The Great West Way is a touring route that stretches from Bristol to London, meandering through idyllic English countryside, past famous World-Heritage sites and spectacular hidden gems. We spoke to some of the people who live and work here on the Great West Way to find out what they think makes the route so special. Here’s what the locals had to say…

Canal boat in Newbury

“We are blessed in this country with incredible and diverse countryside. And it’s this diversity that makes the Great West Way so special. From rolling downland to the network of canals, there is something for everyone.” - Tom Newey, Chief Executive at Cobbs Farm Co. Ltd.

“For me, the Great West Way is special because there are so many ways of exploring it, whether by car, train, bicycle, canal boat or on foot. There is also such an incredible variety of sights and experiences, whether it is the iconic attractions such as Stonehenge or the Roman Baths or a welcoming pub in an archetypal English village.” - Peter Rollins, Thermae Bath Spa.

“The landscape just amazes people, the greenness, the flowers. They ask about the trees and the birds. There are so many unplanned things you come across that make lovely memories. Recently we came across a farmer and his sheepdogs rounding up some sheep. I stopped the coach so everyone could get off and watch, it was just wonderful. Afterwards a lady said to me “Anne, this is better than TV. Is there anywhere more beautiful this?”” - Anne Bartlett, Blue Badge tour guide and tour director.

Roman Baths

"What I love about the Great West Way is that you can see a snapshot of English history - from the Victorians to the Romans, and everything in between.” - Steph Shearing, Tourism and Events Officer, Bradford on Avon Town Council

“I think it is the diversity of any one day on the Great West Way that makes it special. If you were in Reading, that could involve a guided tour of the Abbey Ruins, open air swimming at the restored Edwardian Thames Lido, watching Reading FC in action at the ‘Mad Stad’, afternoon tea at The Roseate or a great live band at one of Reading’s many live music venues.” - Alex Brannen, Communications Manager at Reading UK.

“It’s a really great way to travel through time visiting some of the most important historic sites in the country. You can experience everything from the first settlers in the country through to some amazingly vibrant and modern cities such as Bristol.” - Leon Troake, Operations Manager at Cheddar Gorge & Caves.

Riverside pub

“It has some amazing scenery (almost hobbit like!) thanks to the rolling hills and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the canals, cityscapes and English villages. There is plenty of tradition if you look for it and some fantastic walking/pub routes.” - Will Twomey, Head Brewer at West Berkshire Brewery.

"I think what's so great about the Great West Way is it is really trying to draw people out of London to come and see what else there is to explore in other parts of the South West of England. What inspires me about it is the huge great variety of things that there are to do. From canals and water ways to riding on horseback to walking, there are a tremendous amount of experiences that people can connect with and enjoy." - Alison Howell, Founder CEO at Foot Trails

“The Great West Way offers something for everyone, from urban entertainment to remote walks in the Cotswolds - and everything in between.” - Malcolm Potter, Volunteer Guide at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.


For more tips from the locals, read more in-depth interviews with some of the people who live and work along the Great West Way here.

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