Canal Cycle Routes


The UK is covered with hundreds of delightful canals witth canalside towpaths for cyclists to use. Below are a selection of popular cycle routes which include canalside cycling for all or part of the route.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.

For more information on cycling on towpaths please visit the Canal & River Trust Website. They have just launched the Share the space, Drop your pace campaign which calls for all those who use London’s towpaths to follow a new Greenways Code and to help keep our historic network of waterways safe and pleasant for everyone to share


  Walks
Route NamePicDistanceDescription
Aire Valley Towpath16 miles (26 km)Follow the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the River Aire from Leeds to Bingley on this waterside cycle or walk. The route follows NCN route 66 and passes Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Fall, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood and Dowley Gap with both countryside and urban sections to enjoy.
Highlights on the route include the fascinating Saltaire Village World Heritage Site. Here you will find the grade II listed Victoria Hall and Salt's Mill with its shops, cafes and galleries.
Also of interest is Kirkstall Abbey. This medieval Cistercian abbey is set in beatutiful parkland and is well worth a visit if you have time.
Andover to Newbury21 miles (34 km)Follow NCN routes 246 and 4 from Hampshire into Berkshire on this attractive route.
You start off at Andover railway station and head north along country lanes through Hurstbourne Tarrant, Faccombe and Kintbury where you join the Kennet and Avon Canal for the final pleasant waterside stretch to Newbury.
There's some beautiful countryside to enjoy as well as a peaceful section through Faccombe wood and a short run through Inkpen common.
The route is easily accessible with train stations at either end.
Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail4 miles (6 km)This lovely short cycle and walking trail runs from Measham near Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Moira along a disused railway path. The path passes old Donisthorpe Colliery site, which is now a Woodland Park and Conkers - a forest-based attraction with a number of activities to enjoy. There is also a pleasant waterside section along the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal.
Please click here for more information
Atherstone to Bedworth28 miles (45 km)This route follows the North Warwickshire Cycleway through the lovely Warwickshire countryside.
The route starts in Atherstone near the train station and crosses the Coventry Canal before passing through Monks Park Wood. You continue on quiet roads to the splendid Kingsbury Water Park with 15 lakes in 600 acres of country park. The routes horseshoes back finishing in Bedworth near the train station.
Banbury to Stratford-Upon-Avon36 miles (58 km)Follow NCN route 5 from Oxfordshire to Warwickshire on this lovely rural route.
The route starts near the Oxford Canal in Banbury heading north west along a series of quiet country roads and off road tracks towards Shipston-on-Stour.
A short on road stretch then takes you to The Monarch's Way - an off road path that will lead you to the finish point in Stratford-Upon-Avon by the River Avon.
Basingstoke to Reading24 miles (38 km)This route takes you along NCN route 23 from Hampshire into Berkshire. The route starts in the war memorial park in Basingstoke heading north east through Little Basing. You'll then head into the countryside mainly on quiet roads with some short off road sections. A short stretch along the Kennet & Avon Canal takes you into Reading, finishing near the tourist information centre.
Bath to Chippenham26 miles (42 km)Follow NCN route 4 from Somerset into Wiltshire on this attractive water based ride. The route starts on Pulteney Bridge in Bath and follows the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Avon to Bradford-on-Avon. From there you continue along the canal to Semington where you will turn north towards Melksham. From here a short on road section leads you back onto the River Avon which you will follow into Chippenham.
Bath to Frome25 miles (40 km)Travel to the eastern tip of the Mendip Hills on NCN routes 4, 24 and 48. The route starts on Pulteney Bridge near the centre of Bath and follows NCN route 4 along the River Avon and the Kennet & Avon Canal before turning south west along NCN route 24 near Monkton Combe. You'll then follow a series of quiet roads and a dismantled railway line to Radstock. This section runs along the Wellow Brook and has views of the Midford Hills and Midford Castle.
From here, the route turns south east along a disused railway track before a short on road section takes you into Frome. The route finishes with a spell along the River Frome with the route finishing near Frome train station.
Bath to Midsomer Norton17 miles (27 km)This ride follows NCN routes 4, 24 and 48 through some lovely Somerset scenery. The route starts on Poultney Bridge near the centre of Bath and follows NCN route 4 along the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal before turning south west along NCN route 24 near Monkton Combe. You'll then follow a series of quiet roads and a dismantled railway line to Radstock passing Midford Castle as you go. A lovely off road stretch along the Wellow Brook in the beautiful Cotswolds takes you into Midsomer Norton.
Birmingham to Burton-Upon-Trent43 miles (70 km)On this ride you will follow NCN routes 5 and 54 through the West Midlands in to Staffordshire. You start near Birmingham New Street Station and head west along the Birmingham Canal. You then turn north towards West Bromwich passing through Sandwell Valley Country Park with its lovely woodlands and meadows. The route continues onto Walsall where a dismantled railway line takes you onto Pelsall, crossing the Wyrley and Essington Canal. You continue north on and off road passing through Chasewater Country Park with its attractive lake. The route then turns east along NCN route 54 towards Burntwood and Lichfield before heading north towards Burton-Upon-Trent on a mixture of country roads and off road paths.
Birmingham to Lichfield28 miles (45 km)This route follows NCN routes 5 and 54 through the West Midlands in to Staffordshire. You start near Birmingham New Street Station and head west along the Birmingham Canal. You then turn north towards West Bromwich passing through Sandwell Valley Country Park with its lovely woodlands and meadows. The route continues onto Walsall where a dismantled railway line takes you onto Pelsall, crossing the Wyrley and Essington Canal. You continue north on and off road passing through Chasewater Country Park with its attractive lake. The route then turns east along NCN route 54 towards Burntwood finishing in Lichfield.
