The UK’s favourite cycling routes revealed

Cyclescheme, 28.09.2015

The UK’s favourite cycling routes revealed

Sustrans recently asked people to vote for their favourite National Cycle Network Route, choosing from the 14,000 miles that crisscross the UK. 

The Monsal Trail in the Peak District was voted the UK’s favourite route under 30 miles, and the Trans-Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea won the long-distance category.

The Monsal Trail is a beautiful traffic-free cycle route right in the heart of the Peak District National Park, running from Blackwell Mill at Chee Dale to Coombs Road at Bakewell. At 8.5 miles long it is perfect for all ages and has plenty of wildlife, geology, industrial and rail heritage to look out for along the way (including four 400m railway tunnels to cycle through).

Matt Burton, manager of the YHA Ravenstor, backed the Monsal Trail in the vote: “The Monsal Trail is the most beautiful cycle route in the Peak District in my opinion, with views of the impressive limestone Dales, beautiful wild flowers along the terraces that flank either side and the fascinating engineering structures that you pass along the eight and a half mile route.”

The route had stiff competition from nine other fantastic routes on the Network, including the Bath Two Tunnels and the Camel Trail in Cornwall. Check out the other routes nominated in this category.

The Trans Pennine Trail links the Irish sea in the West to the North Sea in the East, on 215 miles of quiet on-road and traffic-free paths. This surprisingly level route runs through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of England, including Chesterfield and York, and crosses the Pennines through the Peak District.

Sustrans cycle route

Dave Dawson, Head of Customer Service at Ecotricity, backed the Trans Pennine Trail in the vote: “I used to live on the edge of the Pennines near Chorley before moving back to the Midlands and rode sections of the trail on numerous occasions. I found the contrast between the industrial areas of Lancashire and the wide open spaces of the Pennines a complete break away from my daily commute along the motorway into Bolton. The views are spectacular and include splendid scenery with the odd graceful picture of wind turbines on the horizon.”

Councillor Terry Gilby of Chesterfield Borough Council, Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail Members Group & Executive Committee noted: “This is a fantastic achievement for all our partners, supporters and users. It is often very difficult for an organisation such as ours to get the recognition we deserve but I am sure that this prestigious award will help raise the profile of the Trail and the fantastic work done by everyone involved. Thank you to everyone who voted and I am very honoured to be sharing this wonderful achievement with all of you. 

The Way of the Roses, a challenging 170 mile coast-to-coast route through Lancashire and Yorkshire, was runner-up in this category. Check out the other nominated long-distance routes.

The vote was part of celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Network.

Photograph courtesy of Paul Kirkwood. 

Find out more about the impact of the National Cycle Network and how the Network boosts local economies by creating vibrant places and supporting businesses.

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