In the 1960s the Beeching report lead to the closure of about one third of Britain's rail network. As a result there are now hundreds of disused railway lines which now make fabulous, safe walking and cycle routes. Below are a selection of popular walks and rides which include rail trails for all or part of the route.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Rail Trails Map
|Aberystwyth to Tregaron||21 miles (34 km)||This lovely ride follows National Cycle route 82 and the beautiful Ystwyth trail from Aberystwyth to Tregaron.|
The trail mostly follows off road tracks which are made up of the tracked of a disused railway line. The ride begins by following the River Ystwyth before passing through the splendid Cors Caron with its variety of wildlife. You finish in the pretty village of Tregaron.
|Alban Way||6 miles (9 km)||Follow the disused Hatfield to St Albans railway line on this route from St Albans to Hatfield. It is a shared cycle and walk path and makes for an easy and safe stroll or ride.|
|Ashbourne to Buxton||30 miles (48 km)||This ride takes you along various off road cycle paths and tracks through the Derbyshire countryside.|
The start point is at the beginning of the Tissington trail -a 13 mile off road path following the trackbed of a disused railway line.
You'll then join the off road Penine Bridleway and the Midshires way before a short on road section taking you into Buxton and finishing at the railway station.
|Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail||4 miles (6 km)||This lovely short cycle and walking trail runs from Measham near Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Moira along a disused railway path. The path passes old Donisthorpe Colliery site, which is now a Woodland Park and Conkers - a forest-based attraction with a number of activities to enjoy. There is also a pleasant waterside section along the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal.|
Please click here for more information
|Auckland Walk||5 miles (7.5 km)||A short cycle and walking route along a dismantled railway line from Spennymoor to Bishop Auckland. This is a nice, easy route ideal for families.|
|Ayot Greenway||5 miles (7.5 km)||Follow this disused railway line from Wheathampstead to Welwyn Garden City on this easy cycle or walk in Hertfordshire. It's a nice flat, traffic free path making it ideal for families or beginners looking for an easy cycle ride. Along the way there's good views of the River Lea and a woodland section through Sherrardspark Wood at the end of the route. The woods are also a nature reserve with lots of birdlife and butterflies to look out for.|
If you're on foot you can extend your walk by picking up the Lea Valley Walk which runs alongside the greenway. If you're on a bike then you could head east to Hertford from Welwyn Garden City along the Cole Green Way. It's another similar rail trail along National Cycle Network Route 61.
|Bath to Frome||25 miles (40 km)||Travel to the eastern tip of the Mendip Hills on National Cycle routes 4, 24 and 48. The route starts on Pulteney Bridge near the centre of Bath and follows National Cycle route 4 along the River Avon and the Kennet & Avon Canal before turning south west along National Cycle route 24 near Monkton Combe. You'll then follow a series of quiet roads and a dismantled railway line to Radstock. This section runs along the Wellow Brook and has views of the Midford Hills and Midford Castle.|
From here, the route turns south east along a disused railway track before a short on road section takes you into Frome. The route finishes with a spell along the River Frome with the route finishing near Frome train station.
|Bath to Midsomer Norton||17 miles (27 km)||This ride follows National Cycle routes 4, 24 and 48 through some lovely Somerset scenery. The route starts on Poultney Bridge near the centre of Bath and follows National Cycle route 4 along the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal before turning south west along National Cycle route 24 near Monkton Combe. You'll then follow a series of quiet roads and a dismantled railway line to Radstock passing Midford Castle as you go. A lovely off road stretch along the Wellow Brook in the beautiful Cotswolds takes you into Midsomer Norton.|
|Birmingham to Burton-Upon-Trent||43 miles (70 km)||On this ride you will follow National Cycle routes 5 and 54 through the West Midlands in to Staffordshire. You start near Birmingham New Street Station and head west along the Birmingham Canal. You then turn north towards West Bromwich passing through Sandwell Valley Country Park with its lovely woodlands and meadows. The route continues onto Walsall where a dismantled railway line takes you onto Pelsall, crossing the Wyrley and Essington Canal. You continue north on and off road passing through Chasewater Country Park with its attractive lake. The route then turns east along National Cycle route 54 towards Burntwood and Lichfield before heading north towards Burton-Upon-Trent on a mixture of country roads and off road paths.|
|Birmingham to Lichfield||28 miles (45 km)||This route follows National Cycle routes 5 and 54 through the West Midlands in to Staffordshire. You start near Birmingham New Street Station and head west along the Birmingham Canal. You then turn north towards West Bromwich passing through Sandwell Valley Country Park with its lovely woodlands and meadows. The route continues onto Walsall where a dismantled railway line takes you onto Pelsall, crossing the Wyrley and Essington Canal. You continue north on and off road passing through Chasewater Country Park with its attractive lake. The route then turns east along National Cycle route 54 towards Burntwood finishing in Lichfield.|
|Bishop's Stortford to Braintree||22 miles (35 km)||This route follows National Cycle route 16 from Hertfordshire into Essex. You start in Bishop's Stortford with views of the River Stort and soon come to the Flitch Way - a decomissioned railway line dotted with Victorian railway stations which takes you through Hatfield Forest Country Park and the town of Great Dunmow to Braintree. It forms part of National Cycle route 16 so is well signed, largely flat and traffic free so ideal for families.|
|Blackwater Rail Trail||6 miles (10 km)||This is a nice, easy cycle or walk along a disused railway line between Witham and Maldon in Essex. The route passes through the pretty village of Langford and includes views of the River Blackwater and a riverside section along the River Chelmer into Maldon.|
|Brampton Valley Way||14 miles (23 km)||This walk and cycle trail runs from the outskirts of Northampton to Market Harborough along the trackbed of a disused railway line and National Cycle route 6. The route passes Brixworth, Maidwell and Great Oxendon with Brixworth Country Park just off the route. This is well worth a small detour as you will find the lovely Pitsford Water and cycle hire if needed.|
As well as the beautiful rural scenery you will also pass Northampton & Lamport Railway with its old steam railway on this pleasant trail.
|Brandon - Bishop Auckland Walk||9 miles (14 km)||This is a nice easy cycling and walking path that follows a disused railway line from Brandon, near Durham, to Bishop Auckland.|
You will pass through the villages of Brancepeth and Willington, shortly before joining the River Wear for the final stretch into Bishop Auckland. There are fine views of the surrounding countryside and of the Newton Cap Viaduct just before entering Bishop Auckland.
|Bristol and Bath Railway Path||16 miles (26 km)||This lovely easy walk takes you along this disused railway line with its series of charming stations. You will pass through Staple Hill, Mangotsfield and then Warmley where the station platform contains a cafe - perfect for a stop for refreshments.|
The route then takes you along the Avon Valley Railway and past Bitton railway station which also has a cafe.
The final delightful section takes you along the River Avon and into the historic city of Bath.
|Bure Valley Path||9 miles (14 km)||This walk and cycle track runs along Bure Valley Railway, and the River Bure from Aylsham to Wroxford. The route passes Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall with each having a station if you wish to rest your legs and take a trip on the railway.|
Please click here for more information
|Burton-Upon-Trent to Derby||16 miles (26 km)||Travel through Staffordshire into Derbyshire along National Cycle route 54 on this pleasant short route. The ride begins with a stretch by the River Trent, heading north towards Etwal with views of the Trent & Mersey Canal on the way. At Etwal you join a dismantled railway line for an off road stretch which takes you to the outskirts of Derby. You then head on road into the centre of Derby.|
|Burton-Upon-Trent to Uttoxeter||25 miles (40 km)||Travel through Staffordshire and Derbyshire along National Cycle route 54 on this interesting route. You start near the railway station in Burton-Upon-Trent and head north to Egginton in Derbyshire, with views of the River Trent and the Trent & Mersey Canal. The route continues through the countryside mainly on road but with a short stretch along a dismantled railway line near Etwal and Hilton. Other villages of note on the route are Hatton, Marston on Dove and Sudbury - home to National Trust owned Sudbury Hall with its interesting history and attractive gardens. Shortly after leaving Sudbury you will cross the River Dove and arrive at the finish point at Uttoxeter railway station.|
|Buxton to Uttoxeter||42 miles (68 km)||Take a trip through the lovely White Peak area of the Peak District on this challenging route which also passes by the famous Alton Towers theme park . You start by the railway station in Buxton and head south along National Cycle route 68 towards Hurdlow where you join the off road Pennine Bridleway for a short stretch. Country roads take you onto Hartington shortly before crossing the River Dove at Beresford Dale. You then join the Manifold Way - a terrific off road section that follows a dismantled railway line along the River Manifold. |
Country roads then take you onto Oakamoor where you join another dismantled railway line taking you along the River Churnet through the Churnet Valley. This is where you can stop for a ride on a roller coaster if the biking isn't exciting enough!