Birmingham to Walsall14 miles (22 km)This route follows NCN route 81 from Birmingham to Walsall. The route starts by the railway station in Birmingham and heads west along the Birmingham Canal to Smethwick. You then turn north towards West Bromwich where a lovely off road section through Sandwell Valley Country Park follows. The ride continues to Walsall on road before finishing at the train station.
Birmingham to Wolverhampton16 miles (25 km)This route follows NCN routes 5 and 81 through the West Midlands in to Staffordshire. You start near Birmingham New Street Station and head west along the Birmingham Canal along NCN route 5. You then join NCN route 81 at Smethwick, following the canal on to Coseley and Wolverhampton, finishing at the train station.
Bishop Bennet Way32 miles (52 km)The Bishop Bennet Way is a shared walking and cycling path running from Beeston in Cheshire to Wirswall on the Shropshire borders.
The route starts at the 13th century Beeston Castle and proceeds through Milton Green, Churton and Shocklach where you will pass the Grade I listed Norman church. You continue to Grindley Brook where you cross the Shropshire Union Canal shortly before finishing at Wirswall near Whitchurch.
For cyclists please note that a mountain bike is required for this route as there are some fairly rugged off road sections.
Blackburn to Accrington7 miles (12 km)This lovely short easy ride follows NCN route 6 along the Leeds & Liverpool canal from Blackburn to Accrington via Rishton. This would make an ideal family ride as most of the route is traffic free.
Bletchley to Leighton Buzzard8 miles (13 km)Follow the Grand Union Canal and NCN route 6 from Bletchley to Leighton Buzard on this pleasant short waterside ride.
The route passes a series of pretty locks and the villages of Stoke Hammond and Leighton-Linslade as you follow the towpath along the canal. There are train stations at Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard for easy access.
Bridgwater to Chard34 miles (55 km)Starting in Bridgwater in Somerset on the Bridgwater and Taunton canal follow NCN route 33 to Langport and then Illminster before arriving in the destination town of Chard.
The backdrop to this route is the River Parret which you follow for most of the ride. You will also pass through the pretty villages of Burrowbridge and Muchelney.
Bude to Bideford40 miles (65 km)Cross from Cornwall to Devon following National Cycle Network route 3 from Bude to Bideford. This section follows the Tarka trail: a popular off road cycle path which follows the River Torridge for a scenic and traffic free ride.
You start by following the River Neet and the Bude Canal to Helebridge on a lovely traffic free path. Country roads then take you through Holsworthy and then Black Torrington before joining the Tarka Trail near Petrockstowe. This takes you all the way to Bideford on the River Torridge.
Bude to Okehampton35 miles (56 km)Follow National Cycle Network routes 3 and 27 from Bude in Cornwall to Okehampton in Devon. You start by following the River Neet and the Bude Canal to Helebridge on a lovely traffic free path. Country roads then take you through Holsworthy and then Hatherleigh before a pleasant run through Abbeyford Woods takes you to Okehampton. There are also lovely views of the rivers Torridge and Okement as you approach Okehampton.
Burnley to Hebden Bridge16 miles (25 km)This hilly ride follows NCN route 68 from Lancashire into Yorkshire. You start on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Burnley and follow the towpath to the edge of town before passing Towneley Park and Towneley Hall which is well worth a look. The route continues on road through Stiperden and Stansfield Moor before a short stretch along the Rochdale Canal takes you to the finish point by Hebden Bridge Railway station.
Burnley to Settle32 miles (52 km)Follow NCN route 68 through Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. You start on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Burnley and follow the towpath to Colne. A short stretch around Fouldridge Reservoir takes you back onto the canal to Gargrave. Here you head into the Yorkshire Dales National Park on a mixture of country roads and off road tracks passing the beautiful Scaleber Force waterfall before arriving in the market town of Settle.
Burnley to Skipton25 miles (40 km)This lovely ride takes you along NCN route 68 through Lancashire and Yorkshire. You start on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Burnley and follow the towpath to Colne via Brierfield and Nelson. A short stretch around Fouldridge Reservoir takes you back onto the canal to Barnoldswick before country roads take you to Skipton in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Burton-Upon-Trent to Derby16 miles (26 km)Travel through Staffordshire into Derbyshire along NCN route 54 on this pleasant short route. The ride begins with a stretch by the River Trent, heading north towards Etwal with views of the Trent & Mersey Canal on the way. At Etwal you join a dismantled railway line for an off road stretch which takes you to the outskirts of Derby. You then head on road into the centre of Derby.
Burton-Upon-Trent to Uttoxeter25 miles (40 km)Travel through Staffordshire and Derbyshire along NCN route 54 on this interesting route. You start near the railway station in Burton-Upon-Trent and head north to Egginton in Derbyshire, with views of the River Trent and the Trent & Mersey Canal. The route continues through the countryside mainly on road but with a short stretch along a dismantled railway line near Etwal and Hilton. Other villages of note on the route are Hatton, Marston on Dove and Sudbury - home to National Trust owned Sudbury Hall with its interesting history and attractive gardens. Shortly after leaving Sudbury you will cross the River Dove and arrive at the finish point at Uttoxeter railway station.
Buxton to Marple20 miles (32 km)Follow NCN routes 55 and 68 from Buxton in the Peak District to the lovely town of Marple in Cheshire.
