London To Edinburgh: The Best Cycle Route
Taking your bike to new places is always an exciting prospect. Cycling from London to Edinburgh might seem like a challenge, but with some practise and lots of determination, it’s a challenge you’re ready to conquer!
Below, you’re going to find the best places to travel through on your route from London to Edinburgh as well as some exciting landmarks and activity in each spot!
London to Edinburgh isn't a short journey, you have to make sure you're well prepared and ready for anything when it comes to a trip like this.
The type of bike you use is so important. You have to make sure its road worthy whilst also being good for each type of terrain you may come across.
A road bike is considered the "normal bike" and is the most common amongst everyday cyclists. If your journey is going to involve plenty of roads and tarmac then getting yourself a road bike is the best option.
TIP: To make your journey as quick as possible, avoid any sort of busy road.
If your bike routes consist of the various hill like terrain the UK countryside has then a mountain bike might be best for you. These types of bikes are heavier and have a thicker frame and wouldn't be any good in bike races for example. They're built to withstand tough terrain.
If you have an electric bike or a smart bike then it may be worth choosing a route best suited to your bike. You could of course by a new bike but if that isn't an option, you should take into consideration that your bike will need its battery charging and events such as bike tours may not be the best option.
Make sure you have a safe and suitable bike helmet perfect for cycling in the dark and late into the night. You can find helmets with headlights attached so you're visible in the dark. When it gets into night-time, try to stick to safe spots especially if you're alone. Avoid cycle parks for example.
When you start your journey from London, it’s important to make sure you have all of your necessary cycling gear to hand. Make sure you have your water bottle, helmet, any lights and night-time safety equipment and of course a bike in top working order!
It’s always helpful to have a friend or family member to bring with you. They can not only make the journey itself enjoyable but can also be there to lend a helping hand when it comes to plasters for your sore feet or SPF for when the sun is blazing down.
Bike Time (London to Bedford): Approximately 4 hours 49 minutes
Bedford is a town close to Cambridge. After leaving London, make your way to Bedford to continue the journey. This town is a large market town and is the historic county of Bedford. Here you’ll find St. Pauls church (not to be confused with St. Pauls cathedral in London), Bedford bridge and various animal activity centres.
You could also ride past Bedford locks if you’re looking for a scenic view in the summertime on your journey.
Bike Time (Bedford to Great Easton): Approximately 3 hours 14 minutes
Following on from leaving Bedford, you’re going to want to head to Great Easton. This town is placed just outside of Northampton and is best known for its beautiful scenery.
Whilst cycling through this part of the country, you could make a pit stop at The Gardens Of Easton Lodge, which are ornamental gardens dating back to the Tudor era. You’ll find guided tours, kids crafts and a tea pavilion.
You could also make a stop at The Filtch Way, this is an old railway line which is now a cider track. This is a popular cyclists route and if travelling in summer, would provide plenty of shade on your trip.
Bike Time (Great Easton to Spalding): Approximately 3 hours
Located in the well-known town of Lincolnshire, Spalding is a beautiful inland town with various lakes, canals, rivers, churches and plenty more. If you’re looking for a beautiful part of the country to visit on your journey then this is a spot you definitely don’t want to pass by.
In this countryside town, you can stop by Moulton Windmill and the Spalding War Memorial. Moulton Windmill is the tallest windmill in the country, standing at 100ft high to the very top. With endless history, this is a spot you won’t want to miss.
Bike Time (Spalding to Louth): Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Filled with cobbled stone streets and beautiful buildings, Louth is an idyllic spot to pass through. Take your bike through this beautiful town and stop by Hubbard's Hill, a large park popular for families, trips and biking.
You could also stop by Louth Museum, you’ll find a birds-eye view of Victorian Louth as well as 200,000 years worth of archaeology. If you’re a fan of history or want to learn more about the country as you travel, then this is a must-see spot.
Bike Time (Louth to Hessle): Approximately 3 hours 14 minutes
Located in the heart of the countryside above Lincolnshire, Hessle is the perfect spot to take yourself through. This town has a countryside look, with old buildings, homes and various hills.
In Hessle you’ll find the very popular Humber Bridge, this bridge is the crossing between Hessle and North Lincolnshire. In 2017, the Humber Bridge was given a Grade 1 listing, making it the longest standing listed structure in all of the UK.
Riding over this bridge at sunrise is a sure-fire way to get your motivation up and determination at its peak.
