The first step to any fun trip is the preparation and planning to ensure everything goes smoothly, just over 600 kilometres and in 10 days (give or take a few days depending on how you wish to shorten or extend it)!
Even if you are already a very experienced bike packer, it’s important to know exactly what you need to bring, where you’re staying and other logistics.
To the most important part of this trip, what bike are you cycling with on this tour? With over 600 km, you can’t just use any leisurely city bike. From lightweight and speedy, to more studier or comfortable, there’s a bike specifically designed for both your needs and your preferences. If you already know what bike you’re using, just make sure it doesn’t have any evident issues that might pop up during your trip, as it can be difficult to be stranded if you didn’t fix your “slightly” loose brakes beforehand!
A water bottle holder is extremely convenient to have attached to your bike as well. A backseat with backseat straps is also convenient if you don’t mind the weight!
Camping equipment is the next most important part. How you sleep is vital to ensure you get good rest for long and active days! If you’re bringing a tent, make sure there’s no great damage that can’t be fixed or that you’re missing any poles.
For all the travellers who love a good physical challenge and adventure but don’t own any gear, no problem! Hiring camping and cycling gear is probably a smarter choice, and supporting good businesses is important!
If you’re unsure where to go, have a look at outdoorhire and you will be good to go.
To rent a bike, Countrybike has great products for you. Because you simply fill out a form specifying your measurement and preferences, you will receive the best bike according to those details! You can even pre-arrange a bike drop off to your house and rent it for a week for 45 pounds! This is a great deal because it’s 20 pounds per day. You can also pick it up yourself, of course. Just make sure you order a few days prior to when you need it!
Friends, partner, or family? Cycling tours are usually easier in smaller groups, or even alone. This ensures that there’s no big difference between speeds and if you all have different fitness levels, it can be hard to meet specific times. So know who your active cycling buddies will be!
Phones and online maps are the most convenient and popular methods of finding your way around nowadays. And this is perfect for any cycling trips you want to go on! Whether it’s following the GPS voice, or checking your phone every once in a while to see if you’re on track, your phone is your smart map in your pocket.
However, do not let this stop you from using a paper map if you love it old-school!
Tip: have a look at the weather forecast in advance to see if any of the locations will include a lot of wind. Biking towards the wind can be a very slow and exhausting activity, which can also delay you a few hours. Temperatures and weather will also help you decide on what clothes to pack- make sure to keep it light and breathable!
Where are we going during this bikepacking route through the UK? Six campspaces and two locations where you can choose your own accommodation, this 10-day trip will feel very rewarding. You are always welcome to book more nights at a specific campspace, or make changes to the route.
Well, we’ll mostly be cycling from the east to the west coast. So you’ll mostly be in England, with a few locations in Wales. You can always go from west to east if you’re closer to that starting point!
Wherever you may be in the UK, whether you’re far or close to Strumpshaw or Bodorgan, consider it an extended cycling trip! You can always strap your bike to your car and drive to one of the two locations to start your cycling adventure there.
From home to Graham’s campspace, your first destination is a micro camping space where you can sleep on either grass or tarmac. Graham lives on the edge of the small town of Strumpshaw, with ponies, chickens, goats and more! You’ll also be close to the coast, so you can head over to the beach and spend time watching the sunset, as its highly recommended! To slowly warm up your muscles, you can go for a leisurely hike around the area or perhaps fishing by the calm waters.
Next morning, your wild cycling adventure starts, just over 81 kilometres, you’ll be cycling past multiple farms. The flat, luscious and green scenery is perfect for cycling! And once you’ve cycled two thirds of the way to Risby, you’ll be passing the Thetford Forest Park which is considered the UK’s largest man made lowland forest. Take a detour!
Take as many breaks as you need, or challenge yourself by cycling faster than your average speed. This is a trip for you and how fun, challenging or relaxing you want it to be! However, it’s good to know yourself and be realistic. You don’t want to exhaust yourself in the very beginning, nor injure yourself! Consistency is key.
You’ve successfully cycled your distance for the day, and you’ve made it to Tracei’s campspace! In the small town of Risby by Bury St Edmunds, you can go check out the local brewery and cathedral after catching your breath and rehydrating. The campspace is very spacious, green and peaceful. Walk barefoot on the grass and take it easy. Tracei also has a picnic table for you to enjoy. Once you pitch your tent, you’ll definitely be sleeping well tonight.
In the morning, make sure to warm up with some light yoga and some stretches. Preventing injury is very important! There will be days with shorter distances, and some longer. So make sure to do your stretches accordingly! From Risby to the next campspace it’s a 70.1 kilometre cycle, which will be a little easier than it was to get to Tracei’s campspace. Continue cycling past England’s charming farms. Maybe stop by a farm cafe for some tea and a local sandwich!
At Nick’s campspace, you’ll be arriving at the beautiful countryside and very spacious two acre home for the night. Surrounded by a small woodland area, you might meet some squirrels, birds and rabbits. After relaxing and hydrating, you can cool off in the water nearby by swimming! If you’re not ready to be active, you can also go jet skiing and just cruise around.