Highlights on this route include the beautiful Peak District scenery and the Middlewood Way - an off road path passing by the Macclesfield Canal.
Chelmsford to Maldon12 miles (20 km)This route starts on the River Can in Chelmsford and follows the river and the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal out of the town centre and into the countryside where you'll then ride on quiet roads to Maldon on the Blackwater Estuary.
The route is pretty flat with highlights including the spell on the river and some attractive woodland and rural scenery.
Chester Loop6 miles (10 km)A lovely short circular route around the attractive county town of Chester. You'll follow the Shropshire Canal and the River Dee before finishing at the splendid cathedral.
Chester to Ellesmere Port7 miles (12 km)Follow the Shropshire Canal and NCN route 5 from Chester to Ellesmere port on this short easy ride.
On the route is the excellent Chester Zoo which is well worth a visit. The ride finishes by the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey so is perfect if you enjoy water based rides.
Chester to Frodsham17 miles (28 km)Follow NCN route 5 on this fairly easy short route through Cheshire which passes the impressive Chester Zoo. The route starts by the railway station in Chester and soon joins the Shropshire and Union Canal for some pleasant waterside riding. You then pass through the outskirts of Chester on road before coming to the zoo which is well worth a visit. Soon after you rejoin the canal which takes you onto Little Stanley.
The route then turns east towards Elton and Ince where you join a traffic free section running parallel to the Manchester Ship Canal. This takes you into Frodsham where the route finishes on Frodsham bridge.
Chester to Neston14 miles (22 km)Follow the Cheshire Cycleway from Chester to Neston on this short easy route.
The route follows quiet roads and some off road paths which include a stretch along the Shropshire Canal and the Wirral Way. Also on the route is the excellent Chester Zoo.
Chester to Northwich31 miles (50 km)This ride follows NCN route 5 through Cheshire which passes the impressive Chester Zoo. The route starts by the railway station in Chester and soon joins the Shropshire and Union Canal for some pleasant waterside riding. You then pass through the outskirts of Chester on road before coming to the zoo which is well worth a visit. Soon after you rejoin the canal which takes you onto Little Stanley.
The route then turns east towards Elton and Ince where you join a traffic free section running parallel to the Manchester Ship Canal. This takes you into Frodsham where you cross the River Weaver. Minor roads take you through Aston before a lovely traffic free section along the River Weaver to Weaverham. You then continue on road to Northwich finishing by the tourist information centre.
Chester to Rhyl34 miles (55 km)Travel from England to Wales along NCN route 5 on this attractive and fairly flat ride.
You start off in Chester with a lovely long traffic free section which takes you along the Shropshire Union Canal to Blacon where you join a dismantled railway line taking you to Connah's Quay on the River Dee. You then follow the river to Bagilt before heading through the North Wales countryside to Gronant on the coast. The ride finishes with a lovely traffic free section along the coast passing through Prestatyn and finishing at Rhyl on the seafront.
The ride is easily accessible with train stations at either end of the route.
Chester to Runcorn26 miles (42 km)This ride follows NCN route 5 through Cheshire which passes the impressive Chester Zoo. The route starts by the railway station in Chester and soon joins the Shropshire Union Canal for some pleasant waterside riding. You then pass through the outskirts of Chester on road before coming to the zoo which is well worth a visit. Soon after you rejoin the canal which takes you onto Little Stanley.
The route then turns east towards Elton and Ince where you join a traffic free section running parallel to the Manchester Ship Canal. This takes you into Frodsham where you cross the River Weaver. Minor roads take you through Aston before a long pleasant traffic free section takes you into Runcorn finishing by the tourist information centre.
Chesterfield to Sheffield19 miles (30 km)This is a nice route that follows the Trans Pennine Trail from Chesterfield to Sheffield.
The route starts by the Chesterfield Canal and follows it for a few miles before a spell along a dismantled railway. The route finishes in the centre of Sheffield near the train station but apart from the finish is mainly off road.
Route highlights include the fine Renishaw Hall stately home at Renishaw and shortly after the lovely Rother Valley Country Park (below)
Chichester to Bognor Regis8 miles (13 km)This is a nice, easy short route from Chichester to Bognor Regis which follows NCN route 2 and local cycle paths.
You start in the centre of Chichester and soon join a lovely canalside path along the Chichester Canal. The route then follows another off road path through Chichester's various lakes. A traffic free roadside path and series of quiet roads then lead you to Bognor Regis, finishing near the train station.
Most of this ride is traffic free and with train stations at either end is easily accessible.
Claude Duval Bridleroute63 miles (102 km)This shared walking and cycle path runs from Quainton, near Aylesbury in Oxfordshire to Great Barrington in the Cotswolds.
This route is named after the well-known local highwayman, Claude Duval. It starts at Quainton and passes Stratton Audley, Bicester and Bucknell before crossing the Oxford Canal near Woodstock. The route then heads towards Chipping Norton and then Spelsbury where you join the River Evenlode for a short waterside stretch to Ascott d'Oyley. You then head onto Great Barrington via Fifield.
For cyclists a hybrid or mountain bike is required for this route. This is a fairly challenging route but with some fabulous Cotswolds scenery to enjoy.
Colne Valley Trail7 miles (11 km)Follow the Colne Valley Trail from Uxbridge to Rickmansworth and enjoy riverside and canalside walking or cycling.
The trails follows the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne while also passing a series of pretty Lakes including Lynsters, Stocker's and Batchworth Lake. The trail finishes at Batchworth Lake by the car park in Rickmansworth.
