Discovering England (/Wales)

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
User avatar
Posts: 2542
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 3:33pm
Location: Somerset

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby honesty » 10 Aug 2018, 1:55pm

From London I'd probably look to do the following if it were me. Follow the Thames (Avon and Kennel Canal) route out to Bristol. Cross the Severn over the old bridge and follow the Lon Las Cymru route to Bangor. Go round the top of Wales and across to Chester - Stoke-on-Trent to Ashbourne. Pick up the Pennine Cycleway through the Peak District, then turn right just above Gargrave where this route meets the Way of the Roses. Follow that route to York.

Posts: 55
Joined: 12 May 2016, 2:52pm

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby skelo » 10 Aug 2018, 2:28pm

From Belgium I would take the Zeebrugge-Hull ferry, from there it is only 80km to York, from there you can take a route through the scenic Yorkshire Dales over to the Lake District then you will see the best parts of Northern England and be able to sample lots of great local beer en-route. (it won't be as strong as your Belgian beer!) using the cycletravel route planner you will find plenty of great and quiet routes.

happy cycling :)

Posts: 17572
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby Vorpal » 10 Aug 2018, 3:10pm

whoof wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
whoof wrote:Better off search for Wetherspoons, which is a pub chain in the UK with relatively cheap beer and food and no music, you can stay in a few of them. (Tim) Witherspoon was a two time World heavyweight boxing champion, although an evening with him might be quite vibrant.

I'm not a fan.

I know he was very limited. In his fight against Frank Bruno he was absolutely awful for 10 rounds but Bruno tired and he knocked him out in the 11th.

:lol: :lol:
I meant Wetherspoons. I don't really follow boxing, so in that sense I'm not a fan, but I meant the pub chain.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Apr 2007, 8:59pm

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby Armorel » 10 Aug 2018, 3:42pm

I'd consider doing as much of a scenic Lands End to John O'Groats route as you can comfortably fit into the time available. That way you could do Cornwall, Devon, the Severn Bridge, the Welsh borders, the Lake District and some lovely bits of northern England and you would be in a beautiful but different part of the country virtually every day.

User avatar
Posts: 5877
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby Sweep » 10 Aug 2018, 5:05pm

brynpoeth wrote:
mattsccm wrote:Just a small point. You mention drinking beer in vibrant cities. The nicer places in the country such as Wales or the Lakes tend not to have cities. Rural pubs are more the thing. Much better in my opinion.
Avoid A roads if possible. .

There are several cities in Wales, St Davids for example :wink:
Witherspoons could be what the OP is looking for, it has branches in many smaller towns

Well I was going to suggest spoons :) A great way for a foreigner to sample lots of beers. Also I think they suggested that they were on a tight budget. Doubtless the OP can find the recent thread on them on here.

Will bow to greater knowledge of other folks on here about areas to cycle, but would not diss the "post industrial north west" too quickly. Very interesting in many ways. Not all doom and rotting factories - the distinctive nature of that area was always that the industry was set amongst the countryside.

Posts: 3
Joined: 9 Aug 2018, 11:46pm

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby Michy » 11 Aug 2018, 1:20pm

Hi all!
I must say I'm amazed my the many replies! Fantastic work, thank you all very, very much!
I've already been looking into some suggestions and I'm gonna study all of them. On the downside, this hasn't made it choosing any easier :D I think going North through the West coast has slightly more backing than the Eastern route. Although simply following the NCN1 and eventually cross coast to coast seems a pretty straight forward option as well for a beginner. But it's comforting to learn that there aren't really bad choices. Or are there? Now that I learned about the many regions to go to, are there also regions I should avoid? Some already mentioned the industrial North-West.

PPS, if you did it the other way you'd hopefully benefit from the prevailing wind across the north.

This one I find interesting. Is this a real issue and will I have a much more comfortable ride going from North to South?

Have a great weekend you all,


Posts: 28685
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Aug 2018, 2:41pm

Re the prevailing wind, it's enough of a consideration for me to have modified - reversed - my suggestion about riding East - West. It isn't always blowing a wind and it can come from any quarter but the prevailing wind is a Westerly. I'm cautious about Sustrans bike routes for various reasons to do with things like unpredictable off-road surfaces and round-the-houses signing, but at least they generally take you where you hope to go. If you are unfamiliar with an area, you can spend a lot of time navigating. Many of our road signs are now aimed at motor traffic rather than quiet routes for cycling.

Re the possibility of bad choices, it's largely a matter of what you are comfortable with. Riding through unfamiliar urban conurbations can be daunting. Local riders may take it in their stride, but away from their own roads they tend to be less comfortable.

Posts: 584
Joined: 22 Jul 2017, 10:21pm

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby crazydave789 » 11 Aug 2018, 9:23pm

Michy wrote:Hello dear cycling friends,

I'm new here, and I've looked around a bit. Haven't seen my question, but I hope this hasn't been answered a ton of times.

As a Belgian, I've seen quite a lot from Europe. Especially from my neighbouring countries, as all of them are withing a reach of 150 km/100 miles.
However though, when it comes to the UK, I've only been to London (and Brighton as a child once).
Since I'm considering doing a 10 day to two week cycling tour in October, I thought: why not take the Eurostar from Brussels to London and make a tour through England?
So I've been doing some googling, and it seems to me, if you want spectacular landscapes, the more north you go, the better. But as my budget is rather low, I don't want to travel to far north unless by bike.

So simple question, with maybe a more difficult answer: What regions in England (or Wales since its still within reasonable reach) would you advise going to and are most suitable or known as good 'cycling territory'?
I'm looking for nice and vivid cities to visit and beautiful landscapes inbetween. It should be a mix between cycling and holidays, so I'm willing to cycle about 60-70km (which is about 40 miles) per day.
My first idea was to go from London to Manchester or Liverpool but I doubt the Midlands are the most attractive region for cycling. I then discovered the Lake District is supposed to be really beautiful. Is it feasible to get there within two weeks? Should I stay in the South and head to Cornwall? Or go to Wales?

PS: I don't want to make a circle. When I reach my 'final destination', I plan to take the train back to London and then the Eurostar to Brussels.
PS2: Don't know if it's relevant, but I'm 26. As is my travel companion if he gets of work. We like nature and peace and quiet, but also to drink beers in a vibrant city.

Thanks in advance and happy cycling!


this guy is a bit mental but he shows what you can get up to even on his weighty steed from rotterdam. you could go across to the lakes, swing down a bit and come back along one of the lower routes - liverpool to leeds/way of the roses type of thing. canal sides offer free wild camping and usally a pub or two. buy a key and guide book and you can get free toilets/water/showers at certain locations if you are on a budget.

the midlands has the peak district so you could go south of the m62 across to the west and then north of the m62 back or head north then across and down doing yorkshire northumberland cumbria lancashire then catch the trans pennine back to hull then onto rotterdam.

northerners are far more friendly and make a better cup of tea and cake than they do in the south.

we can probably give you routes if you want.
Last edited by crazydave789 on 11 Aug 2018, 9:30pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 11757
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Discovering England (/Wales)

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Aug 2018, 9:28pm

True, generally the North of a country is altogether better (England, Wales, Germany..) :wink:

There are enough different interesting regions in Britain for many years of holidays. Quite likely your first trip will not be your last
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"