A long distance route which connects Reading and Holyhead via Oxford, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Birmingham, Walsall, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Colwyn Bay and Bangor. However, the section between Walsall and Stafford is still under development.
The route is described here from Reading to Holyhead but is signed in both directions.
The route is currently 372 miles long.
Diversions on this route (Colwyn Bay).
1. Reading to Oxford
National Route 5 begins in Reading and follows the northern half of the Thames Valley cycle route crossing the Chiltern Hills and passing through Wallingford, Didcot and Abingdon.
2. Oxford to Burntwood
National Route 5 between Oxford and Burntwood forms much of the West Midlands cycle route (which continues to Derby from Burntwood on National Route 54. Traffic-free sections include the Stratford Greenway between Long Marston and Stratford-upon-Avon and the Rea Valley Route in Birmingham.
3. Burntwood to Stafford
National Route 5 is still proposed between Burntwood and Weeping Cross (east of Stafford). For more details check the Staffordshire routes page and the Sustrans online mapping.
4. Stafford to Kidsgrove
National Route 5 comprises traffic-free and shorter on-road sections to Barlaston, and from here follows greenways through the centre of Stoke-on-Trent on canal towpaths and disused railways.
5. Kidsgrove to Chester
The route to Chester connects Kidsgrove with Winsford, Northwich, Frodsham and Chester via on-road and traffic-free sections.
6. Chester to Bagillt
A popular traffic-free route takes National Route 5 out of England into Wales.
7. Bagillt to Prestatyn
National Rout 5 is currently signed along an inland on-road route between Flint and Prestatyn via Gorsedd and Gronant. A traffic-free coastal route is proposed.
8. Prestatyn to Abergele
Mainly traffic-free sea-front cycling between classic north Wales seaside towns. A new section at Rhyl uses the Rhyl bridge, Foryd Harbour.
9. Abergele to Llanfairfechan
The coastal traffic-free route passing through Colwyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea continues to Conwy via an on-road section before returning to the traffic-free sea-front route. A longer, predominantly traffic-free spur goes to Conwy via Llandudno.
10. Llanfairfechen to Holyhead
The final leg of National Route 5 is predominantly on-road along the coast to Bangor and then on-road across Anglesey to Holyhead.
- Warwickshire & the South Midlands
- Thames Valley
- Shropshire, Staffordshire & the Black Country
- The Shakespeare Cycleway
- North Wales
There is a diversion in place until May 2017 at Colwyn Bay as noted on the route map - please follow signs. Experienced cyclists may choose to ride on Princess Drive but families should consider walking due to traffic volumes.
National Route 5 of the National Cycle Network is a long distance route which connects Reading and Holyhead via Oxford, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Birmingham, Walsall, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Colwyn Bay and Bangor. However, the section between Walsall and Stafford is still under development.
Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.
This long distance route connects Reading and Holyhead via Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bromsgrove, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Colwyn Bay and Bangor. The section between Walsall and Stafford is still under development. Please note: there are currently diversions on this route at Colwyn Bay.