The Best of British Cycling Routes
When it comes to choosing a summer holiday, a week relaxing in the sunshine with a few beach books just doesn’t do it for everyone.
If you’re in search of a more active holiday and you’re planning to explore more of what the glorious British Isles have to offer, then a cycling holiday in Britain could be the perfect choice for you. Cycling holidays are affordable, easy to organize, and keep you in great shape – delivering you happiness, health, and relaxation from your holiday.
The choice of great cycling routes in the UK is pretty much endless, so this guide is by no means all that Britain has to offer when it comes to routes and trails. However, this selection has been based on some of the most popular and stunningly beautiful options. What’s more, these examples have been created to provide a comprehensive selection to suit cyclists of all capabilities and fitness levels. Hopefully, there will be something here that takes your fancy!
The Coast to Coast – Sunderland, Tyne & Wear to Whitehaven, Cumbria
It’s the ‘Holy Grail’ of cycling routes and the most popular choice for cycling holidays in the UK. The beautiful scenery of the Lake District and the numerous campsites, guesthouses, pubs, and cafes along the route is a massive pull factors for enthusiastic cyclists and the route attracts over 15,000 people every year.
However, no cyclist should underestimate the challenging nature of this 140-mile route, which takes you through the tough terrain of the Northern Pennines and reaches points over 2,000 feet high. It can leave you feeling as if you’re on top of the world – or England, at least – but the hills of this route shouldn’t be tackled without some sort of training.
If you’re in tiptop shape, it’s possible to accomplish the C2C in under 24 hours, although the majority of cyclists tend to travel at their own pace, enjoying the scenery and stopping off at places of interest. Whatever your fitness level, it’s important that you’re using a suitable bike for this type of route. A mountain bike will serve you well on short routes, but they’re too heavy for cycling of this sort. Opt for a road bike with a light frame, which achieves fast speeds with less effort. Check out the range of road bikes, available to buy online from Leisure Lakes Bikes to get an idea of what would be appropriate for challenging routes like the C2C.
The Camel Trail – Padstow to Wenford Bridge, Cornwall
For something a little bit easier on the legs, but with equally beautiful scenery, sample this 17-mile trail along the River Camel in charming Cornwall.
This disused railway line is a popular route that takes riders through some of the most stunning scenery in the South East and the majority of the trail is traffic free and flat, making it perfect for family cycling.
Highlights along this route include the picturesque town of Wadebridge. The town is the location of the Royal Cornwall Show, which takes place each June and is one of Cornwall’s biggest tourist attractions. As the name suggests, you’re likely to bump into a few members of the Royal family at this event, as they are known to enjoy the show’s horse-jumping demonstration.
The Taff Trail –Cardiff Bay to Brecon, Wales
If you’ve set your sights on a Welsh cycling holiday, look no further than the popular Taff Trail. Covering 55 miles along the course of the River Taff, this abandoned railway line takes in peaceful surroundings and the beautiful countryside of Wales.
A highlight along this route is Castell Coch: this unique example of 19th-century Gothic architecture is a Grade I listed building and will be recognizable to any fans of Merlin, Robin Hood, or Dr. Who, for which the castle has been used as a filming location. It’s open to the public, so remember to take your bike lock if you’re planning on doing some exploring.
This route is suitable for riders of all fitness levels, though parts of the route are made of up of rough terrain and rocky tracks, so using a mountain bike is highly recommended. Some areas are also quite remote, so it’s always a good idea to take things like puncture kits and a mobile phone in case you become stranded.