirit, Bristol has a unique atmosphere. …

  • Intermediate
    02:50
    27.8 mi
    9.8 mph
    925 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On stage two of the West Country Way you will cycle 28 miles (45 km) further through this beautiful region from Wells to Bridgewater. Intricate Gothic cathedrals, hedonistic villages, tree-flanked cycle paths, and plenty of delicious cake stops await you here.

    You will leave Wells on secluded gravel tracks leading through luscious farmland before joining country lanes that wind towards …

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  • Intermediate
    02:01
    19.4 mi
    9.6 mph
    300 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On stage three of your adventure following the West Country Way from Bristol to Bude you will pass through some of Somersets finest towns and landscapes. The shortest section of the Collection, today you will cycle an easy 19 miles (31 km).

    Before setting off from Bridgewater, you may want to stock up on enough food and drinks for your …

  • Difficult
    04:39
    42.9 mi
    9.2 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Peaceful canal paths, medieval manor houses, and chocolate box villages – stage four of the West Country Way guides you through a wonderful corner of the west of England to the outskirts of Exmoor National Park. The longest stage of the Collection, today you will ride 43 miles (69 km) and climb 720 meters (2362 feet).

    Your journey begins in …

  • Difficult
    03:35
    34.5 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Cycling through dramatic moors, exploring former roman forts reduced to grassy hills, and eating fish and chips on the beach – stage five of the West Country Way is full of adventure. Today you will ride 34 miles (56 km) through the stunning Exmoor National Park from Dulverton to Barnstaple.

    From Dulverton, you will cycle into the Exmoor National Park. …

  • Difficult
    03:46
    33.7 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage six of the West Country Way leads you along white sandy beaches, through picturesque Devonshire countryside, and over inspiring Victorian bridges. Today, you will ride 30 miles (50 km), climbing 480 meters (1575 feet) over the course of the day.

    You will leave Barnstaple via the National Cycle Network Route 27 as it hugs the River Taw’s estuary. Don’t …

  • Difficult
    03:20
    31.0 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,800 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With stunning coastal views, moss-painted stone bridges and sprawling sandy bays, your final day of cycling the West Country Way from Bristol to Bude is a fantastic ride. Stage seven covers 30 miles (50 km), leading you from Hatherleigh to the Irish Sea.

    Setting out from Hatherleigh, you will ride past fields of sheep grazing and cattle and quaint farms. …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    222 mi
  • Duration
    23:46 h
  • Elevation
    11,300 ft11,325 ft

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Vibrant cities & emerald hills – The West Country Way