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Best area UK for recreational cycling?

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  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
    orraloon wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Nothing personal against Orraloon.
    Just grockles?
    What about proud and unashamed europhiles?

    My view point is more from the perspective of the younger generations now priced out of the housing market. When you have beach huts going for £290k in Dorset you know that there is a very serious problem.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 52,903
    orraloon wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:

    On an unrelated note, I forgot to say that Kent and the SE London suburbs are complete shyte holes as well :D
    I have no idea what Kent and the far south east is like, other than being a drag on the M20 en route the tunnel and civilisation. But I was pondering about down that way for easy (well it is for now, thanks f-wit politicos) access over the waters. Last year on a hire bike pootle cafe (and beers) stop in Watou just over the Belgian border, got chatting to a couple of guys wearing Ashford Tri Club tops; day ride inc ferry to Calais, loop around and back for a 5pm crossing return. What a grand day out I thought.
    North Downs are pretty good for me and there are some good bits of Kent for pedalling a bit further away from London but tbh there are better places if you have the whole of the UK to choose from.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    My number one priority for enjoyable recreational cycling is a low volume of traffic, plus good scenery, preferably with hills or mountains. The sheer number of cars on the roads spoils the enjoyment of much of the south of England for me. Places like Devon and Cornwall must be a nightmare for cycling in the summer. I know from my experience of SW coastal path walking over the past two years how huge queues of frustrated drivers build up behind road cyclists because the narrow roads with high banks in Devon and Cornwall make overtaking so tricky. And on the last cycle touring holiday my wife and I had in Kent, we got really fed up with fancy 4x4 cars speeding along tiny lanes.

    My home county of Shropshire and adjoining Mid Wales is a fabulous area for scenic cycling in a sparsely populated area of the country with much lower volume of traffic than southern England. You get a similar good mix further south in the border area of Herefordshire, Monmouthshire etc. And Pembrokeshire is another great area for quiet roads and good riding.

    The Peak District and Lake District have the scenery but both suffer the tourist honeypot effect of heavy traffic on what would otherwise be good cycling roads. The Yorkshire Dales and Moors can also suffer from this effect, as does Snowdonia. I think the northern Pennines, Durham Dales, Northumberland, Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway are a lot better for that magic combination of quiet roads and light traffic as well as great scenery.

    The problem for anyone thinking of moving to a good cycling area is that the best places tend to lack transport connections and facilities. Shropshire, for example, is great for cycling and has cheap houses, although prices are going up thanks to Escape to the Country fans selling their homes in the south and moving here. But it is out of the way and rural deprivation is a reality.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,293
    Slowmart wrote:


    Yep, geographically challenged here too, about 10 miles south of Preston.

    Whereabouts? Chorley? Leyland?
    West Lancs plain is fine but you have to stay west of Preston/Chorley/Ormskirk and north of Kirkby/Skem.
    Makes things a bit repetitive if you want to avoid traffic. But there's a good caff in Croston.

    Don't think it would suit OP.


    Cheers, I’m in Rufford and I have a small training loop I do four times a week as I’m returning to fitness after a lay-off. As my fitness returns I’ll head up to the Vale of Bowland which looks scenic with some decent climbs.

    I did head east after finding a loop on map my ride which which hit a fair bit of built up areas but had some nice country lanes and some decent climbs but like to suggested, all rather busy with traffic.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • I'm in South Southport, and Rufford is on my regular routes out. Bowland is just a bit far for a normal ride out. If you ever fancy a ride somewhere just holler, but I'm 15 or more miles each way from you.
    You on Strava?
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 5,737
    Slowmart wrote:


    Yep, geographically challenged here too, about 10 miles south of Preston.

    Whereabouts? Chorley? Leyland?
    West Lancs plain is fine but you have to stay west of Preston/Chorley/Ormskirk and north of Kirkby/Skem.
    Makes things a bit repetitive if you want to avoid traffic. But there's a good caff in Croston.

    Don't think it would suit OP.

    Can you not use maps? In Chorley here, I hate riding in traffic and I successfully manage not to. It's not 10/10 riding but it's sure as heck a good 7 or 8 out of 10.
    Chorley is literally where the moorland rises up through Anglezarke, Rivington, cross the Ribble Valley and then all the way up to Forest of Bowland and Yorkshire beyond. Literally loads of good riding if you know how to look for it.
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 1,176
    I grew up just to the north of chorley and I always thought it was pretty good cycling, although granted it was 20 years ago and I was mountain biking.

    It does rain a lot up there though.

    I was planning a ride up there this weekend but between the weather and the hangover, I never quite managed it.
  • LagrangeLagrange Posts: 652
    Mercia Man wrote:
    My number one priority for enjoyable recreational cycling is a low volume of traffic, plus good scenery, preferably with hills or mountains. The sheer number of cars on the roads spoils the enjoyment of much of the south of England for me. Places like Devon and Cornwall must be a nightmare for cycling in the summer. I know from my experience of SW coastal path walking over the past two years how huge queues of frustrated drivers build up behind road cyclists because the narrow roads with high banks in Devon and Cornwall make overtaking so tricky. And on the last cycle touring holiday my wife and I had in Kent, we got really fed up with fancy 4x4 cars speeding along tiny lanes.

    Couple of years ago I did some mountain biking in Tenerife. We put the bikes in the back of the van went up the volcano and hurtled down on rough tracks. Bringing it back on topic I do remember that there were many road bikers cycling up and flying down the roads over this mountainous region. Cars kept their distance, drivers were patient and it all worked well.

    I could not possibly do that sort of extreme hill climbing stuff there or here - I'm not up to it - and really I just never go on any road with a limit > 30mph because I think the risk of being injured though inattentive or crazy drivers is too high. I know this because whenever I'm driving I always run over cyclists and pour boiling oil on them :evil:
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,846
    From my response to a similar thread about the best options for a UK based cycling holiday (albeit the OP on that wanted something with shopping nearby):

    I'd go for mid Wales. Loads of really quiet country roads and superb climbs that don't feature in any of Simon Warren's books so a bit quieter (although there's also the Bwlch y Groes and Devil's Staircase if you want some classics). I reckon it's the hidden jewel of cycling in the UK. The area is lacking in decent sized towns though but that's the downside of the best cycling areas (or what makes them good for cycling).

    As an alternative you could go for the Cotswolds, base yourself near Cheltenham and stick to the quieter roads away from the tourist traps.
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