The final section takes you through Rocester and onto Uttoxeter in Staffordshire on country roads. The route finishes by the railway station in Uttoxeter
|Cambridge to St Ives along the Busway||12 miles (20 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle along this disused railway line which now forms part of National Cycle Network Route 51. It's now a great traffic free tarmac path following the route of the new Cambridgeshire Guided Busway which connects Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives. It runs just alongside the busway starting near the Cambridge Science Park just north of the city centre. You then head west passing Histon and the lovely Fen Drayton Lakes. The reserve has a number of lakes, ponds and lagoons with the River Great Ouse running through it as well. Shortly after you arrive at the market town of St Ives where the route finishes. You have the option of continuing along route 51 to Huntingdon which is just a few miles to the west. It's a nice flat, safe route which is ideal for families or anybody looking for an easy cycle ride or pleasant stroll. Along the way there's great views of the surrounding Cambridgeshire countryside.|
|Camel Trail||18 miles (29 km)||This wonderful riverside trail follows a disused railway line and the River Camel from Padstow to Poley's Bridge.|
You start by Padstow's lovely harbour near the delightful Prideaux Place with its deer park and gardens. You then follow the trail along the Camel estuary to Wadebridge which is an ideal place to stop for refreshments. The path continues towards Bodmin before a pleasant wooded section through Dunmere and Colquite Woods takes you to Hellanbridge. The trail finishes shortly after at Poley's Bridge.
This is a nice easy walk that is also open to cyclists and horse riders.
Please click here for a guide to the trail
|Cardiff to Caerphilly||12 miles (20 km)||This is a lovely ride that follows National Cycle route 8 and the Taff trail from Cardiff to Caerphilly. |
You start on the River Taff in Cardiff and head along the river northwards passing the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. There are also views of the attractive riverside Bute park and the Weir on the Taff near Maindy as you leave the centre of Cardiff. You soon come to Radyr and then onto Castle Coch (the Red Castle) before leaving the river and heading east towards Caerphilly along a dismantled railway line and quiet roads. This final stretch has lovely views of Nantgarw before heading into the centre of Caerphilly and finishing at the castle.
|Cardiff to Newport||28 miles (45 km)||This is a lovely ride that follows National Cycle routes 8 and 47 between these two major Welsh cities. |
You start on the River Taff in Cardiff and head north along the Taff trail passing the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. There are also views of the attractive riverside Bute park and the Weir on the Taff near Maindy as you leave the centre of Cardiff. You soon come to Radyr and then onto Castle Coch (the Red Castle) before leaving the river and heading east towards Caerphilly along a dismantled railway line and quiet roads with splendid views of Nantgarw.
After passing through Caerphilly, with its impressive castle, you soon join a pleasant traffic free section along the River Rhymney taking you to Machen. The ride continues through the beautiful Rhymney Valley and the village of Draethen before joining the River Usk and National Cycle route 47 for the final traffic free waterside section into Newport.
|Castle Eden Walkway||9 miles (15 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk along this disused railway line which runs along National Cycle Network Route 1. It's a nice easy traffic free ride for families or beginners. |
The route starts to the west of the County Durham village of Castle Eden and heads south through Wingate to Station Town. You continue past the pretty Hurworth Burn Reservoir before passing Brierley Wood and Thorpe Wood Nature Reserve. The route finishes at the lovely Wynyard Woodland Park. This country park in Billingham has woodland trails, a wildflower meadow and a planetarium and observatory. There's also a nice cafe where you can refresh yourself after your exercise.
Near the start of the route there is the splendid Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve. The reserve contains a wide variety of flora and fauna, woodland trails and the pretty Castle Eden Burn.
|Castleman Trailway||16 miles (26 km)||Travel from Ringwood to Poole along the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line on this easy cycle and walking route. Route highlights include 3 lovely country parks - Avon Heath Country Park, Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park.
For more information about this route please click here
|Centurion Way||6 miles (10 km)||This pleasant short route follows the Centurion Way along a disused railway path from Chichester to West Dean.|
The ride is flat and traffic free making it ideal for cycling families or walkers looking for a pleasant easy stroll through the Sussex countryside.
|Chester to Rhyl||34 miles (55 km)||Travel from England to Wales along National Cycle route 5 on this attractive and fairly flat ride. |
You start off in Chester with a lovely long traffic free section which takes you along the Shropshire Union Canal to Blacon where you join a dismantled railway line taking you to Connah's Quay on the River Dee. You then follow the river to Bagilt before heading through the North Wales countryside to Gronant on the coast. The ride finishes with a lovely traffic free section along the coast passing through Prestatyn and finishing at Rhyl on the seafront.
The ride is easily accessible with train stations at either end of the route.
|Chippenham to Calne Railway Path||6 miles (10 km)||This is a nice easy cycle or walk along the disused railway path from Chippenham to Calne. It follows National Cycle route 403 and includes lovely riverside runs along the River Avon and the River Marden. The route is almost entirely traffic free so is an ideal option for a family cycle ride or easy walk|
|Chiseldon Timberland Trail||4 miles (6.5 km)||This short easy cycle or walk trail runs from Swindon to Chiseldon along the old Swindon to Marlborough railway line.|
The trail starts near Swindon Country Cricket Ground and heads to the lovely Coate Water Country Park where you can hire boats or try your hand at the crazy golf. The route then joins the disused railway path which takes you to Chiseldon and includes a stretch through a delightful bluebell wood. For walkers the best start point is at Coate Water where there is parking next to the trail start.
|Cole Green Way||5 miles (8 km)||Travel from Welwyn Garden City to Hertford along a disused railway line on this easy cycle or walk in Hertfordshire. The route follows National Cycle Network Route 61 on a flat, traffic free path. There's nice tree lined sections and views of the surrounding open countryside.|
The route starts on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City and runs through Letty Green before finishing at Hertford.
The route links with the Ayot Greenway at Welwyn Garden City. It's a similar rail trail which runs to Wheathampstead along National Cycle Route 57. The Alban Way also runs from nearby Hatfield to St Albans. Walkers can pick up the Lea Valley Walk and enjoy a riverside stroll.
|Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway path||3 miles (5 km)||This short cycling and walking path follows the disused Coleford Milkwall and Parkend railway from Coleford to Parkend. You will head into the peaceful Forest of Dean passing Milkwall station and the disused Darkhill Ironworks on the way. The route links with National Cycle route 42 with more details here.|
|Comber Greenway||7 miles (12 km)||This cycling and walking trail runs along National Cycle Network route 99 and a disused railway line from Belfast to Comber. It makes for a great traffic free cycle along a nice tree lined tarmac path. As such it's great for families or anyone looking for an easy introduction to cycling. The route runs for about 7 miles from Dee Street in East Belfast to the town of Comber in County Down. You'll pass the C. S. Lewis statue at the Holywood Arches, and the Bloomfield Walkway in Belfast before enjoying nice views of Stormont, Scrabo Tower, the Harland & Wolff cranes and the Belfast Hills. |
To extend your cycle you can continue along National Route 99 towards Scrabo Hill, and Newtownards. This takes you to the tip of the beautiful Strangford Lough.
