Now the Tour de France is well underway, it’s hard to resist the temptation to get out on your bike yourself! With the Tour in mind, we’ve put together a collection of road cycling routes for you to join in with the fun here in the UK. Test out your skills with rewarding trails or take it easy with some enjoyable cruises.
1. Clippesby, Norfolk (£)
Difficulty: Very easy
Length: 9.06 miles
By Broads Bike Hire
This route is perfect for a family with a shared love of cycling. This simple trail is on flat surfaces and easy lanes, and not only is there a chance to cycle along the water’s edge, there are also plenty of spots to stop off for activities, such as boat trips and nature reserve visits. This is a great summer’s day out.
Best for: The whole family
2. Gobowen and Oswestry, Shropshire (£)
Length: 15.63 miles
By Shropshire Council
Similar to the hill and mountain stages in the Tour de France this year, this route is for more experienced cyclists as it features a number of steep inclines and busy roads. However, it follows the curve of the countryside, making for great views.
Best for: Experienced riders
Length: 101.94 miles
By Dominic Fernyard
This route is made up of several of the first stages of the 2015 Tour de France, so you’ll gain a real experience of the grand sporting event. Passing through high moors, this route is challenging, however the beautiful landscapes and stunning views more than make up for it.
Best for: Practised riders
4. West from Midhurst along South Downs, West Sussex (£)
By Cordee Publishing
Going through the valley of the River Rother, this ride then takes you along the base of the South Downs National Park. It gives a mixture of surfaces with roads and village lanes, visiting a variety of areas and looping back round to your starting point.
Best for: Town riders
5. Richmond Wandle, Bethnal Green, London (FREE)
Length: 35.22 miles
By Robert Lister
A traffic-free ride at an easy pace. This route follows the Thames westwards towards Richmond with amazing views of London, and then moves onto the Wandle trail towards the East of London. There’s also the option to return across one of London’s famous landmarks, Tower Bridge, and stop off for a drink in a local tearoom.
Best for: City riders
6. Cambridge, City (FREE)
Length: 13.19 miles
By Cambridge Big Bike Ride
A gentle cycle around the city to enjoy the sites that Cambridge has to offer, including the well-known river. With cycle paths to follow throughout, this is an easy way to explore Cambridge.
Best for: City newcomers
7. Farnham Circular Tour, Surrey (FREE)
Length: 67.68 miles
By Peter Callow
Although this route has a variety of ascents and gradients to test your ability, the trail has quiet roads and good surfaces to really let you concentrate on your ride. The only distraction should be the picturesque scenery in the surroundings.
Best for: Bike challengers
8. Towards the source of the River Severn, Sir Powys, Wales (£)
Length: 17.5 miles
By Nick Cotton Rides
This route is set in the town of Llanidloes in Wales. Although the route may be short, it incorporates a mixture of scenery, such as woodlands, a reservoir and the young River Severn. Be prepared for the steep climb at Trefeglwys, but it’s definitely something to conquer.
Best for: Height riders