1. Skipton to Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
Picnic spot Bolton Abbey
The National Cycle Network takes you east from the bustling market town of Skipton with its impressive castle and regular outdoor market, through the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. Arriving at the magnificent ruins of Bolton Abbey, search out a quiet spot by the river for a picnic.
Start and finish Skipton railway station
The route 7 miles each way on quiet country roads, the route is hilly in places. Exit Skipton station, turn right and follow the main street to the top of the town, and at the roundabout bear right. After half a mile turn left on the road signed Embsay. Once in Embsay, climb the hill past the historic steam railway and turn right at the village shop and post office. Follow signs to Bolton Abbey along quiet country lanes with scenic views all the way.
2. Wells and Holkham circuit, Norfolk
Picnic spot Holkham Beach
A beautiful ride through the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty, taking you from the unspoilt gem of Wells-next-the-Sea with its picturesque harbour, out past the long stretches of golden sand at Holkham beach — the perfect place for a seaside dip and picnic.
Start and finish Beach Road, Wells-next-the-sea
The route 10-mile round trip on quiet country lanes which can be bumpy in places. Heading out on Beach Road the National Cycle Network quickly joins the Norfolk Coast Path, offering you great views of Holkham Bay. From here you head inland towards Holkham on a private road through Holkham Estate. You’ll pass a deer park and Holkham Hall before joining a public road that connects to the B1105, which takes you back to Wells.
3. Bath Two Tunnels, Somerset
Picnic spot next to Warleigh weir
From the centre of picturesque Bath, the National Cycle Network takes you on a circular tour through the Somerset countryside. This route was opened by the charity Sustrans and its partners in 2013; it passes the spectacular Dundas aqueduct and travels through the Combe Down tunnel, the UK’s longest cycling tunnel. Just off the route at Claverton, you’ll find Warleigh weir, another great place for a dip and picnic.
Start and finish Central Bath
The route 13-mile round trip on a mixture of traffic-free roads and quiet country lanes. Starting in Bath, you pick up the route just off Bellotts Road near Oldfield railway station. It’s traffic-free cycling all the way to Combe Down, where you travel through Combe Down tunnel. On to Monktown Combe you’re on road and from here you head over the spectacular Tucking Mill viaduct and past the Dundas aqueduct on the Kennet & Avon Canal. It’s then traffic-free all the way back to Bath, passing Claverton and Bathampton on the way.
4. Scarborough and Hayburn Wyke, North Yorkshire
Picnic spot Hayburn Wyke cove and waterfall
This great route takes you along the coastline where you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea in one direction and the North York Moors in the other. The National Cycle Network travels close to the secluded cove of Hayburn Wyke which is a short walk away and a perfect picnic spot — it is complete with woodland, beach and waterfall.
Start and finish Scarborough railway station
The route 7 miles each way on a traffic-free route. The trackbed does have some rough sections and the odd puddle in bad weather). Exit Scarborough station by the main entrance, turn left down the main A64 Falsgrave Road, and follow signs to National Route 1. After 250m, turn left off the road and join the traffic-free route at Sainsbury’s. You soon head into open countryside, which runs parallel to the coast. At the village of Burniston, you can take a short detour to the quiet bay of Crook Ness or continue onto Hayburn Wyke.
5. Exe Valley Ride, Devon
Picnic spot Exminster and Powderham RSPB reserve
Taking in some fantastic views along the River Exe and Exe Estuary, this route passes through an area that is a haven for wildlife. Adjacent to the route is the RSPB’s Exminster and Powderham Marshes reserve, which provides a year-round home for thousands of birds and is a great place to stop for a picnic.
Start and finish Exwick to Exminster
The route 5 miles each way on a flat, traffic-free riverside path. This National Cycle Network route follows the western bank of the River Exe from Exwick, linking to the city centre by way of the new purpose-built Miller’s Crossing Bridge. It then continues southwards through Exeter’s historic and attractive quayside, and then through the Riverside Valley park between the Exeter Ship Canal and the river to the village of Exminster.
6. Mawddach Trail, Snowdonia
Picnic spot The RSPB’s Arthog Bog reserve
The Mawddach Trail, which is part of the National Cycle Network, is one of the most scenic railway paths in the UK. Set in the Snowdonia National Park it runs along the spectacular Mawddach Estuary. You’ll be wowed by the stunning views of Cadair Idris. Picnic in the Arthog Bog RSPB reserve just before travelling over Barmouth Bridge, or grab some fish and chips at The Mermaid fish bar in Barmouth and eat them at the harbourside.