Coventry to Leicester42 miles (68 km)Follow NCN routes 52 and 63 through the West Midlands, Warwickshire and into Leicestershire. The route starts on the Coventry Canal on the outskirts of Coventry and heads north along the canal and NCN route 52 to Bedworth. A short on road section then takes you through Bedworth before rejoining the tow path of the canal which takes you into Nuneaton in Warwickshire. A short stretch along the lovely off road Weddington Country Walk follows before an on road section by the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal takes you onto Market Bosworth. You then turn east along NCN route 63 just after Shackerstone. A pleasant off road section then follows through Grange Wood before country roads take you onto Thornton, passing Bagworth Heath Woods and Thornton Reservoir. A mixture of off road paths and quiet roads takes you onto the finish point in Leicester on the Grand Union Canal.
Coventry to Nuneaton12 miles (20 km)Follow NCN route 52 from the West Midlands into Warwickshire on this pleasant waterside route. The route starts on the Coventry Canal on the outskirts of Coventry and heads north along the canal to Bedworth. A short on road section then takes you through Bedworth before rejoining the tow path of the canal which takes you into Nuneaton.
Crinan to Taynuilt36 miles (58 km)This stunning ride follows NCN route 78 through Kilmartin Glen and includes a wonderful long stretch along Loch Awe.
The ride starts overlooking Loch Crinan before joining the Crinal Canal to Bellanoch. You then turn north towards Kilmartin with the fascinating Temple Wood stone circle a highlight on this section. The ride then heads towards Ford passing Loch Ederline before heading into Inverliever Forest where you will pass along the beautiful Loch Awe to Kilchrenan. You then turn north towards Taynuilt passing through the Caledonian Forest Reserve before finishing near Taynuilt train station.
Daventry to Rugby19 miles (30 km)This route starts near Daneholme park in Daventry and follows The Great Central Cycle Ride to Rugby in Warwickshire.
The route largely takes place on quiet country roads and passes through the villages of Ashby St Ledgers and Crick. There are also pleasant views of the Grand Union Canal along the way. The ride finishes near the train station in Rugby.
Derby to Loughborough25 miles (40 km)Follow NCN route 6 from Derby to Loughborough. Much of this route follows off road paths and tracks including a pleasant stretch along the River Derwent at the start. This section takes you past Pride Park football stadium and also through Alvaston Park. Another waterside stretch soon follows taking you along the Trent & Mersey Canal and then across the River Trent. You then enter Leicestershire passing by the villages of Wilson and Breedon on the Hill and through some lovey countryside on the approach to Loughborough.
Derby to Matlock22 miles (35 km)Starting by the River Derwent in Derby this route follows a series of quiet country roads to Matlock.
Route highlights include splendid views of the River Derwent especially at Duffield and Milford with its photographic weir. There is also another lovely waterside stretch along the Cromford Canal to enjoy.
Downs Link36 miles (58 km)This is a terrific walking or cycling path running from St Martha's Hill to Shoreham-by-Sea and linking the North and South Downs National Trails.
You start on St Martha's Hill will terrific views of the Surrey countryside before heading south to Cranleigh along the Wey and Arun Canal. The path continues to Rudgwick and then onto the delightful Southwater Country Park. The next stage takes you to Henfield and then onto Bramber with its ruined castle. The final stage runs along the River Adur taking you to Shoreham-by-Sea.
Ebury Way3 miles (5 km)This is an easy short cycle and walking route ideal for families. It runs along NCN route 61 and a dismantled railway line from Ricksmanworth to Watford and passes through a variety of habitats, including open moor, woodland, and wetlands. The trail crosses a number of waterways including the rivers Colne, Chess and Gade and the Grand Union Canal.
Please click here for a pdf guide from watford council
Edinburgh to Airdrie41 miles (66 km)Travel along NCN Route 75 and enjoy lovely waterside runs along the Union Canal and the River Almond.
The route starts in the centre of Edinburgh, near the famous castle, and soon joins the traffic free canal side path taking you to Balerno. You continue on road to East Calder where you join another scenic traffic free stretch along the River Almond taking you through Livingston, before more cycle paths take you onto Bathgate. Here you join the delightful Bathgate to Airdrie Railway path which takes you past Armadale and the attractive Hillend Reservoir to Airdrie.
Edinburgh to Bathgate26 miles (42 km)Travel along NCN Route 75 and enjoy lovely waterside runs along the Union Canal and the River Almond.
The route starts in the centre of Edinburgh, near the famous castle, and soon joins the traffic free canal side path taking you to Balerno. You continue on road to East Calder where you join another scenic traffic free stretch along the River Almond taking you through Livingston. The final stretch takes you from Livingston to Bathgate on more pleasant cycle tracks.
Edinburgh to Stirling50 miles (80 km)Travel along NCN Routes 1 and 76 and enjoy splendid views of the Firth of Forth.
The route starts in the centre of Edinburgh, near the famous castle, and heads through the suburbs of Roseburn and Barnton to the coast where you can enjoy a lovely traffic free section that runs along the Firth of Forth to Queensferry.
From Queensferry the route continues to Bo'ness on quiet roads save for a pleasant waterside stretch along the Union Canal at Craigton. You continue to Grangemouth where there are decent views of the Rivers Carron and Forth. The final stretch takes you to Stirling on a mixture of on road and traffic free sections.
Exe Valley Ride7 miles (11 km)This lovely easy ride or walk follows the River Exe, the Exeter Canal and NCN route 2 from Exeter to Exminster.
