Top ten UK weekend getaway road cycling destinations


 

TOP TEN UK WEEKEND GETAWAY ROAD CYCLING DESTINATIONS

Cycling can set you free into an adventure where you can lose yourself, to spend time alone, or with the best people around you. Cycling provides a simple answer to the stresses of the everyday and here, in the UK, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend cycling escapes. Epic climbs, huge vistas and wild journeys can all be found in Britain.


 

For The Family

Cycling is the perfect escape for all the family, and is a great way to keep active and see what beauty the UK has to offer. With the weather warming and spring just around the corner, there is no better time to start planning a family weekend with the bikes, and there are numerous road cycling destinations here in the UK.

 

NEW FOREST, HAMPSHIRE

Less than two hours from London and spanning 571 km², the New Forest offers undoubtedly one of the best family cycling areas in the South. With a mix of tarmac and family friendly gravel pathways, the New forest has a diverse range of cycling routes to suit all abilities and, fantastically, is available to ride all year round. Endless picturesque villages and hamlets with plentiful pubs and cafes make a whole day ride possible at any pace, better yet, you will be spoilt for choice for campsites and tasteful B&B’s all offered at a great price. For the perfect springtime family cycling weekend, come to this unspoiled land of natural beauty.

ISLE OF WIGHT

The simple fact of having to go on a boat to get to the Isle of Wight makes travelling here for a family cycling weekend that bit more exciting. Once the journey has been completed, the combination of plentiful accommodation, quiet roads and pretty landscapes from the sea to the rolling hills in-land, make the Isle of Wight a must-visit location for family trips. With a great mix of on-road and off-road cycling routes, your next family cycling weekend might well be to the Isle of Wight. The Isle can be also be cycled around relatively easily too, and the 65 mile round journey can be tackled in a day or two.

 

 

 

For The View

Rolling hill scenes, wide open sea-scape vistas and chocolate-box villages, the UK has it all in plentiful supply which means you are never too far from your next ride with an epic view.

 

JURASSIC COAST, DOREST AND EAST DEVON

A wild area of Britain with an even wilder name, the Jurassic coast lives up to its namesake. With rocks and fossils dating back to between 250 and 65 million years scattering the entire 95 mile stretch of coastline, a cycling weekend here is not just beautiful, but a walk through time. Many routes within the National Cycle Network run along the Jurassic Coast, all with unforgettable views of the English Channel and epic, rocky coastline. A sight not to miss is the world-famous Durdle Door sea arch from the clifftop above. Spectacular views combined with challenging and fun riding make the Jurassic Coast an epic weekend cycling getaway.

 

COTSWOLDS, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Iconised by the picturesque Cotswolds stone, villages do not get more idyllic than in the Cotswolds. With infinite winding country roads that connect these beautiful villages and hamlets, views of the gentle rolling hills of the Cotswolds can be had after very turn making it an uber-popular riding spot for the spring/summer season. Friendly people, great hospitality and challenging yet enjoyable riding make the Cotswolds a cycling weekend getaway with a breath-taking view.

 

 

For The Climb

The challenge of a climb is what it’s all about for some cyclists, and there are plenty of demanding routes in Britain that test even the most experienced of cyclists. Here are two of our favourite climbs the UK has to offer.

 

HARDKNOTT PASS, LAKE DISTRICT

Stats:

Length: 2.25km

Height Gains: 298m

Approx. climg time: 15mins

 

The Hardknott Pass has been quoted as the king of all climbs and is therefore debated as the toughest road in the UK to ride up. Steeped in history, this snaking stretch of tarmac dates back to the 2nd century when the Romans built the Pass lying in the Eskdale Valley of the Lake District. An impressive task, the Hardknott Pass is exposed to the elements as no foliage grows above knee height here. This means that, as well as the monumental task of tackling the 25-30% gradient for 2.25km, the weather must also be fought making the Hardknott Pass one of the hardest climbs in the UK.

