40 of the best cycle routes for a bike ride in the UK countryside

England: North

Dove Valley Trail via RSPB Old Moor

Start: Elsecar

Finish: Silkstone

Common Distance: 13 miles

Terrain: A steady ascent, particularly from Worsbrough to Silkstone Common, on a mixture of fine gravel track and stony trail

Starting from Elsecar Heritage Centre, a hotspot for hosting exhibitions, craft workshops and more, you will have the chance to take in the green surroundings of the Elsecar Canal. After passing two RSPB nature reserves, you will be treated to views of Stainborough Park. This traffic-free route is perfect for a family day out, or for less experienced riders.


Hornsea Rail Trail

Start: Kingston upon Hull

Finish Hornsea:

Distance: 13 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic tree, smooth, firm surface

Making up part of the Trans Pennine Trail, this route starts at Hull Paragon station before you weave your way to National Route 65 to where the traffic-free section starts off Damson Lane. From here, you will pass through beautiful agricultural landscapes, with open views of woodlands, fields and eventually the sea.


Wetherby Railway Path

Start: Spofforth Castle

Finish: Wetherby

Distance: 6.3 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free

Using a disused railway line, this route takes you through the scenic Yorkshire countryside, starting at Spofforth Castle, a picturesque ruin of a once-fortified 14th-century manor house. It continues along a traffic-free route from Spofforth to the historic market town of Wetherby, which sits on the banks of the River Wharfe. Here, the route goes briefly on-road until you reach Freemans Way, where the traffic-free path resumes.


Kendal to Grange-over-Sands

Start: Near Kendal Castle

Finish: Grange-over-Sands

Distance: 16.3 miles

Terrain: A mixture of on-road and traffic-free sections; 97.5 per cent sealed asphalt surface

This route will take you from Kendal, affectionately known as the ‘Gateway to the Lake District‘, to the seaside resort of Grange-over-Sands, letting you take in the true beauty of the Cumbrian countryside as you go. The ruins of the 12th-century Kendal Castle are worth exploring before you set off, with the hilltop location providing great views over the town. The route can be picked up at the old canal by Kendal Castle. Follow the path to join Natland Road, and follow signs for National Route 6 to Lancaster. At Sedgwick, the signs change to Route 70, where you will pass the National Trust’s Sizergh Castle and Gardens.


Lakeside Way, Kielder

View of Kielder Water and Forest Park, Reivers Route, National Route 10 (Photo: Sustrans)

Start and finish: Kielder Castle

Distance: 26 miles

Terrain: Well surfaced, with occasional inclines

Starting by Kielder Castle, in the depths of the Kielder Forest Park, this beautiful circular route takes you around Kielder Water, making it perfect for nature lovers. As you follow National Cycle Network Route 10 along the shoreline of the reservoir, they will be plenty of wildlife on show. You will also pass Kielder Dam and impressive public art, such as the Belvedere shelter and the three large rotating Janus Chairs.


Spen Valley Greenway

Start: Near Low Moor train station

Finish: Oakenshaw

Distance: 7 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, 100 per cent sealed asphalt surface

The Spen Valley Greenway is a green corridor with wonderful moorland views that will take you out into the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. At a gentle seven miles, this largely traffic-free route is perfect for families and less experienced riders. The path is also home to a collection of artworks including Sally Matthew’s flock of Swaledale Sheep, constructed from recycled industrial scrap, and “Rotate” by Trudi Entwistle - 40 giant steel hoops set in a circle.


Nidderdale Greenway

Start: Harrogate

Finish: Ripley

Distance: 4.2 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, firm surface

This short and sweet ride between Harrogate and Ripley passes wildflower meadows, gorgeous woodland and golden wheat fields. The route is made up of a 4-mile, traffic-free converted railway line, and travels over the impressive Grade II listed seven-arch Nidd Gorge Viaduct. When you cross the viaduct make sure you pause to enjoy the glorious views.


Consett and Sunderland Railway Path

Start: Consett

Finish: Roker Beach

Distance: 24 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, well surfaced

This lovely trail follows a former railway line into Sunderland, along the riverside and through the marina. There is plenty to visit along the route. Between Stanley and Beamish you pass the intriguingly named Hell Hole Wood, managed by the Woodland Trust and part of the Great North Community Forest. This route also contains many artworks relating to the region’s industrial heritage, including Tony Cragg’s Terris Novalis, a 6m-high engineer’s level and theodolite (an instrument used for surveying) wrought in stainless steel, Andy Goldsworthy’s Jolly Drover’s Maze relating to underground coal mining routes, and David Kemp’s King Coal, a huge face made of recycled masonry. You can also visit the world-famous open-air Beamish Museum and Sunderland Football Club’s Stadium of Light. You pass along the riverside, through the marina and on to the beach at Roker.


