Somerset features a huge contrast of landscapes. Most famous are the dead-flat and artificially drained Somerset Levels with plenty of empty country lanes, making excellent easy cycling conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, Somerset features hard-going hilly terrain such as the Mendip Hills, Blackdown Hills, Quantock Hills, Brendon Hills and Exmoor.
Naturally, most signposted cycle routes focus on the flat regions in Somerset. The West Country Way National Cycle Route 3 connects famous Glastonbury to Bridgwater and on to Taunton via the traffic-free Bridgwater & Taunton Canal towpath. Another traffic-free favourite is the Strawberry Line in North Somerset between Yatton and Cheddar.
On the map, Somerset's coastline might look attractive to cycle, but unfortunately, because of various important missing links,a continuous flat, traffic-calmed direct route between seaside towns such as Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare, Burnham-on-Sea and Minehead is something for the far future. All these towns have some local cycling infrastructure, but completely isolated from each other and its surroundings.
When we developed our family-friendly London-Land's End Cycle Route from Bristol into the west we were keen to include Somerset's best cycle routes, so the Strawberry Line, the Taunton & Bridgwater Canal Route and the Somerset Levels are all included. To be able to link these areas together, we devised our own north-south route, also featuring the famous Avon Gorge near Bristol, the pretty seaside at Clevedon and the famous caves and gorge of Cheddar. This route, starting at Bristol Temple Meads station and ending at Taunton station, is a great itinerary for a long weekend or mini break. Read more about this route on our Cycling Dutchman Blog.
Our Cycling in Somerset route contains:
Route: Bristol - Clevedon - Yatton - Cheddar - Bridgwater - Taunton
Total distance: 73 miles (119 km); cycle paths: 44.5%, quiet roads: 53%, roads with regular flow or possibly fast moving traffic: 2%, busy main roads with adjacent footpath: 0.5%
Grading: Generally easy, some short climbs. Traffic-free sections suitable for younger children, all other sections suitable for children who have completed Bikeability Level 2.
Highlights: Bristol, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge, Clevedon Pier & Promenade, Strawberry Line, Cheddar, Somerset Levels, views at Rughill and Poldon Hills, Bridgwater, Taunton and Bridgwater Canal Route
Our Cycling in Somerset route is part of our London-Land's End Cycle Route Book. This guide book provides great value for money, includes GPS-tracks and features many more regions other than just Somerset!