Travel green along the Great West Way this Autumn and Winter with sustainability at the heart of everything you do. If greener travel is important to you then you will be pleased to know the Great West Way is the perfect option for a more environmentally responsible holiday. As one of the world’s premier touring routes, the Great West Way brings together many of England’s most famous destinations and attractions along a corridor between London and Bristol.
You can plan your Great West Way adventure with a carbon friendly footprint in mind, from the way you travel to the places you visit on the way. You can travel the Great West Way route by bike, foot, boat, car or public transport, and there are so many ways to focus on sustainable travel between Bristol and London. You can make use of the Great West Way Discoverer pass, offering unlimited off-peak train and bus travel options with Great Western Railway. The Great West Way Discoverer Pass provides an affordable, convenient and eco-friendly way to explore from London to Bristol, via Reading and or Basingstoke, and with plenty options to branch off towards Oxford and Kemble. Choose from a day pass or a week-long ticket and enjoy your next Great West Way adventure.
Dine in a restaurant with Michelin Green Star status and enjoy a night under the stars wild glamping in an eco-friendly shepherds hut or stay in a cosy carbon neutral farm cottage with countryside views. Offset your environmental footprint by leaving the car at home, hiring an electric bike or perhaps taking a cruise on a horse drawn trip along the Kennet and Avon Canal instead. Here’s a few of our Great West Way greener travel highlights to enjoy on your Great West Way sustainable travel adventure:
Kennet and Avon Canal
Looked after by the Canal & River Trust, the Kennet & Avon Canal provides another perfect introduction to eco-friendly travel along the Great West Way. Flowing along 87 miles of the route from Bath to Reading, explore quintessential rolling Wiltshire hills, bustling towns and World Heritage Sites, all whilst enjoying the famous waterway by narrowboat, by bike or on foot!
Vale of Pewsey – Connecting Wiltshire
With mainline railway stations at Pewsey and at Great Bedwyn offering services from and to London and the West Country, the Vale of Pewsey is closer than you think and provides a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Visit Pewsey Vale at any time of the year and explore the landscape’s network of ancient footpaths, byways and bridleways. The Vale is a beautiful area in the eastern half of the county of Wiltshire with the village of Pewsey at its centre. It is a walking and exploring landscape, studded with pretty and unspoilt villages and forms the western extent of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Wiltshire Connect operates flexible and responsive bus services in Wiltshire, providing the ideal transport solution for various rural areas, now including Pewsey. The brand-new service revolutionises sustainable travel by train and bus for locals and visitors to the Vale of Pewsey. From one-way to return trips, Wiltshire Connect allows you to book transport, visit villages and explore your favourite walking spots, discovering the true beauty of the Vale with ease! For more information on accessibility and pricing, see here.
The Stonehenge Tour
The Stonehenge Tour is operated by Salisbury Reds. On the tour you can journey back in time to discover the magnificent Stonehenge, one of the most sophisticated stone circle in the world. The hop-on hop-off tour picks up in Salisbury city centre and runs to Old Sarum, through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside to the magnificent, magical henge. With on board commentary in 10 different languages The Stonehenge Tour will guide you through the glorious landscape telling you all about historical tales and facts that took place in the area.
Within easy reach of the Great West Way is Blenheim Palace, home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill! Wonder at this masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture, which houses some of the finest antique collections in Europe. Take an audio tour of the State Rooms and admire the portraits, tapestries and exquisite furniture while learning about the 300-year history of this National Treasure.
Surrounding the Palace you will find 2000-acres of parkland, featuring Grand Cascades, stunning lakes, and monuments. Admire some of the finest views in England as you discover some of the historical monuments in the grounds, including the Column of Victory, Grand Bridge and Temple of Diana. Discover the array of Formal Gardens, including the Rose Garden, Churchill Memorial Garden, Water Terraces and Secret Garden.
