10 history and culture rich cycle routes in the UK

Cyclists heading towards Corfe Castle
As part of Cycling UK's 140th Birthday celebrations we want to inspire everyone to give cycling a go, so we've collated over 140 routes all over the UK. This list of historical and cultural cycling rides from around the country should provide some added interest to a day out on your bike.

The Vale of the White Horse

In a corner of Oxfordshire not many seem to know about, this route through the Vale of the White horse takes in some impressive history. The Uffington White Horse of the chalk downs is prehistoric, whereas the National Trust’s Great Barn at Great Coxwell takes you through to medieval times.

View the Vale of the White Horse route


Poole Harbour ‘Enid Blyton’ loop

Fans of the Famous Five will know that Poole Harbour and its surroundings were the inspiration and setting for much of Enid Blyton’s most beloved works. Starting at Knoll House, this route around Poole Harbour up to Corfe Castle takes in so many places that Blyton worked into her stories under different names.

View the Poole Harbour ‘Enid Blyton’ loop


Stratford-upon-Avon to Welford-on-Avon

This route donated by the iconic Pashley Cycles begins with a ride through the town that gave us William Shakespeare, taking in his birthplace, the iconic Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the historic Holy Trinity Church. The ride continues for a total of 15 miles out to nearby Welford. Pubs and tea stops encouraged!

View the Stratford-upon-Avon to Welford-on-Avon route


Stratford-upon-Avon easy loop

An easier alternative to the above, this shorter loop is just 11 miles but still takes in Shakespearean history with less of the strain.

View the Stratford-upon-Avon easy loop


Maidenhead to Windsor loop

Experience the best Windsor has to offer with this history-rich route in Berkshire, taking in the world-famous castle, views of the Long Walk, and whichever of Windsor’s plentiful pubs and restaurants you fancy. You can also head over the pedestrian bridge into Eton, where you may spot the school’s pupils in their traditional uniform.

View the Maidenhead to Windsor loop


Princetown to Burrator reservoir route

This off-road loop on Dartmoor is a favourite of Cycling UK Training Manager Matt Woodcock, who teaches various ways of surviving of in the wild on a bike. This route takes in Fox Tor Myre – the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

View the Princetown to Burrator reservoir route


‘Sherlock Holmes’ ride in Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex

Another one for Sherlock Holmes fans here: this ride through Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex takes in the settings from numerous Holmes adventures. In starts in Farnham with a great one -the ‘Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist’.

View the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ ride in Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex


Peregrine path

This magical, family-friendly route crosses between England and Wales. It begins in the glorious Forest of Dean, and with stops at King Arthur’s Cave and the imposing Goodrich Castle with its Civil War-era cannons.

View the Peregrine path route


‘The Pedaller' Portmeirion to Coed y Brenin, North Wales

A ‘slightly surreal’ ride which originates in Portmeirion, a tourist village in North Wales designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, who modelled it in the style of an Italian town. You may remember Portmeirion as the setting of the cult 1960s TV show ‘The Prisoner’!

View ‘The Pedaller' Portmeirion to Coed y Brenin, North Wales route


The last line of defence

Take a dive into World War Two history with this route and understand how thing’s may have progressed had the British mainland been invaded. It follows the line created by the General Headquarters’ defensive ‘stop line’ of pillboxes through Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. This route is still in development, headed up Cycling UK's off-road policy advisor, Kieran Foster.

View The last line of defence route