Cycling is free, liberating, healthy and ridiculously good fun. There’s nothing quite like whizzing down a hill with the wind in your hair, out on the open road. Make hay while the sun shines this summer by exploring the best cycle paths in the UK. We’ve even thrown a European jaunt into the mix for those extra keen, cycling enthusiasts.
Best for Beginners: Bath to Bristol Cycle Path
Not an avid cyclist but keen to try something new? The Bath to Bristol cycle path takes you on a 13 mile adventure past rivers, canals and meadows and the best news of all? It’s completely off-road.
This city linking, old railway path allows you to go at your own pace on a flat route. And if you do want to stop for a breather there’s plenty of surrounding amenities to enjoy.
Sip a refreshing tipple in a beer garden en route or check into the Avon valley railway café for sweet sustenance. The Avon railway has been restored to its former glory allowing visitors to devour doorstop slices of cake in a static, retro themed train carriage. It’s a nostalgic experience not to be missed.
Altogether Bristol to Bath is a great option for newbie cyclists and even better fun with a group.
Best for Scenery: Forest of Dean
Woodland lovers should head to the Forest of Dean for their cycling exploits. Variety is the spice of life here; cyclists of all abilities can opt for thrilling downhill Forest tracks or friendlier off-road trails flanked by rich countryside.
The area is not limited to cycling trails either, far from it. Take your pick from an expansive list of activities ranging from canoeing to paintballing and when the sun goes down camp out under the stars. Put aside a whole weekend to soak up all that the Forest of Dean has to offer.
Best for Far Away Adventures: Cycling in the Dutch Countryside
It’s no secret that Holland is the cycling capital of the world; Amsterdam alone boasts over 600,000 bikes. Phew! For this reason it makes perfect sense to head to the Netherlands for your cycling fix. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or new on the scene, Holland’s well-integrated network of cycle paths make the landscape a breeze to get around.
In fact, you can avoid the main roads altogether by following a choice of 25 landelijke fietroutes (long distance) routes which connect up the country, off-road style. Cycle past windmills, flowers, farmhouses and castles by day then unwind with Dutch wine and stroopwafels by night. Dreamy.
We’d love to know which outdoor activities make you tick. Whether you’re crazy for canoeing or a dab hand at tennis, share your favourite pursuits with us by leaving a comment below.