Cycling is making something of a revival throughout Britain in recent years thanks in part to our sporting successes at the Olympics and on the Tour de France. Yorkshire is set to host the start of the Tour de France in 2014. Sustrans is an organisation that has also helped to support the growing popularity of cycling holidays by developing and maintaining an extensive network of cycle routes across the country measuring thousands of kilometres in length.
With so many routes to choose from across the varied terrain of England, a classic challenge is to cycle the length and breadth of the island from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Another iconic and popular route was originally devised for walkers by Wainwright and has been adapted for bikes, from ‘coast to coast’ across northern England and through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – three contrasting national parks. In a similar fashion you can cycle east-west from Lancashire into Yorkshire along the ‘way of the roses’ from the Irish Sea in Morecombe Bay 171 miles west to Bridlington and the North Sea via York and Ripon.
In the South East many off-road cyclists choose to cycle the South Downs Way. Always a challenge with so many ups and downs but the relative level of difficulty can be adjusted according to how many days you plan to complete it in.
Another popular coast to coast can be found in the south western county of Devon in a traverse from Ilfracombe to Plymouth, passing alongside Dartmoor National Park.