At the heart of the World Heritage city of Bath, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring, which still flows with naturally hot water. You can walk around the steaming Great Bath where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago, see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva, and explore the fascinating museum. This winter, the historic site will be dressed for the season with Saturnalia-inspired greenery. Hear the costumed Roman characters share stories of their seasonal celebrations, follow the festive family trail, and try a Saturnalia-themed drink beside the Great Bath.
Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park
Set in the heart of Windsor Great Park, The Savill Garden was commissioned by King George V and created by Eric Savill in 1932. Always bursting with seasonal displays and steeped in royal history, this 35-acre garden can be enjoyed by everyone, whether you’re a dedicated horticulturist or simply looking to relax for the day. Every October, Autumn Wood is alight with a blaze of colour, followed by the arrival of the garden’s National Plant Collection of mahonias in November. Winter is vibrant with a mass planting of dogwood willows, with the welcome sight of snowdrops, hellebores and the sweet scent of daphnes come the New Year.
2-for-1 Entry at Savill Gardens
Plus, if arriving via the Great Western Railway, display your train ticket valid for the day of your visit at The Savill Garden Visitor Centre to receive 2-for-1 entry when accompanied by a paying adult. Alternatively, if travelling alone, display your valid train ticket to receive 50% off a single ticket. For full terms and conditions click here.
Stonehenge, English Heritage
A prehistoric monument and one of the most famous World Heritage Sites along the Great West Way, Stonehenge provides an incredible journey through time this season. Surrounded by ancient ceremonial and domestic structures, some older than the monument itself, the stone circle, with its orientation towards the sun, is a remarkable feature set in the stunning Wiltshire landscape. Head inside the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and explore museum-quality exhibitions, a 360-degree stone circle experience, and in-depth interpretations of Stonehenge’s significance!
Make the most of your visit to Wiltshire by heading to Old Sarum, another English Heritage property along the Great West Way. One of the South’s most significant historic sites, discover the story of the original Salisbury as you stand amongst the spectacular ruins at Old Sarum. From Salisbury’s first cathedral, to the royal castle, there’s an action packed day waiting to be had with over 2,000 years of history set amongst Wiltshire’s awe-inspiring landscape!
Make sure to explore, Marble Hill, a historic riverside home in the heart of Richmond. Inside the house, you can discover a taste of Georgian life with freshly conserved interiors and new displays that tell the story of Henrietta Howard, Marble Hill’s remarkable owner. Outside, explore over 60-acres of riverside parkland, with restored gardens, reinvigorated woods and even a nine pin bowling alley!
Eco-Friendly Places to Stay
Across the Great West Way, there are a range of eco-friendly places to stay, each providing their own sustainable features, facilities and practicies. Extend your journey of discover this season…
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa
Located just outside the beautiful market town of Malmesbury, Wiltshire, is Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa. Set in 12 acres of stunning gardens with 26 distinctly different areas, Whatley offers a whole new luxury accommodation experience, perfect for a couples getaway in the heart of the Cotswolds. Their Michelin star restaurant, The Dining Room, serves a range of incredible plant-based starter and main course dishes. With a strong focus on carbon footprint and sustainability all around, The Dining Room highlights the benefits of local produce through incredibly tasty and creative meals. End a day of discover by recharging in their Aquarias Spa, exuding a calming and relaxing environment, taking relaxation to a whole new level! Whatley Manor has recently teamed up with GAIA Skincare to offer their sustainable, natural skincare range and treatment collection to all visitors.
Win a Sustainable Trip along the Great West Way!
Don’t miss your chance to experience Green Travel along the Great West Way. Click here to find out more about their competition for your chance to win incredible prizes from Whatley Manor, Savill Garden, Roman Baths and Stonehenge. Enjoy a journey of discovery like no other as you venture through stunning gardens, unwind whilst enjoying award-winning, locally sourced dishes, explore historic landmarks and World Heritage Sites, all whilst making the most of sustainable travel along the Great West Way.
To find out more about how to travel green along the Great West Way this Autumn and Winter season please click here