The Two Tunnels Greenway - Opening Day (6 Apr 2013)

6 April 2013 - a red letter day if there ever was one. In 2005 a pub discussion led to an idea of reopening an abandoned rail line in Bath for walking and cycling. After many ups and downs over the years the route opened on this day. It has been a mammoth undertaking and has required council funding, lottery and Sustrans funding and local fundraising. The route starts just down from the Royal Oak pub on the Lower Bristol Road/Windsor Bridge and travels just over four miles out to Midford. It now has a tarmac surface, two new bridges have been installed and two tunnels and a viaduct have been refurbished. The shorter Devonshire Tunnel burrows beneath Wellsway. The northern portal had been buried and this was dug out in 2010. The Combe Down Tunnel is more than a mile long and burrows beneath the high hills at the south of the city. It is now the longest walking and cycling tunnel in the UK. The tunnels will be lit from 05:00 to 23:00 each day and are protected by CCTV. The impressive Tucking Mill Viaduct has been unblocked and made safe. The route links with existing paths to Radstock and the canal. The launch event took place in Bloomfield Open Space, near the entrance to the Devonshire Tunnel. It ran from 11:00 to 17:00 and general access to the tunnels was available from 13:00. I took my mother and we walked from Bath to Midford and then to Southstoke and back to the Park and Ride at Odd Down. This link has a few of my previous reports about route walks and tunnel open days. Including some rather optimistic opening dates!

Near the start of the route

Make way for the bike-train. Toot Toot!

Approaching Dartmouth Avenue bridge (opened Feb 2013)

Looking out over Bath from the bridge

Approaching Monksdale Road bridge (opened Apr 2012)

Looking out over Bath from the bridge

Continuing down the path

Continuing down the path

Approaching Devonshire Tunnel

Waiting to enter Devonshire Tunnel (dug out Mar 2010)

Almost there

Dusty atmosphere (not orbs)

Almost at the south end of the Devonshire Tunnel

Continuing on

Continuing on

Approaching Combe Down Tunnel

Combe Down Tunnel is more than a mile long and is the longest walking and cycling tunnel in the UK

Approaching the south end after 20 minutes of walking

Continuing on

On the restored Tucking Mill Viaduct

Looking out from Tucking Mill Viaduct

Continuing on

Near Midford Castle

Junction with another route

Approaching the old Midford Station

On the platform at the old Midford Station

The Hope & Anchor at Midford

Matthew and his mother before making the climb to South Stoke and Odd Down

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Page last updated: 06 Apr 2013