Top UK Cycling Holidays

Cycling is a great way to see the UK, and with summer fast approaching its time to get thinking about your next bike-lead adventure. Whether your usual holiday is an intensive cycling training camp in Spain or you’re just looking to include some bike rides in your family holiday, the UK has something for every cyclist.

There are so many reasons to make cycling part of your next getaway – you see more of where you are than driving, it’s better for the environment than cars, it gets you further and to more places than walking, and it helps you keep fit

There are two main options for booking a cycling holiday: organising it yourself or booking with a tour company. There are plenty of ready-made tours available from dedicated UK cycling holiday experts which can remove the stress of organising, but if you’d rather customise and not be held to a strict schedule, organising it yourself is the way to go.

Finally, it’s worth while checking out the National Cycle Network from Sustrans – this helps you visualise where all the official cycling routes are wherever you end up taking your staycation!

Here are our top recommendations for cycling destinations in the UK:

1. Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands offer some fantastic scenery, and plenty of varied terrain for any type of cyclist. It's also where you'll find the toughest and longest climbs, so be ready!

Where to stay:

Applecross – if hills is what you’re after, then this area is where you need to stay! From Applecross you can take on the Bealach Na Ba, one of our top UK climbs… and one of the most difficult.
Inverness – While climbs like the Bealach Na Ba are recommended for experienced cyclists only, there are still plenty of less daring but equally stunning cycling destinations in Scotland. From Inverness and the surrounding towns, you have access to the cycling route along Loch Ness (78), towards the Cairngorms National Park (7), and along the east coast (1). If you’re feeling up for a real challenge, you could take on the North Coast 500 starting in Inverness - a circular route that takes you along the Highland coasts and explores historical locations, wilderness and distilleries.

2. North Wales

North Wales, like Scotland, offers some spectacular scenery. With panoramic views across lakes, valleys, forests and mountains, North Wales is one for the bucket list. There’s also something for every cyclist – from experienced climbers, mountain bikers, new cyclists and family friendly.

Where to stay:

Bangor: As well as being on national cycle routes 8 and 5, this area of Wales has a wealth of rides for all levels, with access to Snowdonia National Park.
Ruthin or Denbigh: Another option for North Wales on the other side of Snowdonia National Park is Ruthin, Denbigh or a nearby town. There are plenty of routes in the surrounding area such as the Clwydian Range, Hiraethog and Llyn Brenig, as well as being close to Horseshoe Pass, one of our favourite UK climbs. 

3. Lake District

You can’t talk about UK holiday destinations (cycling or no cycling) without mentioning the Lake District. With a huge amount of scenic routes, including national cycling routes, there’s no shortage of places to ride!

Where to stay:

Ambleside is a great option for the Lake District, popular for walkers and cyclists alike. With its central location within the national park, it’s a good option for exploring, close to a couple of cycling routes and also one of our favourite hill climbs – Hardknott Pass.
Another option is Keswick, which offers a couple of different routes on its doorstep.

4. Peak District

The Peak District offers something for cyclists of all disciplines and levels – with plenty of hills! There are many options for routes, our favourites being Bakewell, Eroica Britannica, or Matlock. While the climbs are plentiful, so are the views you’re rewarded with at the top, and there are plenty of café stops to keep you going.

Where to stay:

Bakewell is a great place to stay to access both family-friendly and more difficult cycle routes, as well as being nearby plenty of places to rent bikes. It’s also near by one of our top hill climbs – the Cat & Fiddle.

5. South Wales

South Wales is not only easy to get to, but has an abundance of scenic cycling routes to ride. If you want to feel like you’re cycling in the alps… this is the place to go!

Where to stay:

Pontypridd offers a central location amongst Sustran’s many cycle routes, as well as being accessible to both Cardiff and Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s also on coastal cycling route number 4, which takes you along Wales’ south coastline. If you’re more into hill climbs, no fear! You can easily access climbs such as The Bwlch (cycle route 883) from here too.

Are you heading to any UK destinations for a cycling holiday this year? Let us know! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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