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Countryside, castles & cake – the Avon Cycleway in 7 stages

clogette (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Countryside, castles & cake – the Avon Cycleway in 7 stages

Bike Touring Collection by Amy

7

Tours

14:37 h

142 mi

6,550 ft

Roaming the sprawling Somerset countryside and its hidden historical gems on your bicycle – what could get better than that? This Collection guides you through diverse scenery around the city of Bristol; from unique Victorian piers jutting into the River Severn to Iron Age hill forts and Aerospace museums. This fun and easy ride offers something for everyone.

Although the original Avon Cycleway runs 85.5 miles (137 km), our Collection guides you 141.6 miles (228 km) to include a few detours to the best sites along the way.

You can start and finish your adventure at any point along the Avon Cycleway as it forms a loop around Bristol. We’ve started this Collection from Temple Meads train station in Bristol to make it easier to reach the official route.

Each of the seven stages in this Collection can be shortened or combined to match your fitness level and time frame. They work well together as an epic adventure or individually as city escapes, especially if you live in or around Bristol.

Following quiet country lanes and traffic-free cycle paths, the Avon Cycleway is suitable for all levels of riders. With no challenging climbs, it is a perfect first adventure for the whole family as you will climb a total of 6496 feet (1980 meters) over the seven stages.

Whether you prefer your roadie or sturdy touring bike, any set of two wheels is suitable for the Avon Cycleway. The route follows excellent surfaces, with only a few bridleways that can become muddy after rain.

To ensure your adventure is both fun and comfortable, each stage ends in a town or village with accommodation, as well as restaurants or cafes to please your stomach. Food lovers (i.e. everyone) can tuck into a cream tea at a former railway waiting room or try Wickwar’s famous cask ale en route.

The Avon Cycleway is a varied adventure: birdwatching in ancient forests, indulging in cake stops at vintage tea rooms, exploring magnificent country estates, wandering the graffiti-covered Bristol streets, and much much more.

You can easily reach the start line of this Collection in the vibrant city of Bristol by train. The city enjoys direct rail connections to London, Cardiff, Plymouth and Birmingham. You will also find a huge range of accommodation in the city.

For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/stations/bristol-temple-meads

For more information about the Avon Cycleway, visit: sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/avon-cycleway

On The Map

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Avon Cycleway

110 mi

4,575 ft

4,575 ft

Last updated: December 20, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Bristol to Portishead – Avon Cycleway

    Intermediate
    02:48
    26.0 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the thriving city of Bristol to the banks of the River Severn, stage one of your adventure cycling the Avon Cycleway takes you 25 miles (41 km) through the Somerset countryside, passing many interesting sites along the way.

    

    Although the Avon Cycleway technically follows a loop around Bristol, we

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    01:08
    10.9 mi
    9.6 mph
    525 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage two of the Avon Cycleway is a gentle 11 mile (17.5 km) ride along the Severn Estuary from Portishead to Clevedon. Riding along luscious valleys that merge into industrial cities, today is full of contrasts.

    

    After exploring Portishead’s picturesque marina and battery point, you will follow winding

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:36
    25.5 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Historic villages, impressive viaducts, and vast reservoirs – stage three is a varied 25 mile (41 km) ride through history and nature. With 1,410 feet (430 m) of climbing, stage three is the hilliest section of the Avon Cycleway.

    

    From Clevedon, you can enjoy a flat stretch through the countryside before

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    01:21
    13.0 mi
    9.7 mph
    700 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage four takes you 13 miles (21 km) from Pensford to Staple Hill. Today, you will learn more about the region’s industrial past and railway heritage as you visit former waiting rooms and disused railway lines.

    

    Following the River Chew as it meanders through rural Somerset, you will visit Woodard and

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:07
    20.9 mi
    9.9 mph
    875 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
  • Intermediate
    02:27
    23.3 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
  • Intermediate
    02:11
    22.8 mi
    10.5 mph
    550 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    142 mi
  • Duration
    14:37 h
  • Elevation
    6,550 ft

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