Cycling the Avalon Marshes
The flat landscape of the Avalon Marshes is perfect for cyclists with mostly quiet lanes, droves and cycle paths. Route 3 of the National Cycle Network runs through the Avalon Marshes connecting Wells Glastonbury, Bridgwater and Taunton. Route 33 pases through the West of the marshes and provides a link with Highbridge Station. Route 26 runs eastwards from Glastonbury and links with Castle Cary and its station. The Bittern Trail is a walking and cycling link between Glastonbury and the Avalon Marshes Centre. It runs through the centre of Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall nature reserves. These are shown on the map at the bottom of this page.
Ordnance Survey (OS) Landranger map 182 covers the whole of the Avalon Marshes and shows public roads, bridleways and restricted byways which are all open to bikes. It also shows the National Cycle Network routes. More information about the National Cycle Network can be found on the Sustrans website.Sustrans
The roads and track through the nature reserves are suitable for road bikes, but please cycle slowly and give priority to pedestrians and wildlife. Some of the droves can be rough and are more suited to mountain bikes. You should also note that not all of the droves are public rights of way (you can use OS Landranger map 182 or OS Explorer maps 140 and 141 to check). To help you explore we have developed four Heritage Cycling Routes.
The Bittern Trail is a waymarked cycle and walking route that links Glastonbury and the Avalon Marshes Centre. The bulk of its route is traffic free running through the Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath nature reserves. This provides lots of interest on your way with wildlife all around you, lots of history and a very special landscape. But please note dogs are not allowed on Shapwick Heath.
To find out more you can pick up a Bittern Trail leaflet at Glastonbury Information Centre located in the centre of the town. You can also download a copy here
Heritage Cycle Route Leaflets
We have developed four circular cycle routes which take in the best of the area and tell you about the heritage you will find along the way. All of our routes are suitable for road bikes and include lots of opportunities for refreshment. The routes:-
- Cider & Cripps – 11 miles (17km) – Easy
- Eastern Moors – 13 Miles (21km) – Easy
- Reserves & Lake Villages – 16 Miles (26km) – Flat
- Roman Saltworks & Peat Moors – 18 Miles (29km) or two shorter loops
Cider and Cripps
11 Miles (17km) – Easy with with one short hill climb
This interesting cycle route takes you around the north western corner of the Avalon Marshes area. Lots of pubs and even a Cider Farm along the route! The villages of Mark or East Huntspill make good starting points.
13 Miles (21km) – Easy (with two short sections of busy main road)
This route explores the eastern marshes including Queen’s Sedge Moor, Hearty Moor, Kennard Moor and the green fringes of the Isle of Avalon.
Reserves & Lake Villages
16 Miles (26km) – Flat (other than some bumpy bits!)
Covering the central Avalon Marshes, takeing in three National Nature Reserves and the sites of the Lake Villages. Plenty of places for refreshment along the route.Download
Roman Saltworks & Peat Moors
18 Miles (29km) or two shorter loops – A climb onto the Polden Ridge
This route links the Avalon Marshes Centre and the villages of Westhay, Burtle, Edington, Chilton Polden and Cossington. It takes you through a landscape of big skies and long views. There is lots of history and heritage and several potential refreshment stops.Download
Cycle Links Map
This map show the National Cycle Network routes within the Avalon Marshes area, the Bittern Trail and the locations of our nature reserves and and other places to visit.
- You get a better view full screen – click on the top right icon – the “square”
- Now use the menu, click on name see where the feature is and find out more
- Or, click on the feature to find out more.
- Use the + and – to zoom in and out