The Bristol to Bath Railway Path is a flat cycle path through the countryside that offers the best way to walk your dog from Bristol to Bath. It is made up of various sections that people can use to access the route. While you will have to cross a few roads, the path is car free. Predominantly used by cyclists, it is also enjoyed by runners, dog walkers and sometimes horse riders.
Our Bristol to Bath Cycle Path trip
Since the introduction of the UK COVID measures we walk 4.5 miles four mornings a week and circa 8 miles on the weekend. We like to walk. On this occasion we decided to walk from Bristol to Bath and back again, 26.2 miles in total (a marathon).
It was a beautiful day, we were well stocked with food and drink, and it was fun! We set out from Bristol early in the morning and had lunch in Bath. There were some blisters and frustrated words with some rude cyclists, but on the whole it was great!
We didn’t take our pooch for her own health and safety, but the cycle path is a favourite among families and dog owners. In this post we will cover the whole path in sections. You can try to walk the whole stretch with your dog or take them in a bike trailer, like so many others on the path! We will recommend dog-friendly walks, sights and parks for each section. That way you can choose the section that best suits you and your pooch!
History of the Bristol to Bath Railway Path
The Bristol and Bath Railway Path (commonly called the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path) is a purpose built path between the vibrant city of Bristol and the beautiful city of Bath. The charity Sustrans, and countless volunteers, built the path between 1979 and 1986. Since then it has become one of the most popular routes for commuters, hobbyists and families – everyone is welcome.
Most of the path is in the countryside and not lit. It is not recommended that you walk this path in the dark. When you walk this path you should be aware of the code of conduct that states:
- The path is a shared space for cyclists, pedestrians and disabled people where everyone has equal priority (no motorbikes)
- Cyclists should pass pedestrians slowly and safely, children and dogs should be supervised and kept under control
- Keep visible in the dark and at night
- The path should be entered and exited at the official access points to avoid damage to the surrounding areas
The Bristol to Bath Cycle Path sections
1) Easton – 2.5 mile stretch from St Philips Road to Fishponds
St Philips Road (the start of the path) is circa 1 mile from Bristol Temple Meads Station and the centre of Bristol. Along this stretch you can find pieces of art from local artists, in fact the path has some really lovely art (pictures below).
If you are walking a significant part of the cycle path you are unlikely to need to visit a park, but we’ll detail them in case you are only intending on walking this little stretch.
There is a little park at the start of the path called Newton Park and a little further along the small Owen Square Park. However, the main park accessible in this section is Eastville Park and Eastville Park Lake. The park itself is a great place to walk the dog and lake is very pretty. We’ll cover this place in more detail in a future post.
2) Staple Hill – 2 mile stretch from Fishponds to Mangotsfield
This gentle stretch is lined with beautiful trees and has a long tunnel dating back to the early 1800s – see here for more information.
3) Mangotsfield – 1.5 mile stretch from Mangotsfield to Warmley
This, rather nondescript but pretty, stretch of the path takes you from the built up city towards the countryside on the outskirts.
4) Warmley – 2.5 mile stretch from Warmley to Bitton
Warmely Station on the outskirts of Bristol is where lots of people join the path. The little retired train station has a small car park, a great little café (the Warmley Waiting Room) and some interesting artsy figures imitating people waiting for a train (see picture below).
Next to the station is one our favourite places to walk our pooch – Warmley Forest Park. It’s full of dog walkers and friendly dogs! You can detour here an explore the Warmley Forest Heritage Trail mapped out by South Gloucestershire Council.
If you continue along the Railway Path you will see some really interesting stone statues and structures – the below image of a drinking statue as an example.
5) Bitton – 2 mile stretch from Bitton to Saltford
The highlight of this stretch are the old trains, carriages and machines to look at, and the (dog-friendly!) Avon Valley Train Station where you can grab a bite to eat at the café and even take a trip with your pooch!
There is also Avon Valley Adventure Park, which is great for kids, but this only allows pet dogs owned by those camping on site. Day visitors can only bring dogs if they’re assistance dogs.
As you continue towards Saltford you will start to see gorgeous views of the landscape.
6) Saltford – 3 mile stretch from Saltford to Bath
From the end of the cycle path you can take this 2 mile stretch into Bath City Centre. It takes you alongside the river and past the Green Park. Once in Bath there are lots of dog-friendly things to do, places to eat and places to stay. For example, you can walk your pooch around the city centre and see the famous Georgian architecture and historic sites such as the Roman Baths.
From here you can either walk back to your starting point, take the bus from Bath Bus Station or the train from Bath Spa Train Station. The train is the easiest and fastest transport back to Bristol (approximately 15 minutes and tickets £7-£10).
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