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The Best Bike Rides of 2020

By , 14 April 2020
We explore some of the best bike rides you can find across the UK and Europe. The great thing about all the options we take you through is that you can take them all at your own pace and even cut the routes short if you’re not up to the challenge of the whole ride. Have a read through of our list below and see if you find a route that catches your eye, they certainly caught ours!

South Downs Way

A very popular, well-trodden path for starters. Loved by ramblers and cyclists alike, the south down way offers some truly stunning views across the English Channel as it weaves across Hampshire into West Sussex. Officially the South Downs way begins in Winchester and ends in Eastbourne, but you can create your own ride out of whichever section you feel like. For a more picturesque ride, I would recommend picking the trail up actually in h South Down National Park. Start at Chilcomb, just east of Winchester and make your way through the beautiful hills and countryside through some of the prettiest villages in Southern England. Places to check off your list include Beauworth, Warnford and East Meon; you can easily find a B&B to rest your weary legs amongst the thatched roofs and narrow rivers. Should you feel brave enough to conquer the whole trail, then ending alongside the beaches and spray or West Sussex should be enough of a reward, you can even begin to smell the sea air as you cycle closer to your finish line, a tantalising reminder of your goal.

South Downs Way

Danube Cycle Path

Our first foray into continental Europe and it’s a cracker to kick us off. If you’ve ever been close to the river Danube, you know the countries it passes through have some gorgeous scenery and the changes in altitude and backdrops are phenomenal. Beginning in Bavaria you can follow this path through four countries ending in Hungary and it’s one of the most stunning routes you can cycle in all of Europe.

From bustling city centres to peaceful rolling hills and valleys, there’s something for everyone along this route. I would recommend not missing out on the German and Austrian section of the path. Starting in the beautiful hills of eastern Bavaria. A great place to pick the river up is in the picturesque town of Passau and head east towards the Austrian border. The path winds its way through northern Austria to the Baroque city of Linz, just be sure to only attempt the full route if you're an experienced hill cyclist, as the Alps tends to be a tad steep!

Danube Cycle Path

The Cornish Way

Anyone who’s spent even just one holiday in Cornwall knows how fortunate we are to have such stunning surrounds on our doorstep, and you shouldn’t think twice about organising a bike ride here. The officially named Cornish Coastal Way begins in Bude and winds its way 180 miles, all the way to Land’s End at the very tip of the English mainland.

This is another fantastically flexible routes that you can pick and choose which part to cycle should the full ride be too much for you. The route even splits into two, one paths hugs the northern coast past Padstow, whilst the other drops down to St Austell.

For a beautiful stretch, I would recommend picking up the trial in Truro and making for Land’s End, you’ll be following some of England’s most famous and stunning coastlines along Penzance and Mousehole. For a detour head to Lizard Point for another spectacular view across the English Channel.

Cornish Way

Baltic Sea Cycle

A less well-known option now comes from the northern coast of Europe. Unexpectedly beautiful this quieter cycle route will still leave you breathless in more ways than one, wondering where it’s been all your life. For a truly stunning part of the route start in Flensburg and head east to Wolgast along Germany’s coastline.

Baltic Sea Coast

Via Francigena, Italy

We end with a classic and one of the better known European cycle routes. The Via Francigena is actually one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in Europe, first completed in the year 990 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sigeric the Serious who walked from England to Rome to meet the Pope. Today the route is open to pilgrims and cyclists alike and passes through some of the most culturally significant places in France and Italy.

If you're feeling particularly energetic you can of course attempt the full route, but if not then there are a few sections we can definitely recommend. An especially beautiful place to start is just south of Milan in the town of Pavia, follow the trail south towards the coast and you'll be met with a stunning view along the Mediterranean sea. This is also one of the more gentle parts of the route, finishing in the coastal town of Massa.

For a more challenging but equally stunning section begin on the Swiss-Italian border near off Autoroute 21 in the heart of the Alps. Your destination is the spectacular alpine city of Aosta. A 41km stretch lies in front of you with some challenging terrain but this part of the route, whilst a more difficult one, will provide just as much reward.

Via Francigena