BEST EASYGOING E-BIKE RIDES UK
The joy of an e-bike is that it can get you most places in a cheap, exhilarating and healthy way. If you are looking for suggestions for some really enjoyable but easygoing rides here is my selection of UK rides, based on my many years riding and researching routes throughout the country. If you fancy trying out these routes on the latest e-bikes check out this selection of 2018 models.
London & The South East
Regents Canal, London – Leisure Ride 18 miles return linear route (Little Venice to Limehouse Cut)
The Regent’s Canal runs past some of the finest parts of North London, including Regents Park, London Zoo, Primrose Hill, Camden, Victoria Park, Mile End Park and Limehouse Basin on the Thames.
More info and a great interactive map here.
Forest Way, Sussex – Leisure Trail 20 miles return linear route
A lovely former rail line, now an unsealed path, through the High Weald (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) between East Grinstead and Groombridge. Forest Row, Hartfield and Groombridge are the standout villages. Map here.
South Downs Way – MTB trail 100 miles one way
The South Downs Way National Trails runs from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in Sussex, with a small loop around Eastbourne. The majority of the path is a bridleway and so can be used by horseriders and cyclists too and passes over rolling chalk downs with fantastic views, fine villages and pubs and wonderful seascapes on the eastern section too.
There is a good detailed map here.
Arround the Thames at Pangbourne – MTB linear trails, various lengths make for short there and back rides
Fine riding through classic English countryside on tracks and very quiet roads. Treating attractive Pangbourne as a ‘hub’ you can ride south to explore the Kennet & Avon towpath or east via Mapledurham towards Reading.
Two of the rides described here use these tracks and roads and the third uses quiet country
Camel Trail, Cornwall – Leisure Ride 36 miles return linear route
The Camel Trail claimed at one time (and may still be) the most popular recreational cycle trail in the country, with over half a million visitors annually. Some superb riding alongside estuaries and through wooded valleys.
Sustrans map here.
Tarka Trail, Devon – Leisure Ride
Another fantastic ride of estuary-side paths and negotiating steep-sided wooded valleys. Visit attractive Barnstaple, Bideford and Great Torrington.
Sustrans map here.
Mineral Tramways, Cornwall – MTB Ride 24 miles return linear coast to coast route
These tracks are based on old tramways that served the mines here and allow you to ride from one side of the Cornish peninsula to the other, linking the little old fishing port of Portreath with Devoran on a tidal creek. Map here.
Tamar Trails, Devon/Cornwall – MTB Ride 16 miles of trail
Trails for family and more advanced mountain biking and plenty of other outdoor activities too.
More info here.
Midlands & East Anglia
Manifold Trail, Derbyshire 8 miles linear trail
Wonderful White Peak scenery accompanies you on an old railway designed carry milk along the spectacular River Hamps valley. There is a signed walk off the trail to prehistoric Thor’s Cave. Map here.
Here’s a video of the largely tarmac route:
Rutland Water, Rutland 17 mile and 23 mile options
This isn’t just a chance to cycle round the biggest man made lake in western Europe on a signed traffic-free cycle route but an opportunity to visit plenty of attractive villages too.
Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire – MTB ride 15 miles
Photo: Courtesy of Darwin Forest Luxury Lodges
Traces the outline of Ladybower, Derwent and Howden reservoirs in spectacular Dark Peak scenery where the WWII dambusters did their training. Full details here.
Peddars Way Norfolk – MTB Ride 93 miles one way
A National Trail walking route linking Thetford and Holme-next-the-Sea, most of which is open to cyclists and where it isn’t there are usually cyclists’ alternatives signed. Includes a section of Roman road, the Brecks (ancient heath and Pine forest and the sandy Norfolk coast. Map here.
