The exact route for the 2023 GWR has now been confirmed and, once again, we'll be offering EIGHT possible routes & distances to choose from.
Apologies that there has been a considerable delay in confirming the route this year - this was due to a long-standing major roadworks situation in an awkward position on the route. We wanted to give the contractors every opportunity to complete the work if possible but, unfortunately, the works have over-run and this has resulted in an adjustment to the route in Barrow Gurney that now uses a short section of cycle path. This amendment is reflected in the route links below.
We recommend that anyone who's downloaded a route file previously should do so again now, to ensure that they have the most up-to-date version. And please note that there will be a further route check prior to the day of the Ride - so, while we don't anticipate any further changes, if the need arises entered riders will be notified via email of any last-minute or final adjustments.
The Ride starts at the Park & Ride near Long Ashton, in south-west Bristol (just off the A370).
Riders then head out through Long Ashton on a nice, flat stretch to get the legs going, before turning towards Barrow Gurney and the first little uphill section of the day.
Or, if you fancy an extra bit of climbing and want to get the blood pumping straightaway, the Long Ashton turn is where you'll find the first of the GWR's three optional sections [CLARKEN COOMBE] - a steep-ish climb followed by a fast, twisty descent.
In Barrow Gurney itself, the amended route now turns right onto a very narrow and quite steep section of cycle path (c. 800 metres in length), before crossing over the A38 and then heading through Winford and up towards Chew Valley Lake.
The route skirts the lake on a lovely stretch of road before then turning towards Blagdon and on to the magnificent Burrington Combe.
Passing the Rock of Ages, where the Rev. Toplady is reputed to have written his famous hymn, riders face possibly the most challenging stretch of the Ride - ascending the Combe. It's about 2.5 miles of steady uphill riding, but at c. 5-6% gradient (1 in 20 or so in old money) it should be manageable for most people. But whether on bike or on foot, it's definitely worth the effort!
Once at the top of the Combe, there's a nice, flat(ish) stretch along the top of the Mendips as the route makes its way to the halfway point near the village of Priddy, and this is where riders will encounter some fabulous panoramic views and also the big descent of the day - a lovely but quite narrow 1.5-mile downhill section that just requires sensible and careful riding.
However, if you're in desperate need of an additional significant climb the top of the Mendips is also where you'll find the second optional section [CHEDDAR] - comprising a fast descent followed by a 3-mile climb of the iconic Cheddar Gorge. This is recommended for experienced riders only.
From here, the route continues on the Somerset Levels and heads towards Wedmore via some wonderful, quiet country lanes.
And here's where you'll find the third and final optional section [LEVELS] - a flat-ish 6-mile stretch that will introduce you to even more of the wonderful Levels.
After Wedmore, the route continues to explore more of the very quiet lanes of the Somerset Levels before heading north to skirt around Burnham-on-Sea and on up towards Berrow, where it then turns east for six miles of yet more wonderful, quiet country lanes prior to entering the final straight towards Weston.
The route joins the A370 briefly on the approach into Weston, it then passes through Uphill and the Ride finally finishes on the Beach Lawns just behind Weston's lovely seafront, where friends, family and other well-wishers will be gathered to help riders celebrate their achievement!
If you'd like to see or download a map of the standard 57-mile GWR route please click HERE (Garmin) or HERE (gpx file).
For the 59-mile route (includes CLARKEN COOMBE option) click HERE or HERE
For the 63-mile route (includes LEVELS option) click HERE or HERE
For the 65-mile route (includes CLARKEN COOMBE + LEVELS options) click HERE or HERE
For the 67-mile route (includes CHEDDAR option) click HERE or HERE
For the 69-mile route (includes CLARKEN COOMBE + CHEDDAR options) click HERE or HERE
For the 73-mile route (includes CHEDDAR + LEVELS options) click HERE or HERE
For the 75-mile route (includes CLARKEN COOMBE + CHEDDAR + LEVELS options) click HERE or HERE
NB we reserve the right to amend or withdraw any section of the route if we anticipate particularly inclement weather or any other unfavourable conditions that might adversely impact safety and enjoyment on the day.
To download a printable step-by-step route guide/description please click HERE