Visit museums and art galleries by bike

Woman cycling past buildings

A bike is a great way to nip between galleries and museums

Cranes in front of the M Shed

The M shed showcases the history of Bristol, and is easily visited by bike

When it comes to museums and galleries we are spoilt for choice in the UK. So if you want to while away an afternoon exploring some of the world's most fascinating art, treasures and history, then grab your bike and head to these great venues which are easily accessible on the National Cycle Network.

1. BALTIC Gallery, Gateshead

The Baltic to Bill Quay cycle route starts or finishes at the BALTIC Gallery, a major international centre for contemporary art housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the River Tyne. 

2. Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool

National Cycle Network Route 56 takes you past the Museum of Liverpool. The museum reflects the city's global significance through its unique geography, history and culture. Visitors can explore how the port, its people, their creative and sporting history have shaped the city.

3. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The Clydebank to Edinburgh route travels on the canal towpaths of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. This almost flat and completely traffic free 55 mile route travels past the fantastic National Museum of Scotland - with its natural world galleries and wealth of Scottish history.

4. Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent

The China Trail is mainly traffic free route which links an amazing cluster of attractions in and around Stoke on Trent. There are famous name potteries with factory tours, shops and fascinating museums which offer poignant reminders of this area’s rich ceramic heritage.

5. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The Oxford to Blenheim Palace route takes you from the historic city of Oxford out to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.  A slight detour at the start of the route takes you to the Ashmolean Museum which has the world's largest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of pre-Dynastic Egyptian material in Europe and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.

6. The M Shed, Bristol

The Ride to the North Somerset Coast route travels between Bristol and Portishead and is mostly traffic-free. On leaving Bristol, the route travels past the M Shed, which celebrates the story of the city and its unique place in the world.

7. Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston

National Cycle Network Route 6 takes you past the Harris, which is recognised as one of the leading museums and contemporary art venues in the region.  It has exciting collections of fine art, decorative art, costume and textiles, history and photography.

8. Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham 

The Consett and Sunderland Railway Path is 26 miles of traffic free path that takes you past Beamish Open Air Museum. The working museum brings history to life with its 19th century manor house and early 20th century town, colliery and railway station.

9. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The mostly traffic-free route between Great Shelford and Waterbeach travels via the historic and beautiful city of Cambridge. You'll pass the Fitzwilliam which has an internationally renowned art collection with Constables, Monets, Picassos and Turners.

10. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

The section of National Route 4 between Tower Bridge and Greenwich weaves around the Thames, through various parks before arriving in Greenwich. Here you can pick up a local cycle route which takes you directly past the world's largest maritime museum, filled with inspirational stories, intriguing objects and fascinating galleries.

For more routes, search our online map

More inspiration for walking and cycling adventures: