Since 2001, British Cycling has thrust road cycling in the UK into the limelight. With the country’s immense success in Olympic track and road racing, creation of the dominant Team Sky and legendary Tour de France winners Wiggens and Froome, road cycling is enjoying a boom in the UK.

The UK is also a great place to ride and visit. Its countryside is full of superb road routes and it’s often voted the most beautiful island in the world by Lonely Planet.

Top spots for cycling in the UK

Though London is home to some of the nation’s best cycling cafes and concept stores, from a cyclist’s perspective the UK’s real beauty lies outside the capital.

London and the southeast

If you’re based in London, the beautiful Surrey Hills make a do-able day ride. Alternatively get right out of London and spend time in Brighton, in the South Downs National Park or on the quintessentially English Isle of Wight.

Southwest

Cornwall is a perennially popular holiday spot where the riding is leg-sapping but rewarding. Of course it’s also the starting point for the bucket list Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling challenge.

North

There’s memorable cycling to be found in the dramatic Peak District and (further north again) the iconic Lake District.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire has carved out quite a name for itself as one of the country’s cycling hubs. With the Tour de Yorkshire and Etape du Dales, this part of the world boasts some of the country’s most beautiful (and brutal) cycling.

Wales

Wales’ Brecon Beacons National Park is a stunning place to explore by bike. You might even be inspired to ride the infamous Dragon Ride.

Scotland

And finally in Scotland, Edinburgh makes a great base for exploring Scotland’s central belt, while Falkirk is also worth a closer look.

Meanwhile the stunning North Coast 500 route continues to inspire cyclists all over the world to take up the challenge.

This article provides an overview of cycling in Scotland and this shares our pick of the best cycling routes in Scotland.

For unforgettable rides in the British countryside…

Take a look at our destination guides which contain all the detail you need to plan your own cycling trip in the UK: ride guides, tips for cafe stops, the best places to stay and things to do when you’re not cycling.

This list of our favourite 14 places to cycle in the UK should be a useful starting point. Or if you’re more focused on point to point routes, our pick of the best long-distance cycling routes in the UK and Ireland is for you.

You might even want to plan a trip based around a family cycling route, family cycling holiday, hiring a camper van and/or one of the UK’s best sportives – while the mountain goats out there should take a look at our list of the best cycling climbs in Europe, a few of which are in the UK.

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