Top 10 Places to go on a Bike Ride

Here are the best places to go cycling as a family in the U.K.

Cycling is a brilliant way to get outdoors, keep healthy and enjoy nature. 

There are so many brilliant places to cycle across the U.K – so many it was really hard to pick!

Here are our Top 10 we think are great for families, but if you think we’ve missed any let us know in the comments.

Also don’t forget to check you know all about riding your bike safely with our Top 10 Facts about Bike Safety.

1. The Fallowfield Loop in Manchester

You might have heard us go on a bike ride around the Fallowfield Loop on Activity Quest!

The fallowfield loop is one of the longest Urban cycle paths in the country at 8 miles long but it was once a railway line. When it opened in 1892 it would have been very different to now, Queen Victoria was on the throne and people would be getting on the train in long dresses and suits for trips to Sheffield and Lincolnshire.

When the railway line was closed in the 1980s the area lay derelict for years until it was turned into a cycle route. Now it is the perfect place to enjoy a bike ride and enjoy some exciting stops along the way!

2. Cycle the Solar System in York

Cycle between York and Selby following a scale model of the Solar System! The cycle path is spread out along 6.4 miles of the old East Coast main-line railway. Along it you can find scale models of all the planets in our solar system as well as models of the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft.

It’s the perfect place to go on a bike ride and if you want to find out more about the Solar System before you go then check out our Top 10 Facts about the Solar System.

3. Staffordshire’s Manifold Track

The Manifold Track follows the route of the disused Leek and Manifold Light Railway, through the Manifold and Hamps Valleys from Waterhouses to Hulme End.

Watch out for the rivers of the Manifold and Hamps as they disappear beneath the porous limestone and reappear in Ilam Country Park. Climb the steps to Thor’s Cave for magnificent views across the valley. 

4. Grizedale Forest in the Lake District

The Lake District is famous for being beautiful and Grizedale is no different. As you cycle don’t forget to stop to look at the sculptures along the trails.

Grizedale forest has lots of different routes for all levels of cyclists and you can hire bikes when you arrive. There are also Segway treks, Tree Top Junior, Ziptrekking and Tree Top Adventure.

5. Richmond Park in London

Richmond Park, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, was created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park. The largest of London’s Royal Parks, it is home to lots of wildlife as well as being a great place to cycle.

6. The Red Squirrel Trail in the Isle of Wight

The Red Squirrel Trail is 32 miles long but you can choose a smaller section to explore.

The trail includes woodland, farmland and a stretch of the Island’s fantastic coastline.

The trail makes an ideal two or three day cycling tour taking time to take in the wildlife along the way and visit some of the many attractions, cafes and restaurants along and nearby the trail.

The route is named the Red Squirrel Trail in celebration of one of the Isle of Wight’s most iconic species, the native Red Squirrel. While in most of the U.K there are very few red squirrels left, the Isle of Wight has lots of the beautiful creatures as well as other wildlife which is equally as amazing.

7. Port Talbot to Afan Forest route in Wales

This is a 12 mile route so is best suited to families who are confident cyclists. It goes through Afan Forest, taking in some great artwork, including the Afan Valley Portrait Bench as well as being full of wildlife.

Your final destination is the Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre where you can visit the South Wales Miners’ Museum.

8. Culbin in Scotland

This is a coastal forest in Scotland. If it’s your first visit, you’ll certainly not want to miss the panoramic views from the top of the Hill 99 tower over the high trees of the forest across to Easter Ross – beware though you’ll need to take the cycle up in a low gear.

9. Wallsend Dene Cycle Route in the North East

Part of the North Tyneside Waggonways Network, this cycle route is of great historical significance in terms of coal mining and industrial heritage. There is also lots of wildlife to see.

10. Bristol and Bath Railway Path

The Bristol to Bath railway path is a 13 mile 3 metre wide tarmac cycle trail along a disused railway line. From the centre of Bristol you can ride or walk along through Mangotsfield, Warmley and Bitton and then onto Saltford to the outskirts of Bath. Join the trail at Princes Wharf or Castle Park in Bristol.

Look out for interesting sculptures, information boards and working steam trains at Bitton. You can catch a trail back if small legs are getting tired.

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