Top places in the UK for a Cycling Staycation | Find your adventure
With restrictions being eased in the UK and many of us having bought a new bike over the past 18 Months during the lockdowns, we thought we would go out and find some of the best places to ride in the UK for your Cycling holiday! Scenery, Route and level of enjoyment is the trinity concoction that turns your ride from a bog-standard ride into the perfect cycling adventure and we have taken this into account when choosing our locations!
In our list of places to explore on the wheels, we have: two locations which offer silky smooth, tarmac roads perfect for your Road cycling staycation, two locations that allow you to explore the scenery but off the beaten track on an MTB, one location perfect for families and one location which is great for gravel riders and multi-day bikepackers!
1. Yorkshire Dales - Up, down & around the Dales
Described as "God's own country" by the locals, the Yorkshire Dales truly packs a punch when it comes to riding its spicy climbs, sweeping descents and stunning scenery which makes it an expedition you won't forget. By taking in three well known climbs, Buttertubs, Fleet Moss and Park Rash, you really have to reserve your energy to endure the full 60 miles of silky smooth tarmac. However, the descents make it worthwhile as at one point you are descending for a good 10Km through the rolling valleys of Yorkshire.
2. Peak District - Road Cycling
Starting and finishing in the cosy town of Bakewell, the Peak District has hundreds of miles of tarmac that traverse the terrain that take in some of the best scenery in the UK. Whilst being relatively central, the Peak District is easily accessible from all areas making it a worthwhile day trip, weekend stay or week long holiday... but don't forget to take your bike! On our route, we head out towards Buxton before coming back along Errwood reservoir and the Goyt Valley then finishing off with a well-deserved Bakewell Tart.
Peak District - Mountain Biking
Why not explore the terrain but more up close and personal by going off the beaten track and smashing the trails? Our route took us on a Peak District classic... The Ladybower loop. With three main climbs (one being 23%) and three descents, our loop shows off everything that the Peaks have to offer when it comes to scenery and trail variety but make sure you reserve some energy in the tank as this route becomes very tiring, very fast!
3. Coed y Brenin, Wales
Riding alongside Pedal MTB Coach, Ed Roberts, we got to experience some of the best trails that Coed y Brenin trail centre had to offer! Taking in a variety of trails, from blues to blacks, we had an awesome ride as the trail centre really has everything to offer for a Mountain cyclist with the view of the welsh terrain as a bonus. On some of the black rated routes, the going does get tough but it will definitely put a smile on your face once you reach the end of the trail!
4. Rutland Water
Staying a bit closer to home, Sam, John, Arran and Harris take us on a Family based staycation around the Rutland Water, in the heart of the UK! With the little ones, Arran and Harris, having a smile on their faces we managed to cycle from our Whitwell store on the North shore to Normanton Church on the South shore where we had a picnic before turning around and heading back. In total, a full loop of the water is 17 miles (23 including the inner peninsula), making it the perfect staycation for a family as the path is traffic free.
4. King Alfreds Way, North Wessex Downs AONB
Named after the Anglo Saxon ruler of Wessex, King Alfred's Way is a circular route around the south of England consisting of 350Km in length... which is clearly not achievable in a day! We completed a section of King Alfred's Way known as the Ridegway which is a stretch of gravel paths between Reading and Swindon that traverses over the North Wessex Downs which consists of constant luscious green rolling hills. Along the route, you will run into hundreds of other like minded cyclists (bikepackers) who will be doing the full 350Km over several days! As bucket lists goes, this is definitely one to consider as the sense of achievement at the end will be unmatched!