Best places in the UK to live for a cyclist?

dilatory
dilatory Posts: 565
edited April 2014 in Road general
As the title suggests, I am curious where you guys consider some of the best places in the country to live for year round cycling?
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Comments

  • big_p
    big_p Posts: 565
    Lancashire.............You can lock the topic now.
  • France.
    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
  • foggymike
    foggymike Posts: 862
    Depends whether you like hills or not :?
  • sbbefc
    sbbefc Posts: 189
    Wales is great for cycling I've not done much outside of the country in all honesty.

    Meaning to go to the lakes, peak district, scotland and yorkshire! I'm guessing many people will vouch for these places!

    I've cycled in Cumbria/County Durham, cycling in the North Pennines is excellent. Middleton on Tees is a good base and within striking distance of the Great Dun Fell too.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Would it be Scotland, Wales, Lakes, Yorks and Peaks? I live near the Peak district but I like cycling in Cornwall, the worst place was Norfolk.... easy on the eye though.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,551
    Mid Wales. It's probably the most under-rated part of the country but has loads of quiet roads and a good range of short, sharp climbs and longer hills. Some beautiful scenery as well. Considering I'm not far from there it's odd how little time I've spent riding there and every time I drive in the area I think 'must get up here on the bike soon'. I reckon it's quieter than all the usual cycling Meccas in England & Wales both in terms of cars and other cyclists and the climate is less harsh than more northern areas.
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    Cheshire

    Close to flat country lanes, the peaks, north wales and easy access to the velodrome in Manc
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  • nevman
    nevman Posts: 1,611
    Derby-beer and cycling capital of England.If you like beer and cycling that is.
    Whats the solution? Just pedal faster you baby.

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  • hypster
    hypster Posts: 1,229
    The absolute best places for cycling would have to be Wales, Scotland or the Lake District but the trouble with them is it's pissing down with rain most of the time. The most idyllic would be the tropical South East, maybe near the North or South Downs where the sun does at least shine sometimes (and no, I don't live there). :(
  • I agree with Pross about Mid Wales, and some of it is just about cycleable from Swansea.
    Closer to home (for more mortal riders like myself) there is so much to choose from. Mountains to the north, flat coasts to the west, and plenty of rolling lanes in between.
    Also, lots of tarmac cycle paths for quieter rides. Have a look at the Sustrans map that I have attempted to link below.

    http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map?lat= ... s&filters=
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Cornwall and Devon
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    hypster wrote:
    The absolute best places for cycling would have to be Wales, Scotland or the Lake District but the trouble with them is it's pissing down with rain most of the time. The most idyllic would be the tropical South East, maybe near the North or South Downs where the sun does at least shine sometimes (and no, I don't live there). :(

    Not so! Mountainous places are great to visit with a bike but a bit dull to live in. Not enough roads = not enough variety. If you live in Coniston, you really don't have that many options (obviously this isn't the case if you are into mountain biking but this is the Road forum!).

    I'd say Yorkshire (where I live) for the same reasons as those who say Lancashire - easy access to Dales, Peaks, Yorks Wolds, Yorks Moors and Plain of York for when you get tired of going up (though that's annoyingly far from me - it's not really possible to go out for an easy warm up!). Plus easy access to Manchester Velodrome and you aren't too far from the Lakes either. But I find Sussex, where my parents live, surprisingly satisfying - so many different routes even if they do look a bit samey (South Downs a bit dissatisfying as it always seems to be a case of up and then straight back down again!).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • jscl
    jscl Posts: 1,015
    Manchester. Cheshire flats to the south, peaks to the north and other challenges to the East/West. No need to pass through major city centre traffic to access them.
    Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/scalesjason - All posts are strictly my personal view.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,910
    Undoubtedly the best place to cycle is {Field1}. It's got a perfect mix of {Field2} and {Field3}, and you can easily get to {Field4} and {Field5} in a day. OK, so I live in {Field1}, but I'm definitely not biased in any way.

    Seriously, Devon is unarguably the best place in the UK, because there are no polar bears to attack you, and you can easily get to the French Pre-Alps from there in a week on the bike.
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    Newcastle isn't bad, you've got the North Pennines to the South West if you want brutal climbs, The Tyne Valley to the West, Northumberland and Keilder to the North West, The Northumbrian Coast to the North East and the Durham Hills to the south. For MTBing there's Dalby, Keilder, Hamsterly all within an hour or so's drive. Then there's the C2C and NCN routes connecting most towns on Beechinged railways and historic Waggonways where the gradient is never more than a horse pulling a tonne of coal could cope with. Durham seem to be systematically tarting up their off road routes and it's starting to make Tyne & Wear's look bad. Prevailing wind is westerly so most storms blow them selves out over the Pennines so it's fairly climatically stable. So plenty of variety, less rain than the west but still some high roads and steep, long climbs.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • Ber Nard
    Ber Nard Posts: 827
    Undoubtedly the best place to cycle is {Field1}. It's got a perfect mix of {Field2} and {Field3}, and you can easily get to {Field4} and {Field5} in a day. OK, so I live in {Field1}, but I'm definitely not biased in any way.

    Whilst falling for this ^^ I'm going to vote for Stoke. Gun Hill, the Cat and Fiddle and Mow Cop all within easy striking distance if you like hills. South Staffs and Shropshire if you don't.

    We've got Rourke's Cycles, Longstaff Cycles and Swinnerton Cycles among the bike shops so you're sorted for a decent LBS.

    Then there's the Tour of Britain and the Tour Series that visit each year.

    To be honest, I've not lived in Stoke that long and I'm not overly keen on the place but the cycling is easily one of the best things here.