To extend your walking in the area you could climb to Scrabo Tower which is not far from the route. You can follow footpaths to the top of the hill where you will find the well known landmark.
|Consett and Sunderland Railway Path||28 miles (45 km)||A walk along a disused railway path from Consett to Sunderland. The path starts at Consett and heads east towards the coast passing Stanley and Chester-Le-Street before joining the River Wear and following it to Sunderland harbour.|
|Crab and Winkle Way||7 miles (10.5 km)||This lovely short route runs from Whitstable on the Kent coast to Canterbury along National Cycle route 1. It is largely flat and traffic free running along a disused railway line for part of the route while also passing through Blean Woods on the way.|
Highlights on the route include the attractive harbour at Whitstable and the splendid Blean Woods National Nature Reserve which is the largest ancient broadleaved woodland in southern Britain. The magnificent Canterbury Cathedral is also a major attraction on this trail.
This route is also easily accessible with train stations at Whitstable and Canterbury.
|Crawley to Eastbourne||48 miles (78 km)||Follow National Cycle route 21 from Crawley to Eastbourne on the south coast. |
You start by Three Bridges train station in Crawley and head east to East Grinstead along the traffic free Worth Way. Another off road section along the Forest Way takes you onto Groombridge - this follows the trackbed of a disused railway line and has views of the River Medway. You then continue through Eridge and Mayfield before joining the traffic free Cuckoo trail at Heathfield. This delightful trail takes you all the way to Eastbourne Park and has wildlife, sculptures and wild flowers to enjoy. The ride finishes with another lovely section along the Eastbourne coast before finishing at the train station.
|Cuckoo Trail||14 miles (23 km)||This traffic free cycle and walking path runs along a disused railway line from Heathfield to the outskirts of Eastbourne. The trail follows National Cycle route 21 and runs through a mixture of woodland, grassland and countryside with a variety of interesting sculptures lining the way.|
For wildlife lovers there is plenty to look out for along the trail including different species of butterflies such as the orange-tip. Also look out for various birdlife including bullfinch, lesser whitethroat and cuckoos of course (The trail obtained its name from the tradition that the first cuckoo in Spring was heard at the Heathfield Fair)
The trail is easily accessible with train stations at Polegate and Hampden Park. It is also a nice easy, safe route ideal for families.
|Dava Way||23 miles (37 km)||A super cycling and walking route along a dismantled railway line from Forres in Moray to Granton-on-Spey, Highland. The route passes through a pleasant mixture of farmland, woodland and moorland while also crossing the River Divie at Glenernie. It provides a link between the Speyside Way in the south and the Moray Firth Trail to the north.|
Views from the trail include Nairn, Inverness, Moray, Ross & Cromarty, the Cromdale Hills and the Cairngorm Mountains.
For cyclists a mountain bike or hybrid is advised.
|Deerness Valley Way||8 miles (13 km)||This cycle or walk along a dismantled railway line runs from Stonebridge to Crook through the beautiful Deerness Valley. The path passes the villages of Ushaw Moor and Esh Winning and and woodland at Holburn and Woodhouses Wood. There are also lovely waterside stretches along the River Deerness to enjoy.|
|Derby to Ashbourne||22 miles (35 km)||Follow National Cycle route 54 through Derbyshire on this lovely route. The route starts by the tourist information centre in Derby and heads west to Mickleover where you join a dismantled railway line taking you to Etwal. The route continues through the countryside on quiet roads, through the villages of Longford and Rodsley, before finishing by the tourist information centre in Ashbourne.|
|Derwent Valley Walk||11 miles (18 km)||This lovely railway path runs from Swalwell, near Gateshead, to Consett alongside the River Derwent and is suitable for walkers and cyclists.|
You will pass the villages of Rowlands Gill, Hamsterley and Ebchester on the way. The path also takes you through Derwent Walk Country Park and there is a woodland section at Byerside Wood. Also of interest is the National Trust owned Gibside near Rowlands Gill. This is well worth a visit with its 18th-century landscape park and nature reserve.
|Dunfermline to Alloa||15 miles (24 km)||This lovely easy ride follows National Cycle route 764 and the trackbed of a disused railway line from Dunfermline to Alloa via Clackmannan and Carnock. Nearly all of the ride is traffic free making it ideal for families.|
|Ebury Way||3 miles (5 km)||This is an easy short cycle and walking route ideal for families. It runs along National Cycle route 61 and a dismantled railway line from Ricksmanworth to Watford and passes through a variety of habitats, including open moor, woodland, and wetlands. The trail crosses a number of waterways including the rivers Colne, Chess and Gade and the Grand Union Canal.
Please click here for a pdf guide from watford council
|Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton Railway Path||4 miles (7 km)||This is a nice easy cycle or walk along the disused railway path running from Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton.|
It runs along National Cycle route 2 through rolling countryside and woodland. The path is ideal for families looking for a safe, easy route.
If you enjoy this ride you could pick up the Exe Estuary Trail at Exmouth and follow the route to Dawlish. It's another great, largely traffic free ride with wonderful views of the Exe Estuary Nature Reserve, the Exeter Canal and the Devon coast.
|Exmouth to Lyme Regis||31 miles (50 km)||Follow National Cycle route 2 through the Devon countryside from Exmouth to Lyme Regis. You will cross the border from Devon to Dorset on this attractive route which follows the spectacular Jurassic Coast. The route starts near Exmouth train station and heads east along off road paths and a dismantled railway line to Budleigh Salterton. A series of quiet country roads then takes you onto Sidmouth and then Seaton before finishing in Lyme Regis.|
|Exmouth to Sidmouth||12 miles (20 km)||This short route takes you along National Cycle route 2 from Exmouth to Sidmouth. The route starts near Exmouth train station and heads east along off road paths and a dismantled railway line to Budleigh Salterton. A series of quiet country roads then takes you onto the finish point at Sidmouth. |
Highlights include the wonderful coastal views as you approach Sidmouth and the Otter Estuary Nature reserve near Budleigh Salterton.
|Fallowfield Loop||8 miles (13 km)||This traffic free cycle ride follows a National Cycle Network route from Chorlton-cum-Hardy to Debdale. The route follows an old railway line and passes Fallowfield and Levenshulme finishing at Debdale Park where there are off-road cycle trails around Gorton's reservoirs.|
|Five Pits Trail||6 miles (10 km)||This is a super off road cycling and walking trail running from Grassmoor Country Park to Tibshelf. The route follows National Cycle Network route number 67 but there is also a detour at Wolfie Pond which heads east to the Williamsthorpe Nature Reserve before rejoining the route south. |
The trail follows the route of the old Grand Central Railway through the countryside passing the Locko bird and wildlife reserve on the way. The start and end points of the route are also delightful with Grassmoor Country Park at one end and the woodlands and meadows of Tibshelf Ponds at the other. The trail is located just three miles south of Chesterfield town centre. If you're are on your bike you could follow the Chesterfield to Alfreton cycle route along National Cycle 67 as an extension of your ride.
|Flitch Way||15 miles (24 km)||The Flitch Way is a cycle and walking route running along a decomissioned railway line through Essex. Starting in Bishops Stortford, the path takes you through Hatfield Forest and the town of Great Dunmow to Braintree. Highlights include the Victorian railway stations dotted along the path, deer in Hatfield Forest Country Park and views of the River Chelmer near Great Dunmow.|
|Forest Way||11 miles (17 km)||This cycling and walking route runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge following National Cycle route 21 along a flat tree lined path. The path is also a designated country park. |
The trail follows a disused railway line route and has splendid views of the rolling hills of the downs and local farmland.
Please click here for more information on this route.