Liverpool Loop Line

Start: Halewood

Finish: Old Roan

Distance: 10.8 miles

Terrain: Traffic-free, well surfaced

The Liverpool Loop Line is perfect for families and less experienced riders as it is flat, easy and almost entirely traffic-free. Making up part of the Trans Pennine Trail, and following the Loop Line that was abandoned in 1964 by British Rail, this wonderful green corridor runs through east Liverpool and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The route is managed like a linear woodland park. It runs through rocky cuttings and high on embankments with wide views across the city.



Birmingham to Wolverhampton

Start: Birmingham

Finish: Wolverhampton

Distance: 13.4 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free

This route begins a few minutes from New Street Station at the Gas Street Basin, a former industrial canal interchange. Following signs for National Cycle Network Route 5, head west along the Birmingham Canal. Keep a look out for the many plants, mammals, birds and insects this route is shared with, as well as the odd sighting of otters on Birmingham’s canal network. The route passes the Galton Valley Heritage Centre where you can explore the industrial history of the area before continuing on to Wolverhampton.


Rea Valley Route

Start: Birmingham city centre

Finish: Kings Norton, Birmingham

Distance: 5.7 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free with some on-road sections. Well surfaced.

Starting from the Tourist Information Centre in central Birmingham, head out on the Rea Valley route through Cannon Hill Park, passing the colourful gardens, tearoom and bandstand, as well as the Midlands Arts Centre. You join up with the River Rea and through the open space of Pebble Mill playing fields and the greenery of Hazelwell Park at Stirchley. At around halfway, there is the opportunity for a detour to Bournville, home to Cadbury World. Following the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham canal, you will come to Kings Norton Junction. Descend into the vast green space of Kings Norton Park, before heading back to the city centre.



Derby Canal Path and Cloud Trail

Start: Derby City Centre

Finish: Worthington

Distance: 13.3 miles

Terrain: Flat, well surfaced, and almost completely traffic free

Starting near Derby city centre, this route follows an attractive path alongside the River Derwent before turning south on the Derby Canal Path to the Trent and Mersey Canal. From here you will join the Cloud Trail, an old repurposed railway path that will take you to the village of Worthington and Cloud Quarry. Along the way, you will cross the Grade II listed Trent Viaduct near the attractive town of Melbourne. Just before you reach Worthington car park, a left turn will take you on a path around the rim of Cloud Quarry. This section has stunning views.


Monsal Trail

Cycling enthusiasts on the Monsal Trail in the Peak District (Photo: AP)

Start: North of Bakewell

Finish: Bakewell

Distance: 8.9 miles

Terrain: Completely traffic-free, well surfaced

In the centre of the Peak District National Park, this short, traffic-free route is ideal for a family day out. The route starts just north of Bakewell and has many entrance points along the route between Bakewell and Blackwell Mill at Chee Dale. There is lots of interesting things to see along the Monsal Trail, including wildlife, geology, industrial and rail heritage. You travel through four 400m railway tunnels – Headstone, Cressbrook, Litton and Chee Tor. Each is lit during daylight hours.


Tissington Trail

Start: Ashbourne

Finish: Parsley Hay

Distance: 13.2 miles

Terrain: Completely traffic-free, largely flat and well surfaced

Following the route of the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line, the Tissington Trail takes you through the beautiful countryside of the Derbyshire Dales. Ashbourne is a historic market town with more than 200 listed buildings. The trail also passes near to Dovedale, a dramatic limestone ravine with stunning scenery, famous for its much-loved stepping stones that cross the River Dove.



High Peak Trail

Start: Middleton Top

Finish: Parsley Hay

Distance: 16 miles

Terrain: Completely traffic-free, well-surfaced

The High Peak Trail follows the line of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway, offering dramatic views of the stunning Derbyshire Dales. From Middleton Top, the trail climbs the short, sharp Hopton incline. It then follows a long, stone-built causeway into White Peak Country. Rich in wildlife, this is the perfect trail for nature lovers.



