The summertime is a natural time to start planning your next cycling holiday. The days are long and bright, the weather is good, and the time is right to take a tour! But where should you go? If you’re looking for inspiration for your next UK cycling destination, then here is a quick roundup of some of the most popular places amongst cycling enthusiasts, and why:
Mostly following Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman divide in Britain that marked the edge of their empire, this cycling route takes you through the most scenic parts of the counties of Cumbria and Northumberland. It is a coast to coast route that lasts for 174 miles, so may take some time, but worth the accomplishment. It is also numbered National Route 72 on the National Cycle Network. Route 10 offers an almost parallel route if you fancy doing something different on the way back, up and above Newcastle, through the Kielder Forest, and ending in Cockermouth in Cumbria.
Lôn Las Cymru
This route is entirely located in Wales, where you’ll be blown away by the scenery. It starts in Cardiff, and then goes straight through the Brecon Beacons, continuing onto Snowdonia, and ending in Holyhead in the Isle of Anglesey. You’ll need a lot of huff and puff though, as passing through the mountain ranges can be tough. The route will take some time too, as it covers some 250 miles, which is nothing to scoff at. It is also numbered as National Route 8 on the National Cycle Network.
The Lake District
Lakeland was Britain’s first officially designated national park, and its sheer bucolic beauty still attracts thousands annually on UK cycling holidays. You can cycle all around the lakes, or take on the popular C2C route which takes you east through the Pennines. This 140-mile route takes bikers around five days to complete.
If climbing up and over some of Britain’s tallest peaks seems a little too much, then a popular route is to cycle between Fakenham in Norfolk to Harwich in Suffolk. It is considered to be the flattest long-distance route in the UK, yet at 163 miles it is still certainly a fair old punt. Along the route you will become part of the rustic lifestyle that dominates this part of the world, passing farmland, country estates, and cathedrals.
The North Sea Cycling Route
Officially opened in 2001, this is a mammoth cycling route that circles the North Sea, passing through seven countries. The British sections run along the east coasts of England and Scotland, and the Scottish section in particular offers some of the most breath-taking views in all of Europe. Following the National Cycle Route 1 (NCR1) the Scottish Section lasts for around 750 miles all the way to Shetland. From there, unfortunately there is no direct link to continue onto the next section in Norway, but you can continue the British sections by cycling to Harwich in England. The North Sea Cycling Route is also known as EuroVelo 12 (EV12).
The UK is an excellent place to take a cycle tour. Wherever you go, the scenery will be different, whether you choose to cover ground in the mountainous areas of the Lake District, or the peaks of Wales, or the rugged coastline of Scotland. You can choose something flatter by opting for a route through East Anglia, or if you’re feeling adventurous cycle the eastern length of the country along the North Sea Route. Certainly, there is lot’s to discover on your cycling holiday around Britain.