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Top 5 UK cycle routes

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Always fancied joining the peloton? Check out our guide to the top cycle routes in the UK, and celebrate the Tour de France Grand Depart with some pedal action of your own! can get you cheap train tickets and car hire to the jumping-off points for all these places. Pack your panniers and get going!

The Solar System – York

Catch up with stage 2 of the Tour at one of the most unusual cycle routes in the country. York’s “Solar System” trail follows a six mile long model of the system, featuring stars and planets in scale. The trail’s also a nature reserve, and includes a steam powered swing bridge. Official directions for cyclists state “the old Escrick station lay beyond Uranus and just before Neptune”. We’re betting this is the only cycle path on earth that can say that!

The trail starts at York railway station. Get cheap train tickets to York from


The Tarka Trail – Devon

Starting at Braunton, and following the route of the now defunct Tarka line through North Devon’s most picturesque countryside, this 32 mile belter is a favourite with cyclists and long distance runners. You’ll pass estuaries, hit the coast path in time to see some of the most dramatic seaside geography in Britain, and roll up to the best pubs in the southwest. For the most part, the Tarka Trail is well surfaced. Go beyond Torrington (heading south) and you may need a mountain bike, however.

The closest train station to Braunton is Barnstaple, where you can hire bikes. You’ll get cheap train tickets from when you book in advance.


Forest of Dean – Gloucestershire

The Forest of Dean is home to some of the easiest family cycling in Britain. Lead the tribe through ancient clearings, past scenic railways and to frequent picnic stops. The seven mile trail is completely road surfaced, and purpose built for easy riders. Plus, if you’re up for a challenge you can hit up one of the harder colour coded rides for a proper workout. Bikes can be hired on site. Use for cheap train tickets or car hire to get there, and we’ll reward you with loyalty points that can be redeemed against future fun!


Wast Water – Cumbria

Feeling hardcore? Put those pins through a proper ride and you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest views in the country. The end of the Wast Water loop puts you on Santon Bridge, next to the beautiful Santon Bridge Inn. Just the thing for a tired pair of legs! Don’t forget your camera, and be sure to take some snacks for the ride itself. The trail’s only 12 miles, but it is pretty challenging. can help you out with car hire for the journey to Wast Water, or cheap train tickets to Ravenglass (the nearest station).


Hanson Way, Oxford

Show the students a thing or two in the city where two wheels are definitely better than four! The Hanson Way takes you south out of town and along the river towards Abingdon. If you’ve brought your long-distance legs, you’ll see one of the most famous sights in the country – the massive White Horse at Uffington, an awe-inspiring artwork made by digging huge trenches and filling them with chalk. Or you could pootle around just outside Oxford itself, visiting the sites of Inspector Morse episodes. Fancy a pint, Lewis?


Got your own favourite bike rides? Let us know how you’ll be celebrating the start of the Tour. And don’t forget, can help you get where you’re going with car hire or cheap train tickets. Now there’s no excuse not to saddle up!

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