Top 5 Cycling Routes in UK
Here are the top 5 cycling routes in England:
We are in the middle of January with the cold weather, constant rain and dark nights making the post-Christmas blues particularly strong right now. We need to have something to look forward to and something to distract us from the harsh reality of our current UK winter.
There are some amazing long distance cycling route in the UK that would be perfect for that short break. Something for everyone with varying levels of length and difficulty. Are these the best long distance cycling routes in the UK? Get some inspiration for your next adventure!
These go in order of length, so you can keep reading until you are at a route that fits with your plans. How long to take is completely up to you but my advice is you should never rush these things. I have given some guidelines but these aren't set in stone.
Probably one of the most popular and well known routes. It starts off on the Cumbrian coast by the Irish Sea and crosses the Lake District and Pennines, before finishing on the coast in Tyneside. You can add to the "original" route by meandering through the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors if you wish, just in case you didn't get your fix of hills already. Beautiful scenery in an area of England with some of the most friendly locals, what is not to love?
Perfect for those who enjoy hills!
Distance: 136 miles / 220km
Duration: 1-3 days
Part of the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project, this beautiful route takes it name from the Celtic tribe which inhabited the area during the Iron Age. Starting and finishing in Wye, this route enjoys the quiet coast towns and dramatic chalk cliffs with the rolling hills of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Perfect for beginners thanks to the extensive traffic-free cycle paths.
Distance: 145 miles / 235 km
Duration: 2-4 days
Inspired by Alfred the Great this trail starts and ends in Winchester at the King Alfred's statue. Using parts of the Ridgeway, South Downs Way, Thames Path and the North Downs Way riders’ could combine and add on many extra miles to the original route. Designed as an off-road route this is aimed at gravel riders. Some technical aspects so a certain level of experience is needed, and with some distance between towns and villages it's best to plan your stops ahead. I cycled this in the summer of 2022 and it was absolutely amazing.
Distance: 219 mile / 350km
Duration: 3 - 5 days
The famous route showcasing Scotland's finest white sandy beaches, rugged mountains and quaint coastal villages. Developed in 2015 this route has become more and more popular due to it's incredible scenery. Only downside from those who have completed the route is the sharing of the narrow roads with the many camper vans who are on their own journey. The fastest time for this route has been challenged back and forth and the holder currently sits with the legend that is Mark Beaumont.
Perfect for those who love coastal riding.
Distance: 518 mile / 829 km
Duration: 6 - 10 days
The Holy Grail of long distance cycling within UK. Cycling from the most northern point in mainland Scotland* to the most southern in England. The beauty of this route is other than the start and end, the bit in the middle is completely open to your creativity. So many options and so much to see and do. If you fancy having a little help from the Atlantic wind, then switching up the route to start in Lands End is another option. Way back in 2009 I completed this and absolutely loved it. The museum at the finish in Lands End was superb as it showcased the history and all the world record attempts associated with this iconic route. I even had the pleasure a few years back helping support a friend of mine who was completing his JOGLE cycle route - it brought back some great memories.
Perfect for those with a bit more time and to tick off a bucket list item.
Distance: 874 miles / 1,407 km (depending on route)
Duration: 8-15 days
There are a few others but hopefully this can get you started for now and potentially give you a few ideas for the sunnier months later in the year.
Have you done these routes and what did you think? Let me know I'd love to know how you got on.
Happy riding Mammoth Fans!
* = The actual point is Dunnet Head for those who want to do it properly ;)