Highlights include Exeter's attractive quay, views of the Exe esutaury and the Riverside Valley Park.
Please click here for more information on this route.
Exeter to Dawlish16 miles (25 km)Follow NCN route 2 along the River Exe from Exeter to Dawlish. Much of this route is off road following the towpath/track along the river and the Exeter Canal before a short on road section along the south west coast path, finishing near the train station in the pretty town of Dawlish. Route highlights include the lovely views of the river and canal, with the lovely deer park and castle at Powderham another draw. The final stretch into the seaside town of Dawlish is also delightful.
Fort William to Fort Augustus33 miles (53 km)Travel along the Great Glen Way and NCN route 78 on this fantastic cycle ride which takes you along the Caledonian Canal and gives splendid views of Ben Nevis.
Grantham to Bottesford11 miles (17 km)This route follows NCN route 15 along the Grantham Canal. You start by the tourist information centre in Grantham and soon join the towpath of the canal which takes you as far as Muston. From here you follow quiet roads to the finish point at Bottesford rail station.
Grantham to Newark-On-Trent25 miles (40 km)This route follows NCN routes 15 and 64 through Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. You start by the tourist information centre in Grantham and soon join the towpath of the Grantham Canal which takes you as far as Muston. From here you follow quiet roads to Bottesford. The route continues through the countryside on country lanes, joining NCN route 64 just after Orston. A couple of miles later at Cotham you begin a short stretch on a dismantled railway line, which takes you all the way to the finish point at Newark-On-Trent rail.
Great Glen Way73 miles (117 km)Follow the Great Glen, running from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east. The route is suitable for walkers and cyclists with a mountain bike or robust hybrid.
The stunning trail follows the Caledonian Canal and the shores of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness with the mountains of the Ben Nevis range making a splendid backdrop. The route also passes Fort Augustus and includes several woodland sections, most notably through Creag nan Eun Forest.
The route is waymarked with a black hexagon thistle.
Greenwich to Cheshunt21 miles (34 km)Follow NCN route 1 on this plesant ride or walk through north London into Hertfordshire. You start by the Thames at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and crosses to the Isle of Dogs via the Greenwich tunnel. This section gives splendid views of the River Thames and Canary Wharf.
Shortly after leaving the Thames behind you will come onto the Lee Valley path which will take you along the Regent's canal and through Tower Hamlets and Victoria Park. You then join the River Lee near Lea Bridge for some more waterside riding. The off road path then takes you past various Reservoirs until you reach the lovely Lee Valley Park - London's largest open space. After going through the park you will soon pass close to Waltham Abbey in Essex before you arrive at the finish point at Cheshunt station next to Cheshunt lake.
Guildford to Chertsey11 miles (18 km)Follow NCN route 223 from Guildford to Chertsey on a mixture of traffic free paths and quiet roads.
You start at Guildford train station and head north through Stoke Park to the River Wey where you begin a short riverside section through the Riverside Park Nature Reserve. You continue to Woking on quiet roads, passing Sutton Green Golf club and Westfield common before heading through the town centre and crossing the Basingstoke Canal. The final section then heads to Chertsey, passing through Horsell Common and Ottershaw. You finish at the train station at Chertsey.
Guildford to Dorking17 miles (28 km)Travel through Surrey along NCN route 22 on this cycle ride from Guildford to Dorking.
You start in Guildford near the train station and head south along a nice traffic free section which follows the River Wey and the Wey and Arun Canal to just outside Shamley Green. You then join country lanes taking you through Shamley Green and Farley Heath to Farley Green. This section takes you through a pleasant wooded section although some climbing is involved towards Farley Heath.
The route then heads through Shere, Gomshall and Deerlap wood with much of this section on off road trails. The ride ends by passing through Dorking and finishing at the train station.
Harby to Lincoln6 miles (10 km)This short off road route follows NCN route 64 from Harby to Lincoln. The route follows off road tracks and the Fossdyke Canal making it ideal for families. Please click here for more information on this route.
Huddersfield to Barnsley40 miles (65 km)Follow NCN routes 68 and 62 on this varied route which takes you through the beautiful peak district and along sections of the Trans Pennine Trail. The route begins by following NCN route 68 along the Huddersfield canal to Marsden, via Slaithwaite. You then turn south east towards Holmfirth - a popular tourist destination as the location for the filming of Last of the Summer Wine. The ride continues through some lovely countryside passing the beautiful Winscar Reservoir before a pleasant off road stretch along a dismantled railway line to Penistone. Another lovely off road section along the Trans Pennine Trail takes you into Barnsley.
Huddersfield to Dewsbury9 miles (15 km)This is a lovely short easy route, which follows the Huddersfield Canal and the River Calder from Huddersfield to Dewsbury along NCN route 66. Most of the route is off road making it an ideal family ride.
Huddersfield to Leeds35 miles (56 km)This ride follows NCN route 66 through Yorkshire. You start following the Huddersfield Canal and the River Calder to Dewsbury. You then turn north towards Bradford, passing through Cleckheaton Golf Course and Bowling Park on traffic free paths. From Bradford you continue to Shipley where you join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which takes you into Leeds. A lot of this route is traffic free, fairly flat and along waterside paths making for a pleasant ride.
Huddersfield to Sowerby Bridge14 miles (23 km)Follow NCN routes 68 and 69 on this attractive route through the Calder Valley in Yorkshire. You start by following the Huddersfield canal west to Slaithwaite where you turn north into the countryside passing the Slaithwaite Reservoir. Quiet country roads lead you onto Scammonden Water before passing Norland Moor and finishing at Sowerby Bridge train station.
