A bike ride or walk on the National Cycle Network can provide a beautiful backdrop for romance and adventure. It’s free to use and with 75% of people in the UK now living within a couple of miles of the Network, it’s easier than you might think to get away. Sustrans has chosen ten routes that are perfect for a Valentine’s Day trip.
1. Best for watching the sunset
The Burgh by Sands to the Solway Coast route is a lovely place to watch the sun go down. This route offers 24 miles of beautiful saltmarsh and farmland before arriving at an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At Bowness-on-Solway you’ll find Campfield Marsh, an RSPB nature reserve with 360 degree views of the Solway Plain.
2. Best for a wintery picnic
Our Ely to Wicken Fen route takes you to one of Europe's most important wetlands. Lose yourselves in the flowering meadows and find the perfect quiet spot for a picnic.
3. Best for a tour of the city at dusk
London is the ideal backdrop for a romantic walk or bike ride at dusk, so why not explore our Tower Bridge to Greenwich route? With its historic buildings, pretty parks and cobbled streets, the city really comes alive at this time of night.
4. Best for exploring your own secluded beach
Our Alnmouth to Druridge Bay route hugs the beautiful Northumberland coastline and ends up at a picturesque bay that forms part of the Druridge Bay Country Park. With seven miles of pristine dunes and sandy beaches you’re sure to find a secluded spot. This hidden gem is a must.
5. Best for visiting a romantic castle
Our Cardiff to Castell Coch route takes you to a 19th-century castle built on medieval remains. Situated on a hillside surrounded by beech woodland, Castell Coch’s conical turrets rising above the trees give it a beautiful fairy-tale appearance.
6. Best for hiring a tandem for two
For those who’d like a fun day out, why not hire a tandem for two in Lancing on the South Coast and cycle from Worthing to Brighton? On arrival in Brighton you can join National Route 20, which takes you past the beautiful and ornate Royal Pavilion.
7. Best for a romantic weekend away
For the perfect weekend away, the epic Devon Coast to Coast route combines the beaches and estuaries of North Devon with lush green valleys. The route also skirts round the western flank of Dartmoor, offering superb views of Cornwall and the surrounding area. Largely tracing the course of former railway lines, the route takes you through tunnels and across breath-taking Victorian viaducts and bridges.
8. Best for a country pub and roaring fire
The Cotswold Line takes you from Honeybourne to Hanborough and into the heart of the Cotswolds. Take a break at the Wild Rabbit pub in the quaint village of Kingham, relax into a large leather chair in front of the fire and sample a beer from a local brewery.
9. Best for the couple who love adventure
If you're up for exploring wild and beautiful countryside then the challenging Callander to Killin route is for you. Showcasing Scotland’s natural beauty, the route winds past waterfalls, glens, lochs and heather-clad mountains.
10. Best for a trip abroad
Cycle to Paris, the romance capital of the world. Starting at the London Eye, the 250-mile Avenue Verte takes riders on a challenging but rewarding journey through towns, villages and beautiful countryside on both sides of the Channel.
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