Forest Way

Start: East Grinstead

Finish: Groombridge

Distance: 10.2 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free and well surfaced

This lovely 10-mile traffic-free route links East Grinstead and Groombridge along a disused railway embankment. Part of the Downs and Weald cycle route, this tree-lined path takes you through the heart of the East Sussex countryside through small fields and farms among wooded, rolling hills. The area is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provides an important habitat for wildlife. Try to spot dragonflies, newts, toads and frogs. You might also be lucky enough to see swallows, badger tracks, deer and foxes among the fields and woodlands. The route also passes the village of Hartfield, which was the setting for the much-loved AA Milne’s tale, Winnie the Pooh.


Crab and Winkle Way

The Crab and Winkle Way, National Route 1 (Photo: Sustrans)

Start: Canterbury

Finish: Whitstable

Distance: 7.6 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free and well surfaced. Inclines in places.

The Crab and Winkle Way is a charming cycle ride linking the cathedral city of Canterbury with the harbour in Whitstable. From Harbledown the route is mostly traffic-free, following the railway line from the Winding Pond (a great place to picnic) to the outskirts of Whitstable. On the way you travel through Blean Woods, one of the largest areas of ancient broadleaved woodland in Britain, where you can find the rare heath fritillary butterfly. The route features some hills, with a 200ft climb out of Canterbury and an undulating middle section. You will be rewarded with fine views over Whitstable. The route ends at Whitstable station, but is signed right through to the harbour of this lovely seaside town, which is still a commercial port.


Oyster Bay Trail

Start: Whitstable

Finish: Reculver

Distance: 8.1 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free and well-surfaced

The Oyster Bay Trail offers great views of the Kent coast. At Tankerton, you will be able to look back to the Isle of Sheppey. At low tide you may also see The Street – an exposed bank of shingle in the sea. Herne Bay stands at the middle of the route. A classic seaside resort, there are ice cream shops, a pier, seafront gardens and a bandstand. At the other end of the route, you will definitely want to set time aside to explore Reculver Country Park. With fantastic views of the Thames Estuary – perfect at sunset – it’s a Special Protection Area of meadows, where sand martins nest in the cliffs.


Tudor Trail

Start: Tonbridge

Finish: Penshurst place

Distance: 5.5 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free, well surfaced

This wonderful almost entirely traffic-free route takes you past playing fields on the edge of Tonbridge and into Haysden Country Park, running around the edge of Barden Lake with its wide variety of birdlife. Shortly after passing beneath the A21, you enter a delightful area of lush broadleaf woodland, which is carpeted with wildflowers in the spring. The one noticeable climb of the route comes between the bridge over the River Medway and Well Place Farm, giving you wide-ranging views of the surrounding countryside and setting you up for a fine descent past two lakes to arrive at Penshurst Place. This interesting site is the finest and most complete example in England of 14th-century domestic architecture.


Cuckoo Trail

Start: Heathfield

Finish: Polegate

Distance: 11 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free and well-surfaced

The Cuckoo Trail is one of the most popular routes in the South East. It runs along National Cycle Network Route 21 through a mixture of broadleaf woodland, open grassland, arable farmland and pasture with verges that are often thick with seasonal wildflowers like vetch and willowherb. Along the way there are dramatic sculptures and carved wooden seats that were designed and made by Steve Geliot from oaks felled by the great storm of 1987. You will also ride through a number of quaint little villages. Near Hailsham is Michelham Priory, a historic house and the remains of an Augustinian Priory set in seven acres of beautiful gardens, surrounded by the longest water-filled medieval moat in England.



Maiden Newton to Dorchester

Start: Maiden Newton

Finish: Dorchester

Distance: 8.8 miles

Terrain: Mixture of traffic-free and on-road, well surfaced

Starting at Maiden Newton railway station, this ride uses a mixture of paths and country roads alongside the River Frome while taking you through some of Dorset’s beautiful countryside and villages to the historic county town of Dorchester. Picturesque villages to visit along the way include Frampton, where the village green alone is well worth a stop-off, as well as Bradford Peverell and Charminster. On reaching Dorchester, the inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s fictional town of Casterbridge, Hardy fans may wish to visit Max Gate, the house he built on the south-eastern edge of the town.


Strawberry Line

Start: Yatton

Finish: Cheddar

Distance: 10.7 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free, mixed surface

The Strawberry Line is a mainly traffic-free route that takes its name from the delicious cargo this former railway line carried from the strawberry fields of Cheddar. At only nine miles long, with no steep gradients, it is an ideal route for a family day out. The railway line was used for nearly a century until its closure in 1965 and, since then, a wealth of wildlife habitats have been allowed to flourish. This ride takes in a variety of landscapes from the flat marshes and Thatcher’s cider apple orchards around Yatton, steep wooded valleys and a tunnel through the Mendips, to historic Axbridge and the spectacular Cheddar Gorge.


