...the best UK place to live for cycling

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
David9694
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...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby David9694 » 16 Sep 2019, 10:28pm

One day my wife and I are going to retire to dream house, somewhere in the uk. If cycling, on and off road was the only consideration, where would you choose?

I think the optimal terrain for my sort of road cycling is to be in the midst of a swaythe of patchworked, rolling countryside, interesting villages and market towns (a bike shop would be just peachey!), a rambling network of little-used country lanes, the occasional B road, and unbesmirched by things like major rivers, big cities, escarpments, motorways with limited crossing-points, just touristy enough to have a few campsites, minor attractions, but not so remote as not to have any garden centres or other coffee/cake outlets.

Where can I find this paradise?

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mjr
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2019, 10:34pm

Norfolk is pretty much as you describe your optimal terrain. I wouldn't cycle on some of the B roads but you soon figure out which ones and all but one are not too hard to avoid.

Personally, I still think Milton Keynes is better, but the MK I'm thinking of is the 1990s one just after they built the grid redways, a city of smooth fast tarmac and clear signposting, not the 2019 one where local government seems to have done insufficient maintenance for 20 years and also let the MK Masterplan fall by the wayside in the face of aggressive housing developers wanting to use their anytown identikits of rambling estates instead of obeying the principles like the tree-lined grid. I have very mixed feelings when I visit the city today.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mrtrip
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby mrtrip » 16 Sep 2019, 10:44pm

I live in the Test Valley and absolutely love it. Market towns, endless quiet lanes, Off-road trails and the New Forest a stone’s throw away

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cyclop
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby cyclop » 17 Sep 2019, 7:14am

Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway.Year round cycling on very quiet lanes or Dalbeattie Forest when it,s icy,snowy,very windy or very cold.No major trunk roads(even the A75 is a beautiful drive).Market towns of Kirkudbright and Castle Douglas nearby.Intricate,rolling terrain with the Galloway Hills,Criffel,Screel Hills as a backdrop.Beautiful coast.Few tourists but some good caravan/campsites.New hospital 20mins away along a quiet A road.Main Tesco 12mins away.Butchers,baker ,hardware store,nisa,co-op and many other shops in Dalbeattie itself.World class offroading in Galloway forest.Cheaper cost of living and housing.I don,t know why I,m telling you this,we might get overun with folk!!!house prices will rocket,we will be "gentrified" ,oh no,what have I done. :wink:
Last edited by cyclop on 17 Sep 2019, 7:28am, edited 1 time in total.

cyclop
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby cyclop » 17 Sep 2019, 7:26am

cyclop wrote:Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway.Year round cycling on very quiet lanes or Dalbeattie Forest when it,s icy,snowy,very windy or very cold.No major trunk roads(even the A75 is a beautiful drive).Market towns of Kirkudbright and Castle Douglas nearby.Intricate,rolling terrain with the Galloway Hills,Criffel,Screel Hills as a backdrop.Beautiful coast.Few tourists but some good caravan/campsites.New hospital 20mins away along a quiet A road.Main Tesco 12mins away.Butchers,baker ,hardware store,nisa,co-op and many other shops in Dalbeattie itself.World class offroading in Galloway forest.Cheaper cost of living and housing.I don,t know why I,m telling you this,we might get overun with folk!!!house prices will rocket,we will be "gentrified" ,oh no,what have I done. :wink:
P.S.Several good garden centres with the usual cafe,cycling cafes in all above towns as well as many smaller ones e.g.New Abbey,Beeswing,Moniaive,Dalry,New Galloway,Creetown,Auldgirth etc. Bike shops,Dalbeattie,2 in Castle Douglas.

eileithyia
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby eileithyia » 17 Sep 2019, 8:05am

Inland from Hull / Beverley...... big open country, lots of lanes.... always seems to be sunnier when we go across that side of the Pennines... can think of quite a few cafes / garden centres..... easy access to ferries for overseas trips.

