Mountain Biker Riding Cycling In Autumn Forest

Best Cycling Trails in the UK

Leaving the car at home and taking to two wheels is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to sightsee.

So, if you’re planning a luxury escape, keep in mind our recommendations for the best biking holiday destinations.

These top cycling trails in the UK will help you cover a lot more ground…

Padstow Harbour

1. Camel Trail, Cornwall, England

Cornwall is not only a centre for surfing – you can cycle along the South West coast to your heart’s content, too. This traffic-light trail – which follows the River Camel – will take you through countryside and moorland and finish near the coast, providing the full Cornish outdoor experience.

It may be 18 miles long but you can ride from the start point – Wenford Bridge near Bodmin Moor – and enjoy plenty of village stops before you end at Padstow, perhaps with a pint and some of Rick Stein’s famous fish and chips. You’ll find the nearest beach at St George’s Cove, around half a mile from the harbour, so bring your swim gear, too.


2. Bristol to Bath Railway Path, England

If you’re staying in the south, taking the Bristol and Bath cycle path along the disused railway is a great opportunity to visit two different but complementary cities.

At around 13 miles long, the route is traffic-free and also has disabled access. You’ll be accompanied by plenty of local walkers and runners, too, as you travel between the two distinct destinations.

Cycle both ways or hop on the nearby trains if you get tired – you won’t want to miss out on Bristol’s exciting urban buzz, or on Bath’s Roman history and gorgeous Georgian architecture. There are plenty of pubs along the path, too.

The New Forest In August

3. The Old Railway, The New Forest, England

There are a number of biking trails to enjoy around The New Forest. Head to Hampshire and tackle over 140 miles of car-free routes.

We’ve chosen the nine-mile Old Railway route, which takes between two to three hours, depending how fast you cycle and how many stops opt for. This path will deliver you from Brockenhurst to Burley, with plenty of chance to soak up wildlife and wilderness on the way.

More challenging trails for experienced cyclists include the 17.8-mile Northern Forest Circular, while the shorter ride to the The Old Station Tea Rooms should thrill all the family.

Loch Lomond and the Scottish countryside

4. Callander to Killin, Trossachs, Scotland

Scotland is blessed with spectacular countryside to roam or ride, so ditch the traditional car and let your bike take you across the Trossachs National Park instead.

There’s off-road mountain biking on offer, as well as road adventures for all levels of experience, but we’ve opted for National Cycle Route No.7.

At 24 miles, this one is a challenge and not for the faint-hearted. However, it will reward you with river, loch and woodland views, as you follow yet another old railway line and then weave around Ben Ledi and Glen Ogle, amid a landscape dominated by mountains. Once at Killin, you can finish the journey after taking in the beautiful Falls of Dochart.

Lakes on Snowdon

5. Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Snowdonia, Wales

If Wales is where you want to test your cycling mettle, don your helmet and head for Coed y Brenin, which is home to eight mountain biking trails of varying difficulty.

All trails are waymarked and share the same start point – the visitor’s centre car park, meaning this area is tailor-made for cyclists.

Aptly named the ‘Beast’, the park’s most famous and challenging trail is only one for the most experienced biker. If you’re not quite a pro, instead you can opt for the ‘Minotaur’ – but whichever you choose, you’ll still get to be wowed by Snowdonia’s stunning scenery.


6. Tissington Trail, Peak District National Park, England

If you’ve chosen the Peak District for your next luxury getaway, you’ll probably end up on the Tissington Trail, whether you’re exploring by bike or by foot.

This traffic-free trail is 13 miles long and begins in Parsley Hay, before finishing in Ashbourne. It will carry you along a historic  railway line full of treasures, such as an old signal box and platforms.

You’ll power yourself through peaceful countryside, wildflower meadows and more. This year is also a great one to visit, as the trail makes its 50th birthday.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

7. Giant’s Causeway to Benone, Northern Ireland

Let’s be honest, if you’re visiting Northern Ireland, you’ll almost certainly want to see the imposing and mystifying natural wonder that is the Giant’s Causeway. So why not cycle?

From the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll peddle your way past sand, sea and navigate the refreshing North Atlantic Coast route, as well as lush, green countryside.

Towns such as Portrush, Portstewart and, finally, Castlerock, are along the way as picturesque places to pause and refuel.

Train on Severn Valley Railway in Shropshire

8. The Mercian Way, Severn Valley Country Park, England

Shropshire is another great place to cycle and ride through unspoilt English countryside. Again, you can choose from a wide selection of options to suit all abilities.

The Mercian Way is our pick, as it allows you to go rural and off-road, taking in rivers, woods and meadows. What truly appeals here, however, is the chance to see vintage steam trains along the Severn Valley Railway as you ride.

A bay in Scarborough at sunset

9. Scarborough to Ravenscar, North Moors National Park, England

Yorkshire has truly embraced two wheels – from its hosting of the Tour de France to its very own Tour de Yorkshire. You don’t have to rent a yellow bike to make the most of the North Moors, however.

It’s the coast that appeals to us the most, so begin your biking experience in the easily accessible Scarborough and cycle through to Ravenscar. Riding along another old railway line, you’ll soak up sea views and love the simplicity of this path towards the beach at Hayburn Wyke.

There are lots of spots for refreshments and, if you truly have the biking bug, you can next take a spooky cycle from nearby Dracula’s Whitby

two people mountain biking down a hill in the Lake district

10. Lakeland Loop, Lake District, England

A beloved British biking favourite, the Lakeland Loop is last but not least on this list.

A 40-mile route around the Lake District, it of course offers memorable lake views, majestic woodland, challenging hills, peaceful lanes, and plenty of pubs and cafes.

A brilliant way to see the Lakes, you can make this a leisurely cycle or a long one – it all depends on you.

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