Step into the extraordinary as you travel through time and stumble across hidden gems while discovering the real England. Book your 2022 escape on the Great West Way ® and Escape the Everyday.

England’s Great West Way ® touring route from London to Bristol based on ancient routes, offers uninterrupted countryside, famous landmarks, award-winning attractions and is home to some of the country’s finest restaurants, prettiest villages and elegant towns.

The Great West Way ® route evolved from the centuries-old Great West Road, which was commissioned by King Charles I to expediate the delivery of post. Today, the 125-mile-long Great West Way covers a 15-mile-wide network of roads, footpaths, cycle trails, rail and canal towpaths, and many notable attractions to suit every interest through six of the UK’s finest counties, Bath, Bristol, Cotswolds, Wiltshire, Berkshire and the Thames.

Travelling by car Through Castle Combe. Credit
Travelling by car Through Castle Combe. Image credit

At one end you have London, the ideal entry point to the Great West Way ® with its world-renowned royal sights and rich cultural heritage. Then at the other, Bath and Bristol – close neighbours geographically, but with distinct personalities; Bath is loved for its classical Georgian architecture and romantic literary connections, Bristol is a riot of alternative art, music and dining experiences, famous for nurturing pioneering spirits Brunel and Banksy.

Along the rest of the route lie relaxing riverside towns like Henley-on-Thames, characterful villages like Pewsey and plenty of lush, green landscapes. These places are all intrinsically linked, and well worth visiting in their own right.

The Great West Way is for slow travellers who are just as interested in the journey, and the colourful characters encountered along the way as they are to the big adventures that lead to unexpected diversions. The long-awaited pilgrimage to Stonehenge, perhaps, that leads to the secret stones of Avebury and 4,000 years of history you never knew existed. It’s about saying yes to new experiences and delighting in smaller, simple, special things – as well as the superlatives. 

The Rose Hungerford (credit
The Rose Hungerford. Image credit

The Great West Way ® is made for self-guided travel, whether solo or with friends and family. The sort that enlivens your senses and makes you see the world afresh. Thanks to the A4 Great West Road, the Great Western Railway, the River Thames, the Kennet and Avon Canal, and multiple foot and cycle paths, you can easily choose how you get around. Mix and match your modes depending on the length and breadth of your trip. Whatever crazy combination of boat, bike, car or train enables you to explore the attractions that most excite you, from the famous to the far-out.

Get ready to go in search of the real England. There’s lots of information to help you plan your way. Find out more about ways to Escape the Everyday, stepping into the extraordinary as you travel through time, stumble across hidden gems and discover the real England on the Great West Way ®

Reconnect with the people you love and the places that set your heart racing on a journey through the cities and vibrant towns of the Great West Way ®. Spend tranquil mornings exploring museums and markets, and discovering the hottest new brunch spots. Pack your day with wild watersports and behind-the-scenes tours, or take it easy exploring boutique shops on winding backstreets, or floating downstream on a narrowboat trip. Dedicate your evenings to catching up in cocktail bars, listening to live music or simply spoiling yourself at a sumptuous spa. Click here to find out more.

Be inspired by our latest issue of the Great West Way ® Travel Magazine. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, spellbinding museums, luxury hotels with spas, unique experiences, or glamping under the stars, this fascinating route is guaranteed to fill you with incredible memories and unforgettable moments. Make up for lost time by planning your Great West Way journey today. Click here to read our latest issue.

Book your 2022 Escape

Start planning your journey. Tours, wine-tastings, hot air balloon rides, watersports, spa experiences, arts and crafts, skydiving and more… there are experiences for every taste as you travel the length of the Great West Way with friends and family this spring and summer. What’s more, all the below activities, attractions and adventures can be booked online – making it easy to plan the perfect getaway along the route between Bristol and London. Click here for more.