Weir Wood Reservoir is just to the west of the route so you could visit this lovely nature reserve if you have time.
|Formartine and Buchan Way||53 miles (86 km)||A super off road cycling and walking trail through Aberdeenshire following a dismantled railway line. The route runs from Dyce to Fraserburgh with an optional section to Peterhead. Highlights on the route include Aden Country Park where you will find the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, forest walks and a ruined country house. The path also passes the 13th century ruined abbey at Deer Abbey (see video), the Strichen White Horse and the ancient Strichen Stone Circle.|
The route is waymarked with the letters F & BW on a red railway logo.
|Granite Way||11 miles (18 km)||This lovely, largely off road trail runs from Okehampton to Lydford through the
Dartmoor National Park. It passes along a disused railway path and forms part of National Cycle Network Number 27 but is suitable for both cyclists and walkers.|
The route begins in Okehampton and takes you towards Meldon where you will pass Meldon Viaduct and a delightful bluebell wood. You continue onto the pretty village of Sourton before passing Lake Viaduct where the scenery is particularly lovely. The final section then takes you to the village of Lydford where you will pass the noteworthy castle and church. You then come to the finish point at the impressive Lydford Gorge with its dramatic scenery which includes waterfalls and and a series of whirlpools known as the 'Devil's Cauldron'.
For an excellent full guide to the trail please click here
|Grantham to Newark-On-Trent||25 miles (40 km)||This route follows National Cycle routes 15 and 64 through Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. You start by the tourist information centre in Grantham and soon join the towpath of the Grantham Canal which takes you as far as Muston. From here you follow quiet roads to Bottesford. The route continues through the countryside on country lanes, joining National Cycle route 64 just after Orston. A couple of miles later at Cotham you begin a short stretch on a dismantled railway line, which takes you all the way to the finish point at Newark-On-Trent rail.|
|Grosmont to Goathland Rail Trail||3 miles (5 km)||Follow the track bed of the original Whitby-to-Pickering railway line on this short, easy walk in the North York Moors. The trail runs from Grosmont to Goathland passing Beck Hole on the way. There's some beautiful Yorkshire countryside and a waterside section along the Murk Esk River to enjoy. The path is generally very good for walking on and you also have the option of taking the North York Moors Steam Railway back to Grosmont. You could also take a short detour to visit the 70ft high Mallyan Spout Waterfall near Goathland.|
|Guildford to Horsham||22 miles (35 km)||This route follows the Downs Link Bridlepath from Guildford to Horsham via Cranleigh.|
The route starts by Guidlford rail and first follows the Wey Path along the River Wey before joining the Downs Link trail. This takes you through the North Downs along a disused railway line track bed before a short on road section takes you into Horsham, finishing at the train station.
|Harborne Walkway||2 miles (2.5 km)||Follow the Harborne Walkway along a disused railway line from Summerfield Park to Harborne on this easy walk or cycle in Birmingham. The path is well surfaced so it's an easy, safe cycle ride to try in the city centre. It's also a nice atmospheric stroll with shady woodland and the pretty Summerfield Park to explore at one end of the route.|
Right next to the park you will find Edgbaston Reservoir. You can follow the surfaced track around the water to extend your walk. You are also very close to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal so you could pick this up and enjoy a waterside walk or cycle.
|High Peak Trail||17 miles (28 km)||This splendid, shared walking and cycle trail follows a disused railway line from Cromford to Dowlow through the beautiful Peak District National Park.
The trail starts near Cromford railway station and climbs through the stunning High Peak area of Derbyshire giving fabulous views of the area.
Highlights on the route include the fascinating Neolithic henge monument of Arbor Low at Parsley Hay.
For more information on this trail, including picnic areas and cycle hire please click here
|Horsham to Shoreham-By-Sea||23 miles (37 km)||Follow the Downs Link Bridlepath from Horsham to Shoreham-By-Sea on this attractive, fairly flat route.|
The route starts by Horsham rail and follows off road tracks, a dismantled railway line and the River Adur before finishing at Shoreham harbour.
|Huddersfield to Barnsley||40 miles (65 km)||Follow National Cycle routes 68 and 62 on this varied route which takes you through the beautiful peak district and along sections of the Trans Pennine Trail. The route begins by following National Cycle route 68 along the Huddersfield canal to Marsden, via Slaithwaite. You then turn south east towards Holmfirth - a popular tourist destination as the location for the filming of Last of the Summer Wine. The ride continues through some lovely countryside passing the beautiful Winscar Reservoir before a pleasant off road stretch along a dismantled railway line to Penistone. Another lovely off road section along the Trans Pennine Trail takes you into Barnsley.|
|Hull to Hornsea||16 miles (25 km)||Follow National Cycle route 65 on this lovely largely traffic free route. You start by the tourist information centre in Hull and soon join the Hornsea Rail Trail which forms part of the Trans Pennine Trail. This dismantled railway line track takes you all the way to Hornsea on the coast. Also of interest on the route is Hornsea Mere - the largest natural freshwater lake in Yorkshire.|
|Hull to Withernsea||22 miles (35 km)||This fairly flat ride follows National Cycle route 66 and the South Holderness Rail Trail from Hull to the Yorkshire coast. The route starts by the tourist information centre in Hull and heads east through the outskirts before joining a dismantled railway line which takes you through Hedon and on to Winestead. Here the route continues on road to Withernsea on the coast. This is a fairly easy route with the advantage of having a long off road stretch and a nice seaside finish.|
|Ilfracombe to Ossaborough Railway Path||5 miles (8.5 km)||This is a nice easy short walk or cycle along the disused London and South Western Railway Ilfracombe Branch Line, from Ilfracombe to Mortehoe and Woolacombe railway station.|
The route starts off by the pier in Ilfracombe and soon joins the railway path on the outskirts of the town. It then heads south passing Slade Reservoirs while giving a great view of the beautiful surrounding countryside. The route follows National Cycle route 27 for the duration and with most of it traffic free it's a good choice for families.
|Illey Way||4 miles (6 km)||The Illey Way runs along an old railway line from Waseley Hills Country Park to Woodgate near Halesowen. The well defined trail runs through some nice countryside and woodland passing Illey Pastures and Illey.|
You can start the walk from the Waseley Hills car park. It's a lovely park with 150 acres of rolling hills, pastures and woodland with panoramic views over Worcestershire from Windmill Hill. The trail then heads north through the countryside, passing the village of Illey before finishing at Woodgate near the pretty Woodgate Valley Country Park. Here you will find 450 acres of rich meadows, woodland and small ponds with the Bourn brook running through the heart of the park.
|Keswick Railway Path||6 miles (10 km)||Enjoy an easy cycle or walk along the Keswick Railway Path in the Lake District National Park. The tree lined path runs along the trackbed of the old Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway, following the River Greta from Keswick to Threlkeld. It's great for families as it's a nice easy cycle ride with a flat and well defined path. Walkers can enjoy the path too as it makes for a super riverside stroll.|
The latter part of the video below gives a good commentary on the railway path and shows the lovely scenery you can expect to see on the route. This includes the beautiful tree-clad Greta Gorge and views of the magnificent Blencathra mountain.
Near to the route is the fascinating Castlerigg Stone Circle. Often thought of as the Stonehenge of the Lake District the ancient stone circle is located just to the south of the path and is well worth a visit.
To extend your walk you climb to the nearby Latrigg Fell and enjoy great views over the area.
|Lampeter to Aberystwyth||31 miles (50 km)||This lovely ride follows National Cycle route 82 and the beautiful Ystwyth trail from Lampeter to the coastal Aberystwyth.|
You start by following the River Teifi to Tregaron on quiet country roads. Here you join the Ystwyth trail cycleway which takes you all the way to Aberystwyth on off road tracks which follow a disused railway line. The trail takes you through the splendid Cors Caron Nature Reserve with its variety of wildlife, and then along the River Ystwyth to the finish point on the sea front in Aberystwyth.
|Lanchester Valley Walk||12 miles (19 km)||This shared cycling and walking path uses the route of the railway originally built to carry iron ore to Consett Steelworks. The path runs from Durham to Consett passing Bearpark, Langley Park and Lanchester. Route highlights include the 13th century Beaurepaire Priory at Bearpark, Lanchester Roman Fort and some lovely views of the River Browney.|
|Liverpool Loop Line||10 miles (16 km)||This traffic free cycle ride follows National Cycle Route 62 and a disused railway line from Halewood to Aintree. The flat surfaced path is a great ride for beginners, families or anyone looking for a leisurely ride. It's also suitable for walkers in the mood for a nice easy stroll. The path is lined with attractive woodland and bluebells in the spring months.|
The route starts in Halewood close to the train station. You then head through Gateacre, Knotty Ash and West Derby before finishing in Aintree near the famous racecourse. Highlights on the route include the lovely Croxteth Country Park which is well worth a small detour at West Derby.
