Pump up those bike tyres and pack up your panniers for a wonderful bike-packing adventure that will take you into the heart of the county.
The Tourism Team at Somerset Council have produced an all-new leaflet and updated route section guidance for residents and visitors to enjoy the 80-mile Cycleway, offering a greener way to discover the beautiful southern region of the county.
Explore quiet country lanes, meander through quaint market towns and historic villages, and experience an authentic taste of local heritage, culture, and delicious food and drink along the way.
The circular 80-mile route is fully waymarked and divided into eight sections – so you can do as much or as little as you like. Individual sections are ideal for days out and when done together make for a great eco-bike packing break. You won’t even need a car, as you can travel by train and bike to Yeovil Junction or Castle Cary, stopping overnight on the cycling route as you go. Routes vary in length; with the shortest at 10.5km, Section 6 Ilminster to Merriott, and longest at 24km, Section 4 Somerton to South Petherton.
The route provides great detours including Cadbury Castle, an incredible Iron Age hill fort offering amazing views across Glastonbury Tor and beyond.
Stembridge Tower Mill is worth a visit too, being the last remaining thatch windmill in the whole of the UK and close to Low Ham Church, known as the ‘Church in the field’.
And the climb to Ham Hill Country Park will reward you with extraordinary viewpoints of the South Somerset Moors, Exmoor and the Mendip Hills.
Cllr Frederica Smith Roberts Executive Member for Communities comments,
“It’s a beautiful and varied route that offers a perfect combination of enjoying the magic of the southern side of Somerset’s landscape all whilst experiencing it in a greener way. Spring is a great time to explore rural Somerset as lanes are lined with blooming wild parsley and the blossom is at its best.“
Cllr Sarah Dyke, Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change adds,
“Green tourism initiatives are particularly important topics as part of our wider climate change programme and thinking about ways in which we can help to protect our environment and assets here in Somerset. By developing and promoting cycling routes and eco-bike packing trips it enables us to continue to promote our beautiful part of the country but in a sustainable manner.”
The free 80-mile Cycleway leaflet is available now together with new local guides to pick up at many of the local Information Centres throughout Somerset, including South Somerset Visitor Information Centre, Cartgate Picnic Site, TA14 6RA. Open Mon – Sat, 9am – 1pm and 1.30pm – 4pm, 7 days a week during school holidays and peak months.
The leaflet and route guidance are also free to download here: www.visitsouthsomerset.com/listings/cycling/eighty-mile-cycle-route.htm
There is also a GPX file available to download – just make sure you have apps like OS Maps or Komoot on your device so that the file can download properly.