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For an energetic yet intimate way to see Britain’s best sights - get on your bike. From mountains to moorland, rolling hills to sandy beaches, everything is accessible on two wheels. With cycle paths running from country to coast, there’s a route for everyone. Whether it’s a cross-country adventure or exploring a city from your saddle, here’s a few routes to get you in gear.

Discover Britain on two wheels

Exploring new places from your saddle has never been easier. For the saddle-sure, there’s the likes of the 14-day adventure from Land’s End to John O’Groats - a ride of 874 miles (1,407 km) from the bottom of Britain to the top. But there’s plenty for the saddle-shy too. Check out forest trails or action-packed mountain-biking adventures, city sightseeing tours to gin-tasting on wheels, history trails to well-being tours including anything from yoga to forest bathing. Whether you’re peddling through the heart of Wales, mountain-biking the aretes of Arran, or simply coasting along the cliffs of south England, Britain is brimming with pedal-powered possibilities.

See Britain's cities by bike

There’s no better way to tour Britain’s cities than on two wheels. It’s a fun, fast and eco-friendly way to discover the nation, taking in all the iconic landmarks and cultural gems, whilst stopping for as many coffees and snacks as you want. Best of all, you get to go at your own pace and see exactly what you want. You can go solo with a pay-as-you-go bike, or join a cycling sightseeing tour. Here’s some city tours to get you started.
Young asian Woman Renting Bicycle From Bike Share Service

Pedal past iconic landmarks in London

If you are after a guided-bike tour of London, you’re spoilt for choice. In addition to a Discover London Tour using classic British Raleigh bikes, Red Bike Tours also offers a private tour option, complete with a personal concierge service.  Fat Tire Tours features specialised routes around Royal London, while those looking to discover a different side to the capital can take an Alternative London Bike Tour of the vibrant East End.

For an independent adventure, rent one of the many Santander bikes in docking stations all over London and head off along the Thames Path, especially the six-mile (10 km) section from Battersea Park to Tower Bridge. This largely traffic-free path allows you to take in major landmarks such as the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Jetski in sea below a seaside pier with a funfair

Soak up the seaside in Brighton

Head down to Brighton on England’s south coast for a quintessentially British beach break. You can take in the sights with Brighton Bike Tours, hire a Californian-style cruiser from Brighton Beach Bikes, or simply discover the streets on a BTN Bike, the city’s bike-sharing scheme.

Don’t miss the 10-mile (16 km) stretch of the National Cycle Network, linking the village of Rottingdean to Shoreham Port. Hugging the coastline, this route provides striking cliff-top views and passes Brighton’s vibrant marina, the iconic West Pier and plenty of traditional beach huts.

Hot air baloons floating above the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

See local heritage in Bristol

Bustling Bristol is a brilliant city to get around by bike. Cycle the City offers classic sightseeing tours, or you can create your own itinerary with a bike from Bristol Cycle Shack or the bike-sharing scheme The Big Issue E-Bikes.

The Bristol Docks Cycle Loop, takes in views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Cathedral, as well as several harbour-side eateries. Or you could head to the coast along the 11-mile (18 km) Bristol to Portishead route, passing the splendid Queen Square and travelling under the famous suspension bridge along the Avon Gorge.

Woman holding bunch of flowers walking past boutique shops

Meander through the metropolis of Manchester

The uber-cool metropolis of Manchester has created the Bee Network, the UK’s largest cycling and walking network, with a bike-sharing scheme. Manchester Bike Hire is also available if you want to nip across the city on two wheels.

One of Manchester’s more established cycle routes is the Ashton Canal Cycleway, offering six miles (10 km) of traffic-free cycling between the city centre and Ashton-under-Lyne. Starting from Piccadilly Gardens, this canal-side path passes the National Cycling Centre velodrome, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and the living history museum of Clayton Hall.

View of ice cream van and nearby family at Cardiff Bay

Cycle around the bay in Cardiff

The Welsh capital, Cardiff, is a compact city that lends itself nicely to sightseeing by bike, particularly around Cardiff Bay, its revitalised docklands with a lively waterfront. Cardiff’s city-wide cycle scheme, OVO Bikes, allows you to easily rent pedal and electric bikes via an app, while accessible bike hire is also available at the Pedal Power centres.

A lovely cycle route is the four-mile (seven km) circular trail from Cardiff Bay to the seaside town of Penarth. This leisurely route crosses the Pont y Werin (The People’s Bridge) and is traffic-free.

Man enjoying panoramic views of Edinburgh at the top of Arthur's Seat

Head through history in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Bike Tours has a range of options for exploring the Scottish capital. This includes a 20-mile (32 km) historic buildings and hidden trails adventure and a shorter tour around Holyrood Park, the Royal Mile and Scottish Parliament. You can hire mountain, road or electric bikes from the central Cycle Scotland.

A stand-out route through Edinburgh makes up part of the National Cycle Network’s Route 1. Picked up near Haymarket train station, the four-mile (six km) stretch takes in the shopping district of George Street and parts of Old Town, passing Edinburgh University and the peaceful George Square Gardens. It then joins the Innocent Railway Path tunnel, which passes under the extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat. From there, you can continue onto Duddingston Loch, the only natural freshwater loch in Edinburgh.