You can extend your outing by continuing north along National Cycle route 62 and the Trans Pennine Trail to Maghull and Southport.
|Loch Lubnaig||9 miles (15 km)||This cycling and walking route follows National Cycle Route 7 from Callander to Strathyre along Loch Lubnaig. It's a great traffic free path, running for just over 9 miles along the Garbh Uisge river before heading through the woodland of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park alongside the loch. The route finishes at the little village of Strathyre at the northern end of the water.|
It's a lovely area with the beautiful loch surrounded by attractive forestry and the mountains of the Trossachs. You'll also pass the wonderful Falls of Leny at the Callander end of the loch.
The loch is popular with fishermen while canoes can be rented at the north end. Car parks are available at the southern end of the water.
It's easy to extend your cycling and walking in this beautiful area. You could head a few miles west of Callander and visit Loch Venachar and Loch Drunkie.
If you are looking for a more challenging walk then you could climb to Ben Ledi for fabulous views back down to the loch.
|Lon Eifion||11 miles (18 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway path from Caernarfon to Bryncir on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. It's a good surfaced traffic free path making it ideal for a safe family cycle or a leisurely walk. There are lovely views of the surrounding Welsh Countryside and mountains such as Yr Eifl (or the Rivals) and Snowdon. The route runs alongside the Welsh Highland Railway so you should also see some wonderful steam trains as you go.|
The route starts at Caernarfon at the impressive Caernarfon Castle, and heads south through the town, crossing the River Seiont on the way. You continue to Llanwnda and Groeslon where you pass the lovely Glynllifon Country Park. It's well worth taking a short detour from the path and visiting the park with its woodland, gardens, parkland and river. There is also a cafe, a maze and exhibits such as steam power pistons restored by Fred Dibnah.
The route continues through Penygroes before the final stretch takes you to the finish point at the little village of Bryncir.
|Longdendale Trail||8 miles (13 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail follows a disused railway line through the Longdendale in the Peak District National Park . The path starts in Hadfield and runs alongside a series of beautiful reservoirs including Bottoms, Torside, Woodhead and Rhodeswood before finishing at Salter's Brook.|
|Lyke Wake Walk||40 miles (64 km)||The Lyke Wake Walk is a complete crossing of the North Yorkshire Moors from west to east. It runs from Osmotherly, in the west, to Ravenscar, on the eastern coast of Yorkshire. The Lyke Wake Walk challenge involves completing the 40 mile route in under 24 hours. It's a challenging walk done over any period of time as there are several steep ascents and some tricky sections across areas of peat bog. However, there is lots of beautiful moorland scenery and spectacular views from the high points which reach a peak of almost 1500ft at Bolton Head.|
The walk starts at the northern end of Cod Beck Reservoir where there is a car park. You then head east along the Cleveland Way, passing Carlton Moor and Cringle Moor before coming to the Wainstones. These fascinating sandstone rocky outcrops include a number of interesting Bronze Age carvings.
The route continues across Urra Moor, Greenhow Moor, Farndale Moor and High Blakely Moor. Much of this section follows a dismantled railway.
The next section takes you across Danby High Moor and past the beautiful valley of Rosedale and Rosedale Moor.
You continue across Wheeldale Moor to High Moor, crossing the North York Moors Railway as you go.
The final section takes you across Jugger Howe moor to the finish point at Ravenscar.
|Manifold Way||8 miles (13 km)||Follow the River Manifold and the River Hamps along the Manifold Way on this splendid shared walking and cycling path through the Peak District. The path runs from Waterhouses to Hulme End along a former railway line with beauitful Peak District Scenery to enjoy.|
The path passes Beeston Tor, Wetton Mill and the wonderful Thor's Cave which is well worth exploring. Inside you will find fascinating rock formations and mineral colours with wonderful views over the Manifold Valley.
At the southern end of the route in Waterhouses you will find the Manifold Cycle Centre where you can hire bikes for your outing.
|Marriot's Way||22 miles (36 km)||This wonderful cycle and walking path runs from Aylsham to Hellesdon along the trackbeds of two former railway lines. The route passes Cawston, Reepham,Lenwade, Taverham and Drayton taking you through the Wensum Valley with regular views of the River Wensum to enjoy.|
Please click here for more information.
|Mawddach Trail||9 miles (14 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail takes you along the old Ruabon to Barmouth railway line on excellent paths. The route runs for about 9 miles from the coastal town of Barmouth to Dolgellau, through the Snowdonia National Park. You start by crossing the Barmouth Bridge over the lovely River Mawddach estuary on the coast of Cardigan Bay. The route then runs right alongside the estuary to Penmaenpool Bridge where you can stop for some riverside refreshments. The final stretch continues along the river to the historic town of Dolgellau. It's a beautiful trail with lots of bird watching opportunities around the estuary. The nearby Cadair Idris also makes for a wonderful backdrop for the whole of the route. It's also a very flat trail so it's perfect for people of all abilities.|
|Melton Mowbray to Newark-On-Trent||34 miles (55 km)||Follow National Cycle routes 64 and 15 from Leicestershire into Nottinghamshire. You start near the train station in Melton Mowbray and head north passing Melton Country Park and the village of Scalford. The route follows country roads passing Knipton Reservoir and Belvoir Lake on the way to Woolsthorpe where you join the Grantham Canal and National Cycle route 15, taking you to Bottesford. A series of country roads, followed by a pleasant off road stretch along a dismantled railway line then take you into Newark-On-Trent, finishing at the train station.|
|Meon Valley Trail||9 miles (15 km)||This peaceful cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway track from West Meon to Wickham. There are splendid views of the beautiful Meon Valley and the River Meon to enjoy as well as a variety of wildlife including butterflies, redwing and egrets.|
|Monsal Trail||10 miles (16 km)||Follow the Monsal Trail through the Peak District National Park on this cycle and walking path.|
The trail follows a disused railway line from Chee Dale to Bakewell with the first section following the River Wye to Monsal Head via Cressbrook and Miller's Dale. The second section runs onto Bakewell passing Great Longstone with more stunning views to enjoy.
You can virtually explore the route using google street view link below!
|New Lipchis Way||37 miles (60 km)||This is an exceptionally lovely walking trail that runs from Liphook, in Hampshire, to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The path takes you through some of the loveliest parts of West Sussex including greensand ridges,
Wealden river valleys, heathlands, high chalk downland and then finally the coastal plain at Chichester.|
The first section of the walk runs from Liphook to Midhurst, passing through Woolbeding Common before a waterside section along the River Rother takes you to Midhurst.
From Midhurst you continue south through countryside and woodland to Singleton where you will find the fascinating Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. The museum covers 50 acres, with around 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.
The next section then takes you to Chichester, and includes a climb to the top of St Roche's hill where you can enjoy splendid views of the South Downs. Soon after you join a short easy section along a dismantled railway line through Lavant and onto the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
The final section then takes you along the Chichester Ship Canal and the Chichester Channel to West Wittering with splendid views of Chichester Harbour as you go.
|Newcastle to Bellingham||56 miles (90 km)||This long route takes you from Tyne and Wear into Northumberland along National Cycle routes 72 and 10. You start by Newcastle rail station and head along National Cycle route 72 and the River Tyne to East Howdon. A long off road stretch along a dismantled railway line followed by some country roads takes you to Ponteland along National Cycle route 10. The ride continues on road through Northumberland with some lovely scenery including views of the River North Tyne and Colt Crag Reservoir. You finish at the tourist information centre at Bellingham - a popular stopping place for walkers and cyclists visiting the Pennine Way Trail.|
|Nicky Line-Hemel-Hempstead to Harpenden||8 miles (13 km)||This short off road cycle or walking route runs along the Nicky Line - a disused railway track running from Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden.|
This is a nice safe and easy route making it ideal for a family ride.
|North Dorset Trailway||17 miles (27 km)||This splendid walking and cycling path runs along a dismantled railway line from Stalbridge to Spetisbury in Dorset. |
The path has regular views of the River Stour following it for most of the route. You will pass through a series of pretty villages and towns including Sturminster Newton, Stourpaine and Blandford Forum before finishing at Crawford Castle at Spetisbury.
