Cathedrals Cycle Route challenge

Bristol cathedral cycle route
Launched during Bike Week 2021, the Cathedrals Cycle Route challenges you to cycle almost 2,000 miles across England’s landscape between 42 cathedrals

Take part

Long-distance cycle routes in the UK have become hugely popular in recent years and it doesn’t come much longer than this one: the Cathedrals Cycle Route (CCR), stretching almost 2,000 miles across England’s landscape.

Whichever English cathedral you decide to visit, you will be able to arrive by bike, thanks to a unique partnership between Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust, Sustrans and the Association of English Cathedrals. The epic route links every Church of England cathedral in an initiative to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. It's hoped that the route will be extended to other UK nations in the future.

The route has been broken into 42 sections

Officially the route starts at England’s most northerly cathedral, Newcastle, and from there winds its way around the country, taking in history and natural beauty at each leg of the journey. The full route is 1,825 miles, but it has been broken down into 42 sections, between each of the cathedrals. The legs are all of differing terrain, difficulty and lengths – ranging from just 1 mile to more than 100! – so there’s something for everyone.

The separate sections range from panoramic hill views, lakes, river and canal rides to quiet country back lanes and bustling cities.

There are many ways to complete this route, both on road and off road, but however you arrive at a cathedral you will be welcomed. Each cathedral will carry a CCR stamp or sticker. A coveted CCR Finisher’s Medal is planned to award to all those who have completed the full 42 cathedrals (CCR/PP passport or stamps may be required).

Day trips or all in one

Most people will be tempted by the cathedral-to-cathedral day trips, with almost all destinations benefiting from nearby train services allowing point-to-point journeys. But some intrepid cyclists might attempt all 42 cathedrals in one journey.

To find out about opening times and cafés and other facilities at the cathedrals you plan to visit, the easiest way is to look in the ‘visit’ section of each organisation’s individual website. You can find links to the cathedral websites.

Each cathedral is aiming to appoint a dedicated cycle champion to improve the cycle readiness of their buildings, ensuring a warm welcome for visiting cyclists.

Terrain

The published CCR route takes mostly paved surfaces suitable for all skill levels and makes use of existing trails where possible. However, if you want to switch to off road, each leg of the journey offers huge variety, including a section of King Alfred’s Way.

Navigation

The route is not signposted, but very often you are following a recognised cycle route. Parts of the route will require far greater emphasis on your own navigation skills to stay on track, so with so many sites of interest to look out for, scenic vistas to enjoy and coffee shops to visit, don’t forget to keep one eye out for the cathedral spire.

Please note: This is not a Cycling UK route and has been brought about with the help of Cathedral Cycle Champions and the cycling public so may be subject to change. If you think a route could be improved please get in touch at publicity@cyclinguk.org

Donate to new long-distance cycle routes

Since 2018 we’ve created breath-taking long-distance cycle routes across the UK, inspiring thousands of riders like you to take to the countryside, enjoying the very best of the UK’s natural landscapes and historic landmarks.  

In 2025 and beyond, we want to develop more of these routes so you and generations to come can explore our spectacular landscapes by cycle.

Your financial support helps design, map and promote these routes and ensure all necessary rights of way are obtained.

Donate today to bring new, awe-inspiring cycling adventures to life.