There's some splendid Yorkshire countryside to enjoy on this route with several traffic free sections a further draw.
Hull to Driffield34 miles (55 km)This is a lovely ride with plenty of traffic free sections following NCN route 1 through Yorkshire. You start off at the tourist information centre in Hull and soon join an off road path taking you through Stoneferry and West Carr where you cross the River Hull. You then continue through Cottingham and Beverley parks on more off road paths before heading into Beverley. A series of quiet country roads then take you onto Driffield finishing with views of the River Hull and Driffield canal.
Kidderminster to Bridgnorth28 miles (45 km)This route follows NCN routes 54 and 45 from Worcestershire into Shropshire. You start in Kidderminster near the train station and then head south along NCN route 54 and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to Stourport-on-Severn. The route then turns north west along NCN route 45 to Bewdley where you will cross the River Severn. A lovely off road stretch through the Wyre Forest follows before heading into the beautiful Severn Valley Country Park with a pleasant stretch along the River Severn to enjoy. Quiet roads and an off road section around Chelmarsh Reservoir then take you into Bridgnorth, finishing at the train station.
Lancaster Canal57 miles (91 km)Follow the Lancaster Canal from Preston, in Lancashire, to Kendal, in Cumbria, on this splendid waterside walk or cycle. From the canal there are fine views of the Silverdale Coast, the Forest of Bowland AONB and the lovely Wyre countryside. The route passes Garstang, Lancaster and Carnforth before finishing at Kendal.
Lancaster to Kendal26 miles (42 km)Follow national cycle network route 6 from Lancaster to Kendal. This is a lovely route that takes you along various waterways, through attractive woodland and the beautiful countryside in Lancashire and Cumbria.
Much of the route is traffic free including a lovely stretch along the Lancaster canal with views of Morecambe Bay. Please click here to find out more information.
Leeds to Barnsley31 miles (50 km)Follow the Trans Penine Trail and NCN route 67 from the city of Leeds to its nearby neighbour Barnsley. You start in the centre of Leeds and follow the River Aire and the Aire and Calder navigation canal to Mickeltown passing Clarence Dock and Woodlesford as you go. You then head west to Stanley following the River Calder before turning south towards Barnsley along the navigation canal and more traffic free paths. This section takes you through Walton and Haw parks with their attractive woodland and lakes. You finish crossing the River Dearne in Barnsley before finishing at the train station.
Leeds to Shipley12 miles (20 km)This route follows the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal from lock 1, where the canal joins the River Aire, to Shipley rail station
Leeds to Skipton31 miles (50 km)Follow NCN routes 66 and 69 on this lovely Yorkshire ride. You start by following NCN route 66 and the Liverpool & Leeds Canal to Shipley where you join NCN route 69 to Bingley and Keighley. At Kildwick you turn north following the river Calder into Skipton. Most of this ride is traffic free following the canal towpath with the latter part following country roads and the River Aire.
Lincoln to Newark-On-Trent24 miles (38 km)Travel from Lincolnshire into Nottinghamshire on NCN route 64. The route starts near Lincoln tourist information centre and heads east to Skellingthorpe wood on off roads tracks, and a pleasant stretch along the Fossdyke canal. You then turn south towards Newark following a series of quiet country roads with a section along the River Trent taking you to the finish point at the train station.
Long Eaton to Langley Mill12 miles (20 km)This lovely ride starts at the Nuttbrook trail just north of Long Eaton rail station following it north to Langley Mill.
The trail follows the Erewash canal and also includes a section through Shipley Country Park which makes it ideal for a leisurley afternoon's cycling.
The finish point is Langley Mill rail.
Luton to Leighton Buzzard17 miles (28 km)Follow NCN route 6 through Bedfordshire on this attractive route known as the Luton and South Beds Way. The route starts by Luton rail and soon passes through Wardown park with its attractive lake and the Luton Museum & Art Gallery.
A short section along the River Lea and a series of off road paths then lead you to Dunstable. On this section you will pass Leagrave Common and Houghton Hall Park before arrving at the pretty Grove House Gardens in Dunstable. Just south of the route is the interesting Dunstable Priory and Friary which is worth a visit if you have time.
From Dunstable you join a splendid off road section along the Sewell Greenway taking you towards Stanbridge before a series of quiet roads takes you into Leighton Buzzard where you will cross the Grand Union Canal before finishing at the train station.
Please click here for more information on this route.
Macclesfield to Congleton22 miles (35 km)This lovely ride follows the Cheshire cycleway through Cheshire. You start in Macclesfield and head to Congleton on country roads with views of the Macclesfield canal and the River Dane as you go. You will also pass Gawsworth New Hall, Redes Mere, and Astbury country park on this route
Macclesfield to Marple - Middlewood Way11 miles (18 km)Follow the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle and walking path running from Macclesfield to Marple and passing by the Macclesfield Canal.
Macclesfield to Stoke-on-Trent29 miles (46 km)This lovely ride follows NCN route 55 through Cheshire to Staffordshire. You start in Macclesfield and head to Congleton on country roads with views of the Macclesfield canal as you go. You will also pass Gawsworth New Hall and Redes Mere on this section of the route.
The final section heads along the Biddulph Valley Way - a traffic free disused railway path that will take you near to the outskirts of Stoke. From here you will head into Stoke passing through Central Forest and Hanley parks before finishing at the train station.
