The BEST UK Rides This Summer!
The weather is great, England are out of the World Cup and there is nothing stopping your from going outside and enjoying some of the best rides that the UK has to offer. If you enjoy cycling in the city, then maybe it’s time to take your bike further afield, out to some of the best trails in the land; it’s time to go exploring. We’ve put together a nice little guide that includes some of the most beautiful cycling routes in the UK and we’ve divided them into differing skill levels, to make you life much easier.
Many of these routes can be accessed with ease using public transport but some of them may require you to drive part of the way; if you’re really hardcore, you could cycle to them but there’s no point tiring yourself out before the real rides begun, is there?
For Casual Rides…
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: Y Dramffordd
If you’re looking for a laid back and family friendly ride, then head to this perfect little branch of the Celtic Trail. It’s only two miles long and is a great place for the beginner cyclist to try their hand at cycling longer stretches. The route is well paved and completely traffic free; the only thing you have to look out for is other cyclists and pedestrians as well as the stunning coastal views!
The Dartmoor National Park: The Granite Way
Slightly longer than the last one, this six-mile stretch winds it’s way through some of the most beautiful countryside in England. Luckily, you can hire bikes when you arrive or bring your own on the train; whichever way you choose, you won’t be disappointed. There are also many other trails available in the area, so it’s definitely worth a visit!
Some Tougher Trails…
The New Forest National Park: National Cycle Route 2
You can jump on this trail from the Southampton and enjoy a wonderful ferry ride across the River Test, before embarking on your journey; the trail consists of some nice slow roads that wind through the landscape, all you have to do is decide how far you want to go! There are a few train stations along the way that can bring you back home once you’ve had your fill too, such as Beaulieu Road and Brockenhurst.
The South Downs National Park: The South Downs Way
From the old capital of England, Winchester, in the west to Beachy Head and Eastbourne in the east, the South Downs Way is a cycling trip that will test even the most accomplished cyclists. You can expect a mostly off-road experience, complete with muddy tracks and steep climbs. It is 100 miles long in total but it’s best to break the track up into bite sized adventures over a short period of time. If you want more information about this route, visit the National Park’s website.
For The Experienced Cyclist…
The Yorkshire Dales National Park: The Two Valleys Route
As we’re about to move into Tour de France season, it would be a shame not to mention this gem of a ride, especially as the tour will be going through there this month! The Two Valleys Route is the perfect place to pretend you’re riding a race of your own; it’s 33 miles of riding bliss that promises to test your muscles and machinery and put both of them to the test. If you don’t fancy competing in your own homemade mountain stage then bring your camera instead, you won’t be short of photo opportunities, that’s for sure!
Northumberland National Park: The Reivers Route
If you want to tackle the best coast-to-coast route in the UK then check out this route: it traverses 180 miles of gorgeous scenery from Tynemouth to Whitehaven and offers some stunning riding. Many cyclists recommend the route between Bellingham and Kielder, taking you through the breadth of the Northumberland National Park. There are plenty of trails and country lanes to keep you entertained and that’s a promise. It’s a long stretch though, so do plan accordingly!
Something For The Masochist…
If you’ve tried the rest and want the best or if you’re really looking for that something extra, then it’s time to pack your bags and head to Snowdonia:
Snowdonia National Park: The Penmachno Trail
Wales is full of incredible cycling trails but none more so than the Penmachno Trail, we warn you though, it’s not for the faint-hearted. This area has a long history and the landscape is littered with ruined castles and fortifications; many Kings valiantly tried to conquer this region but many failed. Where the kings of old failed, you can succeed, providing that you’re kitted out with a decent mountain bike and a fistful of courage. There’s a wide variety of terrains that will definitely test your mettle, from rough track, to stony trails, arduous ascents and terrifying descents. If you want to undertake a journey that you’ll remember for the rest of your life then this is where you want to go!
Of course, there are hundreds of trails worth riding in the UK and we’ve only mentioned a handful here. The best way to enjoy riding a bicycle is to get out of the city and go exploring; the only thing stopping you is yourself!