Bath Two Tunnels Circuit

Tucking Mill viaduct. Bath Two Tunnels, Sustrans National Route 244 (Photo: Sustrans)

Start and finish: Bath Spa

Distance: 12.3 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, well surfaced

The iconic Bath Two Tunnels Circuit is a 13-mile walking and cycling loop. The route takes you from the centre of historic Bath through two tunnels, over the spectacular Tucking Mill Viaduct and past the Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet & Avon Canal, until you are back alongside the River Avon, closely following it back into Bath. The Combe Down Tunnel, at an impressive 1,672 metres, is just over one mile and is the UK’s longest cycling and walking tunnel. Travelling through the Combe Down Tunnel for the first time is an incredible experience, heightened by the extraordinary audio-visual installation, “Passage” by United Visual Artists. You can start this circular route at any access point along the circuit, however, a recommended start point is either Bath Spa station or Oldfield Park station.


High Weald Ride

Start: Ashford International Station

Finish: Tunbridge Wells

Distance: 41 miles

Terrain: Largely on-road, with steep inclines (challenging)

For those who want to tackle the full 41-mile run, which forms part of the well-signposted National Route 18, this is an excellent way to take in the beautiful Kentish scenery, complete with hops, apple orchards, oast houses and picture-postcard villages. There are dedicated cycle lanes, running alongside main roads at both Tunbridge Wells and Ashford. Other than this, the main traffic-free section is through Bedgebury Forest. For those interested in some challenging mountain bike routes, along the way three miles north-west of Tunbridge Wells is the Penshurst Off-Road Centre. This is open all year in Viceroys Wood and offers mountain bike trails for all levels of ability, from very technical to family leisure.


Colliers Way

Start: Dundas Aqueduct

Finish: Frome

Distance: 18.5 miles

Terrain: Mainly traffic free, with some hills

Taking in the beautiful Somerset countryside, the Colliers Way route runs between Dundas Aqueduct, Radstock and Frome, along National Cycle Network Route 24, making use of disused railway lines and quiet country lanes. Starting just outside the city of Bath, the route extends from Limpley Stoke Valley in the north to Frome Valley in the south, taking you through some of Somerset’s prettiest villages. There’s an array of interesting artwork along the route, including  a “Linear Orchard” of apple trees planted at intervals to highlight Somerset’s disappearing orchards, and to echo the so-called self-seeded trees that have grown as a result of apple cores being thrown from trains. Once you reach Frome, there is plenty to explore, including a museum, 17th and 18th-century housing and shopping.


Camel Trail

Start: Padstow

Finish: Wenfordbridge

Distance: 17.3 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, flat, and well surfaced

You follow an old railway line once used by the London and South West Railway, running from Padstow to Wenfordbridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin. The trail passes through the wooded countryside of the upper Camel Valley and alongside the picturesque Camel Estuary. You also pass both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), making it the perfect cycle for nature lovers.


North Dorset Trailway

Start: Sturminster Newton

Finish: Blanford Forum

Distance: 9 miles

Terrain: Mostly asphalt with off-road sections

Starting at the Station Road car park at Sturminster Newton, you follow the National Cycle Network Route 25 of the North Dorset Trailway, taking in the true beauty of the Dorset countryside. Following the course of the Stour Valley and the former Somerset and Dorset Railway line, this peaceful route is perfect for families and less experienced cyclists.



Lon Las Ogwen

Start: Porth Penrhyn

Finish: Llyn Ogwen

Distance: 11 miles

Terrain: Large traffic-free, smooth and mostly sealed surface

Lon Las Ogwen offers wonderful views of the north Wales landscape as it climbs south from the coast at Bangor. Following the valley of Afon Cegin, the trail climbs on old railway cuttings through lovely woodland to Tregarth and into the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. The peaceful Porth Penrhyn is a tranquil beginning to this ride, with the Menai Strait stretching out ahead. A railway path through mature broadleaf woodland alongside the River Cegin takes you to the village of Tregarth and on up through the spoils of the Penrhyn Quarry on a well-designed path with even better views of the mountains of Snowdonia. From here you ride along the banks of the River Ogwen, a popular white-water river for canoeists and kayakers, before joining a quiet road to cycle the final few miles amid breathtaking views of the Carneddau and Glyderau mountain ranges. End at the edges of Llyn Ogwen, beneath the craggy slopes of Tryfan – keep out for wild mountain goats nearby. Alternatively, you can follow the railway path into Bethesda itself, which makes for a good ride from Bagnor.


