We’re not shy in declaring our love for the National Cycle Network.
It’s existed for just over twenty years and the first seeds were sown even earlier when the Bristol and Bath Railway Path was built. It’s used by five million people a year and passes over viaducts and old railway bridges. It runs into town centres, past schools and through stunning countryside from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles.
1. In fact, the Network passes within a mile of half of all UK homes. Chances are there’s a route within biking or walking distance of you right now.
2. Despite its name the National Cycle Network is used by walkers, joggers, wheelchair users and horse riders as well as cyclists.
3. It’s not just people who use the Network either, wildlife flourishes on our traffic-free routes. Keep your eyes open in south Warwickshire and you might just spot the rare Small Blue and Grizzled Skipper butterflies.
4. Our route numbering system is modelled on one used by the Danish Cycle Network, if it’s good enough for the Danish…
5. The Network has the UK’s largest collection of outdoor public art.
6. The Network can get you to the Eden Project in Cornwall where, if you arrive by bike, you get a discount on the admission price – not bad!
7. It’s a great place to be whatever the season, from Boxing Day rides and walks to take with the family, to romantic spots to share with that special someone on Valentine’s Day, to places to camp in the summer.
8. You can ride from Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace through Hyde Park.
9. It can take you to parks, campsites, RSPB nature reserves, woodlands or into the heart of urban centres.
10. It can even take you to Paris on the Avenue Verte route, which starts at the London Eye and ends at Notre Dame, offering the opportunity to experience two amazing and very different cities.
11. Visiting Scotland? Why not take a tour of whisky distilleries by bike? Just make sure you stick to a wee dram so you can make it back again too!
12. Love the Tour de France but consider yourself more of a gentle wheel spinner than a time trial winner? We’ve put together the Slow Tour of Yorkshire just for you. A series of 21 routes under 20 miles will take you on a journey around the stunning Yorkshire countryside.
13. Many of the routes are maintained by volunteers. So far this year our amazing volunteers have given over 34,000 hours of their time completing tasks like replacing signs, clearing ditches and cutting back vegetation.
14. We spend around £1.3 million every year fulfilling our maintenance responsibilities on the National Cycle Network. To do this we rely on donations.
15. Our wonderful volunteers do an absolutely fantastic job looking after the Network. Although they kindly give their time for free having the right training and equipment is vital, which is why this Christmas we need your support to help pay for high-visibility clothing, new signs and training sessions for our volunteers.
If you can, please donate and keep the Network amazing, convenient, fantastic, fast, eye-opening, wildlife-friendly, and open for everyone to enjoy.