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The Best Cycle Paths in Bristol

21 August 2017 | Charlie Kenber

As one of the UK’s greenest cities, Bristol and its citizens are well versed in cycling lore. The city and its surroundings are criss-crossed with well-maintained mountain and leisure trails so read on for our selection of some of the best…

River Avon Trail
Starting off with one of the easier routes: the popular River Avon Trail heads up the Avon Gorge all the way to Pill Harbour, and even beyond to Portishead and the Bristol Channel. It’s easy to get to from the city centre, almost entirely flat, and you’ll immediately find yourself surrounded by trees and greenery – what’s not to like? It’s also a popular walking route, so make sure you keep an eye open for slower moving pedestrians.


Image Credit: David P via Panoramio 

Find out more about the River Avon Trail.

Bristol and Bath Railway Path
One of Bristol’s most distinctive routes, this remarkably well-kept track starts in the centre of town before heading 13 miles east to Bath, passing through the likes of Mangotsfield, Warmley and Saltford. Halfway you’ll find Bitton Station, complete with a café and a shop, and also used as a departure point for the occasional leisure steam train. If Bath isn’t enough of a ride for you, switch over to the Kennet and Avon Canal, whose towpath will take you up hill towards Bathampton, before continuing all the way to Newbury and Devizes. All in all it’s a beautiful, car-free route to suit a range of ability levels.


Image Credit: The Week In 

The Sustrans website have further details on the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path.

Ashton Court
For a tougher, off-road option, head up to Bristol’s stunning Ashton Court and seek out the Nova Trails – a series of bespoke mountain biking trails built in 2002 and overhauled in 2011. Hardcore riders can tackle the tricky, advanced red grade route, or for those a little newer to the sport the blue grade, moderate route is a perfect alternative. You still get a good handful of rock steps, berms and rollers, and running to a total of 5 miles the route certainly isn’t dull! As an added bonus for all, the park itself is well worth a visit in its own right, not least for its breath-taking views of the city.

Find out more about cycling facilities at Ashton Court, as well as mountain bike hire.

Yer Tiz (Leigh Woods)
Just a stone’s throw from Ashton Court you’ll find this shorter but more action-packed mountain biking trail. Although it’s mostly graded as blue, the route contains a skills area as well as optional red sections featuring switchbacks and other rocky obstacles. It runs for two and a half miles across the river from the Downs, giving you a prime opportunity to explore the depths of Leigh Woods and their wildlife, all whilst benefitting from the exercise and an exhilarating ride.


Image Credit: BikeRadar.com

Find out more about Yer Tiz mountain bike trail.

Take a city tour
Thanks to a boost in the construction of segregated and marked cycle paths across the city, this has now become one of the best ways to explore Bristol’s delights. Forge your own path around the Harbourside, Old City and Broadmead (these also happen to be some of the flattest areas in a notoriously hilly city!), and choose your own stops along the way. You can also easily jump onto a leisure route such as North Bristol’s Concorde Way, or either the Malago or Frome Greenway.

Check out Better By Bike for more information and detailed route maps.

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