Sustrans is calling on budding cyclists to choose their favourite route on the National Cycle Network, as part of celebrations to mark 20 years since the Network was developed by the charity.
The charity has shortlisted ten popular long distance and ten shorter sections and is asking bike riders, walkers and everyone who uses the Network to vote for their favourite in both categories. The long distance routes range from the Cornish Way between Land's End and Bude in the South, to the Oban to Campbeltown route in Scotland. Shorter routes include the Bath two tunnels circuit and the Monsal Trail in the Peak District.
To vote for their favourite, people just need to visit www.sustrans.org.uk/vote and then make their choice. The vote will run until the end of August with the winners announced in September.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans Chief Executive, said: “The National Cycle Network is 20 years old in 2015 and we know many people have their favourite sections. We want to give people the chance to vote for the route they love the most, whether they use it every day for their commute or have just used it on holiday. The shortlist covers the length and breadth of the UK showing how the Network has grown over the years.”
Routes under 30 miles:
- Camel Trail, Cornwall. This beautiful route passes through the wooded countryside of the upper Camel Valley and alongside the picturesque Camel Estuary – an absolute paradise for birdwatchers.
- Bath Two Tunnels Circuit, Somerset. From the centre of picturesque Bath, this route takes you on a circular tour through the Somerset countryside. Along the way you pass the spectacular Dundas Aqueduct and travel through the now famous Bath Two Tunnels, Combe Down Tunnel being the UK’s longest cycling tunnel.
- Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex. This peaceful tour through broadleaf woodland, open grassland and arable farmland is a must for families. It gained its name from an old Sussex tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield Fair.
- Mawddach Trail, Gwynedd.. Taking you along the old Ruabon to Barmouth railway line from the historic town of Dolgellau to the popular seaside town of Barmouth, you see stunning views of the Mawddach estuary and Cadair Idris.
- Lodes Way, Cambridgeshire. The quiet, uncluttered landscape of the fens is showcased in all its glory on this route from Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve to Bottisham. Passing Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, the surrounding waterways are a haven for wildlife.
- Monsal Trail, Peak District. One of the jewels in the crown of the Peak District National Park, this route travels from the historic market town of Bakewell through the stunning limestone dales.
- Peregrine Path, Wye Valley. Straddling the Wales/England border and following the River Wye, the route travels from pretty Monmouth to Goodrich in Herefordshire.
- Newry Canal, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. A canal side route rich in wildlife that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. At Moneypenny's Lock you can explore the history of the canal at the restored lightermen's bothy and stables.
- Aire Valley Towpath, West Yorkshire. This perfect route takes in beautiful countryside, rich industrial history, stunning scenery, galleries, shops, museums and Saltaire, a world heritage site.
- Union Canal, Edinburgh. Taking you from historic Edinburgh the trail quickly opens out into beautiful countryside, passing over spectacular aqueducts and under pretty bridges, through the towns of Broxburn and Linlithgow with its palace, and onto Falkirk.
Long distance routes:
- Sea 2 Sea (C2C). Commonly regarded at the most popular long distance ride in the UK, can it still maintain its crown? The C2C takes you all the way from Irish Sea to the North Sea. You can start at either Whitehaven or Workington and then travel to Newcastle or Sunderland.
- Way of the Roses. A spectacular coast to coast cycle route which was created to celebrate 15 years of the National Cycle Network passes through both the red rose county of Lancashire and the white rose county of Yorkshire.
- Devon Coast to Coast. This route combines the beaches and estuaries of North Devon with the lush green valleys of evocative West Country rivers. It also skirts round the western flank of Dartmoor, offering superb views of Cornwall
- Cornish Way. A glorious route that travels between Land's End and Bude. It takes you past stunning coastline and through the history and heritage of pretty towns and fishing villages and over wild and captivating moors.
- Hadrian’s Cycleway. A ride through some of England’s most dramatic and wild countryside, taking in magnificent coastal views, and Roman forts. Starting at Glannaventa Roman Bath House, Ravenglass and ending at Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum at South Shields this route is perfect for history buffs.
- Lon Las Cymru. Taking in three mountain ranges, this route is tough but worth all the effort. From the rural lanes of Anglesey and the woodlands of Coed-y-Brenin Forest, to the valley of the River Wye and the panoramic views through the Black Mountains, this route really has it all.
- Celtic Trail. Stretching from the Irish Sea to the English Border, this epic route takes in the stunning Pembrokeshire coast, the rural countryside of Carmarthenshire, and the picturesque Valleys, that powered the industrial revolution. The route shows the diversity of Welsh culture and history as well as some of Wales’ finest tourist attractions.
- Oban to Campbeltown. This route offers adventurous cyclists the chance to explore the spectacular peninsula of Kintyre, Knapdale and Lorn. Truly challenging, but wow, the rewards are magnificent!
- Trans Pennine Trail. This exciting route links the North and Irish seas, passing through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of England. It’s also largely traffic free so perfect for first time tourers.
- Coast and Castles South. This cycle route links the Forth and Tyne estuaries, joining Newcastle and Edinburgh via miles of unspoiled coastline and some of Britain's best built and natural heritage.
Click here to vote: www.sustrans.org.uk/vote