Inspired by the film new film Bicycle, we decided it was about time we gave the Bristol to Bath Sustrans cycle route ago (Route 4). It was the route that inspired the birth of Sustrans. Built on a disused railway track with £10,000 funding from Clarks Shoes in 1973 (the pitch being, people will be walking more and therefore getting through their shoes!) and a lot of hard graft from volunteers.
It totally changed the dynamics of the commute in the area as more and more people young and old took to the track as their mode of transport. It is still a busy route today with a few suprises along the way to keep up the interest. My favourite being the disused railway track along the way, which has an almost eerily romantic quality - especially on a misty Autumn day as it was for us. We had our lunch and cake here parked on a bench and the kids enjoyed playing in the woods here.
Stu and I hired Bromptons from Bristol (it was tricky to get all 4 bikes on all the trains) while we brought the kids bikes on the trains, this ended up being easier than anticipated as there was a dedicated bike carriages so no squeezing among passengers. Before we headed off we couldn't resist a coffee and cake in the Yurt Lush. A trendy and cosy yurt behind the station that do stonkingly good Chocolate Brownies.
But it was time to hit the road before we (I) got tempted further by the delights of Bristol. The route is pretty flat and easy enough for the kids to do (ours were 10 and 7 years). Most of the route is lined with trees so it does feel you're away from the city. Only a couple of occasions do you weave through the houses.
In terms of refreshments, you can go on a mini detour to reach a local pub, however we decided to stick to the track and hope for the best and we weren't disappointed. Warmley Waiting Room cafe approximately half way along is an utter delight. It's a beautiful vintage station, that has a garden and veggie patch - in fact it's a little oasis. Further along there is also a cafe in a railway carriage but we continued on ... to a pub! Right on the track, and just outside Bath, the pub makes for a suitable stop (and refreshments of course). At this point we could honestly tell the kids 'we're nearly there!'
The Kids were jolly for the 16 miles ride (there was a little detour as works being done), though the last bit through Bath while wonderful along the river, through the woods did test them a little feeling a little hungry and tired. However, the Tunnels totally reignited their excitement. The cycle tunnels in Bath are a mini adventure. Gently lit, you can whizz through. We were lucky enough to stay with friends in Bath so it was a good end to a wonderful journey.
THANK YOU TO OUR PERFECT HOSTS LOUISE AND GEORGE!
If you fancy giving it a go feel free to get in touch if you need any tips.
Happy cycling, Rebecca .... Those That Ride Discover!