Exploring the coast by bike, whether you’re a keen long-distance cyclist, off-road biker or want to enjoy a family bike ride, the UK coastline has something for everyone. Much of our coastline and seaside towns can be easily explored by bike, quiet country lanes and coastal bridleways are a great way to experience our stunning and varied coast.
You do need to be careful as much of our coastal paths are out of bounds to bikes and don’t allow cyclists, but a large portion of the National Cycle Network has dedicated off-road cycle paths that hug the coast. Sustrans the leading UK charity for cycling that maintains the National Cycle Network provides information and route maps about each part of the network and whether it’s off-road or shared use.
One such example is the Cornish Way (link to map here) which runs from Bude to Land’s End taking in some lovely Cornish sights like old tin mines, St. Michaels Mount, Hayle Estuary, Mousehole harbour and route options between Bodmin and Truro, either the north Padstow coast or the south St Austell coast.
Travelling with bikes
Trains connect some of these UK cycle routes, putting you within easy reach of peaceful journeys along the coastline. Although the types of bikes allowed on trains can vary, reservations are often required for full-size bicycles, and there are also restrictions on peak-time travel.
Many accommodation providers and attractions, particularly along dedicated cycle routes, offer bicycle facilities including bike racks and somewhere to store your things during your visit.
If you don’t want the hassle of travelling with bikes, cycle hire centres can be found in most seaside towns. Most offer a wide range of mountain bikes and traditional cycles, with helmet, lock and a pump also typically provided as standard.
Bicycles with carriers and child seats are also available on request but often more limited so booking in advance is advised.
Organised Cycle Tours
There are also a number of cycle tour providers which can help facilitate your cycling holiday by the coast. These can be self-guided cycling holidays or more formal bike group tours. The tour provider will arrange your accommodation, luggage transportation, bike hire (or bring your own), along with well thought out routes and mechanical assistance on call to give you peace of mind.
Organised cycling holidays are ideal for solo cyclists where you’ll be joining like-minded travellers, although cycling holidays vary in difficulty from moderate to challenging so do check appropriateness to your fitness levels.
Take us with you
Remember to take your phone with you and you can access Coast Radar for information on beaches, places of interest and that glorious cafe for the essential pit-stop!