ROUTES: Witchelstowe Family Friendly Railway Loop

A short 3.5 mile loop, suitable for children and bike trailers, with optional extensions to double the distance. Starts at Waitrose and has a playground stop on route. 

Former Railway lines make great cycle paths, with their gentle gradients and straight stretches. Swindon is blessed with a few of these, thanks to its historical significance in the railway industry, and the one round the bottom of Old Town also boasts some great views of Witchelstowe and the hills to the south of Swindon. 

SMTBE use the area for family and trailer friendly rides starting from the Waitrose in Witchelstowe – giving the benefit of parking, toilets and a cafĂ© (in fact if you’ve got a My Waitrose card you get a free coffee too!). 

We use a core loop of approximately 3.5 miles, which includes a playground stop for children. There are also “add on” loops, which in total can double the distance for more able families. 

The Core loop 

Here is a GPX file of the route

You can see some “Steps” marked on the map. To descend from the old line to the link to Witchelstowe, you need to go down a few steps, or the short (but steep) path down the bank. Children would need their bikes carrying down these. To avoid this, and if you are towing a trailer, follow the Green detour marked on the map. 

The “Extensions” 

To make the ride longer, there are two extension loops: a shorter one at the beginning and much longer one that continues to the top of the railway line, then returns via Pipers Way and the Croft trail.