England is a fantastic country to see by bike due to its varied and mostly flat terrain, lush countryside, and the preponderance of pubs and cafes along the paths. From lazy family outings to serious ascents, England’s cycle paths have something to offer everyone.
Top Scenic Bicycle Routes in England
Here are five scenic bike routes where you can experience the beauty of England. While some will take more than one day to complete, cycling portions of them is also rewarding.
C2C or S2S
Whether you call it the Coast to Coast or the Sea to Sea, this 140 mile (230 km) route connects the Irish Sea and the North Sea, and traditionally starts and ends by dipping your bike’s wheels in water.
Isle of Wight
The 62 mile (100 km) route around the island is easier if completed in a clockwise direction, but with plenty of paths and shortcuts to explore the interior of the Isle of Wight, cyclists are free to make up their route as they go.Isle of Wight
Choose between scenic coastal views and charming country lanes, or tackle the hills out of Shanklin’s Old Village. There is an annual cycling festival held in early autumn, which provides great information and entertainment for biking enthusiasts.
London to Cambridge
The 60 miles (96 km) between London and Cambridge is the final leg of the British portion of the Tour de France, and can be ridden in either direction. Often used for charity rides, this route winds through the flat, scenic, countryside, although it does begin to climb as you near Cambridge.
Riding out, exploring the ancient city, and taking the train back to London is completely acceptable!
Penzance Circular Route
This 23 mile (37 km) showcases Cornwall’s dramatic landscapes and is one of the best coastal routes in the country; its quiet routes and picturesque villages make this circular route a popular one.
The Grand Tour of Pendle
At 35 miles (56 km) long, and with 4,286 feet of ascent, the Grand Tour of Pendle is a hilly but enjoyable circular route through Pendle’s rugged terrain. It’s not recommended for beginners, but is ideal for road biking enthusiasts seeking a challenge. It’s important that you choose the right road bike from someone to get the most out of this route.
The Thames Path
There are loads of long-distance walking paths in the UK that can cover 100 to 200 plus kilometers of fascinating country.
The Thames Path is one such long-distance adventure that covers more than 280 kilometers starting at Cirencester and ending in London.
The entire path can take up to around 14 days or more depending on your pace. It switches from one bank to the other and its start is easily reachable from Birmingham airport.
For those less adventurous walkers, it is possible to walk just a portion of the trail.
The path covers the entire length of the river and goes through cities like Oxfordshire and Wallingford to name just a few.
A map for the path can be found online on the National Trail website. There are hostels, pubs, and restaurants all within easy reach of the various stopping points along the way of path. The route takes you through some of the most beautiful villages and towns in the country.
Those looking for shorter routes can take the five mile walk from Goring to Pangbourne, or the just over six mile route from Reading to Shiplake. Both can be found within easy reach of the local train stations, and allows backpackers to get a taste of the walk without spending all 14 days on it.
Once it’s reached Goring-on-Thames, the path meets up with the Ridgway, and goes through some of the most beautiful woodland in the area. Goring is easily reachable by bus or taxi from here.
There are great restaurants to be found here like Masooms and Jan Marie, plus the standard local pubs. The Thames starts to widen through this area meaning little towns and villages become more frequent.
The last leg of the trip brings you within easy distance and the flight home. The last leg is also the most populated as it brings you closer to London.
The path goes beneath Windsor Castle and also provides a stunning view of Hampton Court as well. It goes all the way into London finally ending near Greenwich.
The last section also provides a great view of many of the docks and quays to be found in London amongst the warehouses.