On the face of it they may not be quite as spectacular as many of the other countries in the world, but Britain’s roads might just be a pleasant surprise. They offer a great selection of cycling routes for cyclists of all levels of experience and fitness and there is some fantastic scenery to be found along the way. In this post we take a look at some of the best areas of the country to go riding and some of the best routes on offer.
Land's End, England - John o'Groats, Scotland
Route Length – 1000 miles
This is the classic, from Land’s End to John o’Groats or vice versa, also known as LEDJOG, JOGLE or End to End. There are more direct routes which can bring the route down to around 875 miles, however this uses main roads which most riders would prefer to avoid. There are a range of companies and tours which offer to organise the trip for you – and range in time from 9 days to a fortnight. However this route can easily be tackled on your own or within a small group, with a bit of pre-planning.
The route varies in difficulty with the first few days in the south-west providing a bit of a challenge,with the rolling hills providing many steep climbs.
Giant's Causeway and Antrim Coast - Northern Ireland
Wonderful sea views and a stunning place to ride. It’s challenging, the Torr Head road on the eastern side of the coast is series of dizzying climbs and descents, however run inland to the tranquil Glens of Antrim. Not to forget the Giant’s Causeway, one of Britain and Ireland’s greatest natural wonders, with pillars of basalt rock massing under the towering cliffs.
Oban, Glencoe and Fort William - Scotland
There’s a variety of great rides you can put together in this most incredible part of the UK. One great ride of about 50 miles in length, starts in Oban and follows the coastline up to Fort William – taking in the views alongside Loch Linnhe, Loch Eli and Ben Nevis. By cycling this route you can also include a small diversion to include the breathtaking scenery at Glencoe.
Lake District - England
The scenery everywhere is incredible, however some of the most visited parts can be a bit of a hassle for cyclists as they’re clogged with traffic. As a result the best cycling is in the northern and western lakes. There are plenty of hard climbs and high passes such as Hardknott and Wrynose passes. They lie between Eskdale and Langdale and they are particularly brutal.
Yorkshire Dales - England
Route Length – 45 miles
One great route is the tough Hawes – Tan Hill Road Circuit. It starts off with a gentle run down Wensleydale but then becomes tougher. A long climb up Coverdale takes you over Park Rash and down into Wharfedale, and then after another flatter section there is the climb over Fleet Moss to finish.
Away from the tourist traps, in the northern Dales or higher up the likes of Wharfedale, this is some of the best cycling country that Britain has to offer. The locals in the Dales are also very comfortable with cyclists – they are part of our heritage, so it’s great for accommodation and welcoming cafes.