We might not be able to travel abroad at the moment, but that doesn’t mean exciting holidays aren’t on the cards for those of us in the UK slowly easing our way out of lockdown. If you’re looking for a sustainable getaway, you may well have considered going for a cycling holiday – something eco-friendly, and a welcome activity to get yourself back in motion after being stuck indoors for most of the last year.
Raleigh, one of the best known names in cycling, has helpfully put together a guide to the top destinations for biking holidays in the UK. Their list ranks cycle routes based on distance, average summer temperature and (crucially, in my opinion) by the number of pubs along the route. The number one route is the Scarborough to Whitby coastal cycle path, which boasts an incredible 51 pubs along its 21.7 miles, but I’m more excited that Marriott’s Way made it into second place, being a Norwich local and all!
The top 10 UK cycling holiday routes are:
- Scarborough to Whitby – Yorkshire and the Humber
- Marriott’s Way – East of England
- Viking Coastal Trail – South East
- London Docklands and Lea Valley – South East
- Birmingham to Wolverhampton – West Midlands
- Derby Canal Path and Cloud Trail – East Midlands
- Route 622 (Preston Guild Wheel) – North West
- Route 221 – South East
- Consett and Sunderland Railway Path – North East
- The University Way – East of England
What’s so great about Marriott’s Way?
Marriott’s Way follows an old train line, taking riders from the middle of Norwich into the surrounding countryside, embedding riders into Norfolk’s abundant natural wildlife. This route meanders through farmland, woodland and water meadows, perfect for getting out and about on a relatively flat trail for all riding abilities. Of all the locations on the list, this one was rated best for air quality overall.
Marriott’s Way also boasts the best summer temperatures of all trails featured on Raleigh’s list, and the third highest density of pubs along the way! Perfect to stop and relax after a long journey, or a short journey, or really any journey if you ask me. If you’re looking for a cycling holiday in the UK with great pubs, beautiful scenery and easy terrain to ride on, I may be biased but I’d say Marriott’s Way is well worth a look.
The lockdown cycling boom
Mike Carden, from bikeridemaps.co.uk says of the ranking, “Cycling holidays look set to skyrocket this year with limited travel abroad. The UK’s cycle paths offer a great opportunity for getting outdoors and seeing more of the country. Where we are lagging behind a little is in charging stations – compared to mainland Europe we really don’t have provision for the rising number of e-bike riders to charge on the go. As e-bikes continue to grow in popularity, I think we’ll see an investment and increase in the number of dedicated charging points across the country.”
Government figures show that cycling increased by 200% during lockdown, so making the most of the UK’s dedicated cycle routes is a great way to get stuck in to this resurging national pastime. With more people turning to sustainable transport and a more eco-friendly lifestyle, cycling and e-biking holidays look set to be a huge star of the UK staycation market.
To review all cycle routes featured on the list, visit: https://www.raleigh.co.uk/gb/en/cycling-advice/uk-cycling-staycations/