Summer Cycling: The Best British Pub, Country and Canal Routes

If you prefer to enjoy the British summer on two wheels, we’ve put together some of the most picturesque and pleasant cycling routes across the UK. We’ve split our favourite routes into pubcountry and canal. So, whether you like to have a tipple at the end of a long journey or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life – you’ll find a scenic route to suit you. When you’ve found one that you like the sound of, simply let your bicycle out of its Bike Nook, saddle up and take it for a spin.

Pub Routes

There’s nothing more rewarding than arriving at a country pub after working up a thirst and appetite. Here are some mouth-watering routes for you to try this summer.

Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway

The first bike ride on our list begins in the pretty town of Thornhill, nestled in the rolling countryside of Dumfries and Galloway. From here, the route will take you through the unspoiled valley of the River Nith, Scotland's seventh longest river.

Pedal past Tibbers Farm, part of The Queensberry Estate and emerge at the Drumlanrig Castle, where you can feast your eyes on the majestic red sandstone palace. After taking time out to admire the splendid views, head towards Penpont. At Courtmill smithy, continue to Keir Mill and ride along the Nith Valley. Thenit’sback to Thornhill for some hearty food and a refreshing, cold drink.

Pub: Thornhill Inn, Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway Difficulty level: Medium

Click here to see the full route

Bouth, Cumbria

The quintessential British village of Bouth, can be found on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria. It’s where you’ll beginthis fantastic route. Follow the signs to Oxen Park and head to Moss Wood. After a gentle climb, take thesign marked “Rusland: Gated Road”before passing Whitestock Hall. Whenyou reach Low Ickenthwaite, you’ll want to take the bridleway to Oxen Parkand descend into Vale of Colton towards Greenhead Farm.

Swing back to Bouth, where generously served food and a selection of local ales await you at the White Hart. This 17thCentury inn, is not only a favourite amongst locals, but the village's pub once featured in the short-lived ITV sitcom‘Not with a Bang’.

Pub: White Hart Inn, Bouth, Cumbria Difficulty level: Easy

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Country routes

Whether you’repedalling past rolling hills or riding through towering woodland, a bike ride is one of the best ways to take in the natural beauty of the British countryside.

Elan Valley, Powys Wales

Red Bull named the Elan Valley one of the Top 10 Mountain Bike Trails in Wales and as you wind through this astounding backdrop, it’s easy to seewhy. The Elan Valley has some of the best natural cycling conditions in the UK, with wildlife reserves, woodlands, old railway lines, reservoirs and even Victorian dams.

For a gentler route, start in Cwmdauddwr. Cycle over the Rhayader Tunnel and climb past the Garreg Ddy Reservoir before reaching the Craig Goch Dam. Or go off the beaten track and take on the challenging 9km Ant Hills or 60km Epic Elan mountain bike routes.

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium

Click here to see the full route

Mendip Hill, Somerset

Get a two-wheeled perspective on one of the most special places on our list. The Mendip Hills are a range of limestone hills in Somerset and offer a stunning backdrop for an epic bike ride.

With undulating green fieldsand sloping hilltops all around you, as well as endless skies stretching from east of Wells to the Bristol Channel, the views are certainly spectacular. To explore this area of outstanding beauty, traverse the Chew Valley. You can stop off at the reservoir for a refreshment and watch the dingy sailing boats. Then set off for the small village of West Harptree before pedalling along narrow country lanes to Blagdon.

Difficulty level: Medium

Click here to see the full route

Canal routes

Calm, quiet and incredibly pretty, meandering along canals provides plenty of fun and relaxation for cyclists, whether you’ve been riding for years or it’s yourfirst time in the saddle.

Nottingham Canal

Although the city is most famous for the legend of Robin Hood and its buzzing student population, Nottingham has more than 650 miles of countryside and urban cycle routes to offer. Making it the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon bike ride.

This amazing route takes you along the disused Nottingham Canal andErewash Valley Trail. Starting at the city’s Harvey Hadden Sports Village, you’ll ride through the village of Strelly and join the canal at Cossall. For most of your journey, you’ll be weaving your way around bridle paths, so you may want to invest in off-road tyres. If you want to hone your cycling skills, don’t miss the closed road circuit upon your return to Harvey Haden.

Difficulty level: Easy

Click here to see the full route

Oxford Canal

If you’re looking for awind-in-your-hair ride, head to the southern-most section of the Oxford Canal at Heyford train station. This canal route will take you through a handful of charming villages and hamlets in Oxfordshire, so you have some great options for a pitstop. The traffic-free canal path winds through Enslow, Thrupp, Kidlington and Summertown. When on-route you’ll spot lots of wildlife, drifting boats and locals soaking up the countryside.

The route ends in the city of Oxford, known for its prestigious university. Ifyou’re not too tired,spend some time exploring some of the medieval and modern charms of the city. Or you can get a train straight back to Heyford, where your bike ride began.

Difficulty level: Medium/Hard

Click here to see the full route

The Thane Bike Nook

Whichever route you choose to ride along, your bike will deserve a well- earned restthat’s for sure. So, why not pick up your ownBike Nook today? If you haven’t already!

The Thane Bike Nook is a smart storage solution for any bike owner, whether you want to keep your bike in your garage, living room, balcony or office.

This clever caddie saves space by allowing your bike to stand up horizontally, while the wheels run parallel to a wall. The Bike Nook frees up 3.5 feet of floor space and protects your bike against damage and theft. Here are some great reasons why you should invest in a Bike Nook:

  • Easy-to-use upright design – no more struggling to lift and hang heavy bikes to make room in your house.
  • Prevents bikes from scratching or damaging walls, ceilings, cars and more while you store.
  • Protects your bike from bike thieves and weather damage
  • Adjusts to various heights, for bikes with 10inch wheel size or bigger. It’s perfect for mountain bikes, road bikes, racers, kids’ bikes, beach bikes and more.Learn more about the Bike Nike and pick yours up here.