Hidden coves, spectacular beaches and a multitude of unexplored lanes to wind your way through. From lumpy coast roads, to roads surrounded by overgrown hedgerows, Cornwall has lots of brilliant riding that’s well worth the trip down south. Stick to the southern coast roads and you’ll be greeted with rewarding coastal views with savage steep climbs.
For spending time off of the bike there’s an abundance of beaches and small fishing towns to explore. Check out Newquay, Portreath or Perranporth if you're looking to add some surfing to your cycling staycation.
Laka tip: Check out Bike Chain Ricci who provide bike hire out of Bissoe. They also make a great cup of coffee and will help you find all the best roads, trails and old mining routes in Cornwall.
With some of the most astounding scenery that the UK has to offer, mid-Wales has been a cycling and gravel riding hotspot for a long time. Great for getting away from it all, find hilly terrain and brilliant cycling trails in every direction.
Check out Rhayader and the Elan Valley, where there are 6 dams on the river Elan. After climbing out of Rhayader you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of the Cambrian mountains. From there, you can press on towards Devil’s Bridge where you’ll find unique waterfalls that have attracted thousands of visitors since the 18th Century.
From the Elan Valley you’re only an hours drive from the beach in Aberystwyth if you feel like a day returning to civilization.
Laka tip: Head to Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest to get your mountain biking fix. There’s a skills area and three tricky trails with white-knuckle descents.
3. The North Coast 500
This one isn’t for the faint hearted. An epic expedition on the most Northern road in the UK. This is perfect for a bike packing trip, with the 500-mile route crossing lochs and taking in seaboard villages. This is truly the edge of isolation.
The North Coast 500 takes in many of the scenic sights and towns of the highlands into one route. With the trip formally starting and ending at Inverness Castle, it makes the perfect starting point for a Scottish adventure.
You can choose to camp out on the road or stay in accommodation, the choice is yours. If you’re looking for a comfortable nights stay, look no further than the Highland Bothies.
Laka tip: Make sure you have some long rides in your legs before attempting this one. It’s an endurance ride like no other.
4. The Scottish Borders
An expansive part of the country that stretches from the jaggedy coastline of Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland to the rolling hills of Dumfries. For road riding, check out the Borderloop4, a hilly ride that will take you through the towns of Cardrona, Innerleithan, Peebles and Tweedsmuir. For more information check out Cycling Scottish Borders, which have a range of gpx files to download to get the best routes in the area.
The abundant forests and native woodlands of the borders provides a haven for gravel riding and mountain biking, with a wealth of options for off-road riding. For mountain biking, look no further than Glentress trail centre just outside of Peebles. There’s riding for all abilities with green, blue, red and black trails to ride. With bike hire and shop assistance from the brilliant Alpine Bikes, it’s quite easy to get carried away and spend a few days here.
With Edinburgh just an hours drive away, there’s plenty of opportunity for off-bike options too. You can hear bagpipes already.
Laka tip: Check out the Red trail at Glentress. The Spooky wood descent is an absolute cracker.
5. The Lake District
There’s a reason that the UK’s most famous sportive, the Fred Whitton, is held in the Lake District. With the riding being undeniably tough, at least the scenery is stunning enough to take your mind off of the pain of Harknott’s or Wrynose Pass. These climbs instill fear in anyone.
When you’ve suffered enough on the bike, there’s plenty of climbing, hiking, kayaking to try. The Lakes are made for the outdoor enthusiast.
When you’re all worn out, head into Ambleside for a cosy pub lunch and a drink. It’s a proper British getaway.
Laka tip: Mechanical? Head to Wheelbase Cycle Store in the village of Staveley. You’ll end up staying there for hours.
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