Failing that down south to New Forest area as already mentioned... Years ago i would have said Warwickshire but with it being carved up by motorways and potentially HS2.... :(
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Oldjohnw
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Oldjohnw » 17 Sep 2019, 8:10am

eileithyia wrote:Inland from Hull / Beverley...... big open country, lots of lanes.... always seems to be sunnier when we go across that side of the Pennines... can think of quite a few cafes / garden centres..... easy access to ferries for overseas trips.

Failing that down south to New Forest area as already mentioned... Years ago i would have said Warwickshire but with it being carved up by motorways and potentially HS2.... :(



Having just returned from a week in the Yorkshire Wolds it's where I'd go, given the opportunity. Hilly enough to challenge but not to put off. Hundreds of miles of empty roads, gorgeous villages, pubs and tea rooms, easy access, interesting small towns.
John

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Tangled Metal
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Sep 2019, 8:16am

Used to visit newton Stewart a lot so D&G is certainly a good bet. Houses in newton Stewart used to be incredibly cheap 15 years ago, even 3 years ago when we visited kircudbright for Halloween houses were still very good compared to my area in north Lancashire. Some of the 7 stanes MTB centres are in that area.

Personally I think Forest of Bowland is a good option. Rolling hills, lovely valleys and for non-cycling activities it's got 2 of the pubs of the year in the area. There's even Michelin starred restaurants nearby I believe. Clitheroe used to figure in among the towns with the highest standard of living at one time too.

Stradageek
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Stradageek » 17 Sep 2019, 8:29am

Unlikely as it seems, I've lived in Northampton for the last 40yrs and despite cycling VERY regularly there are still multitudinous quiet country lanes within a 30-40mile radius of the town that I am yet to explore. This is my first retirement project.

North, South and West of the town are prettier than the East but even the ride to Grafham Water is rather lovely.

I concur on Dumfries and Galloway, had a lovely cycling holiday there, scenery is a beautiful, but there wasn't the endless profusion of untraveled lanes that Northants/Beds/Bucks/Liecs etc. has to offer.

Retired but staying put :D

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Mick F
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Mick F » 17 Sep 2019, 8:38am

Main issue I have here, is living just off a main road, and it's the only road. If we lived at a crossroads, I'd have a choice of four ways to go. As it is, I go uphill to the west, or uphill to the east.

Other than that, Devon and Cornwall are fantastic cycling country. Lots of hills to tax your fitness, lots of scenery and views both moorland and coast, and cities and towns too. Pubs and cafes abound, so there's always a destination!
Mick F. Cornwall

Mike Sales
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Mike Sales » 17 Sep 2019, 8:41am

I am getting the impression that there is quite a lot of the country which is good for cycling.

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Mick F
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby Mick F » 17 Sep 2019, 8:45am

Spot on!
Mick F. Cornwall

thelawnet
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby thelawnet » 17 Sep 2019, 8:46am

Around Cranleigh is good:

* nice town without a big highway through it
* plenty of lanes, not just one road with no alternatives
* lots of very steep hills if you like, or also avoidable
* plenty of possible cake stops
* lots of nice villages around
* no motorways

cyclop
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby cyclop » 17 Sep 2019, 9:39am

Tangled Metal wrote:Used to visit newton Stewart a lot so D&G is certainly a good bet. Houses in newton Stewart used to be incredibly cheap 15 years ago, even 3 years ago when we visited kircudbright for Halloween houses were still very good compared to my area in north Lancashire. Some of the 7 stanes MTB centres are in that area.

Personally I think Forest of Bowland is a good option. Rolling hills, lovely valleys and for non-cycling activities it's got 2 of the pubs of the year in the area. There's even Michelin starred restaurants nearby I believe. Clitheroe used to figure in among the towns with the highest standard of living at one time too.

Used to live in Blackpool and entirely agree,Bowland a good spot to live and ride in,many good outings with ctc group.

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mjr
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Re: ...the best UK place to live for cycling

Postby mjr » 17 Sep 2019, 9:59am

Mike Sales wrote:I am getting the impression that there is quite a lot of the country which is good for cycling.

Er, no, that's a mistaken impression. If you visit neighbouring countries, you'll soon realise "best UK place to live for cycling" is a milder form of a title like "prettiest active open cast mine".
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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