7 Best Chilled Cycle Routes in the UK
Here at Fat Lad At The Back we believe that every ride should give you something, whether that be a feeling of real achievement, some headspace or some great memories. We all need those goal-oriented rides now and then and there’s not much better than the feeling of smashing a personal best, whatever that may look like, but sometimes we just want an easy, chilled ride. Don’t worry, we’ve got you! We’ve collated all the recommendations from our incredible community of over 50,000 cyclists of varying abilities and created a hotlist for you. Below are the 7 best cycling routes for an easy, chill, traffic-free and family friendly ride across the UK.
Trans Pennine Trail
It’s a huge route that spans from coast to coast, linking the North and Irish sea. You can join the path at any point as it can easily be cycled in sections. In its entirety it runs between Southport and Hornsea for a total of 215 miles (346km) alongside rivers and canals through the historic towns of the North of England. The trail is mainly traffic-free, family friendly and makes its way across the beautiful Peak District National Park for some spectacular scenery. The majority of the trail is easy making for a great chill cycle.
[photo credit: @nomadski on Instagram]
High Peak Trail, Peak District
This fabulous trail follows the former Cromford railway line making way across the stunning Derbyshire Dales countryside. A traffic-free trail with a short, sharp Hopton incline. It wouldn’t be consider an easy cycling route as it can be technically challenging with its fast, flowing trail testing your reflexes around its tight corners. However, the views and overall ride make it one of the best cycle routes in the UK.
[photo credit: @benjhales on Instagram]
Camel Trail, Cornwall
The Camel Trail is an 18-mile route in North Cornwall; a flat and easy cycle route with views of moorland and woodland as it passes through camel valley. Based on an old railway track, it has a few different routes you can take all starting at Wadebridge – travelling to Padstow, a popular fishing harbour made famous by Rick Steins Fish Restaurant or travelling to Bodmin, an historic town where you can find quaint tea rooms, picnic areas and old railway stations. The trail is also a great place to spot wildlife like Otters Kingfishers and Bats. A Family friendly, traffic-free and easy cycling route filled with nature.
[photo credit: @mattyapple on Instagram]
The Settle Circular, North Yorkshire
Also known as the Settle Loop, it is a 10-mile long circular. The loop is a bit of a climb, beginning in Settle travelling into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. However you don’t need to ride the entire thing, you can join from surrounding areas such as Malham and Stainforth. The trail consists of different environments ranging from open stretches of grass, gravel paths, quiet winding lanes and limestone outcrops. There’s great access to witness the views of Pen-y-Ghent from this trail. It isn’t the easiest route even though it’s 10 miles as it’s filled with climbs but you’re in for a treat with the rivers and stunning landscapes - it can be challenging but it's worth it for the priceless views.
[photo credit: @cemoorelife on Instagram]
Richmond Park, London
This is a great route to have chill ride as there’s numerous ways to explore from easy flat routes to challenging steep hills. The main circular trail route is the Tamsin Trail which is 12km long. The beauty about cycling around this park is that you can choose how easy you would like it to be, they have created a grading system to help you decide. Level 1 routes are suitable for families/children and go up to 9km, level 2 is suitable for all but doesn’t require some fitness ability and includes some hilly parts. Level 3 is the hardest level which includes hilly sections and goes up to 17km. You can find more information on the different routes here - https://www.parkcycle.co.uk/ride-planning.aspx
[photo credit: @alipinchin on Instagram]
Scarborough and Whitby Rail Trail
Also known as the Cinder Track, this trail travels along the old railway line between Scarborough and Whitby. You will be soaking in the coastal views whilst you pass through Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay as well as admiring the 120ft high Larpool viaduct. In total it is a 21.5 mile track passing secluded coves Scarborough castle, Whitby Abbey and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. This is a fairly easy route with no hill climbs (apart form a steady climb over Ravenscar and Hawkser) and is mainly traffic free. The gorgeous seaside views make for a great chill ride!
[photo credit: @eightfourteensilver on Instagram]
The ‘Chocolate’ Trail, Bournville
This trail is one for the chocolate lovers, a shorter route of 6.7 miles in total. The trail leads you through some of the most beautiful parks in Birmingham, along the canals and through Victoria Park and King Norton Nature Reserve to the chocolate capital of England, Bournville. A mixture of traffic-free paths, canal towpaths and minor suburban roads this trail is an easy ride and is family-friendly accompanied by some stunning scenery. Let’s not forget about the main selling point of this trial – the chocolate. You can ride around the town and stop in for some chocolate at your own pace or you can even do sparkling chocolate treasure hunts around the town.