The guidebook contains links from both Dover and Harwich ferry ports for cyclists from the continent, making it possible to cycle around the English Channel, when also using the Plymouth link. The Harwich to London link provides pleasant countryside cycling in Essex and takes you through Roman Colchester with its Norman Castle. The Dover to London link takes you though the fruit orchards of Kent, historic Canterbury and an impressive array of castles to take in on the way.
Cycling through the heart of London is easier than you think if you use this guidebook. Even in Great Britain's capital, the route manages to stay away from busy roads, the occasional busy junction crossing excepted. Most of the cycling takes place on towpaths along the River Thames with spectacular views to take in. You'll cycle under the Tower Bridge and pass London Eye, the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace on the way. Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and Richmond Park all provide superb green traffic free routes.
Heading west you'll cycle by Windsor Park and Windsor Castle before making your way to the Avon & Kennet Canal, with pleasant towns as Newbury, Hungerford and Marlborough to take in. In Sting's "Fields of gold" of Wiltshire you have the choice to cycle either by famous Stonehenge or that other beautiful ancient stone circle, Avebury. Extraordinary engineering awaits you at the 29 canal locks of Caen Hill and the canal viaducts near Bradford on Avon. You'll cycle through the hilly Cotswolds here, with a canal path providing a majestic flat route to magnificent Bath with its Roman Baths, Jane Austen Museum and the Royal Crescent. You can also opt here for the new route alternative via the Two Tunnels Greenway, featuring Britain's longest cycling tunnel, one mile long!
Via the Bristol & Bath Railway Path you'll make your way to bustling Bristol and its spectacular Avon Gorge. If you only wish to cycle Coast to Coast, you could finish your ride in Clevedon with its striking views over the British Channel. Those who wish to take in Britain's West Country can continue their epic journey, following the charming Strawberry Line to famous Cheddar with its cheese museum and gorge.
The Somerset Levels provide the last section of truly flat cycling, because from Taunton the big climb starts into Exmoor National Park. From here, the route is for determined cyclists only, as there is serious climbing to take in. To get to the ancient Tarr Steps you'll have to take on two major climbs of about a mile long, with a gradient of 25-30 percent! Fortunately, from Barnstaple the splendid Tarka Trail provides easy cycling on another former railway. You can choose to cycle Devon Coast to Coast to Plymouth (from where you could cross the English Channel to France). This route takes you on high viaducts with fantastic views over Dartmoor National Park. The spectacular Plym Valley Way from historic Tavistock down into Plymouth could be a worthy finish of your ride!
Of course, you can also continue the track into rugged Cornwall, but you have to be ready for more serious climbing here. The section between Bude and Tintagel Castle is extremely rugged, with serious climbing on 25-30 percent gradients! Atlantic Ocean views are the ultimate reward for all climbing efforts made. There is also a slightly easier alternative route via Bodmin Moor. Both routes take you to the famous and beautiful Camel Trail. This trail leads you to famous Padstow with its exclusive fish restaurants. The famous surf beaches of Newquay are not far from here. The striking mining area of Redruth allows you to cycle briefly through lunar landscapes, before arriving at beautiful Penzance Bay with its striking St Michaels Mount. The grant final of the route is a circular route starting in Penzance via the spectacular headlands Land's End and Cape Cornwall.
For more visual impressions of the route have a look at our YouTube videos!