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THE BEST PLACES TO TAKE YOUR BIKE ON THE TRAIN

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Summer’s officially on the way, and with the clocks springing forward on we’ve all got more light to play with! This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of improving weather and get out on your bike. We’ve been looking at some of the best places in the UK to visit with a bicycle on the train. Expect scenic rides, feet-up freewheeling downhills and sea views!

Brighton – the South Downs

Easily accessible by train, bustling with spectacular independent cafes for that all-important post-ride cake… what’s not to love about Brighton? Head west from town over the South Downs towards Winchester for some of the most impressive ocean vistas in the country. Ditchling Beacon and Beachy Head are both popular with local cyclists, and a Brighton-Brighton loop is easy to put together.

Use the roads in the Downs for touring bikes, or head up into the hills with your mountain machine!

Land’s End to John O’ Groats

The grandaddy of all bike rides starts with a train journey to Penzance. From here, it’s a 9 mile ride to Land’s End and the beginning of the adventure! On average, the 1,000 mile undertaking will eat up 3 weeks of your life, but you’ll get to see some of the best scenery in England, Wales and Scotland on the way. Prebook bed and breakfasts on the route and you’ve got ready-made goals to aim for every day…

Putney Bridge, London – Weybridge, Surrey

Blessed with train stations at either end, the Putney Bridge – Weybridge section of the National Cycle Network (4: Thames Valley Route) is perfect for keen cyclists. It’s also got the advantage of having three easy turn-off options if you get tired!

Start at Putney, and cruise quickly away from smoggy South London to the rarefied air of beautiful Richmond Park. The route takes in the edge of the Park and Hampton Court too. On a summer’s afternoon, you’ll feel like royalty inspecting your own personal kingdom. Well, along with all the other bike nuts that is!

Turn off at Richmond Park for a short route, Kingston for a medium route and Hampton court for a “nearly made it but not quite” route!

Cannock Chase Trails – Birches Valley Trail Centre

One of the UK’s premier mountain biking trail centres is just three miles from Rugeley Trent Valley train station – and the good news is London Midland doesn’t ask you to make an advance booking for your bike! Access to Birches Valley is via the Heritage Trail from the station: note this is difficult to follow in some parts, so a map or accurate GPS are advisable.

Follow the Dog and The Monkey are the two most popular trails, with both offering a mixture of experienced and expert difficulty level sections. The Monkey has optional black segments for hardcore riders. You can also complete a ton of downhill runs at Stile Cop, which is nearby.

Bristol – Cheddar Gorge Climb

The Cheddar Gorge Climb is one of the most rewarding uphill routes in Britain. It’s used as a hill stage in the Tour of Britain, and the National Hill-climbing Championships regularly add it to their calendar.

The challenge starts at Weston Super Mare train station. Cycle 13 miles to Cheddar, and begin climbing up the sides of the huge valley – once a limestone cavern, the Gorge is now collapsed into two immense cliffs topped by a sensational plateau. Admire the views, then head back to the town of Cheddar for cheese and fresh bread. Awesome.

Tell us where you’re planning to explore with your bike this summer! We’d love to hear your favourite UK cycle routes. If you need information about travelling with your bike on the UK rail network, you can find it here.

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