12 must-see locations to discover by bike

Content provided by Cycle England

Blessed with incredible roads and stunning scenery, it’s easy to see why England is renowned as a world-class cycling destination. Cycling's booming across the country and Cycle England’s been set up to help people find the very best rides and cycling holidays we have to offer. Their website currently lists 15 iconic rides across Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Yorkshire, and we asked them to select their top 12 attractions which feature on those routes.


Learn falconry in historic surroundings

Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, England.

Muncater Castle is one of the jewels of the Western Lake District. Set in majestic gardens which accommodate a vast collection of plant life, you can park your bike up and explore the house in all its glory, learning about its haunted past as well as visiting its fascinating Hawk & Owl Centre.

Muncaster Castle & Gardens features on the Hadrian’s Cycleway and the Roman Frontier route.

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Browse one of England’s most awe-inspiring abodes

Burghley House

Burghley House is one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age and set in historic parkland laid out by Britain’s most famous landscape designer, Capability Brown. You might recognise it from films such as The Da Vinci Code and Pride & Prejudice, which were both filmed here.

Burghley House features on the Stately Homes of South Lincolnshire route.

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Follow in the footsteps of Roman warriors

Vindolanda Fort

The magnificent Vindolanda Fort dates back over 2,000 years and its state-of-the-art museum contains the Vindolanda Tablets, which are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain.

Vindolanda Fort features on the Hadrian’s Cycleway and the Roman Frontier route.

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See how the other half live

Castle Howard

Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.

Castle Howard is one of Britain’s finest historic houses, situated just outside York in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The house itself features awe-inspiring architecture, interiors and world-renowned collections, while its 1,000 acres of parkland offer a mixture of sweeping vistas, lakeside terraces and formal gardens.

Castle Howard features on the North York Moors Cycleway and Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Routes.

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Take a walk on the wild side

South Walney Nature Reserve

South Walney Nature Reserve is a shingle island which is home to the only grey seal colony in Cumbria and one of the southernmost places in Europe to see the breeding eider duck. Over 250 species of other birds can also be spotted here, as well as rare species of plant life.

South Walney Nature Reserve features on the Walney to Wear or Whitby route.

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Explore Lincoln's most iconic landmark

Lincoln Cathedral

Two cyclists exploring the city surrounding Lincoln Cathedral.

Regarded as one of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings, Lincoln Cathedral is an attraction not to be missed. It was once the tallest cathedral in the world and still offers stunning views from its roof and tower, as well as intricate architecture inside its walls.

Lincoln Cathedral features on the Historic Lincoln and Surrounding Area route.

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Feel the chill in the presence of ghosts

Chillingham Castle

Known as Britain’s most haunted castle, Chillingham Castle has been attracting ghost hunters for centuries, but even if you’re not drawn in by the occult, you can still enjoy its fine rooms, gardens, lakes, fountains and tea rooms.

Chillingham Castle features on The Sandstone Way route.

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A truly wonderful place of worship

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, England.

Veiled in a secluded valley, Fountains Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which promises to surprise and captivate with its vast Cistercian abbey ruins, Georgian water garden, medieval deer park, Elizabethan Hall and grand Gothic church. Studley Royal Water Garden sits right beside it and is an outstanding example of the ‘English’ garden style that swept across Europe during the eighteenth century.

Fountains Abbey features on The Way of the Roses route.

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Venture into the deep

Wast Water

Wastwater in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Lying at the foot of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, Wast Water is England's deepest lake. Its idyllic setting has been voted 'Britain's Favourite View', and when you visit, you’ll realise why.

Wast Water features on the Lakes and Dales Loop.

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Watch the world go by in stunning style

North Sea Observatory

The North Sea Observatory in Skegness.

The North Sea Observatory is the UK’s first-ever, purpose-built marine observatory and offers spectacular views across the dunes and sea, allowing visitors to witness the passage of migrating birds from all around the world.

North Sea Observatory features on The Humber to The Wash route.

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See where The Boy Wizard learnt his trade

Alnwick Castle

A statue outside Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

Alnwick Castle is one of England’s most iconic castles and often referred to as ‘The Windsor of the North’. It’s the second largest inhabited castle in the country and perhaps best known as the setting of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

Alnwick Castle features on the Coast and Castles route.

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A spectacular backdrop that’s off the rails

Ribblehead Viaduct

The Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire.

The Ribblehead Viaduct is an incredible feat of engineering appears out of nowhere on remote, open moorland and is undoubtedly the most impressive structure on the Settle-Carlisle railway line. It features 24 massive stone arches rising to 32 metres and seeing it by bike is an experience not to be missed.

Ribblehead Viaduct features on The Yorkshire Dales Cycleway route.

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For more information on Cycle England, and each of the rides listed in this feature, please visit and you can follow Cycle England on Facebook at @CycleEnglandHolidays and on Instagram at @cycleengland.

22 Apr 2022(last updated)

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  • 1

    Muncaster Castle

  • 2

    Burghley House

  • 3

    Vindolanda Fort

  • 4

    Castle Howard

  • 5

    South Walney Nature Reserve

  • 6

    Lincoln Cathedral

  • 7

    Chillingham Castle

  • 8

    Fountains Abbey

  • 9

    Wast Water

  • 10

    North Sea Observatory

  • 11

    Alnwick Castle

  • 12

    Ribblehead Viaduct

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