Bristol Docks Loop

This short route takes you on a fun ride around central Bristol, taking in some of its most iconic views.

This route provides a unique perspective of the charming and historic Bristol docks, taking riders from the bustling city centre to Cumberland Basin with views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge and Ashton Court.

There are many pedestrians on this route so please give way and cycle slowly.

The route uses various popular shared-use walking routes, some short on-road sections and National Route 33. This ride can be started in various places but a good set off is the Bristol cathedral, past the spectacular Bristol central library. After negotiating a busy roundabout using toucan crossings, the SS Great Britain comes in to view as riders join the dockside path.

There are various good pubs and cafes to stop at for refreshments all along the docks, including the Nova Scotia, where Sustrans was pioneered over a pint. Take care crossing the busy Cumberland Road onto the Chocolate Path, surfaced with brown square tiles.

The route can be extended here by heading right, out to directly beneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge on National Route 41. The Chocolate Path also guides cyclists back in to town alongside the original River Avon, which boasts one of the biggest tidal ranges in Europe. It can look completely different just a few hours later.

The route leaves the natural River Avon and winds back to the iconic dockside laden with fascinating history - steam powered trains, boats from all eras and the looming cranes that line the water in front of the M Shed, a museum dedicated to Bristol and its rich history.

The route goes behind the M Shed to avoid the old railway lines, but there are still some around this area, so cyclists are advised to be aware.

This section passes Wapping Wharf, a new development of cafes, bars and restaurants, some of them located in old cargo containers, which can be a good stop for a coffee or a bite to eat.

Complete the loop by ducking in past the Arnolfini, Bristol’s biggest art gallery, and along the waterside to the fountains. More refreshment stops are on offer here and there is plenty of cycle parking. It’s then just a short pedal up the hill back to the cathedral. 

Please note

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.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.

Please help us protect this route

Part of the Bristol Docks Loop is National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy.

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