Family-Friendly Cycle Routes Across the UK


Cycling is a fantastic way for families to spend quality time together while staying active and healthy. The UK has a plethora of cycle routes suitable for all ages, from gentle rides in scenic locations to more challenging trails. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the best family-friendly cycle routes across the UK, detailing their age suitability, difficulty level, location, and access points.

Tarka Trail, Devon

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Devon
  • Access: Barnstaple

The Tarka Trail is a picturesque, mostly flat 30-mile route stretching from Barnstaple to Meeth, running through idyllic countryside and along the estuaries of the Taw and Torridge rivers. With its gentle inclines and smooth, traffic-free surface, the Tarka Trail is perfect for families and offers plenty of opportunities for picnics and sightseeing.

Camel Trail, Cornwall

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Access: Padstow, Wadebridge, or Bodmin

The Camel Trail is a 17-mile, traffic-free cycle route that follows the disused railway line along the beautiful Camel Estuary. The flat and well-maintained path makes it ideal for families with young children, with easy access points at Padstow, Wadebridge, and Bodmin. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the abundant birdlife and occasional otter sightings.

Forest of Dean Family Cycle Trail, Gloucestershire

  • Age suitability: 5 years and up
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Location: Gloucestershire
  • Access: Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre, Cannop Valley

The Forest of Dean Family Cycle Trail is an 11-mile circular route that winds through the ancient woodland of the Forest of Dean. This route features gentle slopes and is suitable for children aged five and above. The trail offers a mix of surfaced and unsurfaced paths, with plenty of spots to stop for picnics and explore the enchanting forest.

Monsal Trail, Peak District

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Peak District
  • Access: Bakewell or Wyedale

The Monsal Trail is an 8.5-mile, traffic-free route that runs through the heart of the Peak District, following the former Midland Railway line. The trail boasts spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, as well as impressive tunnels and bridges. With its flat and well-maintained surface, the Monsal Trail is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Loch Leven Heritage Trail, Scotland

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Perth and Kinross, Scotland
  • Access: Kinross, Vane Farm RSPB Reserve or Findatie

The Loch Leven Heritage Trail is a scenic 13-mile circular route that circumnavigates Loch Leven, Scotland’s largest lowland loch. The flat, traffic-free path offers spectacular views of the loch and surrounding hills, making it suitable for all ages. Birdwatchers will enjoy the abundant birdlife, with several bird hides situated along the route.

Rutland Water, Rutland

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Location: Oakham, Rutland
  • Access: Rutland Water visitor centre

Rutland Water boasts a 23-mile circular route with gentle inclines, making it perfect for families with slightly older children. The route offers stunning views of the reservoir, with plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife. With bike hire available, picnic spots, and a nature reserve, it’s an idyllic location for a family cycling adventure.

Stratford Greenway, Warwickshire

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  • Access: Stratford-upon-Avon train station

The Stratford Greenway is a 5-mile, traffic-free route that takes you along a disused railway line from Stratford-upon-Avon to Long Marston. It offers a gentle ride through beautiful countryside, with a café located halfway along the route. This easy-going trail is perfect for families with young children, as it offers a leisurely day out without too much effort.

Cuckoo Trail, Sussex

  • Age suitability: All ages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Polegate or Heathfield, East Sussex
  • Access: Polegate or Heathfield train stations

Following a disused railway line, the Cuckoo Trail stretches for 14 miles through the Sussex countryside. It offers a tranquil, traffic-free ride suitable for all ages, with numerous access points and shorter routes available. The trail is dotted with wooden sculptures, making it an engaging and exciting experience for children.

High Peak Trail, Derbyshire

Why it’s family-friendly: The High Peak Trail is traffic-free and mostly flat, providing a safe and enjoyable ride for families.

  • Age suitability: 7 and above
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Location: Derbyshire, East Midlands
  • Where to access: High Peak Junction, Middleton Top, or Parsley Hay

The High Peak Trail stretches 17.5 miles through the heart of the Peak District National Park. Once a railway line, the trail offers stunning views of the White Peak limestone countryside. The trail is suitable for children aged 7 and above due to some slight inclines. Don’t forget to visit the National Stone Centre and the historic Middleton Top Engine House along the way.

Keep checking back as we add more to the ever-growing list of family cycle routes you can enjoy across the UK. Perhaps you can create a family holiday around one of the routes.

Image Sources: Official website

Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Ryan

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