For those just getting steady on two wheels, to those missing their adventure holiday abroad, the bike holiday can do it all. And the best part? You don’t even have to go far to enjoy it. 

The UK has steadily been building up a National Cycle Network and recently enjoyed a cycling boom. We’ve compiled this list of 7 great routes, suitable for families and beginners (check out tips for getting started on a bicycle here), up to habitual lycra wearers.  

If you don't have a bike of your own that doesn't have to put the brakes on your holiday - many well-known cycling destinations have local shops ready to rent out bikes and e-bikes for the daySearch and contact shops beforehand to make sure.

1) Isle of Wight  

  • Highlights – The official route to loop the island is 67 miles and offers fresh sea air, coastal roads and opportunities for refreshing dips in the seaThere are shorter, easier routes like the Red Squirrel Trail at only 32 miles. 
  • Roads – routes around the island are mapped out with signs, but you will mostly be sharing with cars 
  • Difficulty - Hard! Lots of up and down hill so make sure your gears and brakes are working 

2) Royal Route, Thames Path  

  • Highlights – Cycle 8 miles from leafy Richmond to the famous palace of Hampton CourtStop at lots of lovely coffee spots and places to eat along the way 
  • Roads – some cycling along dirt track so good for hybrids and bikes with thicker tyres 
  • Difficulty – easyRoutes that follow rivers tend to be very flat

3) Camel trailCornwall 

  • Highlights – Beautiful views along the 17-mile path from Padstow to the foot of Bodmin Moor 
  • Roads – traffic free (only 250 yards is shared with a road) as the trail is a reclaimed former railway track 
  • Difficulty – easy- mediumQuite a long route that provides flat and safe cycling for families and building confidence in new cyclists 

 4) Four Abbeys Route, Scotland 

  • Highlights – Visit four historic abbeys, Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh, across the Scottish countryside  
  • Roads – well signposted, the route follows mainly quiet roads, with a few short stretches on A roadsCan be done on road bikes.  
  • Difficulty – medium-hard! A 55-mile loop with a couple of steep, short hills to climb. 

5) Jurassic Coast, Dorset and East Devon  

  • Highlights – This 95-mile stretch between Exmouth in east Devon and Studland Bay in Dorset provides incredible views of the English Channel combined with the mind-boggling geology of the Jurassic Coast. You can even pass the famous Durdle Door.  
  • Roads – The route is well connected with Route 2 of the National Cycle networkso you will find lots of signs and roads good for cycling, although most of it is shared with traffic. Nearby bridleways will need bikes with thicker tyres. 
  • Difficulty – mediumIt’s a long route, but can be completed in chunks! 

6) Penistone to Dunford Bridge, Yorkshire 

  • Highlights – Get to Penistone by trainand you will travel across a Grade II 29 arch viaduct. This journey will give you views of the peak district and green rolling valleys. 
  • Roads – travel 5.7 miles along greenway, safe from traffic and along Route 62 of the National Cycle Network. 
  • Difficulty – Easy! A short trip good for getting comfortable on your bicycle. 

7) Three Parks TrailSouth Wales 

  • Highlights – The ride sets out from at Sirhowy Valley Country Park, and soon after crosses the stunning Hengoed Viaduct. Spot the UK’s largest earth sculpture of a pony from High Point Observatory. Look out for other sculptures and wildlife along the route. 
  • Roads – travel 13 miles along a disused railway line transformed into a safe bike path with a combination of gravel and tarmac, so best for hybrids and thicker tyres 
  • Difficulty – easy-medium, a long-ish ride and a family favourite 

Geared up for more? 

Check out these 10 tips to have a more sustainable camping trip.