Natural England - Cycling


Many people cycle to avoid the commuter rush. But why not escape into the countryside under your own steam? Cycling takes you past some of England’s most beautiful locations and it’s a great way to exercise.

You are free to cycle on public roads, byways, designated cycle paths and cycle tracks. There are also 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles) of bridleways which cyclists can use, although they must give way to horse riders and walkers. Bridleways are marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

There’s a route near you. The National Bywayexternal link is a 7,240 kilometres (4,500 miles) signposted cycle route around the UK. It provides safe and easy-to-follow routes through some of the country's most interesting heritage sites. It is 80% complete (2010).

For sheer exhilaration, try the Pennine Bridlewayexternal link. The Bridleway goes through Derbyshire to the South Pennines and currently 193 kilometres (120 miles) of the route is open. The 75-kilometre (47-mile) Mary Towneley Loop circuit and the 16-kilometre (10-mile) Settle Loop in the Yorkshire Dales are party of this and worth trying. Once fully open, the full route will be 558 kilometres (347 miles) and could take 3 to 4 weeks to horse ride/walk and 2 weeks to cycle.

Our Cycling Advice Sheet: (37kb)pdf document explains all you need to know about cycling outside urban areas, with information on:

  • Where you can cycle in the countryside
  • Where you can’t go
  • How to make sure you cycle responsibly