Pitch your tent for the night and get a peaceful night of sleep to the sound of silence. In the middle of nature, you’re only getting the best air. It’s a good idea to go to bed a little earlier than usual as you’ll be cycling about 91.6 kilometres. This might require more stops and breaks, extending the time a little more! For example, there’s multiple small bodies of water on the cycling route. Stop by one of them to dip your feet in to cool them down, or maybe refresh your face by splashing some fresh water on it! There’s no better feeling than cool droplets on your skin when your bodies heated up from a good workout.
In the small town of Rugby, you can learn about its historical significance! It was important in the 19th century due to the coming of railways. In Rugby, there are camping spots, or small accommodation services if you want to sleep in a proper bed for a night. From parks to nature reserves, you can take a walk to explore the area!
The next day, you’ll be cycling only 53.6 kilometres, which is the shortest distance between two campspaces in this cycling trip. You can choose to wake up a little later, or head out early, so you have more time to relax at your new campspace. Up to you!
On the way to your next campspace, you’ll be cycling through less nature, and even pass the local town of Coventry! Stop by for a brunch break or perhaps to go for a short walk to explore the area. Maybe just take a detour and cycling through Coventry, and admire the streets and neighborhoods.
In the city of Birmingham, the biggest city you’ll be visiting in this cycling tour, you’ll be staying at Brenda’s campspace. She has a pond, with a beautifully wooden tiled path in her flowered garden for you to enjoy and relax by. Listen to the water flowing gently, and enjoy a small tropical experience.
Since you’re in the city, perhaps it’s a good idea to stock up on your energy bars or camping snacks. Good sources of energy are important on a cycling trip! If you want some inspiration on what easy camping snacks to bring on your next adventure are, you can check out our article.
In the morning, take a nice shower, and feel refreshed before cycling the longest distance for this trip, 115 km! On this cycling route, you’ll be challenged with some uphill battles. Nonetheless, the hills and mountains are amazing to experience. The best part of reaching the top of a hill is taking a breather and simply riding down the hill with no efforts! Wind in your face, fast speeds, and giving your legs a break always feel great!
We’re nearing the Welsh border now! At Emma’s campspace, you can not only enjoy the farm life but also explore the Peak District National Park! Pubs and local tea rooms are also nearby to save you some time on cooking dinner. If you’re on a tight budget, here are some easy camping dinner meals! At night, you can sleep well to the distant sounds of farm animals.
In the morning, you can get in some good protein and try out her farm fresh eggs before heading off. Good for the muscles, and sustainable! And only 95 kilometres away, is your first Welsh campspace! From Macclesfield you’ll be continuing the hill and mountain-filled cycling route. Make sure to stop and take some pictures! Once you reach the Welsh border, youll also be met with the Irish Sea. Why not swing by the water for a 10 minutes if you want?
Holywell is a small town where you can also learn more about its historical significance! Natural resources such as copper, lead and coal were mined near the town in the past. However, nowadays, the woolen, rayon and chemical industries are more important. From shrines to heritage parks, you can explore the little town as you like. There are camping spots, or once again you can treat yourself to sleeping in an accommodated place! This may be a smart choice as the next day you’ll be travelling 101 kilometres.
It’s always the last few steps to the top that are the hardest. The most mountainous part of the cycling route has been saved for last. The very last stretch! A huge contrast to the flat scenery and English farms, you’ll be experiencing a true coastal ride, with the Irish Sea to your right and the Welsh mountains to your left. Push through the inclines and cruise through the declines. No matter what, you won’t get tired from the views!
At Peter’s campspace, you’ll truly get a taste of natural paradise and Welsh nature. It’s a peaceful rural sanctuary, and here you can sit and reflect on the whole trip. You have officially made it to the last stretch of this cycling route! Peter’s garden is elevated, giving you a beautiful view of the sea, forest and mountains. What a perfect way to end the trip! Perhaps you even want to stay here more than one night. A campfire is available and so is a picnic table. This only calls for treating yourself to a special campfire meal!
All things must come to an end, but it must also be very nice to head home. If you’re cycling home, at least you don’t need to meet any certain check in times, so there is no time stress. You can either choose to take the bus home with your bike, deliver your bike and take the train home, or perhaps carpool.
Graham’s campspace in Strumpshaw, England
Tracei’s campspace in Risby, England
Nick’s campspace in St Neots, England
Accommodation of your choice in Rugby, England
Brenda’s campspace in Birmingham, England
Emma’s campspace in Macclesfield, England
Accommodation of your choice in Holywell, Wales
Peter’s campspace in Bodorgan, Wales
So there you have it! A physically active cycling route through the UK. If you want to wait a bit on the cycling, you can always go on a road trip! We have created the ultimate UK road trip itinerary for you!
Up to 95% CO2 reduction if you book a campspace adventure. Learn more