Bike Time (Hessle to Malton): Approximately 3 hours 40 minutes
The next stop on your list is Malton, an idyllic Yorkshire countryside town and a spot you won’t want to miss.
The top spots to visit here are the Eden Camp Modern History Museum, Castle Howard and if you’re travelling with family, maybe even take a stop off at Flamingo Land Resort.
The Eden Camp Modern History Museum is full of life-size statues and cars, similar to what they’d have had many many years ago. This is the ideal spot for any history lover as well as a great place to take kids.
Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire and has been home to the Howard family for over 300 years. If you’re a nature lover and looking for a place to stop off with beautiful scenic views, this is ideal.
Bike Time (Malton to Barnard Castle): Approximately 6 hours
Barnard Castle is a market town located in the historic market town of Teesdale, County Durham. This town is named after the castle it was built around and is a popular tourist destination.
The castle itself is located on a high rock, high above the River Tees and gives endless views of the water. If you’re looking to tale a pit stop and visit the historic castle, you’re looking at very reasonable prices of around £3.50 and above for entry.
Bike Time (Barnard Castle to Alston): Approximately 2 hours 50 minutes
Located in Cumbria, you’re going to the next stop off at Alston. Here you’ll find The Epiacum Roman Fort, The Cane Workshop and the resting place of St. Augustine Of Canterbury Church.
The Epiacum Roman Fort is one of the best-preserved Roman forts in Britain and was most likely built around the same time as Hadrian’s Wall in the early second century. Again, this spot is ideal for a history fan!
Bike Time (Alston to Brampton): Approximately 2 hours 20 minutes
With plenty of history and stories to tell Brampton is the perfect stop to stop off at on your trip. Housing the Solway Aviation Museum, this market town is a great way to split up your journey and see some sights.
You’ll also find Willowford Wall, Bridge and Turrets, Milecastle 48- Hadrian’s Wall, Birdoswald Roman Fort and so much more. Willowford wall is the most easterly part of the Birdsowald Roman Trail. If you follow this route, you’ll be following in the footsteps of the Romans from many many years ago.
Bike Time (Brampton to Eskdalemuir): Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes
You’ve finally made it to Scotland! You’ve come a long way, but now you’re finally across the Scottish border and into Scotland.
Whilst in this very small village (with a population of less than 300) you could visit the Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery and Centre for World Peace and Health, or maybe even visit the Eskdalemuir 2K Training Range to learn the art of target shooting by professionals.
Samye Ling is a monastery and international centre for Buddhist Training. If you’re looking at visiting here, you could take a look at their daily timetable where you’ll be able to partake in meditation sessions and various courses.
Bike Time (Eskdalemuir to Moffat): Approximately 2 hours
Whilst on your trip to Edinburgh you’ve got some incredible Scottish countryside to see, full of history and various landmarks you just won’t want to miss!
Whilst visiting and passing through Moffat, you could take a walk down Grey Mare’s Tail, a peaceful riverside walk, ideal for those summer days. You could also visit the Moffat Museum and the Lothlorien Antiques and Collectables Emporium. Here you could take a delve into the past and take a peek at all of the items your ancestors may have owned!
Bike Time (Moffat to Innerleithen): Approximately 3 hours
Known for its popularity with mountain biking, as a cyclist, you should bring yourself through the town of Innerleithen. You could visit Traquair House, a 12th-century castle or take a scenic walk through Glentress Forest.
Here you could also visit the National Trust’s Robert Smail’s Printing Works. This is a fully functional Victorian era letterpress printing works and has been preserved by The National Trust as an Industrial Heritage Museum. If you take a walk around here, you’ll see the operation of a local printer from the 1900s, still carrying out printing.
Bike Time (Moffat to Innerleithen): Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
With it being the final destination and last place on the list, Edinburgh is the perfect place to give yourself a little holiday. You could visit Traquair House, a 12th-century castle or take a scenic walk through Glentress Forest.
A great place to visit would of course be the iconic Edinburgh Castle where you can learn all about the history of Edinburgh, the castle itself and the stories of those who once resided within its walls.
Now you’ve got your route all planned out, you just have to get yourself some cycling gear, this trip is the perfect excuse to buy yourself a new bike and some incredible accessories to go along with it. If you don't want to cycle alone, you could always enlist the help of a friend or maybe even find bicycle touring groups or cycling guides with groups you could join!
Don't forget to keep an eye on any injuries. Overuse injuries such as a knee injury is very common in cyclists because of the strain that occurs whilst riding. Even the most experienced cyclists find themselves with injuries so it's important to rest when you need or want to.