Five of the best long distance cycle routes in the UK

West Kernow Way, Cornwall, England

241 km / 3 – 4 days

Opened in September 2021, the West Kernow Way is a brand new 241km cycle route in Cornwall. Starting and ending at Penzance Station, the route covers much of the western half of the Cornish Peninsula, connecting popular tourist sites such as the Botallack Tin Mines, the Bronze Age monument of Mên-an-Tol, Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount and Lizard Point.

Best of all, from a bikepacking and gravel bike perspective, most of it is off-road, which makes it quieter, safer, and, let’s face it, more adventurous than your average cycle touring route.

The driving force behind the West Kernow Way is the Cycling UK charity, which aims to create new and more exciting long-distance routes for UK bikepackers and cycle tourists. The West Kernow Way is the result of over a year of negotiations with landowners and other stakeholders in the region.

Sophie Gordon, Cycling UK Campaign Manager, explained: “The advantage of off-road cycling is that you will avoid the crowds, and be able to tour the sites and find Cornwall’s hidden gems, all without filling the lanes with it. another car. ”The decision to launch the route – with a guide – later in the year is also quite deliberate.

“Cornwall’s climate makes it attractive for cycle touring and bikepacking outside of the traditional peak summer months,” says Gordon. “Cycling UK’s intention with our new route is to give people a reason to visit the county when it’s less busy. [which will] help encourage a more sustainable tourism program that runs throughout the year rather than focused on a peak period.

Since launching its first bikepacking route in 2018, Cycling UK has grown steadily, with four more now open, and plans to add routes in Norfolk and Kent.

Learn about the charity’s work and guides on the West Kernow Way at Cyclinguk.org

road-bike-king-alfred-s-way

King Alfred’s Way, Wessex, England

350 km / 4 – 5 days

Another of Cycling UK’s new trails, King Alfred’s Way was unveiled in 2020. An immersive long-distance ride through the historic English Kingdom of Wessex, this circular route begins and ends in Winchester, at the King Alfred Statue, and takes you clockwise. some of the most beautiful scenery south of the Peak District. You’ll need a gravel bike and some off-road experience, but this route is accessible to the most reasonably fit riders.

Cyclinguk.org

Azores MPU July 21

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Photo: Adrian Davies

Lôn Las Cymru, Wales

392 km / 3 – 4 days

With two steep climbs between Cardiff and your destination in Anglesey, Lôn Las Cymru, or National Cycle Route 8, is not for the faint of heart. Running up and down in Wales, the route takes you through both the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Park. The landscapes never fail to be breathtaking, but you will need a good physical condition and a lot of determination for the climbs. Suitable for touring or gravel bikes.

sustrans.org.uk

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Photo: romrodinka

Kingfisher Trail, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

370 km / 3 – 4 days

As one of the first long distance cycle routes on the island of Ireland, the Kingfisher Trail is something of a classic. Winding through the quiet lanes of County Fermanagh, it passes through several major attractions including Castle Coole and the Marble Arch Caves. Without significant height difference, this route is accessible to all and can be done on a standard touring bike.

cycleni.com

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Photo: Kimberly Sue Walker

Coast and Castles Road, Fife, Scotland

377 km / 3 – 4 days

Stretching from Edinburgh to Aberdeen via the historic Kingdom of Fife, the Coast and Castle Roads encompass many of both, as well as quaint fishing villages and epic, open landscapes. Most of this route follows asphalt roads, so a road or touring bike is the best option.

sustrans.org.uk

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