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Step Up To Cycling Adventures | 5 Top UK Cycling Routes

Mollie Hughes is a Mountaineer, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The UK is covered in a network of long-distance cycling trails spanning from the south coast of England to the top of Scotland.

Long-distance cycling adventures are a brilliant way to experience this countries breath taking scenery, travel to less visited areas and they are also a superb way to push your comfort zone.

With so many routes on offer, we are here to help. We have put together our top five long distance cycle routes for you to try this year!

The South Downs Way

Location // Southern England

Distance // 100 Miles

Breath-taking views through the South Downs national park as you follow this largely off road mountain biking route.

Running between Winchester and Eastbourne and spanning the whole of the South Downs national park, this 100 mile route can be broken down into 2-4 sections for a relaxed adventure or completed in one (very long!) day for the extremely fit!

The South Downs way is waymarked and easy to follow. The trail consists of chalk and flint with grass sections and some gravel/tarmac. There are a number of accommodation options along the route in nearby towns and villages from B&B's to campsites.

The Hebridean Way

Location // The Outer Hebrides

Distance // 185 Miles

Spanning the length of the Outer Hebrides islands, this fantastic route hops between 10 islands using 6 causeways and two ferries.

This road cycling route begins on the island of Vatersay which lies on the southern tip of the archipelago. The route then heads north navigating through this chain of islands to its northern most tip, 185 miles later at the Butt of Lewis lighthouse.

The Hebridean way is way-marked throughout and easy enough to navigate. The route can take anywhere from 4-7 days depending on the amount of sight-seeing stop offs!

Hadrians Cycle Way

Location // Northern England

Distance // 174 Miles

This magnificent route follows the line of the Roman frontier for 174 miles across northern England.

Starting from Ravenglass in Cumbria, this route crosses the country to South Shields in Tyne and Wear. Hadrians Cycle Way takes in beautiful coastal views, open countryside and Roman forts.

The Terrain involves mostly road cycling but there are some traffic free sections too. The route usually takes between 3-5 days and baggage transfer companies are available to save you having to carry all of your own gear.

Lands’ End to John O’Groats

Location // UK

Distance // 1000+ Miles

The ultimate UK cycling adventure, covering the furthest possible distance in the British Isles.

Starting out at Land’s end, the most south-westerly tip of England, you pedal north. Cycling through southern England, along the welsh boarder, into Scotland and up to its most northerly tip, John O’Groats.

There is no official route for LEJOG, but there are many options in different guides. If you are aiming for a quick time, sticking to major A roads can reduce the route millage to around 900 miles. Avoiding these and taking a more scenic route can push the millage well over 1,000 miles!

The North Coast 500

Location // Northern Scotland

Distance // 516 Miles

The North Coast 500 has been hailed as one of the best cycling routes in the world, showcasing the very best in breath-taking Scottish landscapes, fairy-tale castles, caves and of course, mountains.

The five hundred and sixteen mile route offers an unforgettable road trip from the capital of the highlands, Inverness, through majestic mountain ranges and running alongside sweeping sea views up to the most northerly point in the UK. The route continues down the east coast of the country through Caithness & Sutherland before making its way back to Inverness past endless miles of sandy beaches, hidden castles and historic towns.

The route usually takes around 8 days to complete, but this can be shortened or lengthened depending on the amount of sightseeing and stop offs you would like to make. Wild camping is permitted along the whole route or for the less adventurous, there are many B&B and hotel accommodation options!

Stepping up to a cycling adventure? Share with #mytiso!


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