Great Western Way

The Great Western Way is a predominantly flat cycle route along canals, rivers and through vales from Bristol to London. Start in Bristol, a city forever associated with Isambard Kingdom Brunel and cycle the 168-mile ride to a museum dedicated to the Victorian engineer’s life on the banks of the River Thames.

The Great Western Way is a long-distance cycle route connecting the West Country with the capital. It travels past a number of famous landmarks following Brunel’s historic railway alongside canals, rivers and through vales. Begin the ride in Bristol and take in the world-renowned Clifton Suspension Bridge, the historic SS Great Britain and beautiful Temple Meads station which all serve to highlight the accomplishments of Brunel's monumental achievements.

Leaving Bristol the ride follows the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, which was the first section of a traffic-free shared-use path ever built by Sustrans. The route then winds its way along the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath to the market town of Devizes. Take a moment to admire the astonishing engineering of the Caen Hill Locks - a flight of 29 locks raising the canal 72 metres. 

From Devizes, it’s a gentle ride through several quintessentially English villages in the Vale of Pewsey to Reading, where it connects to the Thames Valley Cycle Route through to central London and the Brunel Museum.

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.

Please help us to protect this route

The Great Western Way is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy.

Share this page