Information on some of the upcoming rides

See, touch, smell, hug, lick – the vastest tree in the British Isles

Brief Description : We will track the Avon & Kennet canal to Bradford On Avon then – (see maps below) on road to Corsham Court to see this unique tree – the Oriental plane. Although this is just one tree it is as big as a football pitch.

With an average spread of 64mtrs it has been identified by the Tree Register of the British Isles as the country’s vastest tree.

The Oriental plane is so vast its lowest branches rest on the ground & some have taken root.

‘Confusing tree’

Owen Johnson, registrar at the Tree Register said “Several trees rest their branches on the ground but this exceptional tree extends in each direction with branches like elephant trunks snaking across the ground – it’s a very confusing tree.”

Originating in the Middle East, the plane was planted as a specimen at the privately owned stately Corsham home.

A tree surgeon suggested taking 3m off all the branches around the tree for health & safety but the present owner – James Methuen-Campbell – decided it was such a huge, old tree he wanted to leave it to age naturally.

After Corsham Court we cycle to Chippenham for a train back to Bristol!

As much as I resist the idea of train assisted rides I have succumbed otherwise the ride would be very long. I would strongly advise anyone coming on this ride to use a folding bike. Folding bikes present British Rail with no problems – apparently. If anyone comes on a non-folding bike then please be prepared to be messed around by the rail people.

Length : 42.5 miles
Grade : Medium
Suitable for beginners : No
Tea Lunch Stop : first pub after 12:00noon other breaks at will
Start time Location : 09:00am Arnolfini

Our Routes


We have produced an underground style map of the cycling network of Freeways and Quietways. There is a further level of local routes that is not in the TopTube map but will mean that every household in Bristol is only a short distance away from the cycling network.


Freeways The most direct route with the best gradient for cycling in Bristol is usually along a main road. These routes already carry the largest number of cyclists. They must be comprehensively adapted to become high quality, continuous routes for cycling. There are radial and orbital Freeways on the TopTube map.

F1 Portway A4
F2 Whiteladies/Westbury Road A4018
F3 Gloucester Road A38
F4 Fishponds Road A432
F5 Church Road A420
F6 Bath Road A4
F7 Wells Road A37
F8 Bridgewater Road A38
F9 Weston Road A370
F10 Inner Loop
F11 Inner Middle
F12 Outer Middle
F13 Northern Loop
F14 Outer Ring
Quietways Quietways are pleasant largely traffic-free routes that extend through the city and surroundings with clear signing. Bristol already has an extensive network of these including the ‘Greenway’ routes such as Concorde Way, Frome Greenway and Festival Way, and of course the Bristol Bath Railway Path. These are the Quietway routes on the TopTube map.

Q1 Westbury Quietway
Q2 Concorde Quietway
Q3 Frome Quietway
Q4 Bristol Bath Railway Path
Q5 Wesley Quietway
Q6 Whitchurch Quietway
Q7 Malago Quietway
Q8 Festival Quietway
Q9 Pill Quietway
Q10 Promenades Quietway
Q11 North Fringe Quietway
Q12 Yate Quietway
Q13 Knowle Quietway
Q14 St Anne’s Quietway
Q15 Purdown Quietway
Q16 Trym Quietway
Local Links Every neighbourhood will have a walking and cycling plan for ‘safe routes to school’, ‘safe routes to work’ and ‘safe routes to shop’. These local plans will set out to make every street a cycling street.


Bristol Cycling Campaign is working for a future where Bristol and the surrounding areas are alive with people on bicycles, because cycling is so easy that everyone does it. Our communities will be happier, healthier, greener and more civilised.

This strategy sets out why we need the Freedom to Ride through Five Principles; the Five Elements of what needs to be be done; and how Five Actions can make it all happen.


Bristol is already one of the best cities for cycling in the UK, but with cycling at about 8% of all trips we are far behind some of our European neighbours. There is huge suppressed demand as most people feel the city is hostile to cycling and they don’t feel it’s safe. The Cycling City programme from 2008-2011 showed that dramatic increases could be quickly achieved, and that for every £1 spent as much as £20 of benefit came to Bristol.

