5 of the best cycle routes around the u.k

To celebrate National Bike Week, we have compiled a list of the best cycle routes around the U.K to explore. From the coastal views along the trails in Devon up to the rugged challenges of North Wales, with a stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountain range, there is a route for every type of cyclist to try! To help you pick the best route, for you and your group, we have also highlighted who the trail best suits.

family leave their bikes on a coastal bicycle route.

Coast to Coast Trail, Devon

For: Families of all ages

Devon boasts some spectacular views from its cycle routes, and one of the best trails is the 99-mile stretch from Ilfracombe, North Devon to Plymouth in the south. Combining the likes of sandy beaches, estuaries, green valleys and rivers, there is arguably no better place to take a bike ride. Regardless of where you start your journey on this trail, you are bound to be gifted with some of the best views and plenty of places to stop off for a picnic.

This extensive route is known for being situated on the fringes of Dartmoor, a national park known for magnificent views over to Cornwall. Most of this route traces the course of old railway lines, so expect plenty of tunnels and old-day bridges. Between Tavistock and Plymouth, close to our glamping holiday resorts, the cycle route is known as Drake’s Trail and will take you over the impressive Gem Bridge. This route has recently been adapted into a traffic-free area, making it perfect for families with children of all ages. Alternatively, if you are starting in Plymouth, your journey will begin on the dazzling seafront, taking you past the Art Deco outdoor pool of Tinside Lido and the National Marine Aquarium.

Cardiff Bay, South Wales

For: Families with older children

Enjoy the glorious summer in this picturesque part of Wales. The easy 1-hour cycle route covers a distance of 6 miles, starting at the Roald Dahl Plass and ending up in Cardiff Bay, or vice versa! If you are starting at the Roald Dahl Plass, cycle past the iconic red Pierhead building and take an anti clockwise route through the stunning Cardiff Bay wetlands. You can also enjoy the views of the Hamadryad Park, the River Taff and the International Sports Village on this route. Cycle along the little cyclist and pedestrian bridge (Pont y Werin) that connects Penarth and Cardiff. Because this trail will take you on a route that is likely to cross with pedestrians and/or traffic, it is best for families with children who can control a bike.

Chester to Anglesey, North Wales

For: The experienced cyclists

Here’s one for the avid cyclists among you, this challenging route will truly put you to the test! Some cyclists even turn the journey into a three-day ride to explore the multitude of scenes North Wales offers up. So, why not spend the night in one of our luxury glamping abodes before your adventure? This way you can connect with nature in a comfortable setting, before embarking on your nature-admiring journey of North Wales.

Your journey will begin with a steady ride from Chester to Connah’s Quay and then onto Flint, which will warm you up for the journey ahead. As you head onto Gronant, east of Prestatyn, the ride will begin to become more challenging; however, you will be rewarded with views across the Dee estuary that overlook Wirral and Liverpool. Next stop is Llandudno, a beautiful seaside town that offers a classic Victorian promenade and a quintessential seaside atmosphere to stop and enjoy arcades and a spot of well-earnt fish and chips! The route will then take you on towards Anglesey, ending in Holyhead, the largest town in the region, where you will be greeted with a host of hill journeys, but all made worthwhile by the glorious views of the renowned Snowdonia mountain.

The Broads, Norfolk

For: Families of all ages

The Broads in Norfolk is renowned for its dramatic landscapes and outstanding natural beauty that are highlighted by bold, picturesque skies that make the area somewhat dream-like. Jump on your bikes and take a peaceful ride through the country lanes of the Broads. You can even stop for a moment at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve located in Hickling Broad that inhabits several rare species of wildlife. Venture on to explore the Sutton Mill which is one of the tallest mills of its type in the whole of the country. It is bound to be a journey your whole family will love.

Buxton Loop, Peak District

For: Intermediate to experienced cyclists

Starting at the Spring Gardens Car Park, located in Buxton and close to some of our marvellous glamping abodes, take a breath-taking journey around the beautiful Peak District national park. This looped cycling trail will take you through high moorlands and past lakes, with some challenging climbs, nice descents, and even some bumpy rides, so hold on tight! Truly escape into nature with this cycle route that is suitable for both intermediate and experienced cyclists. Just remember to take a packed lunch with you to re-fuel, as there will be nowhere to stop on the route.

If you want to take your family around the Peak District by bicycle and this route sounds like too much of a challenge, fear not, there are plenty of alternative routes that are family-friendly, including the White Peak Loop and the High Peak Trail.

So, if you’re heading on one of our glamping holidays, why not find the best cycle route nearby to enjoy? There is nothing better than getting outside and making the most of the glorious summer!

Related Categories

Here's a list of other related categories that you may wish to discover.

Child-friendly Devon Health & Wellbeing Holiday Guides and Info North Wales Outdoors Peak District Things to do Wales