Starting in the World Heritage city of Bath, next to the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, this long-distance cycle south may not be as glamorous as the original French, Paris to Nice ‘Race to the Sun’ but the 85-mile Bath to Bournemouth route does enjoy the vast rolling hills of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset.
Begin at Bath Abbey and cross the River Avon following National Route 244 through Combe Down Tunnel, the longest cycle and walking tunnel in the UK. The tunnel is enhanced with audio-visual installations and makes for a memorable experience before you emerge 1,672 metres later into the beautiful Somerset countryside.
The route climbs up Egford Hill to Frome, home to Longleat House and Safari Park, before joining National Route 25 and the long downhill glide into Gillingham heading south using quiet lanes all the way to Child Okeford. From here, it’s a traffic-free pathway along the North Dorset Trailway to Blandford. There are a few urban streets through Poole before the final traffic-free run into Bournemouth along the seafront to the Victorian pier.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.