Some important measures are being taken, such as 20mph areas but, astonishingly, there is no ambitious plan for how we become a city that cycles. Now is the time for action in Bristol to make it safer and easier to cycle. Bristol can step up to being a modern, thriving, green and beautiful city.


Half a century of car-centric planning and investment have made many parts of Bristol polluted and congested. Children feel trapped and people struggle to keep themselves healthy. We can change this by following the five principles on which this Strategy is based.


The choice to cycle should be available to all, regardless of age, gender, financial circumstances, fitness, or need for non-standard bikes (e.g. trailers, tricycles, cargo). Many people and groups are currently denied this choice.
Safety: People on bikes should feel able to travel from where they are to where they need to go comfortably, conveniently, directly, in attractive surroundings and in safety. Good infrastructure will encourage safe and considerate behaviour. Consistent enforcement helps protect the vulnerable.


Cycling and sustainable transport bring prosperity to Bristol. Subsidies for car-use should be reversed so the city benefits from more people cycling. Reductions in congestion will benefit everyone, particularly those who really need to use motor vehicles. Everyone will experience improved health and wellbeing through more active lifestyles and better air quality. Bristol will attract new business as a fine place to live.


Bristol should be the benchmark city for outstanding and innovative cycling provision, with ambitious targets and committed resources. Pound for pound this will offer Bristol better value than any other public investment.


Bristol must become less dependent on imported energy, and is committed to a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Achieving the cycling targets could contribute up to 25% of the necessary transport reductions.
The strategy is supported by five ‘spokes’ each of which is essential, mutually supporting and require complete integration with all other areas of city policy and implementation.

Cycling Neighbourhoods:

Every neighbourhood should have a walking and cycling plan linking residential areas and local hubs such as schools, parks, retail and leisure centres. The 20mph areas should be made more effective through use of ‘traffic cells’ to restrict through traffic while improving access for walking and cycling. Plans should set out to make every street a cycling street and must include cycle parking at destinations, workplaces and in residential areas with restricted indoor space.

Cycling Freeways:

The most direct route with the best gradient for cycling in Bristol is usually along a main road and they already carry the largest number of cyclists. They must be comprehensively adapted to become high quality, continuous routes for cycling. A Dutch-style matrix of infrastructure responses for each road type and condition should be used to determine suitable provision, with segregation on busy roads and junction treatments that favour cyclists. Priority must be given to preventing obstruction of the flow of cyclists. All measures must provide for future high levels of cycling.

Cycling Quietways:

Pleasant traffic-free routes that extend through the city and surroundings with clear signing. Significant progress was made in this area during Cycling City with routes such as Concorde Way, Frome Greenway and Festival Way joining the Bristol Bath Railway Path, Malago Greenway and Whitchurch Way. The network must be improved and extended.


Excessive and inappropriate motor vehicle use must be made less convenient, and fairly priced, e.g. through congestion charging and parking management schemes. Integration with public transport must be made as easy as possible. Development control policies must provide for high levels of cycling, and rigorously applied. A danger reduction strategy to make our roads free from fear and harm must be followed. Transport planning models must ensure cycling is properly valued. Enforcement measures must protect the vulnerable. Integrated signing, mapping and online tools must make the city easy to navigate by bike. All measures should also support walking.


Cycling City was effective at improving access to bikes, and giving people the information and confidence to cycle. As well as a sustained and well branded city-wide programme, every infrastructure project must include related encouragement measures. Every primary school pupil should receive Bikeability to Level 2, with Level 3 available to every secondary pupil. Adult cycle training should be easily available and affordable. Encouragement programmes will include events, marketing and promotion and work in particular with employers, schools and universities.

The councils of Greater Bristol must together take these fundamental actions to deliver the strategy.

