Please support the National Cycle Network this Christmas Donate now

Best routes for cultural heritage

castle and bikes
Northumberland coast and castles

Fancy travelling back in time? Then these routes are for you. 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. 

1. Runnymede, Surrey

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.

2. 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!

3. 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.

4. Roman Silchester, Silchester

Centurion Way from Reading to Basingstoke 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.

5. 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.

6. Big Pit Mining Museum, Blaenavon

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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, 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.

For more routes, search our online map.

Love the National Cycle Network? Why not sponsor your favourite mile?