With quintessential red brick villages, the Peak District, the Lake District and the Pennines, it’s no surprise that the North West of England is one of the most popular places to cycle in the UK. And given Cycleplan HQ is also based right in the heart of the North West, we like to think we know where the best cycle routes are.
Here are six of the best cycle routes in North West England to get you inspired for a ride:
The Liverpool Loop Line
This family-friendly, mostly flat cycle path stretches for 13 miles from Halewood to Aintree. The trail is well served by public transport and is traffic-free. Also known as the Wild Flower route, the Liverpool Loop Line follows an old railway which used to take vegetables from the Lancashire Plain to London’s Nine Elms market. After it fell out of use in the 1960s it was developed into a cycle path.
Lune Valley Trail, Lancashire
The Lune Valley Trail is a five-mile traffic-free route that starts at Lancaster Millennium Bridge and finishes at the Bull Beck Picnic site. The Lune Valley inspired Romantic poet William Wordsworth and he urged travellers to take in the Lune Valley on their way to the Lake District. This trail is part of the Lune Valley Ramble a 16-mile long path that stretches from Lancaster to Kirkby in Cumbria.
The Lake District Loop
The Lake District Loop is the UK’s best bike ride according to the readers of Cycling Plus, Britain’s best-selling cycling magazine. The 40-mile loop takes in some tough climbs along the Wrynose Pass and beautiful views. Most of the roads are quiet but watch out for potholes. Cycling Plus, Editor, Rob Spedding, called it ‘A proper cycling challenge.’ Starting and ending in Broughton-in-Furness this route passes Coniston Water, the Drunken Duck Inn, Wrynose Pass and Seathwaite.
Askham Fell Mountain Bike Route
One for the off-roaders. Starting at Pooley Bridge in the Lake District, the Askham Fell Mountain bike Route has, for the area, relatively little climbing. The 15-mile long trail is mainly off-road and has one of the best natural descents in the country. There are two tough climbs, one from Pooley Bridge to Askham Fell and then from Askham back on to Askham Fell, but all that hard work is worth it when you see the view.
According to locals, the Longdendale Trail is haunted by roman soldiers. This roman road turned freight railway tuned cycle path is seven miles long and takes in moorland and the picturesque hills of the Peak District. Starting at Hatfield the route is almost flat, despite the surrounding hills. Take a quick detour to Glossop and enjoy a cheeky drink at the Howard Town Pub.
Mary Towneley Loop
Located in the South Pennies, the Mary Towneley Loop is 47 miles in total and is best cycled on a mountain bike. Most people start and end at Hebden Bridge or Todmorden– but this is more down to the fact there are train stations in these towns than any other reason. The varied terrain takes in moorland, the odd quiet road, ancient packhorse trails, and causeways. It will take a couple of days to do this route by bike and there are plenty of B&Bs and hotels along the way. If you don’t have two days then you can just use one of the many car parks and ride a portion of it.
Here at Cycleplan, we cover both road and mountain bikes, so whether you prefer a leisurely Sunday afternoon ride or taking a black diamond downhill trail, we have the right insurance for you. Get an instant specialised cycling insurance quote now and receive a 20% discount.