Guide to Britain’s most beautiful off-road bike rides, perfect for slow days out in the countryside.
Crinan Canal, Argyll and Bute
A Sailing vessel approaching one of the locks on Crinan Canal at Cairnbaan in Argyll and Bute Alamy
Cycle from loch to sea along a 200-year-old canal, looking out for soaring ospreys, busy otters and prehistoric rock art. Crinan Canal bike route and map.
Elan Valley Trail, Powys
Elan Valley, Powys, Wales Getty
Discover tranquillity amid the drama of Elan Valley, a landscape of shimmering reservoirs, gushing rivers and wooded slopes that ring with birdsong. Elan Valley bike route and map.
Camel Trail, Cornwall
Cyclists on the Camel Trail beside the Camel estuary between Wadebridge and Padstow, north Cornwall Alamy
Cycle alongside the River Camel, a route once traced by whistling Victorian steam trains. Camel Trail bike route and map.
Scarborough to Whitby, North Yorkshire
Cycling on Cinder Track, Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire Alamy
From an old smugglers’ village to cave-dwelling hobgoblins and ‘the town that never was’, this stretch of coast offers a fascinating blend of history and legend, best explored by bike. Scarborough to Whitby bike route and map.
Epping Forest, Essex
Epping Forest, London, England Alamy
Once visited by kings and queens, Epping’s woodlands, grasslands, heaths, rivers, bogs and ponds form one of London’s finest and largest open spaces. Epping Forest bike route and map.
Middlewood Way and Macclesfield Canal, Cheshire
The town of Bollington in Cheshire Getty
Cycle an old railway up the rural eastern edge of Cheshire then meander back along a pretty canal towpath – without doubt, a cut above the rest. Macclesfield Canal bike route and map.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Forest of Dean cycling Getty
Set out on a family bike ride and cycle through crisp autumn leaves and over muddy trails in search of one of Britain’s most elusive mammals, the wild boar. Forest of Dean bike route and map.