 

Although the Hardknott Pass is a must-do challenge when riding in the Lake District, the area has an incredible wealth of riding on offer which makes it perfect for a weekend cycling getaway. Outstanding beauty and endless emerald green lakes where perfect tarmac can be linked up with traditional pubs makes for a perfect, yet challenging cycling weekend.

 

BWICH-Y-GROES, DINAS MAWDDWY, GWYNEDD, SNOWDONIA

Stats:

Length: 3.65km

Height gain: 385m

Approx. climb time: 23mins

 

Named Hellfire Pass by the English due to its unforgiving toughness, Bwlch-y-Groes basks in its reputation of being one of the UK’s more gruelling climbs. Placed in the Aran Mountains on the edge of Snowdonia, the views are of outstanding natural beauty – the climbing, however, is not. With an immediate steep start of around 25% gradient, Bwlch-y-Groes takes no prisoners before presenting you with a very long and very steep section which sets this climb truly apart from others in Great Britain.

Situated on the South East edge of Snowdonia, this area makes for a picture-perfect weekend cycling getaway, especially if you’re looking for challenging climbs. The areas popularity with regards to everything ‘out-doors’ means that a friendly welcome will be received, and the hearty traditional Welsh cuisine will be sure to keep you sustained throughout your trip.

 

 

For The Wild

Getting truly away from civilisation and normality can feel difficult sometimes, however some of the most wild and remote ridable roads can be found in Great Britain, you just need to find them. We show you two super secluded spots where you can really go on an adventure.

 

OUTER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND

If you’re after true cycling adventure, then there is no better place than in the Outer Hebrides. Made of more islands than you will ever be able to find, there are over 100 small islands in this wild stretch of Scottish coastline. The geological makeup of these iconic islands mean that the landscape is exceptionally wild, which means cycling is made even wilder. It’s no mean feat going on a cycling weekend escape in the Outer Hebrides as travel here is relatively difficult and severe weather can draw at a moment’s notice. However, if you want to experience an experience like no other and go ‘off-grid’ for a couple of days, then the Outer Hebrides will deliver you that, and then some.

EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK, DEVON

Around a three and half hour journey from London, Exmoor National Park offers the wild within a reachable distance. Some of the UK’s most exceptional Moorland, you could easily cycle for the whole day and not meet another person on your journey. Gruelling and steep routes add to Exmoor’s wildness which can challenge riders of all abilities. Testing events are also organised including the Porlock Hill Climb and the Exmoor Beast which celebrate the wild side to Exmoor whilst delivering a tough but great ride.

 

 

 

For The Great Cycling Experience

Some roads are made great by the passing through of the most famous races in history. Some are great purely from the way they twist and muscle through a landscape that is truly astonishing. Here in the UK, we can indefinitely claim two of these rare roads, Great Dun Fell and Bealach-na-Ba.

 

GREAT DUN FELL, KNOCK, CUMBRIA

Arguably the greatest climb in England and often regarded to as our Mont Ventoux due to the radar station that summits the arduous climb, Great Dun Fell lives up to the ‘Great’ in its name. Brutal from the start, this climb ranges from 20%-25% gradient and is 7.45km. The Great Dun Fell is not the faint hearted and takes a lot of stamina, but once accomplished, the views are as great as the road itself and the sense of achievement is unrivalled. Situated in the North Pennines area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the area around Great Dun Fell delivers endless great riding opportunities making it an ultimate weekend cycling getaway.

 

BEALCH-NA-BA, APPLECROSS, HIGHLANDS

Bealch-na-Ba, a vital road that connects the village of Applecross the rest of civilisation could be named as the most remote road in Great Britain. With breath-taking views on either side, it is strongly advised that the Pass is only tackled when the weather conditions are good as the rain and wind can make this route treacherous. A 20% gradient is maintained most of the way up this brutal climb as the road snakes its way up, past weather-beaten foliage, surging waterfalls and rocky outcrops. This area really is a remote spot so riding here shouldn’t be taken lightly, however, if you have the grit and determination to ride somewhere truly great, then Bealch-na-Ba could be for you.