Cycling is very much a British institution, and the country is filled with cycling routes catering to those of different availabilities and cyclists of all ages. Some routes are designed around scenic tourist’s attractions, while others serve to challenge competitive and adventurous bikers on the trail.
Here are some of the most loved and taken cycling routes in the UK.
1. West London Thames
An easy ride giving one an almost uninhibited traffic-free view of London and following the Thames, this kicks off at Kingston station, towards Hampton Court, where you can catch a ferry to Staines. Then it is all along a riverside path through the grounds of a historic palace. You will pass Lutyens’ Hampton Court Bridge, boats at Tagg’s Island, and the former Hurst Park racecourse.
2. Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is built for cycling, and though many prefer to take round the island route, there are actually more than 200 miles of cycling routes in the isle’s 147 square miles. Its idyllic country lanes and trails draw visitors to explore its bridleways, byways and even purpose-built tracks on former railway lines. Cyclists can choose to wander into the countryside or along the coast, and the isle hosts an annual Cycling Festival in September or October.
3. Bristol and Bath railway
The 13-mile route follows the transport system connecting both the cities of Bristol and Bath. Not only is it a staple among walkers and cyclists, it is disabled-friendly too. The Path is travelled daily by commuters, trekked on by curious tourists, and overlooks an active wildlife corridor.
4. Edinburgh and the Lothians, Scotland
An easy 8-mile route, Edinburgh-Balerno ends near the former Balerno line. Cycle along a leafy river path and tunnel, with the possibility of a riverside picnic later. Its beauty lies in the surrounding woodlands by the Water of Leith, and Pentland Hills. On the way, you will go over a high aqueduct, cross a footbridge over the canal, and pass through a tunnel.
5. Manifold Track, Derbyshire
Cycle along the wooded valley floor, following the former Leek & Manifold Light Railway line. Look out for the part from Wetton Mill to Weag’s Bridge in the central part of the route. This leads you to the centre of deep-cut limestone valley; enhanced by steep wooded slopes, rocky outcrops, and finally, entry into Thor’s Cave.
It’s a good idea to let family or friends know if you are going on a long cycle alone and always make sure that you have your mobile phone with you. If your family aren’t yet connected via phone or wifi then they can always check out available Sky Broadband deals for the most cost-effective way to keep in touch.