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Cycling Northern England and Scotland

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Cycling Northern England and Scotland

We are on the fourth month and fourth country of a (hopefully) year long bicycle tour. At the moment, we are in southern England, near London. We want to head north to some wide open spaces and arrive in Scotland before it gets too cold. Does anyone have any suggestions for where to go in northern England heading into Scotland? We are thinking of taking a train as far as York, and then starting to pedal from there. This would be for all of September and part of October (2010). We tend to travel slowly, weighted down by full-loaded bikes. A good day of cycling for us is 36 miles (60 kilometres). Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Can I suggest that you head

Can I suggest that you head further north up into the Scottish Highlands & Islands. Really you need to be on the west coast of Scotland. An ideal route to take would be Glasgow - Crianlarich - Oban. then take the Caledonian MacBryne Ferry to Loch Boisdale in the Outer Hebrides, then cycle up through South Uist - Benbecula - North Uist, at North Uist catch a return ferry to the main land Isle of Skye, then return down to Glasgow.

An absolutely fantastic route. Outstanding scenery, many many sights, sites of special scientific interest and many tourist sites too. I'm sure you will not be disappointed if you take this route.

Good luck with your touring.

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Scottish highlands and islands suggestion

Hello On Two Wheels,

Thanks for the suggestions, including ferries to catch. It sounds amazing. I see that you are currently travelling, on your way through Bulgaria/Romania and onward toward India. We are very interested in how you get there! (We might be continuing on that way eventually.)

In the meantime, we are going to head north through the "backbone of England", the Pennines. At least, that is the plan for right now.

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northern england suggestions

If you've got loads of time, i'd suggest you see the north of england too. Did the hadrians wall route (newcastle to carlisle) a week or so ago and was beautiful. Further south of that, the pennines, yorkshire dales, lake district are all stunning with loads of quieter back roads. Be prepared for the hills- in many ways harder than the big hills of the alps or something as you can't get any rhythm.
Have a look at the sustrans.org.uk website for ideas- can be an infuriating site at times, but the big routes are generally well signposted in my experience, just don't be worried about ignoring the signposts sometimes- they can take you some strange ways to avoid tiny sections of not very busy roads.
Where ever you go i'm sure you'll have an awesome time

Sarah

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Thanks for North England suggestions

Hi Sarah, Thanks for your suggestions about Northern England. I know what you mean about the infuriating sustrans site and signposting! The AtoZ maps have been much better for us to plan our routes. We are hoping for some wide-open spaces soon. The density of villages is charming at first, and quickly gets tiring. Happy travels yourself along the west coast of Canada and US.