10 multi-day on road tours in the UK
10 multi-day on road tours in the UK
Edinburgh to Harrogate – the Cycling UK founding route
In the 1870s, cycling was becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with around 40 bicycle clubs for racing and social cycling. However there was no club for cycle tourists.
In 1877 Stanley Cotterell, then a medical student in Edinburgh, wrote a letter to the Bicycling Times proposing to form such a club. Samuel Hattersley Ineson of the Bradford Bicycle Club responded with interest and helped plan a rally the following year where a club could be formed. In August 1878, Cotterell cycled all the way from Edinburgh to the rally in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. This route is a celebration of Mr Cotterell's ride rather than a faithful reconstruction, as it is likely many of the roads he once rode along are now motorways and busy A-roads!
Argyll to Aberdeen by Mark Beaumont
Another Cycling UK member from Scotland who is no stranger to long rides, is Mark Beaumont, the current record holder for circumnavigating the world by bike in 78 days and 14 hours. Coast to coast rides don’t come more stunning nor gritty than this Argyll to Aberdeen 240 miler which Mark rode non-stop - but it is perhaps enjoyed better over multiple days!
Newcastle to Edinburgh via Lindisfarne by Laura Laker
Cycling journalist and Cycling UK member, Laura Laker, shares fond memories of getting lost leaving Newcastle as she rode with her friend to Edinburgh via Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle, but with our GPX file route that shouldn't be a problem if you're planning on a ride along this stunning and tempestuous stretch of the Northumberland coast.
London-Wales-London by Audax UK
Audax UK — the national organisation for non-competitive long-distance cycle rides — reveals the route of one of its favourite rides: the slightly tongue-in-cheek labelled 'London-Wales-London'. This lanesy route from Chalfont St Peter, to Chepstow and back via Malmesbury, Lambourne and Henley is 400km is gently rolling with only a couple of tough climbs. It can be done non-stop in true audax style, but there's no harm in breaking it up into stages either.
Bealach na Ba loop by Lee Craigie
Lee Craigie is part of The Adventure Syndicate, a Cycling UK affiliated group. It is a collective of female endurance cyclists whose aim is to increase levels of self-belief and confidence in others (especially in women and girls) by telling inspiring stories, creating an encouraging community and delivering enabling workshops and training. Here's one of her favourite loops in the Highlands taking in the iconic and challenging climb of Bealach na Ba that starts at sea level and rises to 626m in 9km.
Isle of Wight by Jack Elton-Walters / Cyclist.co.uk
As a native Islander, Cyclist.co.uk website editor Jack Elton-Walters knows the Isle of Wight is best seen from two wheels. Here he reveals his favourite route which will be slightly different to your usual loop. Possible at a push in one day, break it up over two for a relaxing ride that takes in the best of one of the UK's sunniest spots.
The Hebridean Way
The Hebridean Way stretches from Barra to the Butt of Lewis and has it all: stunning white beaches, dramatic mountain landscape, flat boggy landscape, great and bad weather, standing stones to rival Stonehenge at Callanish, otters and of course Harris Tweed. A multi day route with only one significant climb, it would make a great introduction for those wanting an accessible but isolated cycle tour.
Devon Coast to Coast by Josie Dew
Coast to coast rides are justifiably popular in the UK, and here cycling author and Cycling UK vice-president Josie Dew reveals a coast-to-coast with a difference: across the beautiful county of Devon which she tackled with her young family (who she forgot to tell about the hills).
A spectacular week in Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Cairngorms
Gary Cummins is the Vice Chair of Cycling UK Scotland and leads tours for CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours. The route covers the often-overlooked northeast of Scotland including Dundee, Angus, Moray and Aberdeenshire. It’s suitable for fit cyclists who are willing to keep going at a steady pace and don’t mind climbing, descending and possibly challenging weather including headwinds. It takes in a mixture of roads, but most of the busier roads are on the first and last sections of the trip.
Land's End to John o' Groats (LEJOG or End to End)
Cycling from Land's End to John o' Groats is also known as doing the LEJOG or the 'end to end' is Cycling UK's most iconic route. Here we have two routes, the first is 971 miles and is aimed primarily at those wanting to the route relatively quickly. The second at 1024 miles is the original End to End YHA Route that was created many years ago when Youth Hostels were far more prevalent. This route stays very close to the original however there are some points along the way where you are no longer able to stay at a YHA and alternative accommodation would need to be sought. It is not the fastest route, but takes in quieter roads and as many hostel locations as possible.