Manchester Loop12 miles (20 km)Take a tour through Manchester along NCN routes 6 and 60. Much of this ride takes place on traffic free paths making it a great way to explore the city. The ride starts by Manchester Oxford Road train station, passing through Chorlton, Levenshulme and Openshaw before finishing at Manchester Piccadilly station. Highlights on the route include a stretch along the Ashton canal, Gorton Reservoir in Debdale Park and views of the city of Manchester Stadium.
Manchester to Buxton36 miles (58 km)Follow NCN routes 6, 62 and 55 through Manchester, Cheshire and Derbyshire on this lovely ride. You start by Manchester Oxford Road station heading south through Chorlton to the River Mersey. Here you join a lovely traffic free section along the Trans Pennine Trail which takes you to Stockport. You then pass through Bredbury where you join another off road stretch by the River Goyt taking you onto Marple where you join the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle path running along the Macclesfield Canal to Bollington. Quiet roads then take you through the beautiful Peak District to Buxton.
Manchester to Macclesfield28 miles (45 km)Follow NCN routes 6, 62 and 55 through Manchester and Cheshire on this lovely ride. You start by Manchester Oxford Road station heading south through Chorlton to the River Mersey. Here you join a lovely traffic free section along the Trans Pennine Trail which takes you to Stockport passing Chorlton Water Park on the way. You then pass through Bredbury where you join another off road stretch by the River Goyt which takes you to Marple. At Marple you then join the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle path running from Macclesfield to Marple and passing by the Macclesfield Canal.
Manchester to Warrington24 miles (38 km)This ride takes you along NCN route 62 and the Trans Penine Trail from Greater Manchester into Cheshire. You start by Manchester Oxford Road station heading south through Chorlton to the River Mersey. A lovely off road section along the river follows, passing Sale Water Park on the way. More off road paths and quiet roads take you through Trafford to Altrincham where you join a lovely traffic free section along the trail and the Bridgwater Canal to Lymm. The final stretch into Warrington follows the Manchester Ship Canal, finishing at the tourist information centre.
Marlborough to Reading43 miles (70 km)This lovely ride takes you along NCN route 4 from Marlborough in Wiltshire to Reading in Berkshire via Newbury & Hungerford.
Much of the ride is traffic free with a long attractive stretch along the Kennet and Avon Canal and a lovely run through Savernake Forest at the start.
Melton Mowbray to Grantham22 miles (36 km)This route follows NCN routes 64 and 15 from Leicestershire into Lincolnshire. You start near the train station in Melton Mowbray and head out of the town along NCN route 64 passing Melton Country Park on the outskirts. Country roads take you through Scalford and Knipton before you join NCN route 15 on the Grantham Canal. The route then follows the towpath into Grantham where you finish near the tourist information centre.
Melton Mowbray to Newark-On-Trent34 miles (55 km)Follow NCN routes 64 and 15 from Leicestershire into Nottinghamshire. You start near the train station in Melton Mowbray and head north passing Melton Country Park and the village of Scalford. The route follows country roads passing Knipton Reservoir and Belvoir Lake on the way to Woolsthorpe where you join the Grantham Canal and NCN route 15, taking you to Bottesford. A series of country roads, followed by a pleasant off road stretch along a dismantled railway line then take you into Newark-On-Trent, finishing at the train station.
Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon25 miles (40 km)This spectacular ride follows NCN route 8 through the Brecon Beacons National Park. The scenery is truly stunning as you follow a series of traffic free paths and the Taff trail through this beautiful region.
The ride includes a lovely stretch along the River Taff at the start before following the trail around the striking Pontsticill, Pentwyn and Talybont Reservoirs. The final run along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal takes you into Brecon.
Milton Keynes to Bedford25 miles (40 km)Follow NCN route 51 from Buckinghamshire into Bedfordshire on this pleasant route.
The route starts near Milton Keynes rail station and heads to Campbell park where you cross the Grand Union Canal. You then pass Willen Lake before a short stretch along the River Ouzel.
A mixture of on and off road sections through the countryside then takes you onto Kempston where you finish the ride with a short stretch along the River Great Ouse, taking you into Bedford.
The route is also know as the University Way - please click here for more information on this route.
Milton Keynes to Northampton21 miles (33 km)Follow NCN route 6 and the River Ouse from Milton Keynes to Northampton.
The route follows many off road paths including the Midshires Way, Swan's Way and the River Ouse path as you make your way from Buckinghamshire into Northamptonshire.
Further highlights on the route are a spell through Salcey Forest and views of the Grand Union Canal.
Newport to Abergavenny28 miles (45 km)Follow NCN routes 47, 49, 492 and 46 from Newport to Abergavenny.
You start on the river Usk in Newport and follow NCN routes 47 and 49 along the river and the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal to Cwmbran and then onto Pontypool. Here you join another traffic free section along NCN route 492 which takes you towards Brynmawr via Blaenavon, with splendid views of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. Near Brynmawr you'll join NCN route 46, with views of Clydach gorge and another run along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal taking you to Abergavenny
Newport to Pontypridd25 miles (40 km)This ride follows NCN routes 47 and 8 from Newport to Pontypridd. Much of this ride is traffic free with spells along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, River Ebbw and the River Taff to enjoy. There are also terrific views of the surrounding countryside as you pass through Risca and Ystrad Mynach as well as the lovely Sirhowy Valley Country Park. The ride finishes with a spell along the River Taff taking you into Pontrypridd.
Northwich to Knutsford11 miles (18 km)This route follows quiet country lanes and the Cheshire Cycleway from Northwich to Knutsford.
