No matter what kind of cyclist you are, you will love these 24 routes! 24 routes in 12 months obviously averages to two routes per month. Your challenge is to go cycle as many of these as you possibly can.
There’s a free cycling cap as prize to the first person who can prove they cycled all 24 routes during 2024.
I selected these routes for their scenic value, but also for their geographic location. If you manage to bag all 24 of these routes, you will also have had the opportunity to explore far more of the UK, and perhaps visited places you otherwise may never have seen.
The 24 routes include some well-known ones, but also some far less know ones. All these routes were selected for their scenic beauty. The routes are listed in no particular order.
The other Camel Trail
Whenever people talk about the Camel Trail, they tend to mostly think of the stretch from Wadebridge to Padstow. Gorgeous as that route may be, that’s just part of the overall Camel Trail. The bit I suggest you go cycle is very different, absolutely stunning, and usually far less busy.
Prestatyn to Rhos-on-Sea
At 15 miles (each way) this can easily be a delightful day out. On a clear summers day, there can be few more beautiful bike rides in the UK. You will have amazing beaches and plenty of refreshment stops to choose from. And that’s before we mention the gorgeous coastline and the views over the Irish Sea.
The Cinder Track
At 21 miles, over what can be more challenging terrain (avoid this one in winter, unless on a MTB) this is a longer day on the bike. Add to that the fact that there are few refreshment stops along the way, and it becomes a bit more of a challenge, especially with kids along. However, the views will more than make up for it!
This route is very well-known, but remains an absolute delight. As an added bonus, you can even catch the train back! Running for 36 miles, the route guide shows the route from Shalford, to Shoreham-on-Sea. As the route almost completely follows a disused railway, expect gentle gradients and blissful cycling. This is an ideal day out from London.
This route circles the Rutland Water reservoir, and includes perhaps the most scenic church in the UK along the way. With some very short stretches on normally quiet lanes, most of the route is totally traffic-free. Take a picnic, or enjoy lunch as some of the cafés or pubs along the way.
North Dorset Trailway
I’d be surprised if you’ve ever cycled this hidden gem, and expect most people never to have heard of it. Mostly built on a disused railway, the route winds its way through the beautiful Dorset countryside. The route is only 9 miles long, but you’ll probably have to ride it as a there-and-back, making at an 18 mile ride.
Consett & Sunderland Railway Path
You’re in for a treat with this one! Scenic beauty, plenty of outdoor art, and options to continue with other routes in the local area makes this a great option. Refreshment stops aren’t very regular, so pack a picnic – there are plenty of spots along the trail to have a picnic!
Deeside Way is 45 miles from end to end, and done as a there-and-back can be a long day in the saddle. Equally, it can easily be a gorgeous weekend getaway, with an overnight stop. How many other traffic-free cycle routes can offer from sea views and cityscapes to blissful cycling with clear views of the Cairngorms?
Forth and Clyde Canal
Cycle from Glasgow to Falkirk, entirely traffic-free, along the 35 tarred miles of the Forth and Clyde towpath. Easy cycling with stunning views, but ensure you carry snacks.
The Tarka Trail
33 miles of cycling heaven, meandering through astoundingly beautiful countryside. Following the course of an old railway, the gradients are mild, but you’ll still feel the long climb to Yarde Orchard. There are several cafés and pubs along the way.
Dawlish to Exeter
This 14 mile route offers wonderful sea and estuary views, and though there are some short on-road segments, it offers exceptional traffic-fee riding. Even better, you can easily get to either end by train, if you didn’t want to do it as a there-and-back.
Grand Western Canal
A stunning and flat canal ride, with a café at the end – what’s not to love? This route starts at the mainline train station, making getting there even easier.
The Cuckoo Trail
Stretching for 14 miles along a disused railway, the Cuckoo Trail is cycling bliss, though there are two quite short on-road sections. However, the baffling lack of cafés anywhere along the route will mean you need to be self-sufficient, though.
The High Peak Trail
At 18 miles each way, this can easily be a nice day out, and of course you can extend it by doing the Tissington Trail at the same time. However, if starting from Cromford station, you’ll have a 15% climb to contend with.
The Lagan and Lough Cycle Way
Perhaps Belfast’s best-kept secret, the Lagan and Lough Cycle Way is almost 24 miles long, and as a there-and-back will reward you with a day out that includes serene, rural riverside cycling, cityscapes and sea views.
The Two Tunnels Greenway
No prizes for guessing how this route got it’s name! The Combe Down tunnel has a lovely surprise, in the shape of an audio installation, and the tunnels will surprise you with their length. You can easily combine this with the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, for a longer adventure.
Oyster Bay Trail & Northern Seawall
Get two routes for the price of one here (three routes, if you include the Crab & Winkle Way!). This route of 17 miles offers spectacular sea views, but can get very busy during the high season.
The Solar System Greenway
Explore the solar system along this stunning route, with representations of the various planets being set at distances that are to scale from the sun at the start. Aside from the solar system installation, this is a gorgeous 15 mile route to explore.
This 26 mile route is built on a disused railway, and for a while runs alongside a heritage steam railway track. Most of the route has a decent, though unsealed surface, but parts of the full route are little more than single-track.
Grand Union Canal (Paddington Branch)
Proving that you can experience rural-like idyll within the heart of London, the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal is a gorgeous day trip. You will be amazed at how serene canal-side cycling can be, even inside London.
At 56 miles each way, this is a far longer route, and you may want to ride it over two days. Setting off from Cardiff, you’ll soon leave the buzz of the city behind as you head for rural bliss. Do ensure that you carry food and plenty of water though.
Explore some of what makes Shropshire so beautiful, as you cycle along the 14 miles of the Silken Way. Take some time to explore Telford centre, when the route cuts through there.
Peak Forest & Ashton Canals
Explore the 14 miles of Industrial Revolution ingenuity, as you cycle through chocolate-box-perfect canalscapes, into the heart of Manchester. You can easily get to the start by train, making this a perfect day out.
Whitehaven Rowrah Cycle Trail
This stunning 11 mile route is built on the course of a disused railway, so offers gentle gradients. The landscape will take your breath away, and the sculpture trail along the way simply adds to the wonder.
Remember to come back here, and tell us in the comments how many of these routes you managed to ride during 2024! Also, challenge all your friends to see if they can do better.