The changing moods of Britain’s diverse landscapes provide a perfect setting for a bicycle tour. Too often people rush to foreign lands without taking time to explore what is right under their noses, so hop on the saddle and try one these four routes. They’re guaranteed to please come rain or shine.
Sea to Sea (C2C) –Whitehaven to Sunderland
Britain’s most popular long distance cycle route. Tradition dictates that the journey must begin with your rear wheel in the Irish Sea, and is completed 147 miles later when your front wheel rolls into the North Sea.
This is a classic cycle route which sees up to 15’000 cyclist completing it every year. It begins in West Cumbria and sweeps through the heart of the Lake District, and then heads through lush valleys and sandstone villages, before gently climbing through the unspoiled Northern Pennines. From here the beautiful countryside continues as you weave through old mining villages and the Durham Dales, and finishing with an easy ride through the heart of Britain’s industrial past and finally to the North Sea. Plus, with 96% of the route being on dedicated cycle path and minor roads it’s no wonder it’s so popular.
Coast to Coast along the Trans Pennine Trail
Explore urban areas and the countryside as you make your way across Northern England, passing abbeys, castles, bridges, minsters and heritage railways. Unlike most long distance routes in the UK it is mostly off-road
Not to be confused with the C2C, the Trans Pennine Trail was officially opened in September 2001 having secured over £30 million to take it from conception to reality. This coast to coast route is located further south and connects Liverpool with Hull, and with the exception of the Pennines section that peaks at around 1400ft at Windle Edge it remains relatively flat across its entire 177.5mile length. After all, what goes up must come down. The huge variety of terrain and the beautiful landscapes make this one a treat.
Lands End to John O’Groats
Known among the cycling community simply as LEJOG, this route encompasses the full length of the UK and although it’s a fantastic ride it’s the bragging rights which make this cycling route so grand.
This route encompasses the entire length of Britain and it typically takes around 10 to 14 days to complete. Distances vary depending on the route taken, but suffice to say it will be around 1000 miles. From the English Channel glistening in the sunshine and through the heart of Devon, curving up along the England/ Wales border continuing north where you can take in the serenity of the Scottish highlands on the final push
to the northern tip.
Anglesey loop, Llyn Peninsula & Snowdonia
A journey through 3 of the most beautiful areas in the country. All areas of outstanding natural beauty by definition and fact, encompassing pristine coastlines and a dramatic mountain range.
There is no official route for this ride, but it encompasses several dedicated cycling routes and coastal paths that stay well away from busy roads for the majority of its length. Starting in Beaumaris the route follows an anticlockwise loop around the island of Anglesey, incorporating the national cycle routes 5 and 8 and sections of the islands Hebog, Nico, Giach and Lon Las Cefni cycle loops.
The loop around Anglesey brings
you back towards Beaumaris on national cycle route 8 which continues to sweeps south via the Menai Bridge and onto the Llyn Peninsula Coastal Path. This coastal path explores this unspoilt national heritage coastline in full, and then joins back up with route 8 where you can divert north into the heart of Snowdonia National Park via Blaenau Ffestiniog as you make your way towards Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales.
Image courtesy of SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1091302