These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

From the south coast of Cornwall to the mountains of Scotland, these are the best routes and roads our island nation has to offer enthusiastic cyclists

Several months ago, we free-wheeled around the world to find the best routes, tracks and roads on Earth for cycling enthusiasts. And, from tours through the rolling hills and mountains of New Mexico to the pristine sandy beaches and vast mountain ranges of Mallorca, we found them.

But maybe we should have been looking closer to home. To kick off 2019, we’ve scoured the British Isles for the best cycling tracks in Britain, and have discovered the five routes you should be cycling this year. So saddle up, gents, and get ready for your next two-wheeled adventure.

The Assynt Achiltibuie, Scotland

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

As you may have heard, two years ago Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the world. And we can see why. With its mountains and vast wilderness, there’s something delightfully rugged about the nation. And this unpronounceable route, with stunning coastal scenery, is one of the best.

With all the ups and downs on your route from Achiltibuie to Lochinver, Drumbeg and Newton, you’ll need a reliable tool kit, such as this one from Brooks. Scotland can get chilly in the winter, so wrap up with this fleece from Cafe du Cycliste. And, to tackle this track — it’s not one for the faint-hearted — why not put your faith in Boardman’s best?

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Brooks England MT21 Tool Kit

£50

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Cafe du Cycliste Simone Fleece Cycling Jacket

£170

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Boardman 2019 Air 9.6

£2999

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The Elan Valley Trail, Wales

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Another Celtic country, Wales also boasts one of Britain’s finest cycling routes in the Elan Valley Trail. Following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway for most of the way, the trail starts from the pretty community of Cwmdeuddwr on the western side of Rhayader — and continues past the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Reserve and Garreg Ddu Reservoir.

We’d pack a couple of extra pairs of socks from Cafe du Cycliste if you’re going to brave this track (it rains a lot in Wales), and kit yourself out with one of the finest jerseys on the market — Rapha’s Classic. In terms of bike, there’s a lot of climbing on this route, so we’d opt for Specialized’s Tarmac Expert — crafted from a lightweight FACT 10r carbon.

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Cafe du Cycliste Striped Cycling Socks

£17

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey II

£125

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Specialized Men’s Tarmac Expert

£4500

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The Swaledale Circular, England

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Starting at the village of Reeth, this is a simple route. But that’s not to say it isn’t beautiful — or mightily rewarding. Through stunning scenery and a series of lovely villages, you don’t even have to stick to the track. Stray, and you’ll see some beautiful gems high in the Yorkshire Dales. Also, why not take a trip to the isolated Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in Britain?

As you cycle the undulating road up the picturesque valley of Swaledale, pull down your Rapha cap so the sun doesn’t get in your eyes, and zip up your jersey from Pas Normal Studios when you’re free-wheeling down some of the sweeping roads. And do all this atop Cannondale’s best; the Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace.

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Pas Normal Studios Zip-Up Stretch Cycling Jersey

£190

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace

£5999

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The Lakeland Loop, England

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Often voted Britain’s best bike rides, this 40 mile cycling route is the ideal Sunday jaunt. Starting with a flowing 10 miles beside Coniston Water, you’ll then contend with a sharp climb at Hawkshead Hill and then an undulating few miles to the Wild Boar pub.

If you don’t fancy a pub lunch, why not stash a picnic in this backpack from Brooks? Or, if you do want some shelter from the cold, go order a shandy and zip up Rapha’s Classic Winter Jacket before you get back on your bike. What is that bike, we hear you cry? Why, it’s the Men’s Diverge Expert X1 from Specialized, with improved tire clearance and a class-lightest carbon frame.

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack

£300

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Rapha Classic Winter Jacket

£260

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Specialized Men’s Diverge Expert X1

£4250

Buy Now

Antrim Coast Road, Northern Ireland

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Picture this: A rural winding road, hugging the coastline and offering dazzling sea views on one side and towering cliffsides on the other. This is the Antrim Coast Road of Northern Island, and it might be our favourite road to cycle in Britain. From Larne to Ballycastle, you’ll be bombarded with some of the funnest cycling roads and most spectacular views you’ve ever seen over your handlebars.

Of course, with all that sea splash, you’ll want to stash your valuables in Rapha’s rainproof essentials case. If the sun’s out, make sure you go short-sleeved with this jersey from Cafe du Cycliste. And the bike? This time, Cannondale’s Supersix EVO Carbon Red Etap — with enough gears to see you through both steep sections and sweeping descents.

These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Rapha Rainproof Essentials Case

£25

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Cafe du Cycliste Lucienne Cycling Jersey

£130

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These are the best cycling roads in Britain — and the bikes on which to ride them

Cannondale Supersix Evo Carbon Red Etap

£5499

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Further Reading