• With Kids in the Westcountry

Child-friendly Cycle Path in South Somerset – The Stop Line Way, Chard to Peasmarsh

Traffic-free cycle path between Chard and Ilminster, South Somerset

Bike, buggy/pushchair and scooter-friendly route

Dog friendly

Chard to Peasmarsh and back again: 4.4miles

Can extend route in either direction (involves some road riding)

No toilets or facilities along the way

On-road parking at Chaffcombe Lane

Access to cycle path from Touches Lane

Child friendly cycle path in South Somerset, Chard

As a family, we are new to cycling – until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t ridden a bike for about 18 years! Our youngest daughter has just ditched the stabilisers and is what I’d call a ‘learner driver’ – too wobbly for the road, and not a fan of an incline. She also has to pedal like mad with no gears and tiny wheels! So, our options for cycling are a little limited for the while – we need a flat, safe, car-free route.

In the hunt for such a stretch of cycle path, we found a section of the The Stop Line Way – it’s flat, tarmacked, and runs along what used to be the railway line (and before that, the canal), between Chard and Ilminster in South Somerset.

Apparently, you can get from Chard all the way to Ilminster without much road riding, but we rode only to Peasmarsh (where you can continue on a section of quiet road towards Ilminster) and back again – an easy, completely traffic-free journey of a 4.4miles in total, there and back. Along the leafy track you’ll see a glimpse of Chard Reservoir and, for the history ‘specialist’, tank defences from the second world war, along with the old railway bridges.

This route would also be great for pushchairs and scooter riders too. Dogs are welcome.

I couldn’t find any information online regarding where to park and get on to the cycle path, but thanks to Google maps we found it ok – here’s how!

Find Chaffcombe Road on the way out of Chard (in the Ilminster direction) – a short way down the road, just before you get to the Angler’s car park at the Reservoir, you’ll find Touches Lane on your right.

You can park the car in one of the unofficial laybys on Chaffcombe road near the Touches Lane turning, or park at the reservoir – either option involves a short push or ride on the minor road.

Access onto the Cycle Path is a hundred metres or so down Touches Lane, and from there it is totally traffic-free until Peasmarsh.

If you want to extend the ride in either direction, I’ve linked to the official route information here – and, here’s a link to my write up of the nearby Chard Reservoir too.