NB - at the time of writing the path is only complete from Strurminster Newton to Spetisbury - the section from Stalbridge to Spetisbury is under construction. Click here for updates.
|Northampton to Market Harborough||20 miles (32 km)||This ride passes from Northamptonshire into Leicestershire along National Cycle route 6. You start near the tourist information centre in Northampton and soon join the lovely Brampton Valley Way - a 14 mile cycle path following the track bed of a disused railway line. This takes you all the way to the finish point at Market Harborough train station.|
|Norwich to Fakenham||29 miles (47 km)||Follow National Cycle route 1 from Norwich to Fakenham on quiet roads and the lovely Marriot's Way.
You start with a pleasant spell along the River Wensum through Wensum Park in Norwich before joining the traffic free Marriot's Way. This wonderful trail follows the trackbed of a decomissioned railway line, passing through Drayton, Taverham and Lenwade. The final on road section takes you to Fakenham with more views of the River Wensum.
For more information on this route and nearby routes please click here
|Nutbrook Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This easy cycling and walking trail runs from Long Eaton to Heanor along the Erewash Canal and a dismantled railway line. It runs for about 10 miles and is part of National Cycle Route 67. It's a great one for families or anyone looking for a safe, flat ride or walk. |
The route starts in Long Eaton next to West Park and follows the Erewash Canal north through Sandiacre and Stapleford. It's a pleasant section along the canal towpath with pretty locks and old stone bridges.
Just after Stapleford you leave the canal and bear west toward Ilkeston along a dismantled railway line. You'll pass through the pretty Manor Floods Nature Reserve where there is a nice lake and lots of wildlife to look out for. The final section takes you through the lovely Shipley Country Park to the finish point at Heanor. It's a great park with 700 acres of woodland, lakes and parkland.
To extend your outing you could pick up the circular Erewash Valley Trail and further explore the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire countryside on your bike or on foot.
|Outwood Trail||4 miles (7 km)||This cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line from Radcliffe to Prestwich. The route starts in Outwood Country Park in Radcliffe, next to the River Irwell. You then follow the surfaced path through Giant's Seat Wood and Hurst Wood passing Clifton Country Park on the way. You can continue along the traffic free path on National Cycle Network Route 6 through Prestwich Forest Park to Pendlebury. It's an easy, traffic free ride through pleasant woodland and parkland.|
To extend your outing you could visit Clifton Country Park. The park contains a pretty lake, woodland, meadows and an arboretum.
The Irwell Sculpture Trail also runs past the park so this is another good option.
|Oxford to Princes Risborough||24 miles (38 km)||Follow National Cycle route 57 on this lovely route through the Oxfordshire countryside. The route starts near the tourist information centre in Oxford and heads east to Thame on minor roads. You then join the Phoenix Trail - a lovely off road path on a dismantled railway line which takes you to the finish point at Princes Risborough rail. |
This route also has splendid views of the Chiltern Hills throughout.
|Padstow to Bodmin||14 miles (22 km)||Follow the Camel Trail from Padstow to Bodmin on this beautiful route.|
The trail follows a disused railway line and the River Camel through attractive moorland and woodland and is ideal for families being flat and off road.
|Parc Cwm Darran||3 miles (5 km)||This cycling and walking route takes you along an abandoned rail track and under a number of historic bridges used to transport coal from nearby collieries dotted around the surrounding countryside. You then head through the delightful Parc Cwm Darran. This country park was built on the site of the former Ogilvie Colliery. It features one of Wales' last remaining Powder Stores and an interactive learning centre which tells the story of the area's great industrial past. In the park you will find peaceful woodland trails, lakeside paths and sunny wildflower meadows in the Cwmllwydrew Meadows Local Nature Reserve. At the end of your exercise you can refresh yourself in the Lakeside Coffee Shop.|
The Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk runs past the park so you could pick up this long distance trail if you wanted to extend your walk.
|Parkland Walk||3 miles (5.5 km)||This walk in London follows the course of an old railway line running between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Park. The whole route is actually a local nature reserve and is the longest of its type in London. With lots of flora and fauna to look out for on the way, it's a great place to enjoy an easy stroll in an urban environment. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including hedgehogs, foxes and also butterflies around the many wildflowers you can see on the route. In fact, more than three hundred species of wild flowers have been recorded on the Parkland Walk.|
The walk starts from the western end of Finsbury Park, just to the north of Finsbury Park station. You can enjoy a walk around the public park before you start. It contains a pretty lake, open ground, formal gardens, avenues of mature trees and an arboretum.
After leaving the park the route heads west to Crouch End. On this section look out for the old station master's house which still survives at road level. There are no longer any trace of the track or road-side station buildings, which were destroyed in a fire in 1967. You can also visit Crouch Hill Park and look out for the old platforms of Crouch End Station which are still visible, though somewhat overgrown.
The route then continues on nice woodland trails through Queen's Wood and Highgate Wood. The final section takes you through Muswell Hill to Alexandra Park before finishing at Alexandra Palace. The park is also a nice place to extend your exercise. It includes a boating lake, a Victorian style greenhouse, a deer enclosure with a small herd of fallow deer and a 10 hole pitch and putt golf course.
Much of the route follows the Capital Ring long distance trail. You can extend your walk by continuing along the trail. Heading west will take you through East Finchley to Hampstead Garden Suburb where you can join up with the Dollis Valley Green Walk.
Just to the south of the route around Highgate you will find Hampstead Heath where you can enjoy more nice walking trails and a climb to Parliament Hill.
|Pentewan Trail||7 miles (11 km)||The Pentewan trail is a lovely traffic free cycle and walking path running from St Austell to Mevagissey along National Cycle route 3.|
The trail follows an old railway line and the St Austell River for part of the way and also includes a woodland section through King's Wood. There is also a short detour to the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan which boasts 200 acres of gardens including Victorian Productive Gardens, romantic Pleasure Grounds, and a lush sub-tropical Jungle. From Heligan the path descends to the finish point at the lovely harbour at Mevagissey.
Also please note that at King's Wood there is the option of heading to the beach and harbour at Pentewan.
|Plymbridge Woods||4 miles (6 km)||This is the delightful Plymbridge Woods family cycle trail. It runs alongs the trackbed of a disused railway line through oak woodland, with the River Plym by your side for part of the ride. It's largely flat and uses a well surfaced track so it's a nice safe ride for children or for anyone looking for an easy introduction to cycling. You'll pass a series of viaducts, a disused railway station and pretty bridges over the river. There's also an abundance of wildlife to look out for including butterflies, foxes and deer. Birdlife includes dipper, grey wagtail, little grebe, grebe, heron and kingfisher. From the Cann Viaduct you may also see peregrine falcons breeding in the summer months. |
The route starts at the National Trust car park at Plymbridge Woods and follows the Great Western Railway track north passing Cann Wood and Bickleigh Vale before finishing at Dewerstone Woods. It's a lovely trail which is suitable for cyclists and walkers.
If you'd like to continue your exercise then you could head to the nearby Burrator Reservoir which has miles of footpaths and cycleways to enjoy. Also nearby is the Cadover Bridge to Dewerstone Rocks walk which also runs along the River Plym.
