Author Topic: My Favourite Cycle Routes - The Two Tunnels Greenway - Bath - Somerset  (Read 991 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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We loved riding this yesterday :)

*Suitable for Muggins & The Titanic as far as the Midford Viaduct (Unmetalled surfaces beyond that point) See 'My Advice' inbold.

Published on Youtube 12 May 2014

This shared-use path re-uses what was the most characterful part of one of the UK's most famous railways - The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway - as it burrowed beneath Combe Down - the high ground south of the city of Bath.

This is a dramatic and accessible route leading south from the city - and available to cyclists, wheelchair users and walkers.

The route follows the disused railway trackbed of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway from the Bath suburb of East Twerton, through the linear park of Oldfield Park to the Devonshire Tunnel.

Travelling in a Southerly direction the Two Tunnels Greenway passes through the 447 yard Devonshire tunnel before emerging into Lyncombe Vale before entering the 1 mile and 69 yard long Combe Down Tunnel. On exiting the Combe Down tunnel the Greenway continues over the Tucking Mill Viaduct and onwards to Midford and the Midford Viaduct.

Shortly after crossing the Tucking Mill Viaduct NCN Route 244 ends to become NCN Route 24. At this point, (just before the path goes under the Tucking Mill Lane Railway bridge), the exit to NCN Route 24 (North-East towards Monkton Combe and the Dundas Wharf & Aquaduct) is on the left. Continue South to remain on NCN Route 24 towards Midford, Midford Viaduct and on to Wellow and Radstock.

I'm told that the Hope and Anchor Pub is worth a visit - adjacent to, and signposted from NCN Route 24 at the Midford Viaduct.

The Devonshire tunnel is 447 yards long and the Combe Down tunnel over 1 mile long. Both tunnels are lit along their full lengths and the surface of the Greenway is very good (smooth tarmac) until the Midford Viaduct. Surface quality easily seen on the video.

We parked at the Newbridge park and ride and semi-deliberately didn't pick the easiest way to get ourselves onto NCN Route 4 (The Bristol & Bath Railway Path) because we're intending to ride to Bristol and the Avon Gorge from this starting point and wanted to see what all the access points are like. In my opinion the entry and exit points *we used* for NCN Route 4 are neither easy or safe.

My advice is: If you start a ride/walk/run at Newbridge, (regardless of which direction along NCN Route 4 you're going), TURN LEFT out of Newbridge park and ride and make your way to Brassmill Lane and access NCN Route 4 there. The start of the Bristol & Bath Railway Path is clearly marked and signposted in Brassmill Lane, as are directions towards the Two Tunnels Greenway Route (NCN Route 244).

At all points from Brassmill Lane to the Midford Viaduct the surface is good quality tarmac suitable for riding, walking, wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters. I'd recommend a full charge on anything battery powered.

We had a fantastic afternoon, turning around a couple of miles South of the Midford Viaduct and then leaving NCN Route 244 just South of Midford, turning East to join NCN Route 24 to the Dundas Aquaduct where we enjoyed our lunch. We'd ridden through the Dundas Aquaduct on our Trowbridge to Bath ride (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFoz1...) and wanted to visit it again and approach it via teh Somerset Coal Canal (On NCN Route 24).

On leaving the Dundas Aquaduct we joined NCN Route 4 to ride back into Bath alongside the Kennet & Avon Canal.

The last 3 or 4 miles on the video shows us leaving NCN Route 4 to ride through Georgian Bath, (very little traffic on a Sunday), across Pulteney Bridge and alongside the Grand Parade before rejoining the River Avon (and NCN Route 4) for the final blat along the Bristol & Bath Railway path to the steps I'd high lighted near the start of the video.

Video is about 51 minutes long with many parts of it accelerated.






Offline Geoff Reid

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Later today we plan to ride from Bath, through Bristol and travel both sides of the Avon Gorge via the M5 bridge at Avonmouth.

Not sure whether we'll be feeling  :thumb: or  :uglystupid2: at the halfway point :)