This is a three-day ride of full of contrasts - starting with sea views and fading beach huts and finishing in central London. There's a strong sense of maritime history as you cycle through Victorian seaside resorts, past ancient ports and make your way up the Thames.
National Cycle Network route 2 from Exeter to Brighton offers so much variety that we felt like we'd been on the road for weeks not days. Perhaps that's not surprising given that this route takes in five English counties - Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.
With plenty of traffic-free bike paths and quiet country lanes, there's barely a car in sight on this lovely ride from Bath in Somerset, through a corner of Wiltshire and down through Dorset to the South Coast. Highlights include Longleat, Stourhead, Gold Hill in Shaftesbury and Poole Harbour.
Cycle paths on old railway lines are a joy and there are four of them on this 84-mile round trip in Somerset taking in Bristol, Bath, Wells and Cheddar. It's also fairly flat; you'll see the Mendips and Glastonbury Tor but you don’t have to climb them. Why slow? Because there are loads of reasons to stop – views, cafes and places to visit.
The Velodyssey allows you to cycle from Brittany all the way to Spain down the west coast of France. Part of EuroVelo route 1, this popular long distance route offers a varied landscape with pine forests, beaches, islands, marshlands and historic towns including La Rochelle and Rochefort.
The Devon coast to coast is a fantastic ride – from Ilfracombe to Plymouth you get to cycle by beaches, through lush river valleys and over Dartmoor, all in one trip. Much of it is traffic-free so it’s a good choice for families or cycling novices. That said, there are some hilly bits. It is Devon after all.
Woodhead Pass in the Peak District is the high point of this ride, literally, but the Trans Pennine Trail has a lot more to offer. This coast-to-coast ride is a journey of contrasts - you start in the wide open spaces of the east of England, pass over the Pennines in the Peak District and cycle through the industrial heartlands of the North West.