Published: 2nd DECEMBER 2019

The 15 best Sunday lunches on the National Cycle Network

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, is there anything better than sitting down to a roast lunch? And what better way to earn your lunch than getting out on the National Cycle Network for a cycle or walk. We've asked our teams across the country for their recommended places to stop and eat on the Network.

Front doorway of pub with blackboards and road bike leaning against the door

The Magdalen Arms in Oxford is one of our favourite places to eat near to the National Cycle Network. Photo © Lisa Made It, 2018

1. Route 622 - Preston Guild Wheel 

The Continental, Preston

Situated on the banks of the Ribble, just a brief walk away from the city centre and adjacent to picturesque parkland, The Continental boasts a great location with lovely views. An award-winning pub that serves restaurant-quality, fresh food. 

2. The Trans Pennine Trail (West) (part of the Trans Pennine Trail)

The Waggon & Horses, Oxspring, South Yorkshire

The Waggon & Horses prides itself on the quality of locally-sourced ingredients throughout their menu. Sunday is roast-day (naturally), but this cosy and intimate pub also has themed nights throughout the week.

3. Water Rail Way 

The Railway Inn, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Anywhere that boasts to have the biggest Yorkshire puddings in the region is always good in our books, and this 19th-century guest house does exactly that.

Situated by the River Witham and a former railway line that forms part of National Cycle Network Route 1, The Railway Inn attracts people cycling, walking and fishing all year round. 

4. Harby to Lincoln 

Doddington Hall, Doddington, Lincolnshire

The beautiful Doddington Hall estate and garden (of which there are five acres) includes not only a restaurant, cafe and coffee shop but also an on-site bike shop. The restaurant is a firm favourite with locals as well as visitors from further afield, and on a Sunday it serves local Doddington herd Lincoln Red roast beef.

Two men sat in pub with pint glasses and beer

We've asked our teams across the country for their recommended places to stop and eat on the Network. Photo © Jonathan Bewley, 2016

5. Route 15

The Dirty Duck, Grantham, Lincolnshire

We love a pub that provides adequate facilities for people who love to walk and cycle, and the Dirty Duck most certainly does. There are plenty of secure bicycle racks and they are happy to take orders in advance if you are planning to go for a walk.

The large garden overlooking the canal is a great place to sit and enjoy the view of Belvoir Castle on the horizon, especially in the summer. 

6. Alban Way

Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Having partnered with food writer and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his River Cottage team, Hatfield House offers great food from light-bites to full three-course seasonal meals. 

Other routes our regional team recommended near to Hatfield House include the Hertfordshire Greenways (Wheathampstead to Ware) and the Great North Way.

7. The Strawberry Line

The Railway Inn, Sandford, Somerset

This traditional country pub in the heart of a Somerset village offers expertly-executed food and is always busy, so you may have to book ahead (which is usually a good sign for any eatery).

Why not enjoy a cycle or walk through the Thatchers Orchards before stopping off for lunch or a refreshing drink. 

8. Route 57

The Magdalen Arms, Oxford 

This very popular pub on the Iffley Road in Oxford has a reputation for great food and service all within a relaxed atmosphere - perfect for groups of friends or the whole family. Serving up hearty, unpretentious meals with a variety of sharing platters (if you are a fan of sharing that is), all ideal for a Sunday lunch. 

On the picturesque Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, Route 49. Photo © Jonathan Bewley, 2013

9. Thames Valley

The Isis Farmhouse, Oxford

The Isis Farmhouse is ideally located on the banks of the River Thames, just a short walk from the centre of Oxford. With large gardens at the front and back of the pub and beautiful riverside and meadow views, it certainly feels off the beaten track.

There's even entertainment, including live music on Sunday evenings - a great way to finish off your weekend if you want to hang about after your lunch. 

10. Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

The Open Hearth, Sebastopol, Torfaen

If you need to re-charge your batteries while exploring the picturesque Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal route, this family-run establishment is a great place to stop.

As well as classic Sunday lunch fare (with a number of vegetarian options), you can also grab light bites and baguettes.

11. Pontypool to Blaenavon

The Little Crown, Wainfelin, Torfaen

In an area rich in industrial heritage, this inn and restaurant pays tribute with rooms named after local collieries.

The Sunday lunch offering boasts locally-sourced produce with vegetarian options (and vegan on request). It’s ideally situated close to the Pontypool to Blaenavon route.

12. Lon Las Menai

The Anglesey Arms, Caernarfon, Gwynedd

After a day spent walking or cycling along the glorious Menai Straits, a Sunday roast at this cosy pub in historic Caernarfon is just the ticket.

Serving fresh seasonal food, the Arms also has an outside dining area to enjoy – weather permitting.   

On the Union Canal in Edinburgh

13. Union Canal (Edinburgh to Falkirk)

The Bridge Inn, Ratho, Edinburgh 

There are many good reasons to walk or cycle the seven miles down The Union Canal from Edinburgh to Ratho, and The Bridge Inn is definitely one of them.

The staff of this community pub situated on the canal prepare their own homegrown vegetables and home-bred pork in their menu. 

14. Route 76

The Waterside Bistro, Haddington, East Lothian

A family-run business on the banks of the River Tyne, this restaurant serves well-presented bistro classics and sharing platters as well as freshly sourced seafood.

15. Lochs and Glens North

The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

Sitting on the banks of the River Spey, on the edge of Cairngorms National Park, this converted riverside cottage is a relaxed, cosy and candlelit setting where all are welcome to enjoy the fresh and delicious menu.

As well as offering traditional dishes, there is also an ever-changing vegan menu. 

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