When it comes to exploring Britain’s miles of country lanes and quiet cobbled streets, there’s no greater transport option than a bike. It is very appealing to stay in the saddle for hours, thanks to the splendid diversity of landscapes in Britain. This post, courtesy of the cycling specialists at Start Fitness, is all about some of the UK’s most unmissable day trip routes under 100 miles.
Coast and Castles, Northumberland
Well signposted, often quiet, and featuring a backdrop that’s peppered with ancient castles, the Coast and Castles route between Newcastle upon Tyne in England and the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is a truly magical riding route for veteran cyclists – although a bit too long for this article at a hefty 200 miles!
But what’s stopping you from sampling a section of this spellbinding seaside route? Whether it’s riding between the traditional fishing villages of Craster and Amble or taking in the splendor of Bamburgh Castle (pictured below), constructing your own shorter route along this path that’s perfect for your skill and stamina level is a unique and manageable way to see this beautiful part of Britain by bike.
The Camel Trail, Cornwall
The Cornish peninsula on England’s south west coast is a tourist hotspot that features picturesque port villages, golden sandy beaches, and one of Britain’s easiest dedicated cycle routes.
The Camel Trail, built on a railway abandoned in the 1960s, is 18 miles of flat bridleway from the town of Bodmin to the gorgeous port of Padstow, famed for its seafood cuisine. So, you can combine a leisurely family ride with a trip out for authentic fish and chips, and still have time to enjoy a gentle journey through the unspoiled Cornish countryside.
Mawddach Trail, North Wales
North Wales, particularly the Snowdonia National Park, is one of Britain’s best cycling hotspots. You’ll find a huge array of mountain biking trails for those of you who like to bike in the wild, and when it comes to road routes, you won’t be disappointed, either. A pleasant ride from the village of Dolgellau to the seaside resort of Barmouth is certainly scenic – taking in lakes, forests, mountains and of course, the coast.
This route does include some hills, so staying hydrated should be a top priority. Once you’ve finished your ride, be sure to reward yourself with an ice cream while looking out over the Irish Sea – before you choose your route home.
The Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire
Wild and remote, the Yorkshire Dales have long attracted cyclists looking for adventure, and there’s a variety of short routes across this landscape that come in at under a hundred miles.
If you relish the challenge of a climb, then this is the place to test your legs, as you tackle rides like those up to the highest pub in the UK, the Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale. Easier valley bottom routes abound if you don’t fancy hitting the heights, with pretty market towns such as Settle and Kirkby Stephen ripe for exploration – as well as a quintessentially British afternoon tea at the end of the ride!
Round the Island, Isle of Wight
You’d be forgiven for not immediately noticing the Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England, but with easy cycle routes in abundance – owing to the lack of high-volume traffic and large main roads – this is the perfect place to explore on two wheels.
The Round the Island route is a brisk 70 miles, taking in cliffs, beaches and characterful English villages on the way. Particular highlights of this route include the jaw-dropping coastal formations near the hamlet of Hulverstone in the west of the island and the lively port of Cowes, where you’re sure to find some thirst-quenching refreshment after a day in the saddle.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy Britain’s great outdoors on your bike!
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