CyclingUK have just launched a new 800 mile trail from the Peak District to the most northern reaches of Scotland.
The Great North Trail will offer cyclists greater access to the countryside on routes largely away from traffic. Around 98 per cent of the Great North Trail is on bridleways, byways, cycle routes, unpaved roads and very low traffic minor roads. A quick scan of the route suggests it might be best served by mountain bikes, with some of the trails likely to be a challenge for even the most capable riders.
The route uses some existing established trails, such as the Pennine Bridleway and Cross Borders Drove Road, but extensive research has been carried out to link these through a network of trails, forest roads and abandoned railway lines.
Duncan Dollimore, Head of Campaigns at CyclingUK, said: “We know that around a quarter of people who use the National Trails do so on bikes, yet only two of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales are fully open for cycling.
“We’ve created the Great North Trail because we recognised very little has been done to promote national off-road trails. For example, plans to extend the Pennine Bridleway to Scotland were published 20 years ago, but still haven’t been implemented.
“And yet we know there is an appetite for more cycling access to the countryside. Off-road trails can be ideal for families to ride safely, away from traffic and city pollution.”
The route takes in some of northern England and Scotland’s most iconic spots of natural beauty, running through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Kielder Forest, Corrieyairack Pass, Loch Ness and Cape Wrath.
The route can be viewed in its entirety, along with an extensive route guide and GPX file on CyclingUK’s website.