Fancy travelling back in time? Then these routes are for you.
Each September sees thousands of volunteers open up their doors as part of Heritage Open Days, England's largest festival of history and culture. To celebrate we have assembled some of our favourite routes to places of histocial interest.
Taking you through the fabulous history and heritage of the UK, these rides on the National Cycle Network have it all - from castles and stately homes to quaint villages and Roman ruins.
Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
The iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle is just one of the dramatic backdrops on this stunning 23 mile cycle route along the North Atlantic coast from Castlerock to the Giant’s Causeway.
Bothwell Castle, Uddingstone, Scotland
The Clyde Walkway takes you to Bothwell, Scotland’s largest and finest 13th century castle. Dramatically set beside a bend in the River Clyde you can experience the grim reality of prison life in the prison tower.
Alloa Tower, Scotland
Boasting to be the largest keep in Scotland, the medieval Alloa tower was once home to Mary Queen of Scots. It may look very forbidding on the outside but within its walls there is a surplus of art and riches - not to mention historical tales - to uncover. Explore Alloa and the other Hillfoots villages on the mainly traffic free circular Alloa Hilfoots Loop. Perfect for families and inexperienced cyclists.
Big Pit Mining Museum, South Wales
The Pontypool/Blaenavon route takes you past Big Pit National Mining Museum, a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. The museum is set in a unique industrial landscape, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 in recognition of its international importance to the process of industrialisation through iron and coal production.
Harlech Castle, North Wales
In Harlech on the challenging 137 mile north section of the Lôn Las Cymru the imposing structure of Harlech Castle is hard to miss. During the War of the Roses this huge fortress is thought to have been the site of the longest siege in British history.
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
The Coast and Castles South route is 200 miles long and takes you all the way from Newcastle to Edinburgh. With a number of heritage sites, breathtaking Scottish Borders countryside and stunning sea views it really has it all. On the way you can visit Bamburgh Castle, Kelso Abbey, Floors Castle, Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey and Traquair House to name just a few!
Jorvik Viking Centre, York
The York to Beningbrough route starts in the historic and picturesque city of York, a must on most UK visitors itineraries, and wends its way north towards the impressive Beningbrough Hall. The Jorvik Viking Centre is well worth a visit and is built on the site where archaeologists discovered the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking age city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago.
The Thames Valley route takes you past Runnymede, the birthplace of modern democracy. In 2015, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, we created a special edition national Magna Carta cycle trail map.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Visit the birthplace of Churchill, the ‘Greatest Briton’. The 10 mile Oxford to Blenheim Palace ride takes you from central Oxford right past the entrance to the palace.
Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire
The Grand Union Canal takes you past what once was ‘Britain’s Best Kept Secret’. Visitors can explore some of the iconic World War 2 codebreaking huts and blocks and marvel at the astonishing achievements of the codebreakers whose work is said to have helped shorten the war by two years.
Hampton Court Palace, Kingston
This delightful route runs alongside the River Thames following a traffic free path through the grounds of one of Britains's greatest and most impressive historic palaces, Hampton Court. Beginning at Kingston station, the route is traffic free all the way to Weybridge.
Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre, Silchester
The Reading to Basingstoke route on National Cycle Network 23 takes you past Calleva Atrebatum, known as Roman Silchester, a well-preserved Roman settlement managed by Hampshire County Council and English Heritage. At the Museum of Reading in Reading Town Hall there is a gallery devoted to Calleva, displaying lots of archeological finds from previous excavations.
Windsor Castle, Windsor
The mostly traffic free Jubilee River route takes you past Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
The Globe Theatre, London
The 1997 replica of the Globe theatre was home to Shakespeare’s troop of actors (the Lord Chamberlain’s Men) and is a stone’s throw from the original building demolished in 1644. The long-distance Shakespeare Cycleway connects two locations forever entwined with the famous playwright from the Bard’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe Theatre in London.