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.
With restrictions easing across England, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before travelling. Take a look at our top tips on how to escape the everyday responsibly to see how you can make the most out of your day trips and breaks.
Learn falconry in historic surroundings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on Cycle England, and each of the rides listed in this feature, please visit www.cycle-england.co.uk and you can follow Cycle England on Facebook at @CycleEnglandHolidays and on Instagram at @cycleengland.