One of the best family friendly walking or cycling trail in England
The route takes you from the centre of Bath through two tunnels, over the Tucking Mill Viaduct and past the spectacular Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet & Avon Canal, until you are back alongside the River Avon taking you back to the ciy centre.
This walking and cycling track is now one of the most pleasant and scenic almost flat trail you will find in the region. It once used to be disused railway track which has been transformed into one of the most popular paths especially during week-end thanks to the presence of the longest lightened tunnel in England, the Combe Down Tunnel (more than 1 mile long) and it has the particularity of having music playing when people cycle through creating energy.
Facts About the Hike
Distance: 12.3 miles/ 19.8 km
Elevation Gain: 162 meters ascent/ 162 meters descent
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate
Map: You can take a find the pdf map on the Bathnes Website.
When to go: This hike is best during the spring and summer months.
Bring: Hiking shoes, water, snacks or lunch, a waterproof light jacket (remember you are in UK!), and of course, your camera.
Getting to the start of the hike
You will start your hike anticlockwise from Monmouth street, going towards West until you find the cycling path signs number 4 and 24 taking you along the river Avon footpath. Follow the signs guiding you through the “Two Tunnel Greenway” track. The Bathnes map makes you start from the bridge at Fielding’s Road near Lidl and it is the same. Start from where you are most comfortable with.
This path can be done either cycling (recommended) or walking.
By Bus: From the city centre bus station take the U1, 4, 19, X39 and any kind of bus going West and stop at the Weston bus stop then turn right until Station road and follow the map directions.
On the Trail
Once one of the main railways connecting Somerset to the West Coast is now a relaxing path immersed in nature where you can come to cycle away your problems, admire the English countryside and stunning bridges such Dundas Aqueduct or even stop in Midford to visit the village castle once home of Nicholas Cage!
The most unusual and original trait of this path is that you can cycle in this tunnels that truly feel endless but at the same time you enjoy classical music and other tunes generated by cyclists pedalling out. Be careful as the tunnels are not very well enlightened and you have kids walking in the middle as well as professional cyclists running really fast! Bring also a light jacket as it is pretty chilly in these long tunnels.
While cycling on the route you will come across an artificial lake where you can have a break, go down the stairs through the woodland and have a walk around the Tucking Mill where only authorised people can go fishing. This is a great picnic spot!
Once you are halfway you can decide if you want to continue to Midford village outside the map and explore the Gothic castle shaped as a “club” card symbol. It was sold to Nicolas Cage in 2007 for 5 millions Sterlings and sold two years later. It is a great view from the path too, so it’s up to you if you want to do make your tour longer and maybe stop and the Hope and Anchor pub serving delicious meals in a cosy and picturesque setting.
The first time we undertook this trail we actually got mistake and continued after Midford ending up in the little village of Norton St. Philip at the George Inn, a medieval historic Inn dating back to 16th century which was truly worth the detour. This atmospheric old building includes old prisons and stables and features grand medieval event rooms, a lush green garden and terrace to eat outside overlooking the church and charming rooms.
We stopped for a great traditional meal and hurried back on our way even if I wouldn’t have minded to stay the night in this place full of legends and mysteries! The owner said a ghost is said to have bee spotted in the rooms upstairs! Check it out for me if you come across the George Inn!
Back on track, pass green valleys and fields dotted with animals grazing and reach Dundas Aqueduct where you can stop at the Angelfish Restaurant for a drink or a snack before continuing all the way back to Bath passing on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
More Information about Walks in the area
If you liked this charming trail and you would like to cycle similar paths in the area between Bath and Bristol check out this guide.The Bristol and Bath Cycle Guide
Another great guide is this book By Sustrans Cycling Network showing you the best car-free scenic cycling trails in the South West of England.Sustrans’ Circular Day Rides South: 75 rides in Southern England, the Midlands and Wales