If you head south you can visit Saltram Park where there is a great cycle trail along the River Plym estuary.
|Pontypridd to Merthyr Tydfil||14 miles (23 km)||Follow the Taff trail and National Cycle route 8 on this short pleasant route. The route mainly follows the trackbed of a disused railway line along the River Taff, making for a fairly easy traffic free ride. It's also very accessible with several train stations running along the course of the route.|
|Poole to Ringwood||22 miles (35 km)||Travel from Poole to Ringwood along National Cycle route 25 and view some lovely coastal scenery, heathland and countryside.|
Starting in Poole near the train station follow the path around Holes Bay and Upton Park before joining the Castleman Trailway to Wimborne Minster. The trailway then continues through West Moors and Ashley Heath to Ringwood on the River Avon.
This is a fairly easy route with most of it being traffic free along the Castleman Trailway which runs along a disused railway line. Route highlights are the views around Holes Bay, Upton House with its lovely grounds and the impressive Wimborne Minster. There are also views of the rivers Stour and Avon at Wimborne and Ringwood respectively.
|Rodwell Trail||2 miles (3 km)||The Rodwell Trail is a nice easy off road trail through Weymouth using a disused railway path. After passing through the Rodwell district of Weymouth you join a lovely coastal stretch at the ruins of 16th century Sandsfoot Castle and the beautiful Sandsfoot Cove. From here the path runs along the coast to the Ferry Bridge that you can cross to the Isle of Portland.|
There is a variety of wildlife to be found on the trail, including Kingfishers, Redwings and Great Crested Grebes. Plantlife includes Foxgloves, Bluebells and Meadow Buttercups.
The trail is suitable for walkers and cyclists looking for a safe off road route.
|Sett Valley Trail||2 miles (4 km)||This splendid cycling and walking trail runs through the beautiful Sett Valley in the Peak District. The route follows a disused railway line from New Mills to Hayfield via Birch Vale. It's a good surfaced path which provides a fairly easy ride for families. Along the way there's fantastic views of the River Sett, the pretty reservoir at Birch Vale and the surrounding Peak District countryside and hills. The route finishes at the former Hayfield Station where there are good facilities including a cafe and visitor centre. Please note that West of St Georges Road in New Mills the route is unsuitable for cyclists. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could visit the wonderful Torrs Riverside Park and Millennium Way in New Mills. In the park you will find a beautiful river gorge with a fabulous 160 metre long walkway elevated over the water. You could also pick up the Goyt Way which runs along the River Goyt and thePeak Forest Canal to the nearby Whaley Bridge.
|Smardale Gill Viadiuct||3 miles (5 km)||This walk takes you through the pretty Smardale Gill along the trackbed of a disused railway line. It leads to magnificent Smardale Viaduct. The viaduct was part of the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway and has 14 arches, is 90 ft (27 m) high and 550 ft (170 m) long. It's an impressive sight with the structure surrounded by the lovely countryside of the Cumbrian hills and the pretty Smardale Beck which runs through the gill. |
The area is also a managed nature reserve with wildlflowers, woodland and grassland. Look out for flora such as bluebells, primrose and early purple orchid. Wildlife includes goldfinch, field fare and redwing with lots of butterflies around the wildflowers in the summer months. Red squirrels and roe deer can also be seen in the reserve.
To extend your walking in the area you could climb Smardale Fell or Crosby Garrett Fell for wonderful views over the surrounding area.
|Southport to Aintree||16 miles (25 km)||This route follows National Cycle route 62 along the Trans Penine Trail from Southport to Aintree. |
The ride is fairly flat, mainly off road and includes some lovely coastal scenery and a stretch past Royal Birkdale Golf club at the start. There is then an easy run along a dismantled railway line through Ainsdale, Lydiate and Maghull where you join the Liverpool and Leeds canal taking you to the finish point at Aintree - home of the famous racecourse where the Grand National takes place.
|Southwell Trail||7 miles (11 km)||This traffic free cycling and walking trail links Southwell to Bilsthorpe in the Sherwood Forest area of Nottinghamshire. It's a good one for families as the path is well defined, flat and safe. It runs along a disused railway line closed in 1968.|
The trail runs next to the Robin Hood Way so you could pick this up and head into Sherwood Forest to extend your outing.
|Spen Valley Greenway||8 miles (13 km)||This splendid cycling and walking route runs along a disused railway line from Dewsbury to Oakenshaw near Bradford. The path is well surfaced and entirely traffic free. As such it is ideal for families with young children or anyone looking for a nice easy ride or walk.|
You start off in Dewsbury, near the train station, and follow the River Calder to the start of the rail trail. You then head north west through Iversedge and Cleckheaton, passing a wildlife reserve and a rolling golf course as you go. The trail is also lined with a number of sculptures such as Sally Matthew’s flock of Swaledale Sheep, constructed from recycled industrial scrap.
The trail comes to an end around Oakenshaw but you have the option of continuing along the National Cycle Network into Bradford which is only a few miles further north.
If you're on foot then you can link up with either the Kirklees Way or the Spen Way Heritage Trail at Oakenshaw.
|St Albans to Harlow||28 miles (45 km)||Starting in St Albans follow National Cycle route 61 from St Albans to Harlow via Welywn Garden City and Hertford.|
You start with a lovely off road section along the Smallford Trail taking you from St Albans to Hatfield. Highlights include some off road tracks and a pleasant stretch along the River Lea.
|St Austell to Lostwithiel||19 miles (30 km)||Follow National Cycle route 3 from St Austell to Lostwithiel on this lovely Cornish route. The route starts near the St Austell town centre and then heads north along a dismantled railway line before turning east to Trethurgy through the China clay works. You'll then pass the wonderful Eden Project before heading north on country roads to the Helman Tor nature reserve. The next route highlight you will come to is Lanhydrock - a magnificent country house owned by the National Trust. The route then heads south on an off road path by the river Fowey passing the 12th century Restormel Castle shortly before arriving at the finish point at Lostwithiel.|
|Stafford to Stone||11 miles (17 km)||Follow National Cycle route 5 from Stafford to Stone on this pleasant short ride through Staffordshire.|
The ride starts near Stafford rail station and soon joins a pleasant traffic free section along a dismantled railway line, taking you over the River Sow and through the outskirts of Stafford. You then head into the countryside, following quiet country lanes to Aston-By-Stone. Here you join the Trent & Mersey Canal where you follow the towpath into Stone, finishing near the train station.
|Stoke-On-Trent to Stafford||18 miles (29 km)||Head through Staffordshire along National Cycle route 5 on this fine cycle ride.|
You start off at the train station in Stoke-on-Trent and head south to Stone along the Trent & Mersey Canal. Highlights on this section include passing the Brittania Stadium, home to Stoke City FC and a pleasant stretch by Barlaston Park.
At Aston-by-Stone you leave the canal and head to Stafford on quiet country lanes. The final traffic free stretch takes you along a dismantled railway line before finishing near the train station in Stafford.
|Stratford Greenway||5 miles (8 km)||This 5 mile cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line from Stratford Upon Avon to Long Marston. The greenway follows the route of the old Honeybourne Line passing the Stratford Upon Avon Racecourse before crossing the River Avon and the River Stour. You then pass Milcote where there is a nice picnic area with a refurbished railway carriage cafe. It's about half way along the route so a nice place to stop for refreshments. The final section takes you through the countryside to the finish point at the village of Long Marston.|
The path is flat and well surfaced so it's an ideal ride for families or anyone looking for an easy traffic free ride.
If you would like to continue your exercise in the Stratford Upon Avon area you could pick up the towpath of the Stratford Upon Avon Canal and enjoy a waterside cycle or walk.
For walkers the long distance Avon Valley Footpath and Monarch's Way both run through the area.
|Strawberry Line (Yatton to Chard)||11 miles (18 km)||This splendid walk and cycle path runs along a former railway line that used to transport strawberries from Cheddar.|
You start by Yatton railway station and head south passing Congresbury and Axbridge before finishing in Cheddar. The route passes apple orchards, open fields and the River Yeo while there are also pleasant woodland sections at King's Wood and Rose Wood. Also on the route is the delightful Millennium Green at Winscombe (perfect place to stop for lunch!) and the tranquil Cheddar reservoir at the end of the route.