The route includes a pleasant spell through Marbury Country Park with views of the Trent and Mersey Canal (below).
Northwich to Sandbach17 miles (27 km)This lovely short route starts by the tourist information centre in Northwich and follows NCN route 5 to Sandbach. Leaving Northwich you follow the River Weaver along the Weaver Valley Cycleway to Winsford. There is then a short stretch along the Shropshire Union Canal towards Middlewich before country roads take you onto Sandbach, finishing by the rail station.
Northwich to Winsford7 miles (11 km)This pleasant short route follows the Weaver Valley Cycleway along the Weaver Navigation Canal.
The ride is good for families as it is almost exclusively off road and fairly flat.
Nottingham to Worksop40 miles (65 km)This route takes you along national cycle network route 6 from the city of Nottingham through Sherwood Forest to the town of Worksop.
You start in Nottingham and head through the outskirts to Bestwood where you join a pleasant off road section through Mill Lakes Country Park. The ride then passes through Hucknall before joining the Linby Trail for another relaxing traffic free section. From here you continue to Ravenshead passing through Newstead Park with its Gardens and Abbey. A short on road section to Blidworth takes you onto a splendid off road section along the Robin Hood Way through Sherwood Forest. You'll pass the Major Oak in the forest rumoured to be the base of Robin Hood and there are also great views around Clumber Park. The ride finishes with a nice stretch along the Chesterfield Canal into Worksop.
Oswestry to Whitchurch28 miles (45 km)This route starts in Oswestry near the Welsh border and follows signed regional cycle routes and NCN route 45 to Whitchurch via Ellesmere. The route is not too challenging and takes place mainly on quiet country roads.
Route highlights include views of the Shropshire Union Canal at Hindford and Wroxhall and the mere at Ellesmere.
Oxford to Banbury34 miles (55 km)Travel through pretty Oxfordshire along NCN route 5 from Oxford to Banbury.
The route starts with a lovely stretch along the Oxford canal and a series of off road paths taking you to Woodstock. Here you will find the splendid Blenheim Palace. This wonderful country house is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and has beautiful gardens to enjoy. The ride continues on country roads passing through the pretty villages of Barford St Michael and Bloxham before finishing in Banbury near the Oxford Canal.
Paddington to Northolt10 miles (16 km)This short easy ride takes you along the Grand Union Canal from Paddington to Northolt. You'll pass through Kensal Green, Stonebridge and Alperton along the towpath of the canal, enjoying some pleasant scenery as you go.
This route is one of the Transport for London signed local routes.
Preston to Lancaster34 miles (55 km)Follow National Cycle Network route 6 from Preston to Lancaster and take in the Forest of Bowland and the Lancaster canal along the way of this cruisy and attractive route.
You start off near Preston train station and head through the town to Moor Park where you'll pass Deepdale - home of Preston North End FC. The ride continues north into the countryside towards Garstang and Scorton where there are views of the River Wyre and Cleveley Mere. After passing through Galgate and crossing the Lancaster Canal you will join the River Lune for a lovely traffic free waterside stretch. Quiet roads and another waterside run along the Lancaster Canal take you into Lancaster.
Redditch to Birmingham26 miles (42 km)This route follows NCN route 5 from Redditch in Worcestershire to the metropolis that is Birmingham. The route starts near the centre of Redditch and heads for Bromsgrove on quiet country roads crossing the Worcester and Birmingham Canal near Aston Fields. You then continue to the outskirts of Birmingham on road before an off road stretch starting at Birmingham Great Park.
Waterside runs along the River Rea and Birmingham canal take you through King's Norton and the lovely Cannon Hill Park on your way to the centre of Birmingham finishing near New Street station.
Redditch to Kidderminster22 miles (35 km)This route follows NCN route 5 from Redditch to Kidderminster. The route starts near Redditch rail station and heads into the Worcestershire countryside. You then follow a series of quiet roads to Bromsgrove with views of the Worcester and Birmingham canal along the way.
From Bromsgrove you continue west towards Kidderminster with a pleasant spell through Chaddesley Wood along the way.
Regent's Canal9 miles (14 km)Follow the Regent's canal through Regent's Park and Central London on this pleasant waterside cycling and walking route.
Starting at the Little Venice basin in Maida Vale, you follow the canal into Regent’s Park where you will find the famous Zoo. You then pass through Camden, with its popular market, before continuing towards the East End. The route then passes the revived Mile End Park with its arts pavilion, terraced gardens and green bridge with views of Canary Wharf. You finish at the River Thames at Limehouse Basin.
Rochdale to Hebden Bridge16 miles (26 km)Follow NCN route 66 from Greater Manchester into Yorkshire wih terrific views of the Pennines and several waterside traffic free sections. The route starts by the railway station in Rochdale and soon joins the Rochdale canal for an easy traffic free run to Smithy Bridge. Here you will pass Hollingworth Lake which has watersports and a nature reserve to enjoy.
The route continues through Littleborough and Todmorden following the canal as you go. You finish by the railway station in Hebden Bridge.
Rochdale to Todmorden11 miles (18 km)This lovely ride follows NCN route 66 from Greater Manchester into Yorkshire wih terrific views of the Pennines. The route starts by the railway station in Rochdale and soon joins the Rochdale canal for an easy traffic free run to Smithy Bridge. Here you will pass Hollingworth Lake which has watersports and a nature reserve to enjoy.
The route continues through Littleborough and Walsden following the canal as you go. You finish by the railway station in Todmorden.


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