The Colliers Way – our guide to this lovely Somerset cycle route


The Colliers Way is a 24 mile cycling route which takes you through the beautiful landscape of Somerset. The route starts just outside Bath and takes you all the way down to Frome. It's a short route and can easily be tackled in a day, but you might like to set aside some extra time to stop at some of the attractions along the way, the best and most interesting of which we've highlighted below. This guide is for anyone attempting this route in 2023, and is intended to match the original route which was designed. Let's get into it:

Where does The Colliers Way start and end?


The route runs from Dundas Aqueduct to Frome via Radstock as show in the image above. The route follows a mixture of low traffic roads and old railway lines serving the Somerset coalfield, and is generally quite flat.

What sections are there?

There are quite a few variations of the Collier's Way which you can follow, but we'd say that typically the route is split into the following 8 sections (with rounded distance estimates):


Dundas Aqueduct to Midford- 3 miles
Midford to Wellow - 2.5 miles

Wellow to Shoscombe - 2 miles
Shoscombe - Midsomer Norton - 5 miles

Midsomer Norton to Radstock - 2 miles
Radstock to Kilmersdon - 2 miles

Kilmersdon to Great Elm - 5 miles 
Great Elm to Frome - 3 miles 

What is there to see and do as you cycle along The Colliers Way?

Despite being a relatively short route, there is actually quite a bit to see and do as you move along The Collier's Way, particularly if you're happy to veer away from the route a little bit. You'll never have to move more than 3 miles off the route to visit some of the many villages, towns, and hamlets along the route. Not every section is worth a stop, but we've highlighted a few sections which you may wish to plan a stop for. Here are a few of the highlights which you may wish to stop and check out as you travel along Collier's Way:

Dundas Aqueduct to Midford

Because you start at the Dundas Aqueduct, you might be tempted to skip it and just get going on the route. But we really think it is worth a look before you set off if you have the time - built in the early 19th century, this amazing structure takes the Kennet & Avon Canal over the River Avon. There isn't too much else to see as you make your way toward Midford, so it's probably a good idea to just get your head down and get the first section completed. But as you head in the direction of Limpley Stoke from the Aqueduct, you might want to veer off the route slightly to have a quick glimpse at Chatleigh House, an impressive Grade II listed building which isn't currently open to visitors, but which is quite stunning to look at. As you reach Midford you'll pass through the Two Tunnels, the longest cycling and walking tunnel in the UK.

Midford to Wellow 

If you're happy to stop in Midford, you could go and visit the disused Midford Station. If you're a railway enthusiast it is very interesting to explore, and there are some nice walks to be had around the old tracks too. There isn't too much else to stop at until you start to reach Wellow, where you'll find St Julian's Church. This is a a Grade I listed building which dates back to the 14th century and features some stunning architecture, especially the west tower which is 84ft in height.

Wellow to Shoscombe

As you cycle towards Shoscombe from Wellow, we'd say that you definitely must stop to take a look at Stoney Littleton Long Barrow. This is a neolithic chamber which is believed to have been built around 3500 BC, and which is quite fun (if a little eerie) to explore. The surrounding area is lovely too, with great views. After this, your best bet is to get your head down and head to Shoscombe!

Shoscombe to Midsomer Norton

This is one of the longer stretches of the route and will require you to go back on yourself toward Radstock, so we'd recommend getting your head down and saving your sightseeing for when you head back toward Radstock. You could also just stop at Radstock rather than going all the way to Midsomer Norton, but it's up to you.

Midsomer Norton to Radstock

You go back on yourself just a little bit here which can feel frustrating, but this gives you a chance to stop at Radstock Museum and experience the fascinating Somerset Coalfield Life displays which outline what the life of a Somerset miner would have been like, as well as plenty of other interesting displays.

Radstock to Kilmersdon

After all of the excitement in Radstock, you're probably best to get your head down as you travel toward Kilmersdon. There are some nice bars and restaurants to stop at along the way if you're feeling peckish.

Kilmersdon to Great Elm

Almost there! And this is another longer stretch at 5 miles so you might be tempted to just crack on, but definitely take time to admire the amazing views along the way.

Great Elm to Frome

It's the final stretch, and our advice would be to go all out and enjoy yourself once you reach Frome, where you'll find plenty of great restaurants and options for relaxing, including the Westway Cinema which has a great old school feel.

What should you be aware of before heading along Collier's Way?

This route is short but we wouldn't say it is straightforward , and you should absolutely plan for bad weather. Take extra clothes with you and some snacks, and we'd even go as far as to plan for accommodation. As with all cycle trips, make sure other people who aren't on the trip with you know that you're off on a trip should anything go wrong.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to tackle this epic route. We've also got guides about other routes like the Coast & Castles route, the Borders Abbey Way and the Exe Estuary Trail.
If you love walking too - check out our list of the best barefoot shoes you'll be able to find in the UK.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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