Green, cheap and great exercise, not to mention the tremendous fun that cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. London has launched its own bike rental program and more of us than ever are exploring the UK by bike.
We have hundreds of bike routes in the UK to choose from, but here are some of our favorites.
UK cycle paths
Top bike routes in the UK to explore
Most of these UK cycle routes are in England, but there are still some great cycle routes in Wales and Northern Ireland!
Millennium Coastal Path, Llanelli, Wales
Millennium Coastal Park is a 19 km stretch of coastline on the Burry Estuary that has a purpose-built traffic-free path that follows the coast the entire length of the park. The park was formerly an industrial wasteland and has been converted into a quiet leafy corridor that offers great views of the Gower Peninsula and a variety of natural and man-made attractions.
Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland
For a unique cycling experience, take a walking tour of Lough Neagh, the largest inland waterway in Great Britain and Ireland. The 113 mile, bidirectional Loughshore Trail (Route 94 on the National Cycle Network) is ideal for enthusiasts, beginners, and families. The route mainly follows quiet country roads near the shore of the lake and consists of mostly flat terrain – apart from a few short hilly sections that offer fantastic views over this vast expanse of water.
Limehouse to Little Venice, London, England
The London canal network makes for excellent traffic-free cycling in the UK. A scooter from the Limehouse on the riverside in the east to Little Venice along Regent’s Canal is a great way to see London from a new perspective. Once the center of London’s work docks and now home to high-quality apartments and yachts, explore Limehouse, cruise cool Camden, and see some of the London Zoo residents along the way. At 8 miles, it can be easily reached in a matter of hours.
Richmond to Hampton Court, London, England
Wind your way along this photogenic stretch of the Thames from the village of Richmond to the magnificent Tudor Palace Hampton Court. There are some great pubs along the way and even a sandy beach or two. For more information and other routes along the Thames, visit the Waterscape website.
Bristol and Bath Railway Path, West Country, England
Linking the two West Country jewels of Bath and Bristol, this 13 miles (21 km) disused railway line begins in Bristol’s historic harbor and runs through Mangotsfield, Warmley and Saltford before arriving in the heart of Bath.
Chocolate Tour, Birmingham, England
The melting pot of the industrial revolution is famous for many things – canals, technology, curries, but the most delicious chocolate. Cycle along the Rea Valley from Birmingham city center on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal towpath. When you’re hungry, stop by Cadbury World, the factory and interactive experience dedicated to the world’s most popular chocolate.
Marin Trail, Conwy, Wales
Located near Llanrwst, this UK mountain bike trail has big climbs, steep descents and truly breathtaking scenery. Long, challenging climbs lead to kilometers of technical single trails that meander through trees and boulders, over streams and tricky gorges. Take a short break to take in the views over Snowdonia National Park.
Taff Trail, Wales
The Taff Trail is a 55 mile trail (88 km) which takes you south of Brecon to the Cardiff Bay waterfront and explores South Wales. You’ll travel through a mix of towns and villages and the trail is suitable for most fitness levels.
The Taff Trail – Rad Brecon to Cardiff
Sewage, Lake District, England
The 12-mile bike path from Wastwater to Santon Bridge via Gosforth is said to have the best views in the Lake District. Wastwater is the deepest lake in England and is surrounded by beautiful scenery including Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.
Crab and Winkle Way, Kent, England
The Crab and Winkle Way connects the cathedral city of Canterbury with the harbor in Whitstable. On your way, you’ll travel through Blean Woods, one of the largest areas of ancient deciduous forests in southern Britain, where you’ll find the rare heather mother-of-pearl butterfly. Don’t forget to visit the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Scotland is also home to some great UK bike routes. The Scottish Highlands are famous for their rugged beauty and, nowadays, for their excellent mountain biking terrain. Hiking trails in the Cairngorms National Park are rarely marked. Instead, bring a map (there are good maps of local mountain bike routes) and explore.