Sensational, Scenic Rides in Great Britain
We are so lucky to live in a fabulous country for bike riding.
Whilst the cycle commute is a brilliant way to get into the office, nothing beats the feeling of packing a bag and hitting the open road for a bike adventure in the countryside.
We are blessed with mountains and valleys, mile upon mile of coastline and more picturesque spots than you can shake a bike pump at.
So where to start when planning the next adventure?
Here are a few suggestions of sensational, scenic rides in Great Britain, to help you get started:
1. Hastings and Bexhill waterfront, East Sussex
An easy, family-friendly meander along the seafront, from Hastings to Bexhill and beyond.
Traffic-free, flat and paved with an on-beach shingle section, recently embellished with Netpave – a web structure sunk into the pebbles that enables your tyres to grip. This ride can be great family fun in the day or romantic at sunset. The perfect way to get started with a scenic adventure.
2. Isle of Arran, Scotland
The Isle of Arran is a mecca for mountain bikers and offroad enthusiasts, but has trails to cater for every level of expertise
The Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, is often called a miniature Scotland, with its rugged mountains and rolling hills. There are designated trails but it’s not an actual trail centre so you will need a map. The range of trails on offer should suit all levels of riders. It has a couple of easy/moderate blue trails – Castle and Glencoy which are six miles and Clauchlands which is red (hard/technical). For the very adventurous there is the Classic which is black (difficult/severe).
If you are lucky you will be able to view seals, otters, dolphins, sharks and golden eagles along the route. It also offers some fascinating history and archeology, including the the neolithic burial site, Giants’ Graves. A thoroughly enjoyable bike adventure, whatever your level.
3. From Port Penrhyn to Bangor, North Wales
Snowdonia boasts the UK’s most dramatic mountain landscape south of Scotland, and this ride is a stunner. It starts in the small coastal city of Bangor and ends at the youth hostel at Llyn Ogwen, one of the spiritual homes of British mountaineering, a lake set in a crucible of the Carneddau and Glyderau ranges. Despite the mountainous region it’s a very gradual climb along the route of the old railway lines and tramways that served the Penrhyn quarry at Bethesda. Both the ascent and the return follow a spectacular route of about 22 miles, that gives a sample of the best that cycling in Wales can offer.
4. Harrogate to Ripley, Yorkshire
A cycle through Nidderdale Greenway is a peaceful journey taking in spectacular views from the Nidd Gorge viaduct
Another former railway, also known as the Nidderdale Greenway, that once linked Leeds and Northallerton. It’s a tranquil, traffic-free ride, crossing the seven-arch Nidd Gorge viaduct, which boasts stunning views over the ravine. The woodland is rich and a delight to cycle through, with red admiral butterflies, woodpeckers and kingfishers, and the flora abundant, forming violet pools of bluebells between pine trees.
The path is tarmac and mostly level, with a small climb up to the new, safe A61 crossing. Is it the most sensational, scenic ride in Great Britain? We’ll that to you to decide, but its a fabulous ride all the same.
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