Get those cycling shorts at the ready because in Somerset you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the most stunning cycling routes in the country.
Whether you’re away with the family or on a couples retreat, cycling has become one of the nation’s favourite pastimes. Discover beautiful landscapes and new sites, all whilst enjoying time with your loved ones. Get ready to take in incredible settings that you and the family won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Brean and Somerset are lucky to be directly on some of the best cycling routes where you can get your pedal on. Here’s a closer look at your future cycling routes whilst staying in Brean.
National Cycle Network Route 33
The perfect route to get your South Western coastal fix, the Route 33 is 72 miles long and consists of traffic-free roads with some quiet roads en route. This route is one of the longest you can take part in through Somerset, but does prove popular with families and there are ample opportunities to take rest breaks to enjoy the scenery, have a picnic in the sun, or simply stay over in one of the many picturesque lodges.
The route begins in Bristol where it crosses through Somerset, Devon, Seaton via Weston-super-Mare, Bridgewater, Ilminster, Chard and Axminster.
Part 1 – Bristol to Nailsea
You’ll begin your cycling exploration from Prince Street, which is just outside the city centre, and pedal your way to Millenium Park in Nailsea. Depending on which day you decide to go riding, Nailsea have a weekly Tuesday and Friday market, full to the stalls with farmers, local produce, and creative arts and crafts.
You’ll ride past Long Ashton and Flax Bourton, which is known as “Festival Way” thanks to the easy access to Ashton Court – the home of the Bristol Community Festival. After you reminisce on your festival days, it’s time to take in the Victorian gothic-esque building of Tyntesfield House (a small ride away in Wraxall), which is a thing of beauty and awe. Surrounded by stunning gardens and parkland, take a break from the bike and have the chance to take a selfie with a falcon.
Part 2 – Nailsea to Weston-super-Mare
The charity Sustrans, who endeavour to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, are currently redeveloping this part of the route. However, the proposed new cycle way will help to make the journey between the Northern Somerset villages a lot easier and quicker.
To keep updated on this part of the route stay tuned to Sustrans here.
Part 3 – Weston-super-Mare to Axminster
Now, if there’s any part of the route you want to make sure you take in, it’s this one. Pedal along the coastline and take in the beautiful sandy views between Burnham-on-Sea and Brean. This stretch of Route 33 is known as the “Stop Line Way” as it follows the exact line of the World War II Taunton Stop Line, which was built as a defence against any invasion.
So, whilst you’re taking in the sights of the ocean waves, you’ll also be riding along a path of history. What more could you want?
The Strawberry Line Heritage Trail
The 10 mile route which shows off rural landscapes, Somerset’s incredible wildlife, and a pit-stop at the famous Thatcher’s Brewery – The Strawberry Line is an iconic cycle route in its own right.
Thanks to the flattened path this route is also suitable for walkers, wheelchairs, and road bikes. There is a one mile stretch between Dolemoor Lane and Carditch Drove where horse riding is allowed.
Where can you join the route?
- Yatton Station
- Biddle Street
- Congresbury (Dolemoor Lane)
- Sandford (Carditch Drove, Nye Road, and Station Road)
- Winscombe (Ilex Lane, Recreation Ground, Fullers Lane, and King’s Wood)
Part 1 – Yatton Station to Sandford
The route starts at Yatton Station, which is home to the Strawberry Line Cafe. Riding through Congresbury and past the Northmarsh, you’ll probably make some nature friends on the way. Expect to see the following creatures:
- Grass snakes
- Various birds
Time to get close to the famous Somerset cider orchards, as you enter Sandford. This part of the route runs directly through the heart of the cider-making Thatcher’s Cider Company. So, if you fancy tasting the nectar gold from Somerset, now’s your chance. Once you’ve filled your cider boots, then Sandford’s stunning Victorian station awaits you, which is now an incredible heritage centre.
Part 2 – Winscombe to Shute Shelve Hill
Known as the place of outstanding beauty, Winscombe welcomes you to the Mendip Hills. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to get a glimpse of glow worms, as you’re surrounded by orchids, ferns, and gorgeous hillsides that belong on a postcard.
We hope your bike has a basket attached to it because you’ll be spoilt for choice as you’re welcomed to Winscombe’s shopping centre. Don’t worry, if you’re not the shopping kind, then you can always take a rest bite at the village green, which still has the historic seats and railings from its original state of the Great Western Railway station.
Riding further into the Mendips, you’ll arrive at Shute Shelve Hill where the path will lead you through the original 165-metre long railway tunnel. Oh, word of warning, the tunnel is home to numerous species of bats and cave spiders. Yeah, we’d be speeding up, too.
Part 3 – Axbridge to Cheddar
Prepare to have your breath taken away with the out-of-this-world coastal and landscape views across Cheddar Valley, Brent Knoll, and the Quantock Hills. You’ll be arriving into Axbridge next and you wouldn’t be the first one to think you’ve taken a trip back in time. Home to a medieval square that back dates to the 13th and 14th centuries, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the town’s very own museum.
With a capacity of 135 million gallons, you’ll witness people taking part in water sports across the Cheddar Reservoir as you venture through the outskirts of Cheddar. Known for its gorge where the famous Cheddar Man was discovered and of course the cheese, Cheddar is the perfect ending to the route where you can take in the sights, soak up the history, and treat yourself to some proper Somerset food.
Things to know
The majority of this route is actually a designated Local Nature Reserve, so don’t forget to keep an eye out on the stunning Somerset wildlife. There is a number of various car parking places along the route, so don’t worry if you’re coming with the little ones or want to join the route a little later on. You can find car parking at the following places:
Remember, there may be car parking charges and there are no specific car parking places solely for those taking part in The Strawberry Line route.
Uphill Beach Cycle Route
One of the best family-friendly cycle trips you’re going to ride, welcome to the Uphill Beach Route. This journey lasts around 50 minutes, and is the perfect way for you and the family to explore the coasts and beaches of Somerset.
This sandy route starts in Weston-super-Mare on Beach Road in the direction of Kewstoke. There’s plenty of activities to do on the way as you ride along the Royal and Marine Parade. Take a little break to enjoy the rides and arcades in the Grand Pier, and who knows you might even win a teddy to take on the rest of the ride with you.
We’d always recommend stopping off for a refreshing ice-cream from the many seaside parlours available before carrying onto Uphill Road. As the name suggests this part of the journey can be quite hilly, so it’ll be a good chance to work that ice-cream off.
Turning right onto Old Church Road, then to Ellesmere Road, your final right turning leads you onto Links Road, where you’ll be met by the golden sands of Uphill Beach. Hopefully you’ll have brought the buckets and spades for the kids so they can enjoy one of the many stunning beaches Somerset has to offer.
If you feel like you’re not ready for the journey to end there, you can carry on riding across the coast and take in the views of Brean and Burnham-on-Sea. We promise it won’t disappoint.
Get Your Pedal On