Set a target to quadruple cycling to 20% of all trips by 2025, and 30% of those to work. Interim targets must be set in 4 year phases linked to the term of the Mayor.
Fix a Plan to deliver a comprehensive cycling network by 2025, with every road and street fit for cycling.
Commit investment to deliver the plan at European levels of £16 per capita (this is £6.5million per year for Bristol City Council). Further funding should come through major scheme bids and at least 50% of transport spend must be on cycling and walking.
Implement the plan through a multi-disciplinary team of experts to co-ordinate delivery of the action plan across all sectors and areas of the city. An Annual Bristol Cycling Report must report progress.
Engage an inspirational Cycling Commissioner to lead the transformation with full authority at a senior level. By bringing together the plans and people working in health, transport, planning, neighbourhoods, education and business the Commissioner will push forward cycling and promote Bristol’s vibrant cycling culture.

The Bristol Cycling Manifesto

Freedom to Ride!

Cycling brings considerable benefit already to everyone in the city. It is quick, cheap and pollution-free. Shifting from cars to bikes reduces congestion and improves people’s health. But it has the potential to do far more. We are ambitious for a future where Bristol and the surrounding areas are alive with people on bicycles, because cycling is so easy that everyone does it. Our communities will be happier, healthier, greener and more civilized.

Tens of thousands of people already enjoy cycling in Bristol. There are tens of thousands more who would like to join them, but they need to be confident that it’s safe and easy.

That’s why this Manifesto calls for a comprehensive Cycling Network* so that cycling is valued, easy and convenient. This will give thousands more people the freedom to ride!

When you sign our petition supporting the Manifesto you’ll be challenging local leaders to take the five steps to make it happen:

Set a Target to quadruple cycling by 2025 to 20% of travel and 30% of trips to work.
Fix a Plan to achieve the target and deliver a comprehensive cycling network by 2025
Invest the Money to deliver the plan, with £16 per person each year minimum
Manage the work through a multi-skilled team for joined up action across all areas
Use an inspirational Cycling Commissioner to lead from the front.
Please support the manifesto & sign the petition:

  • If you and your family want the Freedom to Ride bikes to school and work
  • If you want Bristol to be alive with people on bicycles and walking
  • If you think cycling in Bristol should be so easy that everyone does it
  • To join with thousands of others asking for change
  • To ask for action from the Mayor and local politicians
  • Our Concise Bristol Cycling Strategy sets out how it can be done (unbelievably, we’ve covered it all in two pages and a map!). The petition will demand a response and a full Council debate to put cycling centre stage.

Ask all your friends, family and work colleagues to sign. Together we can give everyone the Freedom to Ride!

  • The Cycling Network will cover every road and street. Main routes around and into the centre will be ‘Cycling Freeways’ high quality, continuous, direct and often segregated. The network of pleasant ‘Cycling Quietways’ will be expanded and linked. Every area will become a ‘Cycling Neighbourhood’ with 20mph limits and great access for cycling and walking.

Who Are We

Cycling is great for Bristol, let’s make Bristol great for cycling!

Shifting from cars to bikes cuts congestion and improves people’s health – why is investment so low?More trips are by bike in Bristol than in any other major UK city and thousands of others are out on their bikes every day. There are tens of thousands more who would join us, but they need to be confident that it’s safe and easy – where is the comprehensive cycling network for Bristol covering every road and street?

The Bristol Cycling Manifesto sets out what needs to be done. It is affordable and can be delivered in just 12 years. It will offer independence, health and mobility for all of us. Every street can be a cycling street, linked by 200 miles of Cycling Freeways and Quietways.

Sign the petition to ask that our Mayor and councils take five clear and immediate actions to make it happen:

  1. Set a Target to quadruple cycling to 20% of all travel by 2025
  2. Fix a Plan to deliver a comprehensive cycling network by 2025
  3. Commit Investment to deliver the plan at £16 per person each year
  4. Implement the plan through a multi-skilled team for action across all areas
  5. Engage an inspirational Cycling Commissioner to lead the transformation

Sign the petition to tell the Mayor and local politicians that you want the Freedom to Ride!