Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness or simply want to see a little more of the natural world, cycling can be a fantastic hobby to pick up on both counts. There are so many amazing cycling routes and challenges within the UK, all offering beautiful sights and varying levels of difficulty to suit your capabilities. Leisure Lakes Bikes, who supply electric mountain bikes, have given us their top picks!

Alnmouth to Druridge Bay

Location:

Starts at Alnmouth village — the route will take you to the Druridge Bay visitor centre: route.

Grade:

Beginner

An introduction to the route:

This nine-mile route is perfect for beginners, while still having a few challenges to overcome along the way. In particular, inexperienced cyclists need to be careful on Hipsburn Road and in Amble Town Centre, Sustrans advises.

It’s certainly worth the effort though, as there’s a seven-mile stretch along Druridge Bay to enjoy, as well as nature reserves and cafes.

Duration:

1 hour approx.

Highlights:

Be sure to stop by Warkworth Castle and Hermitage on the way for a little historic enjoyment. Plus, you’ll want to stop at the Druridge Bay Country Park to enjoy a tea or coffee break.

Wendover Woods

Location:

Chiltern Hills: route.

Grade:

Beginner/Intermediate. Designed with families in mind.

An introduction to the route:

With 800 acres stretching out before you, the Wendover Woods cycling route is a brilliant family day out on your mountain bikes. If the weather is good, pack a picnic for your trip and take a pit-stop at Wendover Wood’s picnic spot — if not, pop into the café for a warming tea or coffee before heading back out to complete the six-mile route.

Duration:

As this is a family cycling route, it depends entirely on how you plan your day. Non-stop, the trail would only take you around an hour or less.

Highlights:

Look out for views of the Iron Age Boddington hill fort! Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll get to enjoy views of the Chiltern Hills on your ride too.

Abney and Eyam Loop

Location:

Hope Valley, Derbyshire: route.

Grade:

Intermediate

An introduction to the route:

This cycling route will bring you natural beauty as well as a little historic delving through Eyam, famously known as the ‘Plague Village’. As dire as that may sound, the name comes from a selfless tale of courage from the village’s past residents, who sealed their village off from neighbouring towns in order to prevent the disease from spreading after the bubonic plague was brought to Eyam through a flea-infested bolt of cloth from London.

Duration:

2–3 hours approx.

Highlights:

If the sun’s out, treat yourself to a break en-route at the Hope Valley Ice Cream parlour; it’s a 43 minute ride outside of the village of Eyam. The ice creams are made from the milk of the farm’s own cows, so you’ve definitely never had ice cream this fresh before!

London-Edinburgh-London

https://londonedinburghlondon.com/

Location:

As the name suggests, London to Edinburgh…and back again! Route. Grade:

Challenging

An introduction to the route:

Like the Dunwich Dynamo, this is an organised event that takes place each year, but you can embark on the gruelling challenge yourself!

The name says it all, really; you’ll be riding 870 miles between the English capital to the Scottish capital, and back again! This is an intensely long ride and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. Be sure you’re thoroughly prepared in every aspect, both physically and mentally.

Duration:

116 hours approx.

Highlights:

This route takes you through quiet roads, British country sides, and up through Scottish scenery — it really is something to be experienced at least once for any cycling enthusiast.

Whether this year is the year you start cycling, or you’re looking to push yourself to the next level with a challenge, there are plenty of routes out there across the UK.

Bwlch-y-Groes

Location:

Bala, Hirnant Pass, Wales: route.

Grade:

Intermediate

An introduction to the route:

This 34-mile route starts at The Loch Café, and you’ll want to fuel up here because the 30-mile ride is all about heading through nature. Unless you’ve packed food, you’ll be on your own out here in the Welsh wilderness until you reach Llanwdynn.

Bwlch-y-Groes can be difficult to ride due to steep areas, but the route we’ve linked above shows a much easier way up. Of course, for those seeking a challenge, there’s plenty of steeper, alternative routes!

Duration:

4–5 hours approx.

Highlights:

You may be lucky enough to spot buzzards and red kites as you cycle through Bwlch-y-Groes. As you head into the small village of Llanwdynn, be sure to take your pick of its two excellent cafés for a refuel.

Dunwich Dynamo

Location:

London: route.

Grade:

Challenging

An introduction to the route:

This 120-mile route is a semi-organised ride that takes place each year, but there’s nothing stopping you recreating the venture yourself any time of the year. The route has been designed with night-riding in mind, taking you up until dawn, so this route is ideal for the lighter, warmer nights of summer.

You’ll be heading through forests and along roads, and with it being a night-time ride, this route is definitely for experience riders as opposed to beginners. Pack food, energy gels, repair kits and first aid — it’s recommended to have at least one other rider with you, and you’ll want to pack enough to help them too if needed.

Duration:

12 hours approx.

Highlights:

You’ll get to ride through Waltham Forest, Epping Forest, and up to Dunwich beach — plenty of beautiful sights and night-time sounds await!