After Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Laura Trott cemented cycling in British hearts at the London 2012 Olympics, pedalling fever has swept the nation. Now more than ever, us Brits are taking to two wheels to commute, exercise or get out into the countryside with our kids- which is great news for both the health of ourselves and the environment. If like us you love your cycling, take a look at our guide to the best bike rides in Britain. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you three of the most rewarding routes on offer in the UK, all of which have received Sustrans ‘safe cycling’ seal of approval. Take a look at our short list below, or leave your cycling route recommendations on our Facebook or Twitter page.
Celtic Trail West
Careering a long coastal paths and quiet country lanes, the Celtic Trail gives cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness the opportunity to take in one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines: Pembrokeshire. At 143 miles, the route is a little lengthy for a day’s ride, but would make for an excellent multi-day tour. The ride dips into some of Pembrokeshire’s most popular seaside towns-Saundersfoot and Tenby- before winding down traffic-tree coastal paths such as the Brunel Trail and onwards towards the charming towns of Laugharne and Kidwelly on the Carmarthenshire coast. All in all, the Celtic Trail is an invigorating ride and one that would be ideal for a sunny weekend this spring.
For more information about the Celtic Trail, or to download a map of the route, click here.
Devon Coast to Coast
Combining exquisite coast, charming Victorian bridges and untamed countryside, Devon Coast to Coast is a fascinating bike ride which gives cyclists a taster of some of the South West’s most attention-grabbing scenery. The overall length of the route is 99 miles- a challenging day’s ride for the keen cyclist- but can easily be broken up into bitesize family friendly sections. Much of the ride uses disused railway lines where inexperienced cyclists can enjoy some easy going, whilst other sections of the route pose a decent challenge for veterans. Sights to look out for a long the route include Ilfracombe Quay, Gem Bridge and the Plym Valley’s Ham Green Viaduct, where cyclists can stop and enjoy excellent views over Dartmoor.
For more information about Devon Coast to Coast, or to download a map of the route, click here.
Lochs & Glens North
Traversing two stunning National Parks, the Lochs & Glens ride is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding route on our shortlist. Stretching for 214 miles from Inverness to Glasgow, the route transports riders through much of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, including the Cairngorms National Park and the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Here, ancient pine forests cover mountainous slopes, heather pecked moorlands stretch to the horizon and vibrant townships offer a warm welcome to the weary traveller. The route also descends onto the rolling plains of Perthshire and Stirling, where courageous highlanders saw off the invading English in the 13th century. Lochs & Glens North is a joy of a route, and one that riders of all ages will never forget.
Enjoy a cycling holiday with Sykes Cottages
So there you have it, three great cycle routes that are sure to get you back in the saddle now that the weather is improving and the days are getting longer. But don’t forget, the UK is awash with superb cycle routes that offer safe cycling for all ages which can all be found on the Sustrans website, so choose your favourite and get pedalling!
If you like the sound of any of the above routes then why not rent a cottage for cyclists from us? Our holiday homes for cyclists feature excellent cyclist-friendly amenities such as secure bike storage and outdoor ‘clean-off’ facilities, giving you a great base for your next two-wheel adventure.
Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.