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The UK’s best cycling routes

Explore the most beautiful parts of the UK on two wheels this summer. Peddling around these areas gives you ample time to take in the breathtaking views, stop off for leisurely walks and pause to sample speciality dishes.

Whether you want a multi-day journey, a tough challenge or a family-friendly ride, you’ll find the perfect fit in this list of the UK’s best cycling routes.

  1. The North Coast 500

Traverse the UK’s most iconic road trip route – or at least part of it – on two wheels. You’ll need a road bike designed for speed over smooth surfaces and a backpack that’s comfortable to carry over long distances.

Starting in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, this 500-mile circular route runs all around the north coast of Scotland. As well as the majestic mountain peaks, rugged coastal scenery and near-deserted beaches, highlights include wildlife and waterfalls, crumbling castles and delicious local delicacies.

  1. Fred Whitton Challenge

Do you prefer scaling cliffs to cycling roads? Grab your mountain bike and head to the Lake District – England’s most iconic national park – to tackle the Fred Whitton Challenge.

Stretching 112 miles and including a series of steep climbs, this challenging route will take 6-12 hours depending on your fitness and skill level. Be aware that it’s considered the hardest one-day route in the UK! Pick up the trail at the quaint lakeside village of Grasmere.

  1. The Camel Trail

Head down to the south-west coast for an easy journey through the Cornish countryside. Just over 18 miles in length, this trail follows the River Camel through woodland and around marshes until it reaches the coast.

The Camel Trail is flat and traffic-free, so it’s an accessible route for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

  1. The Surrey Hills

London residents and visitors seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city can take advantage of the Surrey Hills loop, a scenic 20-mile circular about an hour south of the capital.

This route is relatively accessible with just one sizeable steady climb, but you’ll need a mountain bike with chunky wheels to navigate the frequent patches of sandy terrain.

  1. Yorkshire Dales Cycleway

Discover the British track that’s a favourite with those passionate about peddling: the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway. With no shortage of inclines and downhill runs and covering a variety of terrains, this route is more manageable for experienced cyclists but there are sections suitable for all.

This 130-mile journey goes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park from Skipton to Skipton. Uncover a mixture of glorious countryside, charming villages and market towns, incredible heritage gems such as Bolton Abbey and iconic geographical landmarks like Malham Cove.

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