Whether you’ve signed up for one of our cycle events like the London Bikeathon or London | Paris and looking for a good cycle route or have simply been inspired by the good weather and Tour de France and want to get on your bike this weekend, picking a decent route is crucial. Here are six scenic regional cycle routes that will keep you pedaling with a smile on your face:
1. Hadrian’s Cycle Way - North
Ranging from Ravenglass in the West to South Shields in the East, this 174 mile route which follows Hadrian’s Wall taking in sleepy villages and beautiful open countryside, is almost exclusively along country lanes and quiet roads making it perfect for a training ride. Flat for the majority makes it good for beginners but there are a few short, steep hills in the middle that will challenge even the most experienced of cyclists.
2. The Taff Trail - Wales
Spanning 55 miles along traffic free roads and paths, The Taff Trail is the perfect distance for those amongst you that are currently training for the 52 mile London Bikeathon route. Starting at Cardiff in the South and finishing at Breacon in the North, the route’s ever changing scenery which takes you through open moorland and the Brecon Beacons will help keep you going, whilst you can always stop in at Pontypridd or picturesque Methyr Tydfil along the way for a quick breather. Not tough enough? For a longer, coastal alternative try the 140 mile Celtic Cycle Route around Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastline.
3. Dartmoor Way - South West
Taking you through the wild, open moorland of Dartmoor National Park, the Dartmoor Way with it’s 95 miles of cycle routes has a challenge for riders of all abilities. Those of you in the early stages of the training or new to cycling will enjoy the quiet lanes and sections of old railway lines that skirt the fringes of the moorland, whilst the most experienced of cyclists will be tested by the gruelling hill climbs involved in the cross moor option which requires great stamina and a real sense of adventure. Watch out for the three mile ‘way of the dead’ stretch in the northern part of the moor - rumour has it that it’s haunted!
4. The Manifold Trail - Midlands
This 9 mile trail stretching from Hulme End to Waterhouses along a disused railway line may through dramatic limestone gorges might not be the longest but it is definitely one of the best in terms of scenery. The imposing Thor’s gorge which towers above you midway through the trail is the undoubted highlight but Beeston Tor and the surrounding woodland give it a good run for its money. Cyclists looking to up the mileage can always add the Waterhouse Loop or nearby High Peak trail to their ride to boost the distance and increase the challenge.
5. West London Thames Ride - South East
With the Royal parks, South Downs and New Forest to name but a few, there are no shortage of options available for training rides in London and the South East. However, the 18 mile West London Thames Ride starting in Kingston-upon-Thames and ending in Egham is amongst the most scenic, boasting views of the Thames and Hampton Court Palace amongst others. By the time you reach the end of the route at Egham London seems a million miles away. Perfect for cyclists of all levels. Experienced riders can add a lap of Richmond Park to the loop to up the mileage.
6. The Aviemore Circular - Scotland
Scotland is home to a national Cycle Network that covers more than 1,500 miles, meaning there is no shortage of scenic places for you to go for a scenic ride. Among the best is the 33 mile Aviemore circular. Set amid the beautiful surrounds of Cairngorms National Park, the route provides breathtaking views of Cairngorm mountain and wildlife along the River Spey, ending in Slochd via a series of forest tracks. Time your ride right and you may even have the opportunity test your pace against a steam train as the route runs parallel with the Strathspey steam railway for a section. Experienced riders may also want to consider cycling on North of Slochd to Slochd summit some 1,300 ft above sea level.
Got the bug for cycling? From London to Wakefield we have cycling events across the UK which you can take part in. Have a browse of our cycling events now and choose the event that's best for you.