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Long Distance Cycle Routes

Long Distance Cycle Routes

Photo: Stephanie

Travelling long-distance over multiple days by bike gives you a completely different perspective of the land you’re travelling through. It gives you a chance to appreciate the details you might otherwise miss: The landscapes, the horizons, the people and the food. And it makes you all the more appreciative of your destination — especially as your own two legs got you there.

We’re incredibly lucky in the UK as we have so many beautiful roads, trails and long-distance cycle paths to enjoy. What’s more, they tend to be well-paved and easy to ride, which makes them perfect for practically any bike, be it one with race-ready tyres and a carbon frame or a heavier touring bike made of steel. For the most part, the routes are also well-marked and easy to follow.

When cycling, you’ll cover a surprising distance each day, whilst being able to enjoy every detail of your journey — things most people never get to see from the motorway.

Long-Distance Cycle Paths To Go

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The right season

The best time for your trip depends on your priorities. The warmer it is, the more pleasant it is during the day—especially in the mornings and evenings. Unfortunately, though, the roads tend to get busier the warmer it gets and you’ll always find more action on the road in summer than in spring or autumn. One thing is also clear: in winter, it is not always advisable to embark on a long cycling tour—something your feet and fingers will be thankful for. No matter when you go, make sure you take more water with you when it's warm and more food when it's cool as your body needs more calories in cold weather.


How you choose to spend your nights will define the nature of your trip. If you choose comfort and rent a bed every night, you’ll have to plan your stages ahead of time. Camping, especially in the wild, will result in more gear but more independence. If you’re unsure, just try it out and see what your body and mind are longing for after a day in the saddle.

Bed and Bike

How To Stow Your Stuff

Bike Bags Or Backpack?

If you are planning to ride with a backpack, try it out beforehand on long rides. Even the lightest backpack can lead to pain and tension after a while. Bike bags aren’t cheap, but they will be your friends for years.

Classic Panniers Or Frame Packs?

This decision depends mainly on whether you want to (and can) put a rack on your bike and how much stuff you want to bring. The advantage of frame packs is that they don’t need screws or other measures – you simply strap them to your frame. However, they carry less volume than classic panniers, which are attached to a rack.

Front Or Back Rack?

This depends on your personal taste. Classically they are attached to the back of your bike, however, this makes the riding experience more cumbersome. Having a front rack will make your bike more agile, but it takes a while to get used to the steering behaviour. Of course, you can use front and back racks to bring more equipment, but be aware that you will feel every gram on long distances. You don’t need as much stuff as you think!

Check List

Clothes For Riding

  • Trousers that let you sit in the saddle for many kilometers
  • Seamless underwear (alternative: padded bib shorts for cycling)
  • Shirt or cycling jersey
  • Rain jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection for your head (e.g. helmet)
  • Shoes to ride in

Clothes For The Evening

  • Comfy trousers
  • Underwear
  • Shirt
  • Sweatshirt or fleece
  • Comfy light shoes


  • Patch kit
  • Pump
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Bottles/containers for at least 1.5 litres of water
  • Snacks for the road