Published: 3rd MAY 2024

The Seven Wonders of the National Cycle Network

The National Cycle Network covers over 12,000 miles of the UK's glorious landscapes, passing ancient sites and wonders of the natural world along the way. Follow our guide to discover seven of the most breathtaking spots.

The village of Avebury and stone circles viewed from above, showing the shadows of the trees and stones and the National Cycle Network passing through

The tiny village of Avebury is home to one of the world's most significant stone circles, and the National Cycle Network passes directly through the centre of it. Credit: MikPeach (,

Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire - Route 403 and 45

While less well-known than nearby Stonehenge, Avebury in fact contains the largest stone circle in the world.

It’s a true wonder of prehistoric Britain, first constructed between 2850 BC and 2200 BC.

You’ll find Avebury stone circle within a henge - a ring-shaped earthwork and ditch.

It’s also within this henge that National Routes 403 and 45 converge.

A quick trip south will take you to the other monuments of West Kennet Long Barrow and the enigmatic Silbury Hill, which, together, experts believe make up an ancient ‘ritual complex’.


The domes of the Eden Project viewed from a higher up vantage point, showing how they nestle into the natural landscape.

The otherworldly construction of the Eden Project's domes gives home to the world's largest indoor rainforest. Credit: Jürgen Matern (,

The Eden Project, Cornwall - Cornish Way

Situated in a 160-year old china clay pit, the Eden Project is arguably Cornwall’s most famous visitor attraction.

It was opened at the turn of the millennium, and is made up of two enormous greenhouse-like domes, along with an outside botanical garden.

Thousands of plant species can be found at the site, and the largest dome is in fact the biggest indoor rainforest in the world.

The Eden Project is located on Cornwall’s southern coast and is ringed by the National Cycle Network.

It sits at a point where Routes 2 and 3 meet, making it a comfortable cycle south from Padstow or east from Mevagissey.


Two people walking along, one wheeling a bicycle, laughing and smiling as they chat while passing the Forth Bridge in the background.

The Forth Bridge has carried rail passengers and freight across the River Forth since its opening in 1890. Credit: Tony Marsh

The Forth Bridge, Edinburgh and Fife - Round the Inner Forth

This striking railway bridge crosses the River Forth where it meets the North Sea.

When it was opened in 1890, it held the title of the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world.

It was also the first major structure in Britain to be made from steel.

With UNESCO World Heritage status since 2015, it still carries passengers and freight along its 2.5km stretch.

You can view the Forth Bridge in all its glory when walking, wheeling or cycling along the parallel Forth Road Bridge.

This forms part of National Route 1, a path travelling from the White Cliffs of Dover to the rugged mountainous scenery of Scotland.


A pier on the shore of Lake Windermere, in a calm scene depicting a boat on the water and the mountains and foothills in the far off distance.

The serene waters of Lake Windermere are ringed by stretches of National Cycle Route 6. Credit: Michal Klajban (,_Windermere,_England.jpg),

Lake Windermere, Lake District - Ride to Windermere

Enclosed by hills and edged by many beautiful towns and villages, Windermere is England’s largest lake.

It has been the inspiration for countless creatives over the centuries, including Beatrix Potter, whose childhood holidays in the Lake District led her to buy the nearby Hill Top Farm.

Like many others in this list, Windermere forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Route 6 on the National Cycle Network skirts stretches of the lake on a mixture of quiet roads and traffic-free paths.

The route approaches Windermere from Kendal in the east.

Once at the water, a cheap ferry trip will take you from Bowness to the west side of the lake, where you can continue northwards.


Caernarfon Castle from above.

National Route 8 travels around the formidable walls of Caernarfon Castle. Credit: Llywelyn2000 (,_Gwynedd,_Wales_at_Dusk_-_2023_10.png),

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd - Lôn Eifion

Looking across the Menai Strait and out to Anglesey is one of the most impressive buildings of the Middle Ages.

Caernarfon Castle was built by King Edward I, and was eventually completed in the early 14th century after 47 years of construction.

It was the site of King Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.

The immense outer walls ringing Caernarfon Castle are themselves encircled by National Route 8 and the Lôn Eifion.

This trail makes up part of the Lôn Las Cymru, a long distance route from Cardiff to Holyhead connecting the north and south of Wales.


Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway on Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast was created by an ancient volcanic fissure eruption almost 60 million years ago. Credit: Sam Forson

The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim - Causeway Coast Cycle Route

The Giant’s Causeway is estimated to have been formed nearly 60 million years ago by the eruption of a volcanic fissure.

Made up of over 40,000 basalt columns, its unique geology attracts tourists from all over the globe.

You can reach it from the Causeway Coast Cycle Route, part of National Route 93

You'll find a visitor centre there with all the information to help you make the most of your visit.


Just off National Cycle Route 1, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne can be reached via a causeway at low tide. Credit: Sustrans

Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland - Coast and Castles South

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a fascinating spot to visit, and sits just off Northumberland’s rugged coast.

Use of the island dates back to at least the 6th century, when it became an important site of Celtic Christianity.

You’ll still find the ruins of a mediaeval priory there, built on the site of an earlier monastery, as well as a 16th-century castle.

The long-distance Coast and Castles South route reaches out to the island via a causeway only accessible during low tide, so make sure to check before going.


Find more routes to explore on the National Cycle Network.

Discover 12 awe-inspiring walking and cycling routes from across the UK.

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