Great West Way ®

Welcome to the Great West Way

Bristol is proud to be featured on this 125‑mile touring route combining the world‑renowned with the yet‑to‑be‑discovered. At one end is London, with its world-famous sights, landmarks and rich cultural heritage; at the other end is Bristol

Along the way

Between relaxing riverside towns, lush green landscapes, and characterful villages, there’s so much more to the Great West Way than simply getting from A to B. With so much to see and do, if you add in all the tempting trails and off‑the‑beaten track detours, there are 500 miles or more to explore. 

Along the Great West Way are three of the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs): the Chilterns, the Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs. As well as these, there are also the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stonehenge and Avebury, Bath, and Kew Gardens.  

Visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, lose themselves in the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace, sample award‑winning real ale at West Berkshire Brewery, take a cocktail masterclass at Bombay Sapphire, or have a go at a cookery class at Vaughan’s Kitchen, Devizes.  

Visitors can also discover amazing gardens, take sightseeing boat trips on the River Thames or Kennet & Avon Canal, and experience the delights of shopping in Bath, Swindon Designer Outlet, and Parkway Shopping Centre in Newbury.  

Bristol and the Great West Way

Once you've travelled along the Great West Way, you'll find yourself in Bristol. Here, you can explore how innovation and creativity has left its mark on the city, from pioneering Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Clifton Suspension Bridge to Aerospace Bristol, which tells the story of how Bristol’s renowned aviation industry took off. 

The Great West Way Travel Magazine

Plan your course along the 500 miles of roads, lanes and towpaths that make up The Great West Way, with seasonal tips and highlights from different sections of the route. 

View the latest issue and previous issues here 

Travelling the Great West Way

As well as cycling, walking the landscapes, relaxing on the waterways, or travelling by road, you can also take advantage of the Great West Way Discoverer pass.  

The Discoverer pass offers unlimited off‑peak train travel with Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads via Reading, with options to branch off towards Oxford, Kemble and Salisbury via Westbury, plus London Waterloo to Salisbury and on to Bath and Bristol via South Western Railway. Unlimited travel on bus services along the route is also included. Choose from 1, 3 or 7 day options.  

Bristol as a base

There are countless historic sights, attractions, gardens and exciting activities within easy reach of Bristol. Extend your trip by a few days and see how many you can tick off!

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