Great Western Way

The Great Western Way is a predominantly flat cycle route along canals, rivers and vales. The 168 mile ride begins in Bristol, the city forever associated with Isambard Kingdom Brunel. And it finishes in London, at a museum dedicated to the Victorian engineer’s life.

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.

The ride begins in Bristol. Steeped in history, this vibrant city has many examples of Brunel’s work.

You can take in the world-renowned Clifton Suspension Bridge, the historic SS Great Britain and beautiful Temple Meads station. All of these 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. Designed and built by John Rennie, this flight of 29 locks raises the canal by 72 metres.

From Devizes, it’s a gentle ride through several quintessentially English villages in the Vale of Pewsey to Reading.

From here, the route connects to the Thames Valley cycle route. This takes you through to central London, and to 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.

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