    Rob
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,910
    Ber Nard wrote:
    To be honest, I've not lived in Stoke that long and I'm not overly keen on the place but the cycling is easily one of the best things here.
    You don't work for the Stoke Tourist Board, do you? You certainly know how to sell the place.
  • Ber Nard
    Ber Nard Posts: 827
    Ber Nard wrote:
    To be honest, I've not lived in Stoke that long and I'm not overly keen on the place but the cycling is easily one of the best things here.
    You don't work for the Stoke Tourist Board, do you? You certainly know how to sell the place.

    And I rewrote that bit twice to try and sound tactful! Oh well...

    Rob
  • fishyweb
    fishyweb Posts: 173
    My manor at the foot of the Chilterns is not too shabby. Variety of decent hills in one direction (obviously), and flattish to undulating rides over the Vale of Aylesbury in the other.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/287459
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  • florerider
    florerider Posts: 1,112
    agree with Pross that mid Wales is superb for cycling, (check out the Cycling plus best ride through the elan valley - superb) but the question is a place to live and cycle all year round.

    So I would go for Pembrokeshire, or maybe Shropshire.
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    London. Richmond Park, Herne Hill velodrome, Olympic velodrome, Crystal Palace, several closed circuits and regular road racing, Smithfield Nocturne, Catford / Bec CC hill climbs, Box Hill, North Downs, South Downs, Tour de France, Tour of Britain, Ride London, London Surrey classic....

    I could go on all day!
  • Shrewsbury is a top location for all sorts of riding. Great access to Shropshire Hills to West and South, good flats and rolling terrain over to North and East. Mid/Nth Wales only a stones throw away. Regular closed circuit racing in town and an excellent Thurs night road race league throughout the Spring/Summer. A couple of thriving clubs and some quality bike shops. Away from cycling it is a great town to live in; some great pubs, coffee shops & restaurants and plenty to do with a family.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Newcastle isn't bad, you've got the North Pennines to the South West if you want brutal climbs, The Tyne Valley to the West, Northumberland and Keilder to the North West, The Northumbrian Coast to the North East and the Durham Hills to the south. For MTBing there's Dalby, Keilder, Hamsterly all within an hour or so's drive. Then there's the C2C and NCN routes connecting most towns on Beechinged railways and historic Waggonways where the gradient is never more than a horse pulling a tonne of coal could cope with. Durham seem to be systematically tarting up their off road routes and it's starting to make Tyne & Wear's look bad. Prevailing wind is westerly so most storms blow them selves out over the Pennines so it's fairly climatically stable. So plenty of variety, less rain than the west but still some high roads and steep, long climbs.

    Well you've got my agreement! But I'd personally say Durham (as I would!), where I live in Chester-le-Street it's only about a 10 minute ride until you're in open countryside and you can continue like that for 100 miles if you pick the right routes. If you head West you've got pretty decent hills, if you head South there's more rolling terrain - although you do pay for that with increased traffic levels. The only real drawback is there isn't any properly flat terrain to speak of.

    Elsewhere, where I work South of Stockton-on-Tees isn't too bad either, nice rolling countryside to the South plus the North York Moors are right there for a more testing ride.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    BigMat wrote:
    London. Richmond Park, Herne Hill velodrome, Olympic velodrome, Crystal Palace, several closed circuits and regular road racing, Smithfield Nocturne, Catford / Bec CC hill climbs, Box Hill, North Downs, South Downs, Tour de France, Tour of Britain, Ride London, London Surrey classic....

    I could go on all day!

    I'm sure Box Hill is nice and everything; but that sort of road and climb are around every second corner elsewhere in the country. Especially in the North.
  • vs
    vs Posts: 468
    London :D
    Exmoor isn't too shabby.
    ct-06a.jpg
  • VmanF3
    VmanF3 Posts: 240
    Best place to live for a cyclist in the UK - Buckinghamshire. All the fun of the Chilterns, London and surrounds. As we're saying 'live' here as well, it's a rather smashing place to reside.

    There are better rides around for sure, but I have no desire to move away from this wonderful area. Having lived briefly in Rochdale, where the cycling can be epic, there are just too many downsides to that location.
    Big Red, Blue, Pete, Bill & Doug
  • Ouija
    Ouija Posts: 1,386
    Scarborough and the North York Coast, of course ;)

    Yorkshire_zps03b88e49.jpg

    You can ride on the beaches with your fat bike.

    You can ride up the coast to Whitby along the cinder track, an abandoned railway track with no appreciable hills (because railway lines cut through the landscape, rather than ride over it), which is good for beginners or families with kids who don't want to be anywhere near the roads and want an offroad environment that isn't too difficult.

    You can ride North West for half an hour and go up to the forests (Dalby, Wykeham, Langdale etc) or keep going a bit further and go out onto the windswept North York Moors.

    If Moors, Forests and hills aren't your thing you can head directly west and ride around the flat lake bed that has Scarborough, Pickering, Helmsley and Malton situated around the edge of it.

    And if you do like hills but aren't keen on the desolate Moors or Forests to the north then you can head South West and ride on the Yorkshire Downs West of Bridlington. Open farmland and quaint villages, tea rooms and historical landmarks aplenty.

    Variety within an hours ride in any direction.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    BigMat wrote:
    London. Richmond Park, Herne Hill velodrome, Olympic velodrome, Crystal Palace, several closed circuits and regular road racing, Smithfield Nocturne, Catford / Bec CC hill climbs, Box Hill, North Downs, South Downs, Tour de France, Tour of Britain, Ride London, London Surrey classic....

    I could go on all day!

    LOL!
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,255
    vs wrote:
    London :D
    Exmoor isn't too shabby.
    ct-06a.jpg

    When I went to Exmoor I looked for that stretch of road, but could not find it... where is it exactly?
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