This is a great ride on undulating roads with some short and minor inclines and one long gradual descent. You follow country lanes, but there is a traffic-free section on National Route 3.
Starting at Queen Square in Bristol city centre, you follow signs for Route 3 on a traffic-free path which follows Portwall Lane, past Bristol Temple Meads, and following the River Avon. Here the route heads south through the suburbs of Arnos Vale and Knowle, skirting Talbot Road allotments and Knowle Golf Course. Travelling through Hengrove and Whitchurch, the route then joins Norton Lane which takes you all the way to Chew Magna. This pretty village is a great stopping off point and has plenty of historic buildings to admire. It's close to the northern edge of the Mendip Hills (an ANOB) and was designated a conservation area in 1978.
Please note: The route from Bristol city centre involves climbing Dundry Hill as you leave Whitchurch, which is a bit of a big climb - but once at the top, the views over Bristol are fabulous. It's downhill into Chew Magna.
To the south of the village of Chew Magna is Chew Valley Lake, a large reservoir and the fifth-largest artificial lake in the UK. It covers 1,200 acres and was created in the early 1950s. The wildlife here is spectacular, particularly for birdwatchers. There are 8 birds hides where you might be able to spot one of the 270 species that have been recorded here. From late July to February you might spot up to 4,000 ducks, including internationally-important numbers of shoveler and gadwall. Some 400 great-crested grebes gather on the lake in autumn.
Return to Bristol on National Route 410 (Known as the Avon Cycleway) as far as Felton, where you pick up Route 334 to Barrow Gurney using the B3130. This then joins Route 33 (Known as the Festival Way) which takes you to Long Ashton, through Ashton Court and back to your starting point of Queen Square.
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.