Start and finish Dolgellau to Barmouth
The route 9 miles each way on a traffic-free path as far as the wooden railway bridge near Barmouth, then on the road into town. This section of the National Cycle Network starts right from the heart of the handsome grey-stone town of Dolgellau, from the corner of the main car park by the bridge over the river. It’s incredibly easy to follow, taking you past Penmaenpool and following along the estuary. You travel over a bridge at the mouth of the estuary into Barmouth. Here, you leave the traffic-free path and follow a short on-road section into the centre of town.
7. Hastings & Bexhill waterfront, East Sussex
Picnic spot Egerton Park, Bexhill
Linking the historic town of Hastings and the seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea, this gentle ride on the National Cycle Network lets you explore the south coast at a leisurely pace, with fantastic views and attractions along the way. Head into Egerton Park and find a quiet spot to lay out your picnic rug or lay claim to a spot on the beach.
Start and finish Hastings and Bexhill
The route 3 miles each way on a traffic-free path. This coastal cycle ride along the National Cycle Network is ideal for children or beginner cyclists who want to ride away from motor traffic. Starting just north of Hastings pier, the route travels along the seafront, with sweeping views. As you come into Bexhill, the traffic-free path ends and you join the De La Warr Parade which takes you past the beautiful art deco pavilion and on to Egerton Park. Here you’ll find a kiosk selling refreshments, toilets and a great play area.
8. Alnmouth to Druridge Bay, Northumberland
Picnic spot Druridge Bay country park
The magnificent Northumberland coast is seen in all its glory as you ride past historic castles and quaint fishing villages on the National Cycle Network. Druridge Bay country park is centred on a lake with surrounding meadows and woods — the perfect place to enjoy your sandwiches.
Start and finish Alnmouth to Druridge Bay
The route 9 miles each way on a largely traffic-free path with some on road into Amble, no hills. On leaving Alnmouth you had west towards Hipsburn. Once past the arched bridge over the River Aln you turn left through a gated entrance which takes you on to a traffic-free path. This continues for about a mile before heading towards the coast, where you follow a coastal path all the way to Warkworth. Heading to Amble you drop down on to a roadside pavement path next to the River Coquet and weir. The signs will lead you through the marina and on quiet streets through Amble. You then pick up a traffic-calmed road to Low Hauxley before joining a coastal path to Druridge Bay.
9. Perth to Pitcairngreen, Perth and Kinross
Picnic spot next to Almondbank weir
A leisurely route to Almondbank which follows the course of two picturesque rivers, the Tay and the Almond. The peaceful route is mainly traffic-free and is punctuated by some impressive views, including a splendid one of Scone Palace, where Scotland’s kings were crowned. There are many beautiful places to stop for a picnic along this section of the National Cycle Network as you follow the two rivers, but it’s worth holding on until you reach the weir in Almondbank.
Start and finish The route starts in Perth with access to the route from Tay Street, and ends in Almondbank at the end of College Mill Road.
The route This ride is 6 miles one-way and begins on the North Inch in Perth following the course of the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river. Ride along the shared-use path for nearly 2½ miles before turning to follow the path alongside the River Almond, which passes near Huntingtower Castle, which is worth a detour. The route continues along riverside paths to Almondbank, then it is less than one mile farther to Pitcairngreen. For a longer ride continue following National Route 77 to Dunkeld from where you can return to Perth by train or continue to Pitlochry.
10. Nutbrook Trail, Derbyshire
Picnic spot Shipley Country Park
This section of the National Cycle Network runs between Long Eaton and Heanor, and is the perfect route for families because its flat and there is plenty to see and do. The trail takes you straight through the beautiful Shipley Country Park, which covers mroe than 700 acres and is a perfect spot to stop to explore and have a picnic.
Start and finish The route starts in Long Eaton with access from Regent Street, and ends in Heanor at the Lockton Avenue recreation ground.
The route This ride is 10 miles one-way on a traffic-free path; the section through country park can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. This route, which is called the Nutbrook Trail, forms part of the longer National Cycle Network Route 67 between Long Whatton near Loughborough to near Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
Originally posted 2016-01-21 10:30:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter