A family on a bike ride in the summer.

Top 10 cycle routes you need to do in the UK

Published 18th July 2022
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Blue skies, glorious sunshine and beautiful sights - there’s no better time than the summer holidays to get on your bike and explore the best Britain has to offer!

To help you plan your next adventure, we searched up and down the country to find 10 of the best cycle routes to do right here in the UK. With something for everyone - from families to thrill seekers - we’ve got your summer sorted!

Great routes for every kind of ride

Looking for locations right on your doorstep? Or want to blaze a new trail?

From woodland paths in the south to challenging trails in the north, wherever you're going this summer, you won’t want to miss these routes!

family cycling in summer

Best for beginners

South West

Bristol and Bath Railway Path, Somerset: Incredibly popular with families, explore this flat, traffic-free route that shows off the best of Somerset's countryside!

Extending from Bristol to Bath, you'll have plenty of opportunities to park up and enjoy the many snack stops and sights, including the famous Roman Baths and the old train station at Bitton.

Level: Beginner
Ideal for: Family days out, relaxing rides 
Type of bike: Hybrid, road, electric


Yorkshire and Humber

Spen Valley Greenway, Bradford: Discover the hidden green corridor that offers a bit of calm among the chaos of the city.

With many stops and sights along the way, including moorland views, a wildlife reserve, a golf course and even an art trail, this route makes an ideal affordable summer holiday activity for the whole family!

Level: Beginner
Ideal for: Picnics, relaxing rides, family days out
Type of bike: Hybrid, road, electric


South East

Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex: Ride this country trail and take in the sights as you cycle past woodland, grassland and fields, for a summer day out immersed in nature.

Listen out for the 'laugh' of the green woodpecker and see how many of the carved wooden sculptures you can spot along the way!

Level: Beginner
Ideal for: Nature lovers, family days out, picnics
Type of bike: Hybrid


East Anglia

Apples and Ale Cycle Route, Cambridgeshire: Sample the delights of this great region with stunning scenery and the perfect pint!

Reward yourself after riding through open farmland, vibrant waterways and Fenland orchards by finishing up in one of the many country pubs. Perfect for enjoying a warm summer evening in the beer garden.

Level: Beginner
Ideal for: Riding with friends, day rides
Type of bike: Road

friends cycling on a summer evening

Something for everyone

Midlands

Rutland Water, Rutland: Take in the sights of rolling countryside, waterscapes and rare wildlife as you explore this short but stunning route in the heart of Europe's largest man-made reservoir.

Relax on the sandy beach at the western side of the reservoir, or take on the steep climbs and descents on the northern shores - the choice is yours!

Level: All
Ideal for: Families with older kids, picnics, nature lovers, thrill seekers
Type of bike: Hybrid, road, electric


Wales

Gethin Woods, Wales: Elevate your heart rate as you tackle a range of adventurous forest trails and jumps at this exciting mountain bike park.

There's something for every level, so bring along the kids' bikes and test their skills on two wheels!

Level: All
Ideal for: Activity days, thrill seekers, families of all ages
Type of bike: Mountain


Isle of Wight

Red Squirrel Trail, East Cowes: Explore 32 miles of the glorious Isle of Wight countryside, through woodland, farmland, estuaries and a stretch of the stunning coastline. As you travel, keep an eye out for the route’s namesake - the elusive Red Squirrel!

From off-road paths that'll see you racing over varied terrains and gradients, to smooth and safe cycleways that are ideal for little ones, this exciting route makes the perfect day out for the whole family! 

Level: All
Ideal for: Family days out, long-distance cyclists, thrill seekers, wildlife spotters, picnics
Type of bike: Hybrid

mountain biker about to descend

Fancy a real challenge?

South East

Surrey Hills, Surrey: Race through the trees and dodge obstacles on a collection of mountain bike trails across the North Downs, Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, Pitch Hill and Winterfold.

While you're there, be sure to stop and take in the incredible sights of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - perfect for pit stop picnics!

Level: Intermediate, hard
Ideal for: Thrill seekers, activity days, fitness
Type of bike: Mountain


Scotland

The Caledonia Way, Fort Augustus: Set off in the shadow of Ben Nevis and discover miles of picturesque Scottish scenery.

Explore the 15-mile section of flat, traffic-free forest roads and canal towpaths from Fort Augustus to Invergarry Castle, or take on the huge 234-mile challenge!

Level: Intermediate, hard
Ideal for: Long-distance cyclists, nature lovers, families with older kids
Type of bike: Hybrid, road, electric


North West

Trans Pennine Trail, Southport: Put your cycling skills to the test with this challenging route that takes you through Pennines climbs and Peak District valleys.

With a total length of nearly 145 miles, you'll set off from Southport, tour the roads of Liverpool and put your thighs through their paces as you climb the Pennines. Finish off by racing through the Longdendale Valley - the perfect way to end a truly breathtaking ride!

Level: Hard
Ideal for: Fitness, long-distance cyclists, thrill seekers
Type of bike: Road

man cycling with backpack

What should I bring on a bike ride?

Now you know where to go, it's time to pack for the perfect day out!

What you'll need will depend on the type of ride you're going on, but here are some essentials you won't want to leave home without:

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