Bicycle Travel > Routes

Cycling in the U.K.

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jrswenberger:
We spent a few weeks in Wales and England and used the Sustrans routes as  a guide. They strive for low to traffic-free routes but this means that you are often on tiny B roads that are more sheep habitat than roads. These are often easily bypassed by a slightly bigger road with light traffic.

If paper Sustrans maps aren't your thing and you will be using a Garmin GPS, Open Cycle Map sells the same routes preloaded on a microSD chip. If your GPS is compatible, you just need to plug the chip in and everything is available to you. Their prices and delivery are top notch. When I ordered mine, I was already in southern England at a B&B. Andy was delayed in mailing  it out so he took it to the post office and mailed it overnight, no extra charge. If you know anything about Royal Mail, you know that they aren't the most customer service oriented organization. I was able to pick up the package at the post office on the way to the train station the next morning as we headed out on day 1.

Jay

cliplesspedals:
Scotland: Must Places to stay.
http://www.sleeperzzz.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186539-d1974229-Reviews-Crask_Inn-Caithness_and_Sutherland_Scottish_Highlands_Scotland.html
http://www.applecross.uk.com/inn/

Places to ride:
The Drumbeg road, Strath Naver, The Black Isle, Applecross peninsular/Shieldag/Torridon, Strath Brora, Glencoe and loads more.

Spiritual riding.

Galloper:
A useful site is WWW.bike hub.co.UK.   You can download an excellent app for cycle routes.

The CTC website has a lot of useful information for anyone interested in touring in the UK. WWW.CTC.org.uk

AndrewC:
Hi Peter,

Lots of lovely cycling in the UK.  Some pictures from my tours are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewclark/sets/

You may want to join one of the UK forums, http://forum.ctc.org.uk/ is the equivalent of ACA.  I'm usually on Yet Another Cycling Forum , Cyclechat is another good one.

Hotels can be very expensive, but there is a good network of campsites and hostels.  Useful links below:

http://www.independenthostelguide.co.uk/ , http://www.yha.org.uk/ , Camping & Caravaning Club , http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/

http://bikehike.co.uk/index.php is my favourite mapping & routing site, though it's a bit temperamental. The Course Creator tab gives you access to several different styles of mapping and you can plan routes and download them to a GPS

There is an extensive train network to get you from one part of the country to the other, you will need a bike reservation on some long distance routes, but they are free.  This site will give you prices & let you book tickets http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/

Climate can be damp, tiny biting midges can be a major deterrent to outdoor activities in some parts of Scotland during the summer, stick to the West Coast, the wind keeps them away!

ewoodwarde:
My wife and I did a successful seven day tour  from Cambridge to Edinburgh this September. About half of our 450 miles was train and half bicycle. Some train reservations some without. First time the train conductor said "no room for more bicycles" but another train came along shortly.  We basically followed Sustrans  Route 1 north with a number of customizations.   For the first time I used a smart phone (Samsung galaxy note) while bicycling.   Before leaving to plan I made kml  routes on BikeRouteToaster (I see from another post that bikehike.uk.co is similar but better) the kml is downloaded to Google Earth , saved, and then can be uploaded to Google Maps and downloaded to the phone. So we had minimal reliance on paper maps and were able to connect by Wi-Fi or 4G most places. The phone also worked well as we would come into a town we could look up places to stay or eat or even bicycle shops on Google maps. With the abundance of bed-and-breakfast in England we thought we might only make reservations 24 hours ahead, as we knew where we would be close. Turned out places even in September are sometimes booked in advance. phone was also useful sometimes zooming in for detail when we couldn't really figure out the root. The sustrans routes are very well marked. They pick quiet roads and can be somewhat roundabout. Could give you some more detailed route info if you wish. Eric

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