Cycle Travel Guides
Historic cycle routes in the UK
Historic cycle routes in the UK

The UK is filled to the brim with miles and miles of cycling routes. With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick just one. When there are so many choose from, how do you know you are getting the best for your investment of time, money and effort? Unfortunately, you don’t. But recommendations are the next best thing, and these three historic cycle routes are some of the best in the UK.

Way of the Roses

From the one coast to the other, this 170 mile route takes you through some of England’s most historic locations. Named in reference to the dynastic wars between the houses of Lancashire and Yorkshire and the two counties through which the route exclusively takes place, the Way of the Roses is a challenging but rewarding route.

Historic points of interest across the trail are frequent and Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal and Beningborough Hall are just a few of many examples of stunning historic sites you will encounter. York, arguably the most historic city in the UK, is quite possibly the highlight of the trip. You can explore the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe, as well as overlook the city from the commanding vantage point offered by Clifford’s Tower.

The Way of the Roses also takes you past Malham Cove, one of the most distinctive landscapes in Britain. Malham Cove boasts spectacular natural limestone formations and its use as a location in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One is testament to the theatrical nature of its features.

The Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is a site of pilgrimage for the thousands of cyclists that flock there every year. Home to a range of biking terrain, your route can be altered to include anything from difficult rocky mountain bike trails to simple undulating roads.

Outside of its prowess for cycling, the Isle of Arran also houses some interesting historic sites. The prehistoric Machrie Moor Stone Circles are definitely worth a visit. Dating back to the Neolithic era, the granite boulders and tall Redstone pillars that comprise the six stone circles are positioned beneath a prominent notch where Machrie Glen splits into two steep-sided valleys, through which the sun rise shines during the summer solstice.

Arran is also famous for its extensive wildlife, be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins, sharks, seals, otters golden eagles and red deer amongst others.

Lôn Las Cymru

Traversing Snowdonia National Park and the Cambrian mountain range, as well as the 250 mile distance, make Lôn Las Cymru one of the most difficult cycle routes in the UK. Tackling this behemoth of a route requires equipment that is equal to the task; a giant mountain bike comes to mind.

Must-visit spots like Caernarfon Castle and Portmeirion provide the best kind of respite from punishing mountain ranges.

Caernarfon Castle is a typically impressive Welsh castle, complete with uncharacteristic polygonal towers (two of which play host to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers museum) that help to make it distinctive. Located on the Welsh coast, the castle offers terrific views of the Menai Strait and Snowdonia.

Portmeirion meanwhile, has to be seen to be believed. Essentially a Mediterranean village transplanted onto a romantic cliff-top site on the coast of Wales, Portmeirion is a fascinating place to visit.


So, there you have it. Three of the most historic cycle routes in the UK. Which one is top of your list to visit?