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  1. #1
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    UK: ideas for London to Peak District mini-tour?

    Hi - I posted this in the UK forum but that seems low traffic, so I thought I'd ask here too. I have a meeting in Hassop, in the Peak District, in late April, and I thought I might leave a few days early and get in a mini-tour. I'll be arriving in London on the Eurostar. Does anyone have suggestions for a nice 3-4 day tour from London to the Peak District, or from somewhere outside of London on East Midland Trains' railway network? (If I'm taking the train from London, I'd prefer to depart from St Pancras rather than cycle across London just to hop on another train.) I think 40-50 miles per day would be my target (I'm more tortoise than hare). Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
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    Have you checked out Sustrans website? There is a national cycle network of traffic-free and low traffic routes that you could probably link up.
    I'm near the Chilterns which is lovely for cycling and easy to get to on the train from London.
    Not sure which UK forum you were using, but the CTC forum is active and they are v helpful on there...

  3. #3
    Bike touring webrarian
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    It seems like a ride from London to the Peak District (one way) would be 3-4 50 mile days. I don't know where the East Midlands rail goes but Yorkshire Moors is good and hilly and has some pretty coastline. I especially liked Robin Hood Bay.

    Riding though the Peak District is challenging and you might be hard pressed to do 50 miles up and over (and up and over) the peaks, especially in the rain and wind.

    You might check out Suffolk and Norfolk, as well. The Broads might be flat, but they can be pretty (and windy).

    I've done two long rides in the UK. One was 2 weeks in southern England (journal here) and one, just finished in May, was from Land's End up to Scotland and back down into England, through the Moors and the Peak District (journal here). I thoroughly enjoyed both tours. It is easy to find good routes, either using sustrans or the AAA road atlases.

    Have a great time!
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  4. #4
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    Sustrans routes are helpful. You should plan on taking a train out of central London to a small village station rather than fight your way through London streets.
    East Anglia (Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk) is really good for easy, quiet cycling but may be off your route. Cambridge may be a good destination.
    Generally, the area within about 50 miles of London is not good for leisurely cycling on the road but there are off road paths such as canal tow paths

    Kings Cross station is next to St Pancras. Liverpool St (for East Anglia) is about a 20min cycle ride. The route is not too difficult but you have to deal with city traffic.

  5. #5
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Thanks, Michael! I don't mind city traffic (I cycle in Paris all the time) but if I can easily avoid it, so much the better. Cambridge would be a good starting off point, especially with the express train from King's Cross.

    I would find Sustrans routes more helpful if their website didn't take forever to load...though I've had mixed results following the National Cycle Route 5 near Oxford. It's OK from Didcot to Oxford, if a bit confusing when it goes through central Abingdon, but the decision to route it along the Oxford Canal going north toward Woodstock was not so clever; I understand that it's meant to avoid traffic on the Woodstock Road, but the canal towpath there is only about two feet wide and full of rocks. It's made me suspicious of using Sustrans cycle routes without having some local knowledge!

  6. #6
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    You might want to ask over on CrazyGuyOnABike. A couple regulars from England often post there. Also the CTC probably has some routes as well.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    CTC has a Book of cycle routes in UK and Ireland. hardbound and paperback.
    should be easy to find those used, amazonUK, or new thru CTC..

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