Mawddach Trail – Dolgellau

Red flowers overlook a railway bridge crossing an estuary in Wales on the Mawddach Trail, National Route 8 (Photo: Sustrans)

Start: Dolgellau

Finish: Barmouth

Distance: 8.9 miles

Terrain: Almost completely traffic free, with sealed smooth surface

Forming part of National Cycle Network Route 8, the Mawddach Trail is one of the most scenic railway paths in the country, running along the spectacular and atmospheric Mawddach Estuary below the foothills of Cadair Idris. The estuary is rich in birdlife and you pass the Arthog Bog RSPB reserve, which uses the old signal box as an observation centre. The trail starts in the handsome grey stone town of Dolgellau. There are two atmospheric wooden bridges, the first a toll bridge at Penmaenpool and the other at the mouth of the estuary carrying the railway line, pedestrians and cyclists into Barmouth. Here, you leave the traffic-free path and follow a short on-road section into the centre of the town.


Lon Las Menai & Lon Eifion

Start: Caernarfon

Finish: Bryncir

Distance: 16.6 miles

Terrain: Almost completely traffic free, with sealed, smooth, asphalt surface

This scenic trail runs alongside the Welsh Highland Railway and provides magnificent views of Caernarfon Bay and Snowdonia. Starting at the old slate harbour of Port Dinorwig, head off along a 4-mile section of dismantled railway through broadleaf woodland with fine views of the Menai Strait and across the water to the island of Anglesey. Continue to the magnificent Caernarfon Castle, which is just 400 yards north of National Cycle Network Route 8, which leads to an uphill climb, skirting the western edge of Snowdonia for 10 miles. The route heads past the villages of Bontnewydd, Dinas, Groeslon and to the trail’s highest point, a radio mast south of Penygroes with superb views of the Nantlle ridge. From Penygroes you will embark on a gentle downhill stretch to the village of Bryncir.


Swiss Valley Trail

Start: Llanelli

Finish: Cross Hands

Distance: 10.8 miles

Terrain: Almost completely traffic free, with sealed, smooth, asphalt surface. Many climbs

Starting at Sandy Water Park in Llanelli, a lake created on the site of a former steelworks, the Swiss Valley Cycle Route is a pretty walking and cycling trail that follows a disused railway line. The route climbs through a rural landscape into deeper woodland, where you will catch glimpses of the Lliedi reservoirs through the trees. You continue to climb, riding along the edge of the hillside close to the village of Tumble, offering wide views across the picturesque Gwendraeth Valley. The route then continues past the Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park to Cross Hands, where it finishes by the beautiful Art Deco public hall and cinema.


Taff Trail

Start: Cardiff

Finish: Pontypridd

Distance: 13.6 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic free, with a mixed surface

The Taff Trail runs for 55 miles between Cardiff and Brecon along a mixture of riverside paths, railway paths and forest roads. This section of the trail will take you from the heart of Cardiff to Pontypridd, the birthplace of singing legend Sir Tom Jones. Starting in the hustle and bustle of Cardiff city centre, it is a short ride until you are transported to rural heaven – eight gentle miles of the Taff corridor to a land of crashing weirs rich with wildlife, impressive mountain backdrops and a fairytale castle called Castell Coch (Red Castle). On the trail there is plenty of opportunity to stop and picnic before arriving at the industrial heritage town of Pontypridd, where you will find a museum and Ynysangharad Memorial Park.



Strathkelvin Railway Path

Start: Kirkintilloch

Finish: Strathblane

Distance: 8 miles

Terrain: Suitable for all bikes, road/sealed cycle path

The old Strathkelvin Railway Line is a nearly fully traffic-free link following the route of several dismantled railway lines between the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath at Kirkintilloch and the village of Strathblane. This easy out-and-back ride along the old railway provides a relaxing day’s traffic-free exploration off the main canal towpath, making it an ideal choice for a family day out. Setting off from Canal Street in Kirkintilloch, the scenic railway route, which closed to passengers in 1951 and freight in 1966, is now a tree and flower-lined path, running close by the Glazert Water. The path, also signposted as National Cycle Network Route 755, wanders through the serene Campsie Fells close to Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown before reaching the pleasant village of Strathblane.


