5 of the UK's best National Parks for cycling
15th December, 2023
The range of cycle-friendly trails in the UK’s National Parks offers cyclists the opportunity to experience the UK’s natural beauty. These parks are open to cyclists who want to explore mountains, valleys, lakes and quaint villages on two or three-wheel bikes.
Cycling through the UK’s best National Parks is an exciting and adventurous way to discover and appreciate the UK’s diverse landscapes while enjoying the freedom of cycling.
The UK’s top 5 National Parks that are ideal for cycling
To determine the UK’s best National Parks for cycling, we found the total number of cycle routes in each National Park. Here are the results:
1. Peak District National Park
No. of cycle routes: 312
Location: Mostly in Derbyshire, extending into Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire
The Peak District boasts a stunning variety of cycling routes that cater to riders of all levels. Whether you’re seeking a gentle, more leisurely ride or a more challenging cycling adventure through the rugged beauty of the Peak District, there’s something for everyone.
Moreover, cycling in the Peak District offers the opportunity to explore many of the region’s notable sites, such as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.
2. South Downs National Park
No. of cycle routes: 243
Location: Covers Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex
South Down National Park has an extensive network of well-maintained trails. Cyclists can revel in the panoramic views of the English Channel, chalk cliffs, and charming rural villages. The varied terrain caters to cyclists of all levels, from beginners to seasoned riders.
3. Lake District National Park
No. of cycle routes: 209
The Lake District cycling trails weave through picturesque valleys, charming villages and alongside some of North West's most iconic lakes. These lakes include Windermere, Ullswater, Derwentwater and Coniston Water. The tranquil waters within the Lake District, crisp fresh air, and rolling green hills create the perfect backdrop for a cycling adventure.
4. Yorkshire Dales National Park
No. of cycle routes: 155
Location: Primarily within North Yorkshire, extending into Cumbria and Lancashire
The peaceful and rural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales creates the perfect environment for cyclists to escape into nature and experience the joy of pedalling through one of England’s most famous national parks. Charming stone-built villages also provide the perfect pit stop, allowing riders to also soak in the local culture and hospitality.
5. Snowdonia National Park
No. of cycle routes: 102
Location: Gwynedd and Conwy counties
Cyclists of all abilities can enjoy cycling through valleys, around lakes and amidst the dramatic backdrop of Snowdonia’s iconic mountain peaks. Whether you’re navigating rugged terrain or enjoying a smooth ride, cycling in Snowdonia National Park combines adventure with the freedom of cycling.
For more off-road cycle routes, check out the UK's best forests for cycling here.