Great North Trail

A cyclist straddling her bike. She is looking back at rolling hills behind her.
Explore the mixed landscapes of Scotland and northern England on this 800-mile route: from rolling hills and dales to remote windswept moorland, crumbling castles to hidden waterfalls, swooping singletrack and old Roman roads and everything in between. The nature of the route varies in different areas – from rugged upland trails across exposed moorland, suitable for more experienced mountain bikers, to sections of canal path and disused railway perfect for family days out

What is the Great North Trail?

The award-winning 800-mile Great North Trail links the Pennine Bridleway with the northern tips of mainland Scotland, heading through some of Britain’s most stunning upland areas and four National Parks.

Plans to extend the Pennine Bridleway into Scotland were proposed in 1999, but many years later, we’re still waiting.

So Cycling UK decided to take on the challenge and develop an alternative route which you can ride right now.

This route isn’t perfect. Sometimes, an ideal connecting trail is designated as a footpath rather than a bridleway, so we’ve had to take the long way round and include a quiet on-road section.

In places, we’ve managed to negotiate permissive access, but in other areas, the process is still ongoing.

The route will continue to evolve as we campaign for increased off-road access for cycling, bringing opportunities for adventures by bike within reach of everyone.

Cycling UK’s vision is of a network of connected off-road recreational cycling routes across the length and breadth of Great Britain, through amazing places and wild landscapes.

So whether it’s an epic long-distance challenge, a weekend away, or a fantastic day out, get out there and have an adventure.

The Great North Trail routes

Download the complete guide

Would you like to see more off-road routes?

Developing new off-road routes like the Great North Trail is only possible because of the support of our 70,000 members.

You can help us continue campaigning for off-road access by becoming a member or making a donation.