GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Glastonbury Canal

5 miles (8 km)

Follow the Glastonbury Canal through the Somerset Levels on this waterside walk through the Avalon Marshes. You'll pass through a series of lovely nature reserves with lots of wildlife and beautiful scenery to look out for.
The walk starts at the Canal wharf in Glastonbury and heads west towards Glastonbury Heath and the Ham Wall Nature Reserve. The reserve has lovely waterside paths and wildlife such as otters, dragonflies, butterflies, marsh harriers, water voles, bitterns and roe deer.
The canal continues through Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve with its reedbeds, wildflower meadows, fens and woods to explore.

Glastonbury Canal OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Glastonbury Canal Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Near the start of the walk there's the climb to the famous Glastonbury Tor to try.
Just to the south west you'll find the neighbouring village of Street. Here you can enjoy a climb to the National Trust's Walton Hill in the Polden Hills.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Somerset Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

The Glastonbury Canal - geograph.org.uk - 676952

The Glastonbury Canal opened in 1833. It helped drain the surrounding area and for a while helped revive Glastonbury's economy allowing goods to be brought into the town from the coast. However, the fact that peat swells was a problem because the banks of the canal swelled and closed in, much reducing its size.

The Glastonbury Canal and Meare Heath (geograph 2671996)

The canal and Meare Heath. After only 21 years the canal was replaced by the Highbridge - Glastonbury railway. The rail journey only took 35 minutes. The railway ran beside the canal and was raised. This photograph is taken from beside the old railway line.

The Glastonbury Canal and cycle track, Shapwick Heath (geograph 2672000)

View of the cycle track along the canal at Shapwick Heath

Pool west of Dyehouse Lane, Glastonbury - geograph.org.uk - 217319

Pool west of Dyehouse Lane, Glastonbury. Dyehouse Lane runs from Beckery to Northload Bridge with the usual drainage ditches either side. Mid-way along the road, to its western side, is this rectangular pool surrounded by willows.

The South Drain - geograph.org.uk - 676959

The South Drain Taken from the old railway bridge, this shows the South Drain as it flows northwards to meet the Canal. Both then head west-north-west across the Somerset Levels towards the Bristol Channel. On the left is part of Walton Heath. More specifically, the area seen in the photograph is a former peat excavation area which was known as 'Signal Pole' and was worked by Fisons PLC. A lot of the fields or 'grounds' where peat excavation took place were given names. It is now flooded and forms part of the Ham Wall Reserve.

Ham Wall Reserve - geograph.org.uk - 677505

Ham Wall Reserve. This photograph was taken from the disused railway line looking across the canal to the worked out peat digging areas. All the peat in this area was extracted by Fisons PLC. It is now an RSPB reserve.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Glastonbury Canal.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Glastonbury Canal.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)