Celebrate Le Tour Cambridge and get 'on yer bike'

Posted on 18/06/2014

Cambridge is hosting the third stage of the world’s biggest cycling race. For those keen to celebrate “Le Tour Cambridge” with their own explorations of Cambridgeshire, ViewRanger offers a selection of great rides to get you started!

We’ve picked some of the best cycling routes Cambridgeshire has to offer, but if you have any suggestions why not upload them to ViewRanger yourself? (Click here to learn how!)

 

Madingley to Toft Circular cycle ride

Madingley_caption.pngDistance: 10 miles
Difficulty: Medium

Away from the hustle and bustle of Cambridge, the Madingley to Toft circular route passes through rolling countryside and goes off-road along the Wimpole Way.

The route passes by the impressive American Cemetery at Madingley, which is the only World War Two American Military Cemetery in Britain. The Great Mall is the centrepiece of the cemetery and contains the Tablets of the Missing, which details the 5,126 personnel missing in action, lost or buried at sea. 

Along the ride there are a number of pubs you pass by which provide a good opportunity for a rest and a bite to eat, including The Blue Lion in Hardwick which offers comforting surroundings and classic freshly cooked dishes.  

 

Huntingdon – Sawtry & Barham Cycle Route by Cambridgeshire County Council

Sawtry_caption.pngDistance: 21 miles (or shorter versions at 9 / 12 /15 miles)
Difficulty: Easy

A hundred was a traditional division of an English county that could raise one hundred fighting men for the Crown.  It was also the basis for the justice system, with courts held in each hundred at least once a month at a Hundred Stone. In Huntingdon there were four Hundred Stones, three of these survive today and you can visit them on this route.

Although the full ride is 21 miles, there are options to shorten this to 9, 12 or 15 miles. The route also passes Hamerton Zoo Park and a nature reserve which might provide a break from cycling.

 


River Cam Circular Ride

River Ride_caption.jpgDistance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Medium

This ride follows the River Cam from the centre of Cambridge and shows the very relaxed side of the city.

The route takes you through the water meadows on one side of the river and back along the tow path, past where the Cambridge college boatclubs race the 'Bumps'.  University 'May bumps' are actually held in June, and there the Town bumps in July. Teams of rowers have to catch or 'bump' the boat in front, as the river is too narrow to race side by side. Small canons are used to start the race. 

The route also passes by The Plough which serves traditional pub food and has a lovely riverside beer garden.

 

Grantchester Meadows and Tea Rooms

Granchester church_smaller_caption.jpgDistance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This route is great to explore the village of Grantchester and its famous meadows and then a walk or cycle along the River Cam.

This walk finishes by passing the Orchard Tea Rooms frequented by Virginia Woolf, Stephen Fry and Ted Hughes although not at the same time!  In the summer there are deckchairs among the long grass under the apple trees, making it an ideal stop for a nice cream tea or lunch.

The route is described as a walk but it is possible to cycle along the route right into Cambridge and back.  It is smooth route and easy for smaller children.

 

Houghton Mill to St Ives

The Fens_lowres.jpgDistance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This ride takes you out into the fens, where it is possible to see some of the wildlife that makes this area so special. It also passes the 'Good Pub Guide' Pub of the Year 2013 – The Cock - and has a tea shop at the end of the route.

The water mill is owned by the National Trust and usually open at weekends. It is also worth visiting the tea shop which has views over the mill pond and often has a number of boats to watch.

The ride follows the river past the author Lucy Boston's house where she wrote and based her series of children's books about Green Knowe. The garden is sometimes open to the public and you can visit the house by appointment.

 

Big Bike Ride Silver Route by Cambridge News

Kings College_caption.jpgDistance: 13 miles
Difficulty: Easy

This ride was part of the Cambridge News’ Big Bike Ride 2013. The route takes you around Cambridge, passing directly through the city centre with its colleges, churches and many other interesting places whilst, where possible, making full use of the many cycle paths around the city.

If you need any refreshments or toilet breaks along the way, these have been clearly marked out on the route, so you can spend your time enjoying the sights that Cambridge has to offer.

The route is aimed at individuals, couples and families who are competent on a bike and who would enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning cycle ride.

 

These routes are just a suggestion to get you inspired to embrace Cambirdgeshire’s cycling traditions and enjoy the beautiful surroundings the county has to offer. If you have any suggestions for routes to take then please tell us about them on Facebook and twitter, or even better, upload them to my.viewranger.com so others can enjoy your favourite cycle routes too.

 

Enjoy and get ‘on yer bike’ this summer!

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