GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

National Cycle Route 6

406 miles (654 km)

This is the complete route for Sustrans National Cycle Route 6. The route runs from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire to Threkeld in the Lake District.
Highlights on the route include the Grand Union Canal towpath, the popular Brampton Valley Way and some stunning Lake District scenery towards the northern end of the route.
Please scroll down for a map, a selection of routes using the trail and a gpx download.

Cycle Routes on National Cycle Route 6

  • Sheffield to Penistone - This route follows the Trans Penine Trail and National Cycle routes 6 and 67 to Penistone from Sheffield.
    You start near the cathedral in Sheffield and follow the trail to Meadowhall along the River Don
  • Kendal to Windermere - This short but attractive route takes you through the Lake District
  • Leicester to Syston - This short easy ride follows the trail from Leicester to Syston along the River Soar
  • National Cycle Route 6 Mansfield - This ride in the Mansfield area takes you along the trail from Vicar Water Country Park to Worksop
  • Derby to Loughborough - Follow the trail from Derby to Loughborough
  • Bletchley to Leighton Buzzard - Follow the Grand Union Canal Walk and the trail from Bletchley to Leighton Buzzard 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. At the start of the ride you could also pay a visit to BletchleyPark and its fascinating museum. This historic site is world famous as the location of the crucial Allied code-breaking during World War II. The park is also a nice place for a stroll with some pleasant gardens and an ornamental lake.
  • Northampton to Market Harborough - This ride passes from Northamptonshire into Leicestershire along the trail
  • Leicester to Loughborough - On this route you will follow the trail from Leicester to Loughborough
  • Windsor to St Albans - This fairly flat route takes you along the trail from Windsor on the river Thames to the pretty Hertfordshire town of St Albans
  • Lancaster to Kendal - Follow national cycle network route 6 from Lancaster to Kendal
  • Blackburn to Accrington - This lovely short easy ride follows the trail along the Leeds & Liverpool canal from Blackburn to Accrington via Rishton
  • Milton Keynes to Northampton - this route follows the trail and the River Ouse from Milton Keynes to Northampton
  • Manchester to Bury - This short ride follows the trail through Manchester to Bury
  • Preston to Lancaster - Follow National Cycle Network route 6 from Preston to Lancaster and take in the Brampton Valley Way - This walk and cycle trail runs from the outskirts of Northampton to Market Harborough along the trackbed of a disused railway line and the trail
  • Derby to Nottingham - This easy route takes you between two major English cities.The routes starts on the banks of the River Derwent in Derby and the follows National Cycle Network route 6 to Long Eaton and then Nottingham, finishing on the banks of the River Trent
  • Rotherham to Worksop - This ride takes you along the trail from Yorkshire into Nottinghamshire
  • Nottingham to Worksop - This route takes you along national cycle network route 6 from the city of Nottingham through Sherwood Forest to the town of Worksop
  • Luton to Leighton Buzzard - Follow the trail through Bedfordshire on this attractive route known as the Luton and South Beds Way. This section includes a run along the SewellGreenway, a traffic free surfaced path on a disused railway line.
  • Outwood Trail - This cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line from Radcliffe to Prestwich

National Cycle Route 6 OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

National Cycle Route 6 Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The epic Chilterns Cycleway can be picked up near the route. The signed circular trail runs for about 170 miles through the Chilterns AONB on quiet country lanes, visiting a series of delightful villages.
The route links up with the popular Lancashire Cycleway Northern Loop in the Lancashire section.
Near Loughborough you can link with National Cycle Route 52 which runs south towards Coalville, Nuneaton, Coventry and Warwick.
In Leicester the route links with National Cycle Route 63 which runs through the National Forest from Burton on Trent to Wisbech.
The route links up with the epic W2W Cycle Route - NCN 70 at Crosscrake and Natland. The long distance ride runs from coast to coast from Walney Island in Cumbria to Wearmouth in Sunderland.
The route links up with National Cycle Route 15 around Nottingham. You can enjoy a pleasant traffic free run along the Grantham Canal here.


79 River Conder and Condor Viaduct 5885

River Conder and Condor Viaduct. Galgateis south ofLancaster University, Lancaster, Lancashire. In the parish of Ellel, it is on the River Conder, A6 road, the Lancaster Canal, the West Coast Main Line and National Cycle Route 6. It is home to the former Galgate Silk Mill. The Condor Viaduct (sic) takes the WCML over the River Conder.

Bestwood National Cycle Network route 6 6513

The trail as you pass through Bestwood Country Park

Entrance to the Brampton Valley Way - - 223423

Entrance to the Brampton Valley Way. For walkers and cyclists. A signpost says Market Harborough 15(miles), which is where the trail leads.

Five Weirs Walk - - 110287

Five Weirs Walk. This is the point where the Sheffield Five Weirs Walk passes over the River Don and beneath one of the railway arches of the former Great Central Railway. The bridge is suspended by cables from the arch of the viaduct. The picture was taken from the third floor of the Royal Victoria hotel.

Grand Union Canal Rickmansworth - - 27935

Grand Union Canal at Rickmansworth near the start of the route

Lancaster Canal - - 1652337

Lancaster Canal At Bolton le Sands. The milespost indicates 21 miles to Kendal.

Irwell Sculpture Trail - - 115247

Irwell Sculpture Trail- in Bury, Greater Manchester. Looking roughly east along this part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail near Prestwich and Clifton. Formerly known as the Irwell Valley Way - it is part ofRoute 6. An NCN marker can be seen in the photo next to the riverside path.

Norden Bridge, Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Rishton, Lancashire - - 1601237

Norden Bridge, Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Rishton, Lancashire

GPS Files

GPX File

National Cycle Route 6.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)