Cathedrals Cycle Route challenge
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 (The CCR), stretching nearly 2,000 miles across England’s landscape.
Whichever English cathedral you visit this year, 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 that will link every Church of England cathedral in a new initiative to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. It is hoped that the route will be extended to other nations of the UK in the future.
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 and cycle ribbon to collect. Medals will be available to purchase for each cathedral-to-cathedral section (with all profits going to charity). A coveted CCR Finishers Medal is available to all those who have completed the full 42 cathedrals (CCR passport or ribbon collections may be required).
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 days range from panoramic hill views, lakes, river and canal rides to quiet country back lanes and bustling cities. Cyclists aren’t expected to ride all 42 cathedrals in one go, although the "42 cathedrals in 42 days" relay challenge is planned to become an annual event! Most cyclists will be tempted by the cathedral-to-cathedral day trips, with almost all destinations benefiting from train services allowing point to point journeys.
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.
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 the King Alfred's Way.
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.
Cycle with Purpose
Why not cycle cathedral to cathedral for your chosen charity or support Cycling UK’s Break the Cycle appeal, which aims to help improve people's wellbeing through the charity’s community cycling clubs, activities and projects nationwide.
Please note: This is not a Cycling UK route and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.