If you have time you could continue up to the magnificent Cheddar Gorge and see this spectacular natural wonder.
N.B - Between Wednesday 2nd September 2015 & Tuesday 15th September 2015, the Strawberry Line between Weston Road & Drove Way (Nye Road) will be closed to all recreational users (including all cyclists, walkers and joggers) to enable the safe delivery of material to the Carditch Drove Solar Farm development.
|Stroud Valleys Trail||6 miles (9 km)||This route runs from Stonehouse to Nailsworth following a disused railway line. The route is traffic free with splendid views of the Cotswolds and makes for a pleasant afternoon's cycling or walking particularly for families. Click here for more information on this route.|
|Swansea to Bridgend||30 miles (48 km)||Follow National Cycle route 4 on this lovely ride which has splendid views of the South Wales coast and a fantastic stretch through Margam Country Park. |
You start by the marina in Swansea and head east through the docks towards the village of Briton Ferry. The ride then heads to the Port Talbot sea front where you can enjoy a lovely traffic free section along the prom. A run along the River Avan follows before heading to Margam where you will pass Margam Country Park - this is well worth a visit with its 1000 acres of parkland and Victorian Mansion house.
The ride continues through Pyle before joining a dismantled railway line taking you through the attractive Parc slip nature reserve and then on to Tondu. Here you join the River Ogmore for the pleasant final stretch to Bridgend.
|Swindon to Cirencester||19 miles (30 km)||This route follows National Cycle route 45 from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire taking you through a lovely part of the Cotswolds. The route starts in Swindon Old Town and follows an off road cycle path into the countryside. A dismantled railway line takes you to Cricklade before more off road paths take you through Cotswold water park - the UK's largest water park with 133 numbered lakes.|
An on road section then takes you into the finish point in Cirencester near the abbey grounds.
|Taff Trail||55 miles (88 km)||Follow the River Taff, from Cardiff to Brecon, on this fantastic waterside cycling and walking route.|
You start on the River Taff in Cardiff and head along the river northwards passing the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. There are also views of the attractive riverside Bute park and the Weir on the Taff near Maindy as you leave the centre of Cardiff. You soon come to Radyr where you will pass the splendid Forest Farm Country Park and Castle Coch (the red castle) before passing through the village of Nantgarw. The route continues along the river through Glyntaff and on to Pontypridd where you join the trackbed of a disused railway to Merthyr Tydfil. The final section runs from Merthyr to Brecon passing the beautiful Pontsticill, Pentwyn and Talybont Reservoirs. You'll also pass the beautiful Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls before joining the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal taking you into Brecon. There are splendid views of the Brecon Beacon mountains as you approach Brecon.
The trail is waymarked with a black and yellow disc.
|Tissington Trail||13 miles (21 km)||The Tissington trail is a 13 mile off road path following the trackbed of a disused railway line through the stunning Peak District National Park.|
The trail is shared by walkers and cyclists offering fabulous views of the Derbyshire countryside. For more information on this trail, including picnic areas and cycle hire please click here
|Tramway Trail||6 miles (10 km)||This short circular walk follows the bed of the Brill tramway, through Quainton, Westcott and Waddesdon. |
You start at Quainton and follow the path to the Buckingham Railway Centre where you will find a working steam museum set in a 25 acre site. The walk then continues through Westcott to the exquisite Waddesdon Manor. Built in the style of a French chateau between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild the house is also surrounded by formal gardens and an English landscape park.
The final stretch takes you through the pretty village of Waddesdon to the finish point at Quainton.
|Waskerley Way||10 miles (16 km)||This is a shared cycling and walking path that follows the route of the old Stanhope and Tyne Railway line. |
The path starts near Consett and runs to Weather Hill passing through woodland and open moorland. You will also pass the delightful Smiddy Shaw and Waskerley Reservoirs
|Weavers' Way||59 miles (95 km)||Follow the Weavers' Way through the beautiful Norfolk Broads from Cromer to Great Yarmouth via North Walsham. The route meanders through the countryside passing Aylsham, North Walsham, Hickling and Acle before finishing at the popular coastal resort of Great Yarmouth. Highlights on the walk include:
|Whitby to Scarborough||22 miles (35 km)||Take this beautiful coastal ride in North Yorkshire from Whitby to Scarborough and marvel at the spectacular scenery. The route follows National Cycle Network route 1 along traffic free paths making for an enjoyable and easy ride.
Route highlights are the views of Robin Hood's Bay, the coast at Ravenscar and the beauty spot of Hayburn Wyke.
For more information on the Moors to Sea cycle route follow the link.
|Whitegate Way||6 miles (10 km)||A lovely, short cycle or walk on a disused railway line, running from Cuddington to Winsford through the Cheshire countryside. You'll pass woodland, lakes and the River Weaver while enjoying fabulous views of Cheshire.|
|Wirral Way||12 miles (19 km)||This is a terrific walk or cycle ride that runs along a pleasant traffic free path through the Wirral Countryside and along the coastal estuary of the River Dee. It follows the track bed of part of the former Birkenhead Railway route from Hooton to West Kirby.|
You start off at Hooton Railway Station near Ellesemere Port and head towards Neston entering the lovely Wirral Country Park on the way. The path then heads along the beautiful Wirral coastline passing Heswall and Thurstaston before finishing at West Kirby.
Along the route you'll pass very close to Royden Park and Caldy Hill, both of which are worth a small detour if you have time. At Royden Park you will find woodlands, meadows, heathland and two meres with an abundance of birdlife. You can also explore Thurstaston Common and climb Thurstaston Hill here.
At West Kirby you'll pass Caldy Hill where there are nice woodland trails and views over the River Dee, Hilbre Island and the Irish Sea.
Near Neston you pass the pretty coastal village of Parkgate which is well worth a visit. From the attractive coastal parade there are views across the marshland of the Dee and huge variety of birdlife to look out for.
The long distance Wirral Circular Trail also passes the area. Pick up this 37 mile trail to explore the rest of the peninsula.
|Worth Way||7 miles (11 km)||This 7 mail long bridleway and footpath runs along National Cycle route 21 from Crawley to East Grinstead via the village of Crawley Down. The tree lined path follows the trackbed of a disused railway line making for a nice flat easy walk or cycle ride. The path and surrounding area are also blessed with a variety of wildlife - look out for Roe Deer, foxes and Kingfishers.|
|Wyre Forest||7 miles (11 km)||This large forest near Bewdley has miles of super cycling and walking trails to enjoy. Cyclists can enjoy the family mountain bike trail which runs along nice wide paths through the woodland. There is also a section along a disused railway line and through a Nature Reserve. The trail is waymarked with blue markers. Bikes can be hired from Bewdley Outdoors. Walkers can enjoy three waymarked walking trails of varying lengths and difficulty. On the trails you'll pass through coniferous and deciduous forest and visit the lovely Wyre Arboretum. |
The route below starts near Buttonoak and follows the cycle/walk trails through the forest to Dowles. Here you can return to the start point on country lanes if you are on a bike. If on foot you may prefer to return along the lovely waterside path along Dowles Brook which runs parallel to the dismantled railway line.
If you'd like to continue you exercise in the area then several trails run through or past the forest. One nice option is to head to the nearby Severn Way where you can pick up a riverside walking trail along the River Severn. The Sabrina Way and the Geopark Way also run through the forest.
Also nearby are Trimpley Reservoir and the lovely Arley Arboretum with its pretty gardens and magnificent pines.
|York to Selby||16 miles (25 km)||This lovely cycle and walk route starts on the banks of the River Ouse in the city of York and follows the Trans Pennine Trail and the York to Selby Railway Path south to Selby.|
This mostly flat, off road route is ideal for a relaxing afternoon's cycling or walking and has views of York racecourse and the River Ouse.