Cycling Holiday in the UK? 11 (or 12) Best Bike Trails for Everyone

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cycling holidays UK

Cycling holidays, Bikepacking, or Touring Adventures in the UK

From England to Scotland, from Wales to Northern Ireland, the best biking destinations in the UK for all cycling levels & tastes.

Today I’m here to share my top destinations for cycling in the UK. You will find some fantastic cycling routes in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but remember to wrap up according to the weather!

A link to the map with the location of all the bike trails mentioned here is provided at the bottom of the article. Find our where to go have cycling holidays in the UK.

This article is contributed by local expert Amy Trumpeter. She has over 25 years of travel experience. She loves seeking out temples, Churches and other religious and historical buildings. Amy writes mainly about Asia, Europe and North Africa. She has a BA (Religions and Theology) and MA (South Asian Studies) gained from the University of Manchester.

Find her at

The 11 (or 12) Top Cycling Holiday Destinations in the UK – In a Nutshell

  1. Giant’s Causeway
  2. Windermere
  3. Isle of Arran
  4. Cinder Track – Old Scarborough to Whitby Railway
  5. Hamsterley Forest
  6. Monsal Trail
  7. Green Way Trail
  8. Elan Valley
  9. Forest of Dean
  10. Marston Vale
  11. Tudor Trail
  12. South Downs Way

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cycling holidays giant causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is a stunning cycling destination

1. Castlerock to Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

With magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll unquestionably enjoy your fair share of sea spray on this coastal voyage. There are a few hills during the ride, but the end result is absolutely worth it.

You’ll end your adventure at the visually stunning Giant’s Causeway, so make sure you set off early in the day, so you have plenty of time to explore and take pictures. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime place to visit.

cycling the Lake District, UK
cycling the Lake District, UK

2. Windermere, Lake District, North West

If you’re paying a visit to the North West of England, you can’t miss the Lake District. And if you are in the Lake District on a cycling adventure, you may as well go and visit Windermere.

One of the best cycle routes in this region gets you from Kendal to the town of Windermere, and it is one incredible treat for the eyes.

A total of 11.5 miles of surging country lanes and cycle paths mixed with lovely views of the River Kent. You’ll most definitely be back for more in the future.

cycling destinations UK Arran

cycling the Isle of Arran, Scotland, UK

3. Cycling the Isle of Arran, Scotland

If you’ve been a lover of cycling for some time now, then it’s more than likely that you’ve already had a visit to the Isle of Arran.

Located just off the east coast of Scotland – its nearest big city is Glasgow – the Isle has stunning rolling hills and a real rough and rugged landscape, but don’t be put off by it.

It may appear small, but it is crowded to the seams with all manner of trails varying from easy to severe, so there’s something for everybody.

Cycling Holiday in the UK? 11 (or 12) Best Bike Trails for Everyone 1

The old reailway track turned into a cycling path: the Cinder Track

4. The Cinder Track, Yorkshire and the Humbe

Elongating up the coast from Scarborough to Whitby, the Cinder Track shows you the secluded ocean tour which you’ve always dreamed of. It’s a solid distance of 21 miles, so it’s perfect for a day trip.

Why not pack yourself a picnic and take in the gorgeous sea views, see some secret coves while you’re at it, and then pop into a few of the historical sights you’ll come across along the way?

It’s the perfect addition to any cyclist’s England itinerary and you can combine it with a visit to the historic city of York.

The distances vary also, so there are some simple six-mile trails if you’re on a family day out, and big 21-milers with extreme hills if you’re looking for more of a challenge.

Cycling Holiday in the UK? 11 (or 12) Best Bike Trails for Everyone 2
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Trevor Littlewood –

5. Hamsterley Forest, Durham, North East

With more than 2,000 hectares of forest and 33 miles of forest trails to explore, it’s no shock that Hamsterley Forest comes out as the top pick for the North East region.

Whether you’re searching for a leisurely cycle with the family or for adrenaline-pumping mountain bike action, this is the destination for you.

biking monsal trail peak district
biking the Peak District

6. Cycling The Monsal Trail, Peak District, East Midlands

At a relaxing 8.5 miles and an entirely traffic-free route, the Monsal Trail is ideal for quiet family days out.

You’ll be heading straight through the heart of the Peak District, so you’ll be enjoying gorgeous forest views and breathing in the fresh air.

There are lots of trails for you to choose from depending on what kind of adventure you’re looking for

cycling west midlands
The Green Way Trail in West Midlands – Derek Harper / CC BY-SA 2.0

7. Riding The Green Way Trail, West Midlands

Starting in the historic town of Stratford Upon Avon, the Green Way Trail is 17 miles long and takes you through some of the region’s typically quaint and little English villages and hamlets.

It’s great if you’re looking for something to do one sunny Sunday. Whilst you may meet the odd hill, there’s nothing too tiring or steep and you can take many breaks along the way whilst taking in the remarkable views.

cycling elan valley UK
Cycling above the reservoir in the Elan Valley

8. Elan Valley Biking Trail, Wales

Wales is well-known for its breathtaking views, and there will definitely be plenty of those if you go out on the Elan Valley Trail.

It’s an 18-mile round trip where you can take in some amazing views of the reservoir whilst huddled in a valley of beautiful rolling hills.

Perfect for a couple of cycling enthusiasts who are looking for a great day out, it’s also ideal if you’re thinking of getting into off-road cycling.

forest of dean cycle trail

The forest of Dean cycle trail

9. Cycling the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, South West

The Forest of Dean is one of the most stunning places in the country. Often considered to be a fairy-tale forest, if you head there in springtime and summer you’ll be greeted with glorious blue skies and blankets of coloured flowers.

With distances varying from three to 11 miles, it’s ideal for both families and keen mountain bikers.

The terrains vary noticeably, ranging from completely flat to some hills that are close to vertical – are you ready to take on the adventure?

cycling East England
St. Mary at Marston – Image @Motacilla CC BY 4.0

10. Marston Vale, East England

Ideal if you’re not looking for anything too strenuous, the Marston Vale involves two 4km loops in a figure of eight.

Both tracks are completely surfaced so you’ve got a totally smooth ride in front of you. You’ll get to relish some incredible forest views, as well as some striking lake scenery.

If you’re thinking of a fun and jam-packed day out in the fresh air, then this is the trail for you. A perfect stroll before the proverbial English afternoon tea.

cycling kent england
Cycling in Kent, England – Image @ Acabashi, CC BY 4.0

11. Tudor Bike Trail, Kent, South East

Running from the outstanding Tonbridge Castle to Penshurst Place, the Tudor Trail takes you straight through the center of the market town and gives you fantastic views of the countryside along the way.

Your journey will be mostly off-road, giving you a better adventure than just sticking to the pavements, but your efforts will certainly be rewarded.

Yes but, where are all these places? Have a look at the
map of the best cycling holiday trails in the UK
and find out!

Looking for more trails in the UK? check our full article about

Cycling the South Downs

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