Cycling in the UKs National ParksKeith
Cycling in National Parks
Cycling is a great way to explore the national parks, Britain’s breathing spaces. From family bike rides on woodland tracks and serene country roads, to challenging mountain bike rides on real mountains, taking to two wheels lets you appreciate the scenery, spot wildlife and visit out-of-the-way sites.
Flat and family friendly
Quiet country roads and traffic-free byways, bridleways and cycle paths mean there are miles of easy cycle routes for all generations in all the national parks. The Broads, the New Forest, the South Downs and the south of Pembrokeshire Coast are especially easy for beginners and families.
The Monsal Trail in the Peak District uses old railway tunnels, newly opened especially for cycling, to get you to parts of the park no one else can reach!
Cycle to a real mountain
Mountain bikes were made for mountains, and there are some great, challenging trails in the uplands of the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, the Lake District, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the Peak District, Northumberland Pembrokeshire Coast and the Yorkshire Dales national parks, where you can hone your biking skills amongst the most stunning scenery in the UK. There are also thrill rides in Exmoor and Dartmoor national parks with graded cycle route maps available to help you plan your route. Get maps from Dartmoor’s National Park Visitor Centres and the new 1 South West cycle site.
Bikes, boats and trains
Let the train take apart of the strain, the North York Moors steam railway and the West Loch Lomond Way let you travel back by train to your original starting point. In the Lake District you can load your bike onto a boat to cross Windermere as part of your route, or travel on the Ravenglass steam railway and then cycle back on the Eskdale trail.
Abandon the motor and take to two wheels for for your entire holiday. The 80-mile Moor to Sea trail across the North York Moors starts at the coast and ends on heather moors. The 90-mile Dartmoor Way and 130-mile Yorkshire Dales Cycleway are circular rides over varied terrain, whilst the Hadrian’s Cycleway follows the line of the ancient wall for 173 miles from coast to coast.
The Taff Trail and Lôn Las Cymru National cycle routes both pass through the Brecon Beacons, and the Celtic Trail National cycle route follows the sea for over 140 miles around Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Or take on the challenge of visiting three national parks, by following the Pennine Cycleway from Derby in the Peak District, through the Yorkshire Dales and finishing in Northumberland. At more than 355 miles, this trail is ideal to do over a number of outings.
Fuel yourself with local food
Once you’ve attained a good appetite, make sure you take stock of the great local food and drink the national parks have, you’ll be supporting local communities and getting a real taste of the area too.