West Country Way

Route Details

  • From - to: Padstow to Bristol or Bath (via Saltford)
  • Distance: 240 miles of which 70 are traffic-free.
  • National Cycle Network: National route 3

Route Description

From Cornwall to the River Avon the route takes you through the varied landscapes of the West Country. Start with the tranquillity of Padstow harbour and the Camel Trail onto the atmospheric Bodmin Moor.

Descend into Devon's rolling countryside via the Tarka Trail and on into Somerset across beautiful Exmoor. Continue along canal towpaths to Taunton and the Somerset levels to Glastonbury before the climb onto the Mendip Hills. The route ends at Bristol or Bath (via the Avon Cycleway from Chew Stoke to Saltford and the Bristol & Bath Railway Path from Saltford into Bath city centre).

The route can be ridden and is signed in both directions.

Art Trail

The West Country Way is an Art Trail.

In Exmoor, a series of benches made from local materials, reflect the characteristics of the local area and were created by Eve Body, Robert Kilvington and Keith Rand.

Craftspeople Robert Kilvington, Keith Rand and Eve Body, assisted by Des Sharp, were commissioned to make a series of benchmarks. The designs are inspired by the unique and fragile landscape. The sites are carefully chosen to create discrete resting places to fit with the surroundings, oriented towards a particular view, and sometimes to provide shelter from the prevailing wind and weather.

There are five interlocking strands to the benchmark project:

  • To inspire people to look again at the natural environment.
  • To provide resting places for people wishing to stop in this unique and beautiful area.
  • To revive old skills and the use of traditional local materials in new and imaginative ways.
  • To encourage people to use this route and support the important local tourist industry.
  • To generate interest and business for local artists/designers and craftspeople whose work will be on permanent display.

The Benchmarks Project was funded by: The Millenium Commission, Greater Exmoor Leader Project, Exmoor National Park, Devon County Council, Sustrans, North Devon District Council, West Somerset District Council, Mid Devon District Council.

Along the Tarka Trail there are some interesting sculptures and shelters along the way before you reach Fremington Quay. More info.

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Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.


From Cornwall to the River Avon the route takes you through the varied landscapes of the West Country.