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.
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.
Cycling from one side of Wales to the other via Brecon seemed pretty daunting on paper but it turned out to be one of the best rides I have done. Once again I discovered that slogging up a few hills really does paid dividends – with amazing views and exhilarating descents.