UK cyclo-tour

Briefly

In September some years ago, we headed to the UK to spend a number of weeks riding our bikes through parts of England and Scotland. This page outlines the route and some basic information associated with that tour. A variety of blog posts will describe the events and stories (in no particular order) and these will be linked to this page and vice versa. The intent is to make the route information accessible to a reader at all times, but not make it into a post itself. As more stories are written, this page will be updated with links to each post. Additional information on planning decisions and accommodation information can be found by following each of the hyperlinks.

The Route

The trip took us nearly 6 weeks, with some days being non riding days. The cycling component could basically be divided into six smaller tours with a rail trip between each. Many of the rides were adapted from those suggested in the Lonely Planet Cycling Britain book. These are marked with an * in the table below.

The Central Tourer started in London, then went north through Bedford, Lincoln and through to York. The train then took us from York through to Edinburgh. We headed east from Edinburgh and took 3 days to explore the Scottish Borders area – we worked a large triangle, following the coast east, then south, and finally headed across directly back to Edinburgh.

The Scottish Highlands then beckoned and we took the train to Pitlochry, then cycled for 3 days around the lochs in the hills to the west of the town.

The Mountain bikes, all packed and ready to ride

The Mountain bikes, all packed and ready to ride

Back on the train to Inverness and a dramatic change in the nature of our wheels! Given that we were expecting a lot of mountains and wet weather on the west coast of Scotland we hired a car. The intent was to get a largish vehicle which could take the assembled bikes (so that we could stop and ride whenever the conditions were good), but we could not get the vehicle we needed, so it did not work very well. We did enjoy being able to cover reasonable distances each day though and it was nice to have a diesel engine doing the work instead of being person-powered! We did a large circuit ending at Culloden, after which we handed back the keys and got back into the cycling gear. We then headed for the station again and the train took us from Invernessto Oxford.

The Cotswolds Triangle ride took us from Oxford to Stratford-on-Avon, then on to Cirencester and finally back to Oxford. Leaving this district, we headed towards Reading, before turning west to Bath. From Bath, we again boarded a train to London and on to Canterbury so that we could look around Kent. We spent three very wet days looking around Wittersham and Dover, before returning to London.

Section Start End mi km Posts
Get set & go! Heathrow Airport St Albans 2 3
Central Tourer* St Albans Bedford 34 54
Bedford Brigstock 34 55
Brigstock Thurlby  35 57 A very big arch
Thurlby Lincoln 40 65
Lincoln Hessle 44 71
Hessle York 46 74 Bomber Runway
Train York Edinburgh
Scottish Borders* Edinburgh Duns 41 66
Duns Melrose 32 52
Melrose Edinburgh 42 67
Train Edinburgh Pitlochry 14 22
Scottish Highlands* Pitlochry Killin 37 60 Stone Circles
Crannogs
Killin Kinloch Rannoch 37 60  Across the Ranges
Kinloch Rannoch Pitlochry 31 50  Blair Atholl
Train Pitlochry Inverness
Scotland by Car    Dracula’s Castle
Train Inverness Oxford
Cotswolds Triangle* Oxford Stratford-on-Avon 46 74
Stratford on Avon Cirencester 48 78
Cirencester Oxford 37 60
Oxford to Bath Oxford Streatley 25 40
Streatley Hungerford 33 53
Hungerford Devizes 29 47 Autumn reflections
  Chalky white horses
Devizes Bath 13 21  Hang players in Bath
Train Bath Canterbury
Kent District Canterbury Iden 40 65
Iden Dover 37 60
Train Dover London
Cycling distance 812mi 1308km
Average distance per cycling day 37mi 59km

* Recommended rides recommend in the book Cycling Britain by Lonely Planet.

Please let me know if this page is useful or if not, how you think it could be improved.

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2 responses to “UK cyclo-tour

  1. Pingback: Planning the UK trip (Part 1: Choosing the route) | Ride a rainbow

  2. Pingback: Planning the UK trip (Part 2: Overnight stops) | Ride a rainbow

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