Carnoustie to Arbroath, Scotland

Arbroath Harbour on the Angus coastline, Scotland (Photo: Visit Scotland)

Start: Carnoustie Railway Station

Finish: Arbroath

Distance: 6 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free

This breezy ride along the spectacular Angus coast is a short portion of the longer Dundee to Arbroath route. Being almost entirely flat, it is perfect for the whole family. Take care on the few brief on-road sections of the route before joining the stunning traffic-free coastal path. Keep an eye out for the distinctive chainsaw-carved fishermen sculpture at the charming village of East Haven, and reward yourself with a tasty batch of Arbroath “smokies” at the end of your journey.


Airdrie to Bathgate

Start: Airdrie

Finish: Bathgate

Distance: 14 miles

Terrain: Traffic free, well surfaced

This almost entirely traffic-free route runs alongside a reopened railway line over the central plateau of Scotland. The area has a rich industrial, mining and railway heritage, evidence of which can be seen along the way. Starting in the town of Airdrie, just 12 miles east of Glasgow centre, follow signs for National Cycle Network Route 75, which takes you east along the railway path. A quarter of the way through, just after the town of Caldercruix, is the scenic Hillend Reservoir. Continue east along the path and skirt the towns of Blackridge and Armadale, passing a variety of quirky sculptures and finally arrive in the medieval town of Bathgate.


Alloa Hillfoots Loop

Start: Alloa railway station

Finish: Alloa railway station

Distance: 12.8 miles

Terrain: A mixture of traffic-free paths and on-road sections

This circular route traces the foot of the Ochil Hills over a mixture of railway path and the Hillfoots Road, linking National Cycle Network Route 768 with Route 76 and Route 767. Starting at Alloa railway station, follow the Route 767 signs to join a quiet farm road and then a traffic-free path. From Cambus, the path passes under the railway line, alongside the River Devon. Continue north on Route 768 towards Menstrie and the Ochil Hills before passing Alva along a quiet back road. The only challenging steep climb, is on this stretch. After Tillicoultry you join the Devon Way, riding over the river. Here, you can enjoy the superb views of the Ochil Hills as you follow the path back to the railway station.


Lochwinnoch Loop Line

Start: Paisley Canal Railway Station

Finish: Kilbirnie

Distance: 14 miles

Terrain: Mostly traffic-free

The Lochwinnoch Loop Line is a short and family-friendly cycleway and footpath that forms part of the Lochs and Glens Cycle Route. The route follows National Cycle Network Route 75 Johnstone. From there it heads south west to Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch and Kilbirnie, passing by Castle Semple Loch, Barr Loch and Kilbirnie Loch.


Northern Ireland

Comber Greenway

CS Lewis Square in East Belfast at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways (Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland)

Start: Comber

Finish: East Belfast

Distance: 7 miles

Terrain: Traffic-free and well surfaced

The Comber Greenway is a tranquil green corridor along an old railway line with views of Stormont, Scrabo Tower, the Harland & Wolff cranes and the Belfast Hills. The trail is a haven for wildlife, with areas of nature conservation such as the River Enler, and passes the CS Lewis statue at the Holywood Arches in East Belfast.


Lagan and Lough Cycle Way

Start: Lisburn

Finish: Jordanstown

Distance: 20.3 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free, flat, and well surfaced

The Lagan and Lough Cycle Way is a level, mostly traffic-free cycle ride or walk connecting Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown. From Lisburn, the route follows a long river and canal-side path to Shaws Bridge before passing through Clement Wilson Park and on into the centre of Belfast. After the ferry terminals and dockland area, you will cross on to the North Foreshore Path, taking you on to Jordanstown, alongside the Belfast Lough. Along much of the route, you will spot pieces of sculpture by local artists that you can stop and admire.


Newry Canal Towpath

Start: Bann Bridge in Portadown

Finish: Newry Town Hall

Distance: 19.6 miles

Terrain: Largely traffic-free and well surfaced

Taking in part of National Cycle Network Route 9, this cycle route from Portadown to Newry follows the towpath on the western bank of the former Newry Canal. The canal operated for almost 200 years until it fell into disuse following the growth of the railway network. Just to the north of Scarva, at a point known as Washbridge, the towpath narrows to pass around the abutment of the former railway bridge that carried the now-dismantled railway from Banbridge to Scarva. Extra care should be taken when crossing the A51 Tandragee Road and when using the on-road sections of the route to reach Newry town centre.


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