Are you stuck for things to do this summer? Or just want some inspiration on where you can have your next ride? There are many destinations across the UK which are perfect for cyclists.
A bike ride is the perfect way to keep active, particularly during the summer, it allows you to enjoy the lovely summer’s breeze, scenic views and keeps the family entertained at the same time. Most routes are child-friendly, traffic free and have the added bonus of not having to spend a fortune to enjoy the sunshine. Some of the most beautiful, scenic cycle routes are in the UK, so whether you’re planning a cycling holiday or just want to keep the family busy, we’ve gathered the top 10 destinations, in no particular order, for cycling in the UK.
The Lake District National Park – County of Cumbria
At the Lake District, you’ll be spoilt for choice as it offers a massive variety of permitted cycling routes and country lanes to suit all experience levels. With many hotel rooms and accommodation, it is the perfect destination for a family mini-break during the summer holidays. Of course, you can bring your own bikes along but there is also the option of hiring a bike for those who like to travel light. They also put on free guided bike rides across the park, so be sure to check dates and book!
The Camel Trail – Cornwall
Perfect for a family ride in the Cornish countryside, this scenic route falls into three main sections; Padstow to Wadebridge, 8.8km (5.5 miles), Wadebridge to Bodmin 9.25km (5.7 miles) and Bodmin to Wenfordbidge 10.1km (6.3 miles). You may share this route with walkers, horse riders and wheelchair users, as there are a number of refreshment facilities along the way. To add to the views, it also runs the length of a disused railway line.
Severn Valley Country Park – Bridgenorth, Shropshire.
This rural area of mid-western England is locally dubbed as ‘the cradle of the industrial revolution’. Its beautiful scenic route is also accompanied by the Severn Valley Railway steam heritage line, which stretches a lovely 25.7km (16 miles) down to Ribbesford, Worcestershire. Perfect for a peaceful ride through the countryside.
Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct – Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
This route follows a combination of public footpaths and bridleways, which run alongside the River South Tyne and eventually joining the South Tyne Trail. Its views are rich in history, including a 14th-century castle and a 19th-century viaduct that used to hold the Alston to Haltwhistle railway line. This trail stretches 10.2km (6.4 miles) and walking its moderate terrain takes on average, 3 and a half hours.
Pennine Cycleway – Peak District, Derbyshire.
This long-distance cycleway is located between Derby and Berwick-upon-Tweed. It’s collection of intertwining paths take you an amazing 129km! (80 miles) And best of all, it’s traffic-free! Maybe not ideal for little or less experienced riders, but perfect for those who just love to get up and go. The Peak District National Park also offers a bike hire service including a range of mobility scooters, electric bikes, tricycles and even wheelchair bikes at some centres, so there really is something for the whole family.
Richmond Park National Nature Reserve – Richmond, London.
Richmond Park is just one of London’s eight Royal Parks. It’s full of grasslands, wildlife and stretches across 2500 acres! With a range of facilities and equipment on offer, you can choose to cycle through the park, horse riding, golf and even power kiting. Their Tamsin Trail is an off-road cycle path which provides a quieter, more peaceful route.
The Settle Circular – Yorkshire Dales.
The Settle Loop was the first section of the Pennine Bridleway to be opened in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in 2005. The stunning route stretches a whopping 62km (39 miles) and is among the most challenging out there. Passing through the villages of Arncliffe, Kilnsey and Grassington, it provides a never challenging cycle through sharp turns and climbs as well as fast rolling descents and tricky terrains. We must warn you, this route is not for less experienced.
Orkney – Scottish Highlands.
If you’re lucky enough to visit the Orkney islands, be sure to take a ride through its 19km (12 miles) route through the four causeways; South Ronaldsay, Burray, Glimps Holm and Lamb Holm, built to link the islands during the second world war.
Assynt Achiltibuie Circuit – Highlands, Scotland
Perhaps the coldest route on our list is, of course, the Assynt Achiltibuie Circuit, located in the frosty Highlands of Scotland. A quiet route starting in the village of Achiltibuie, displaying breath-taking views and an impressive backdrop of snowy mountains and coastal roads. However, this leg-aching route will set you back approximately 117km! (73 miles) meaning it is not for the faint-hearted. Also be sure to take in some of its famous landmarks including, Loch Assynt and the ruins of Ardvreck Castle.
Center Parcs – Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, Ireland.
Since first hitting the UK in 1987, Center Parcs is growingly becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations for families in the UK, all year round! With lots to do there is something for everyone, whether you want to keep the kids entertained, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet or try some new activities. They provide the option of hiring bikes, including tricycles, tandems, bike trailers, safety equipment and small or large bikes. Or you can, of course, take along your own bikes and begin exploring right away!
Cycling holidays are becoming more and more popular for UK families and are a great way to keep active! If you have a cycling holiday booked this year or next, have a safe trip!