The Top 10 Cycling Routes In The U.K - BookitList

The Top 10 Cycling Routes In The U.K

The U.K might be touted as having bad weather and even worse food, but one thing cannot be disputed, it holds some of the prettiest brooks and most staggering rural landscapes. That means it hosts some of the most beautiful cycling routes imaginable. Check out these 10 cycling routes and break out the bike for a pedal through paradise (or hell depending on how hard you push it).

1. The Settle Circular, Yorkshire

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God’s Own Country has been climbing up the cycling ranks quicker than Bradley Wiggins being chased by a pack of wolves on his TT bike. This quad burning 64km route is challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Sharp climbs are complimented with lovely village views that will make the fast-rolling descents all the more enjoyable.

2. The Lakeland Loop, Lake District

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Beginning with the serene shoreline of Lake Coniston as your neighbour, you’ll quickly become acquainted with the splendid sites of the Lake District in what was once dubbed in a vote, Britain's best bike ride. It’s not for the feint heart of weak quadded however, gradients as sharp as 30% can soon sap the gusto from your legs and dropping down into a gear that has you cycling at 5000rpm just to move a little is to be expected. ‘Wrynose Pass’ will have you earn your post cycle meal like no other.

3. The Camel Trail, Cornwall

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If the aforementioned steep climbs of the Lake District seem a bit too dom inducing, try this family friendly route for more of a canter than a cramp filled burnout. The Camel Trail undulates along a disused railway line with smooth surfaces and lush woodland. If you’re someone who’s been thinking about a little cycling excursion through some of Britains more verdant terrain then this is right up your cycle lane. An incredibly pleasant 19km route all in all.

4. Box Hill Olympic Circuit, Surrey

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The Surrey Hills stand with pride and an elevated sense of history, having featured in the London 2012 Olympic games. This short loop clocks in at just under 17km constructed mainly of rural roads along the River Mole. The ascent that leads to views overlooking the river make the cascading waterflow all the more rewarding and this can be tackled both all skill and fitness levels.

5. Assynt Achiltibuie Circuit, Scotland

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For those who want to know if they’ve dropped a pin from their pocket whilst riding, this is your noise avoiding route of choice. Replacing the rushing of commuters or honking of horns for a whimsical breeze and white noise backdrop of tyre on road, this circuit through the famed Scottish highlands helps get you into flow state by removing distractions with largely baron and serene highland roads. The backdrop is a smorgasbord of aesthetic wonder with several mountains, an etherial loch and even the ruins of the ancient castle Ardvreck, it’s like cycling through a fantasy novel on the eyes, whilst remaining quieter than a babbling brook on the ears.

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6. Richmond Park, London

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One needn’t flee the city in search of countryside lanes and patchwork fields of green and gold for a restorative and relaxing ride. Richmond Park covers a staggering 2,500 acres in London and it’s near 11km loop packs a punch for it’s modest distance. It can be used as a slow Sunday ride for active recovery, or take the anti-clockwise route for a longer climb and do a few laps to push yourself. Soak in the views of St Paul’s Cathedral from one of the higher vantage points and take an endorphin filled moment to appreciate the work you’re putting in.

7. Elan Valley, Wales

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Snowdonia steels the admiration of nature lovers in Wales like an attention seeking starlet, but is by no means the only red carpet worthy landscape in the country. Elan Valley trails the Birmingham Corporation Railway line and if you’re one to shed a tear at the beauty of nature, you’ll do well to look half as reserved and beautiful holding back the waterworks as Craig Goch Dam. The many dams and reservoirs give the region a distinct feel and there are several mountain bike routes to plough through if you’ve still not had the chance to soak it all in.

8. Applecross via Bealach na Bà, Scotland

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In nature, nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect.

It’s easy to read this as an ambiguous quote for poets only, but if you’ve ridden through Applecross you’ll know the “nothing is perfect” in nature refers to the incinerating of your lungs during the tougher stretches, and the “everything perfect” refers to the esoteric splendour that coats every pixel of your eyesight with Scotland’s unrivalled nature. A tough ride that will have you earn it’s respect and admiration in equal measure. The circuit follows part of Scotland's North Coast 500 and is highlighted by the 20% gradients climbing from sea level to 626m above sea level at Bealach na Bà. An alpine-esque climb, truly breathtaking views overlooking the isle of sky, near silent coastal roads, it’s simply heaven on earth for cyclists.

9. Lands End To John O'Groats

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Not a precise route, but an epic journey that can be negated in several distinct ways, this is the U.K's premier long distance pedal-athon. From the crest of Cornwall to the peak of the Scottish mainland this ride explores the length of Britain and is a bookitlist item that must be ticked off for any ardent British cyclist.

Take the scenic route and add some beautiful climbs and rolling pastures to your journey, or cycle across the more consistent 'A' roads. We however urge you to take the scenic route and pass by Loch Ness for a bookitlist double tick en-route. You'll need to be in good condition with an average of over 60 miles per day for 14+ days, some of which will have more elevation than others. Get your organising hat on too so you've got good accommodation each night to recover fully for the next day.

Are you up for the challenge?!

10. Coast to Coast

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The East to West version of Lands End To John O'Groats, the coast to coast ride is approx 141 miles stretching from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. Colloquially known as the C2C route, winding roads coarse through the Lake District, dart through the Pennines and wind down into Northumberland in a collage of scenery well worth the effort.

Whilst more forgiving than the epic 1,000 miles of Lands End to John O'Groats , it's still a challenging ride with frequent ascents and some tough climbs. For an epic ride, one you can be proud of and tell tales of over a pint in the pub in years to come, this is for you.

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