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Sustrans is a leading UK charity committed to making sustainable travel a more plausible option for us. After being awarded a grant from the National Lottery in 1995 they created the National Cycle Work.

Thanks to their work we now have 14,500 miles of quiet, mostly traffic-free cycle routes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to enjoy.

Route maps and guides can be bought from their online shop and to help you choose which of these brilliant long distance trails to try out first, here is a list of ten of our favourites.

devon ss

Enjoy views over Cornwall as you cycle along the estuaries and beaches of North Devon and through the rich green West Country following the Devon Coast to Coast route.

Ninety-nine miles of mainly flat and traffic-free trails will take you from the starting point in Ilfracombe past Dartmoor National Park and into Plymouth. En route you will pass through disused railway tunnels, cross over Victorian viaducts and bridges, and pedal through beautifully green areas.

The last leg of the trail passes along Plymouth seafront where you can stop off at the National Marine Aquarium or take a dip in the Art Deco seawater Tinside Lido. If just shy of 100 miles cycling isn't a long enough ride for you, you can catch the Plymouth-Roscoff ferry and continue down the West Coast of France to Spain.

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north sea

Six thousand kilometres in length, the North Sea Cycle Route holds the record for being the world's longest cycle route.

Spanning eight countries, participants along this route will cycle through England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium on a truly epic bike ride.

The route is made up of several trails which follow coastlines, wind through mountains, traverse woodlands and disappear through picturesque villages and bustling cities.

This is a bike ride for endurance riders; if you're not sure whether it's for you, try the 2,299km England and Scotland section as a warm-up.

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way of the roses

Created to celebrate 15 years of the National Cycle Network, the Way of the Roses cycle route spans 170 miles across England. Beginning in Morecambe on the north west coast and finishing in Bridlington on the east coast, the trail passes through some of the country's most sensational scenery.

Enjoy views of the Lune Valley, Yorkshire Dales National Park and Yorkshire Wolds - all great places to stop for a well-earned rest. If you have the energy after all those hill climbs, climb up the tower at York

Minster for an unforgettable view over the historic city and make sure you stop off to visit Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal World Heritage Site, Linton Falls and Lancaster Castle too. This is a superb route for taking in some of the best British heritage and countryside there is.

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hadrian's cycleway

One for history lovers, the Hadrian's Cycleway runs for 174m along the length of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.

Beginning at Glannaventa Roman Bath House in Ravenglass and finishing at Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum at South Shields, the route is relatively flat and is usually completed in three days or slightly longer if you stop off at lots of attractions en route.

Cycling through miles of completely unspoilt countryside, you will travel along a mixture of promenades, country lanes, riverside paths and quiet roads.

Taking in coastal views, roman forts and market towns, you will pass by six beautiful castles worthy of a stop including Carlisle Castle and Tynemouth Castle.

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celtic trail

A picturesque 84 mile cycle route from Severn Bridge to Swansea makes up the Celtic Trail East, a smaller section of the 377 mile complete Celtic Trail.

Passing through the heart of the South Wales Valleys, Sirhowy, Penelta and Tadd Bargoed country parks and Newport Wetlands, there is plenty of stunning scenery to keep the photographers amongst you busy.

Stop off along route at Caerphilly Castle, Europe's second largest castle, visit the Hengoed viaduct and be sure to treat yourself to a hearty lunch at one of the many country pubs you will pass along the route.

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trans pennine trail

Travelling 55 miles from Leeds to Chesterfield, the Trans Pennine Trail Central passes through a mixture of industrial cities and gorgeous country parks and woodlands.

Join the trail at Royal Armouries, Britain's oldest museum, and cycle along the path that follows the River Aire and Aire Calder Navigation canal. From Elsecar Industrial Heritage Centre you will have a choice of three trails to get you to Sheffield: one via Wharncliffe Woods, another through Wentworth Estate and the final following Sheffield's Forest Loop.

Continuing on to the beautiful Rother Valley Country Park you will be able to picnic lakeside or have a go at some exciting water sports.

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kingfisher trail

A 230 mile figure of eight loop that crosses the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Kingfisher Trail can be completed in its entirety or loop by loop.

The suggested starting point is Enniskillen Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland, but really the trail can be joined anywhere. This was the first long distance cycle route created in Ireland and was named after the Kingfisher that can often be spotted along the river and loughs that you will pass as you pedal down the trail.

Points of interest along the route include Lough Scur Dolmen, Castle Coole and Marble Arch Caves.

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Britain's own Route 66, this bike trail may not end in the U.S. but it will reward you with beautiful views across the Yorkshire Wolds. A circular route best ridden clockwise, the trail can be joined in either Beverley or Malton, both of which have train stations.

The route follows primarily quiet roads encompassed with rolling hills and lush countryside making it a perfectly peaceful cycle route. Passing by coastal towns, grand country houses and several nature reserves, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break from the pedals and explore the English heritage on offer.

Of course you will also come across numerous tea rooms and country pubs, perfect for resting tired legs and getting re-hydrated.

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strangford ss

A 100 mile circular cycle route around the magical Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland offers cyclists unbeatable views over the Irish coast and out to the Mourne Mountains.

The whole trail is on mostly-quiet roads, with a small section completely traffic-free. It is a fairly easy ride with plenty of attractive stopping off points including Delamont Country Park and the Castle Ward Estate as well as Inch Abbey, Castle Epsie and Scrabo Tower.

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Beginning in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, before passing through the coastal town of Dundee and ending in the Granite City, Aberdeen, the Coast and Castles North cycle route spans 172 miles of beautiful countryside and coast.

After visiting Edinburgh Castle pedal your way across the Firth of Forth into the Kingdom of Fife and continue on to a collection of tiny fishing villages. To break up the cycling, pay a visit to Dunnottar Castle, stop for a round of golf in St. Andrew's or tuck into a plate of kippers in Arbroath.

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