Conwy and the Great Orme, Gwynned – Leisure Ride 16 miles linear return ride from Llandudno peninsula, round the Great Orme and up to Deganwy and Conwy Castle
This is a collection of traffic-free paths and the Marine Drive toll road around the spectacular headland known as the Great Orme. The traffic-free path along the estuary from the Great Orme to Deganwy and Llandudno Junction then gives you the chance to cross the Conwy estuary with the huge mass of Conwy castle at the other side. Map here.
Taff Trail, Caerphilly & Cardiff – Leisure Ride 53 miles
A classic trail linking the Brecon Beacons, the Welsh Valleys and the fascinating sites of Welsh capital city Cardiff. Much of it is traffic-free with the far north part using minor roads. Map here.
The Tramway, Brecon Beacons – Easy MTB Trail 5.5 mile circular route
Penycloddiau Circuit, Clwydian Range – Easy MTB Trail 11 miles circular route
This idyllic looking circuit in North Wales’ Clwydian Range comes courtesy of Flattyres MTB (thanks to Colin Down for all the hard work on that…). It looks a bit more ‘technical’ (ie rocky or with some narrow paths) than most of the routes here, but the gradients look manageable and the scenery gorgeous. Check out the Flattyres video too:
York-Selby Railpath – Leisure Ride 20 miles linear return ride
Visiting a handful of small, attractive Yorkshire villages and with a classic entry into York, crossing the racecourse and heading along the river Ouse to York’s magnificent medieval centre. Map here.
Scarborough Whitby Railpath – Leisure Ride 40 miles linear return route
Though this is a railpath there are some rougher stone sections so front suspension forks and wide tyres are recommended. There are also a couple of climbs. It travels along the wild Yorkshire Heritage Coast between the lovely coastal towns of Scarborough and Whitby. Map here.
Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales – MTB Ride
Malham Tarn is a well-known beauty spot in the southern Yorkshire Dales and this route explores some of the fine upland tracks over this limestone plateau. More details and map here.
Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland – MTB trail network with many miles of riding
Families and beginners might want to try out the green and blue graded and signed trails here in the heart of the Northumberland wilds. Map and more details here.
Lagan & Lough Cycleway, County Down – Leisure Ride 42 miles linear return route
Links Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown, taking in views across Belfast Lough and Belfast cityscape views with the Belfast Hills as the backdrop plus the National Trust property at Minnowburn and the historic Giant’s Ring archaeological site. Map here.
Newry Canal Way, County Armagh – Leisure Ride 20 mile linear route
A fine trip along the Newry Canal towpath between Portadown and Newry. Map here.
Castle Ward, Strangford Lough – MTB Trail network of around 13.5 miles
Easy family trails around this impressive National Trust property. Other attractions include the mansions own miniature canal and the Game of Thrones set. Check out Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails.
Castlewellan, Country Down – MTB Ride 17 miles of trail network of which around 6 miles are easier grades
A lake, a castle and great panoramas plus a lively nearby village. What more could you want for family e-biking? More info here.
Tweed Valley Railpath, Scottish Borders – Leisure Ride 11 miles linear return route
Linking Peebles and Innerleithen, this is a very high quality path along the valley with fine views of the Scottish lowlands and the chance to visit two lovely Scottish towns. It is part of the signed long-distance route the Scottish C2C. Map here.
Callander to Killin & Glen Ogle, Perthshire – Leisure Ride 23 miles linear route
From the tourist staging post of Callander you head north past Loch Lubnaig then climb through spectacular Glen Ogle on an old rail line high above the valley before a steep descent to the dramatic waterfalls and old clan burial ground at Killin. Map here.
Gleann Einich and the Rothiemurchus Estate – MTB ride 18 miles linear return trail
An easy ride through Rothiemurchus Forest gives way to a wilderness track to the lovely Loch Einich. There are also many bike trails and other organised activities that take place at the nearby Rothiemurchus Estate. Here’s a video of everything that goes on at the Rothiemurchus estate.
Glen Affric – MTB ride 10.5 miles circular route
In the remote north-west of Scotland is this round reservoir route in truly spectacular Highland scenery. Map here.